It’s the title that broke manga in the US — no comic has had a bigger influence than SAILOR MOON, the manga/anime that kicked off the shojo manga boom, made it safe for girls to read comics, and introduced the idea of cosplay to America in a big way.

Created by Naoko Takeuchi, and published as part of their MIXX magazine, SAILOR MOON also put Tokyopop on the map in the late ’90s. However the title has long been out of print in English, despite cries that it would find a ready audience.

At long last, SAILOR MOON is coming back, this time from Kodansha, with a deluxe edition of the original 18 volumes in 12 books, and a first-ever US version of CODENAME: SAILOR V, the prequel.

PR below:

Kodansha USA Publishing, a subsidiary of Kodansha, announced today the exciting return of Naoko Takeuchi’s SAILOR MOON, one of the most significant names in comics and manga, to US publishing. Brand new deluxe editions of the acclaimed series will be released by Kodansha USA’s Kodansha Comics imprint in September 2011. Out of print for six years, SAILOR MOON re-launches along with Takeuchi’s two-volume prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, in print in the US for the first time—making this one of the most highly anticipated manga releases in years.
The SAILOR MOON manga, which originated in Japan in 1992 and debuted in the US in 1997, follows Usagi Tsukino, a young girl who transforms into super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. The first successful shôjo (girls’) manga release in the US, SAILOR MOON changed the book landscape and helped establish the foundation for the manga craze; in particular drawing attention to the popularity of comics among female readers.
Prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, the first of Takeuchi’s “magical girl” manga, will make its highly anticipated debut in the US alongside the SAILOR MOON re-launch. In CODENAME: SAILOR V, teenager Minako Aino fights as Sailor V against the villains of the Dark Agency before she discovers Sailor Moon.
The Kodansha USA editions of SAILOR MOON will be published on a bi-monthly schedule and follow the 2003 Japanese re-release format of the classic series. The original 18 volumes have been condensed into 12 volumes covering the main storyline, and two volumes dedicated to short stories. Each volume has gorgeous new cover art, retouched interior art and dialogue along with extensive bonus material from Takeuchi, and detailed translation notes.
One of the most recognized manga and anime properties in the world, SAILOR MOON took American pop culture by storm, with mentions in music (“One Week” by Barenaked Ladies), bestselling books (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot) and more. In Japan, over 15 million copies have been sold and the series has generated everything from animated features to live action musicals, a live action television series and countless merchandise.
“I’m very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi’s work to her American fans,” said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing. Irie is also the former chief editor of Nakayosi magazine in which the SAILOR MOON manga was serialized. “As we continue to build the Kodansha Comics manga list, a title like SAILOR MOON is the jewel in our crown. As the former chief editor of the work in Japan, I’m especially thrilled to finally release the prequel, CODENAME: SAILOR V, to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last.”


  1. I could swear the series has been out of print for more than the six years they say, but whatever the case, customers at my shop still ask for it and I’ll be happy to see it available for them.

  2. Does this mean they’ve done a new translation? As in, not the Tokyopop translation that used the American names from the dub? If so, I think I’ll have to go sit in the corner while my head explodes.

  3. Actually, Pokemon is the most influential manga/anime of all time, at least in the U.S. It might even be third, after Akira.

    Sailor Moon COULD have been first, but the animation was censored and ripped to shreds, and then the manga was not properly marketed to bookstores. (Fans pissed off, mass market not monetized.)

    Will the anime be untouched? What “issues” does Sailor Moon have, when viewed by “Middle America”?

  4. Interesting that this piece of news comes right after the reveal of the Wonder Woman costume. If DragonBall is the Superman of the Manga world, Sailor Moon is its Wonder Woman. (I think Black Jack could be considered its Batman) Is it any coincidence that early in the Manga she used her Tiara as a weapon, very similar to Wonder Woman? Not to mention that girls are more willing to read about the leggy crybaby than the Amazon warrior.

    DC certainly missed out in not letting Tintin Pantoja debut her Wonder Woman Manga.

  5. LOOOOONNNNGG before Pokemon, there was Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon and Rumiko Takahashi’s Ranma 1/2 (Akira too). Thousands of Americans read them and it was as the article states safe for girls.

    The reason Pokemon was such as success was it involved a game element with card playing and collecting. You could compare it to the cosplay element of Sailor Moon which is harder to monetize given that you can make costumes out of anything you have at home. Hopefully, they won’t censor it the same way.

    And I can totally get why young girls/teens would look up to someone their own age who could transform from a whiny brat into a strong, secure hero. Wonder Woman’s sleek veneer of 24-7 confidence is less approachable (still rockin’ of course).

  6. This may be a little late but yes, it’s a new translation and the old dub names are gone. Usagi will be Usagi.

  7. I just want to know if the sailor moon (anime show) will ever come back it and if it does will they still be the same chaaracters?, and is CODENAME: SAILOR V just a sneek peek for sailor moon to come back?
    ( sorry i am asking so much just excited

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