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Great story and art, spotty translationOct. 30 2012
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I'll refrain from posting excessive spoilers here, so my review mostly pertains to the art, general story and translation.
Art (5/5): Takeuchi continues to boggle the mind with her illustrations, which are marvelously lovely and convey emotion extremely well. As always, we're treated to the new covers featuring the lovely Neptune on the front and a cute chibi-fied stylized version of her on the rear cover. There are also a pair of glossy color images on the first couple pages.
Story (5/5): Sailor Moon 8 covers the end of the Infinity Arc and the beginning of the Dream Arc, or Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS if you're more familiar with the anime. The fate of Hotaru/Mistress 9/Sailor Saturn is revealed here, as well as Chibi-Usa, who is still being supported by Mamoru after the happenings of the prior volume. The final battle follows the formula of most of the prior final battles with the big enemy of the arc, but it's motivating and lovely nonetheless.
Translation (3/5): There are, as always, flubs in the translation. Pharaoh is misspelled as "Pharoah" at least once, and there's a painful moment where a key character informs Sailor Moon that "With every ending come hope and rebirth" which is later quoted with the exact same syntax error. (It should've been "comes hope and rebirth.") However, the major issue that stands out with the translation here is that the attack "Death Reborn Revolution" is mistranslated as "Death Ribbon Revolution". The kanji for the two is slightly different and was apparently overlooked by the translator. Sadly, for an ability that can destroy the world, it's demeaned by translating it wrong, especially since there's so much emphasis on how things start again ("reborn") after being destroyed. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it were any other word that was mistranslated, but honestly, it's a massively poignant moment in the manga and could have been easily caught and fixed by any fan of the series. It also echos Jupiter's "Spark Ring Wide Pressure" from way back in Volume 3, which just shows that they're not paying any more attention to the translation accuracy now than they were then.
General: This volume lacks the preview of volume 9 (in either Japanese or English) and also lacks any sort of translation notes (aside from a small currency conversion notation below a panel.)
I'd just like to point out that the highlights from the publisher include "An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!" and "Detailed translation notes!" yet Kodansha has continued to release a marred product from Volume 1 to now, ranging from slight translation errors to horrid ones, a smudged printing with Volume 5 and they've left out the "Detailed translation notes" on more than one volume that they claim as a selling point on the entire series. Even the official synopsis for this volume is incorrect, stating that Hotaru is possessed by Master Pharaoh 90. She's possessed by Mistress 9. Unfortunately for fans, Kodansha has at best released an OK version, not a great one. I love Sailor Moon, but I don't love this release.
I've been reading along with the volumes so far and I've enjoyed them for the most part. I do, however, have to comment that there's just something about the translation for this volume that just feels a little lifeless and awkward at times. I can't entirely put my finger on where exactly this happens, just that at times the story feels a little dull. Perhaps it's just that I'm an older reader and am comparing this to my initial thrill for the series in my late teens/early twenties, but this just lacks the spark that (cringe) the TokyoPop versions did. I'm cringing as I write that because the TP versions were pretty bad in various places. I see from other reviews that there are still issues with translation in this volume, as there were in previous volumes, so this might explain it. Goodness knows that there were some spelling/grammatical errors in here, something that always frustrates me with a supposedly finished project.
As far as the story goes, it's the ongoing adventures of Sailor Moon. If you've enjoyed the series so far then you're likely to enjoy this one as well despite it focusing fairly heavily on Sailor Chibi Moon. (Not nearly as much as the anime adaptation did, thankfully.) If you haven't been liking the series' focus on science fiction as opposed to the more magical girl feeling that the anime has, then this probably won't sway your opinion much.
Artwork-wise, this is Takeuchi and that means that her artwork is either incredibly gorgeous or incredibly adorable. Or both, as that tends to be Usagi's one saving grace in most cases. I don't think I'd have liked her character half as much if she'd been drawn with less skill or by a different artist.
Overall this is a decent volume, but if you haven't fallen for the series yet then this volume probably won't be the one that loops you back in.
There is nothing that a person who is prepared to die can't accomplish.Nov. 22 2015
Shannon A Thompson
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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, V. 8 by Naoko Takeuchi 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟💀💔😢🎪🌙 This particular manga covers the ending of The Infinity Arc and the beginning of The Dead Moon Circus. A beautiful duo. First, the ending of The Infinity Arc: It’s amazing. Basically, it’s so intense even one panel will have you freaking out, especially if the panel has ANYTHING to do with Sailor Saturn. (Still one of my all-time favorite sailors.) But I don’t want to spoil how it pans out, so I won’t say anything aside from saying it’s inventive, thrilling, and death-defying—all while maintaining a gothic beauty. Out of the entire volume, my favorite panel was in this section, and as cheesy as it is, my favorite panel was probably Mamoru’s transformation, an act we rarely see since he’s often on the sidelines (generally ogling Usagi with “I love you” eyes). Aside from that, of course, Sailor Saturn’s awakening is gorgeous, despite how dreadful the moment is. And wait…wait…when Mamoru and Chibi-Usa believe Usagi has died…::sniffle:: Those panels were heartbreaking. (Seriously. Volume 8 is full of tears.) Probably some of the most heartbreaking panels in the entire manga series. Okay. I retract. It’s impossible to pick a favorite panel in this volume. Now, The Dead Moon Circus. To be perfectly honest, I have an unusual opinion. Personally, while most readers of this manga think The Infinity Arc is the best one, I am in love with The Dead Moon Circus. It’s quirky and delightful and bizarrely magical. I love the stark contrast these particular enemies have with all of the other enemies of this manga series. Even though they are evil, there’s something very playful about them. (Well, I mean, it is a circus.) Plus, Pegasus comes into the game. Who doesn’t like a Pegasus? (Let alone who the Pegasus ends up being…but that’s another volume to discuss.) And I love his relationship with Chibi-Usa…and it only gets better from here. Can’t wait for Volume 9. ~SAT Recommended to: Sailor Moon fans (a give-in), readers of shojo, and fans of female superheroes. For people who know absolutely nothing about this series, you might like this volume if you enjoy end-of-the-world scenarios, possession, reincarnation, grim reaper types, creepy circuses, and mythical creatures, like the Pegasus. But of course, I recommend reading the first seven beforehand. Favorite quote: There is nothing that a person who is prepared to die can't accomplish.
The best of the worst and the beginning of the best.Oct. 3 2014
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I got this cheap just so I could have all of the Dream Arc, but I'll be honest with you; the conclusion to the Infinity Arc was actually quite good overall. Still doesn't exactly make up for the borefest leading up to it, but it was actually my favorite part of this volume. The first act of the Dream Arc was good, but it's my least favorite part of it. It just seemed kind of weak compared to the beginning of the anime. Everything from the ending with the age switch between Usagi and Chibiusa is gold, but like I said I prefer the anime's start (though the manga definitely has the better finish). This is probably going to be my least favorite of the Sailor Moon volumes I intend to collect (I'm not collecting volumes 6 and 7), but it was still enjoyable.
Yet another beautiful but inbetween arc bookFeb. 23 2013
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Some content in this volume I had seen before, more like half of the book but still the story presented was great. The wording wasn't too awkward, instead the content about a certain future daughter wanting to be considered a woman in her father's eyes was. The only thing that was worth concern for was the binding of the book. The pages kept falling out. I don't know if that's Kondansha's fault or not but I was disappointed. The picture of Michiru on the cover and back cover was really lovely and there were more colored pages than usual. In all, I give this volume a 4 out of 5.