Sailor Moon 8 Paperback – Oct 30 2012
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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.
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.