Under the Sailor Moon: Why it was awesome then, is awesome now
Sailor Moon, Book One by Naoko Takeuchi
Usagi Tsukino is a clumsy middle school girl. Always with her friends and obsessing over cute things, her entire life changes when she is late to school and trips over a cat. She dismisses it as just another one of her clumsy mistakes until later when the cat comes to Usagi in her house, introducing herself as a talking cat named Luna and tells her that her friend is in trouble!
Luna gives Usagi a magic broach that turns her from ordinary school girl into the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon! Usagi rushes to the jewelry store to find that her friend Naru’s mom who runs the store has been replaced by an evil alien and is about to kill Naru. Sailor Moon uses her new powers to defeat the monster and is assisted by a strange man named Tuxedo Mask. But the forces that sent the alien are now aware of Sailor Moon and are out to get her.
Beware! Slight Spoilers!
The next day Usagi is walking to school with Luna, when Luna jumps out of Usagi’s shoulder and onto the head of Ami Mizuno, the smartest student in the school! Usagi apologizes but Ami is fine and wants to be friends with Usagi. After school, Usagi invites Ami to the arcade where her crush works at.
A new game, the Sailor V Game, based off the crime fighting detective that fought before Sailor Moon is Usagi’s favorite, but she thinks it’s really hard. But when Ami tries, she beats it with no trouble, getting the top scores. But instead of just winning, the game gives the girls two cute pens. Ami has to leave to go to her elite night school, Crystal Seminar. Usagi is fine, but Luna thinks something is up.
The next day when Usagi meets Ami she seems strange. Ami walks off in a hurry and drops her Crystal Seminar study disk. When Luna senses it strange and insists on playing it, Usagi and Luna discover it’s actually a brainwashing disk infused with dark magic! Luna tells Usagi to use her new pen, which can give her different disguises.
Usagi breaks into the Crystal Seminar disguised as a nurse in an emergency to find that the Crystal Seminar teacher is a monster in disguise working for the evil aliens that are looking for a powerful crystal, the Legendary Silver Crystal. Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon, but the alien grabs Ami and threatens to kill her. Instead, Ami transforms in a burst of light into Sailor Mercury and kills the alien. Sailor Moon now has a new ally, and another sighting of Tuxedo Mask.
Usagi and Ami are now even closer after becoming Sailor Guardians, but a rumor of a demon bus that takes people away has been going around. Usagi follows a girl who always rides the bus named Rei, who works at the nearby temple. People think Rei’s family is taking away the people on the bus, but it’s not true and Usagi says she doesn’t believe it.
One day, when Rei puts her little sister on the bus that is said to be the rumored one, she disappears, and Rei goes to investigate. Instead, Rei finds it to be true and is sucked into an evil world by the bus driver who happens to be Jadeite, a leader of the dark moon. Usagi sees this and transforms into Sailor Moon and follows the bus into the dark world. Sailor Mercury follows her and so does Tuxedo Mask after seeing Luna.
Jadeite has captured Rei and is using her as bait for the other Sailor Guardians, who seem to be no match for him. They are about to be killed when Rei transforms into the fiery Sailor Mars and turns Jadeite into dust. Now Sailor Moon has two allies and more to be made, but who is Tuxedo Mask and what are his goals?
Sailor Moon was my first anime and second manga. I have loved her since I was five and even went through a faze where I kind of worshiped her. Sailor Moon is a fan favorite and you can’t go to any sort of comi-con without seeing one or two Sailor Moon things.
The art in the Sailor Moon manga is beautiful and has a slightly varying story from the anime, so if you’ve watched it, I recommend you read it too.