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Naoko Takeuchi

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon / Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon [美少女戦士セーラームーン (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn)] (Series): Arc 3: The Infinity Arc

YEAR: 1991

COUNTRY: Japan

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon / Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon [美少女戦士セーラームーン (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn)] (Series): Arc 3: The Infinity Arc

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Japan, Worldwide

Original Language

Japanese

First Edition Date

1991–1997

First Edition Details

Originally serialised in Nakayoshi Magazine: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997.

Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1–18, vol. 6–8, Kodansha Comics, 1993–1997.

ISBN

9781612620022 / 9781612620039 / 9781612620039

Official Website

Sailormoon-official.com (accessed: January 20, 2022).

Awards

1993 – Kodansha Manga Award – Shōjo Category

Genre

Comics (Graphic works)
Graphic novels
Shōjo Manga / Girls' Manga*
Urban fiction

Target Audience

Crossover (Teenage Girls, Young Adults)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Female portrait

Naoko Takeuchi (Author, Illustrator)

Naoko Takeuchi is the creator of numerous successful manga series for teenage girls; most notably the globally-renowned Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon and its prequel series, Codename: Sailor V. As a manga artist, she both authors and illustrates all her works. She has won numerous awards, and Sailor Moon is considered the archetype of the “magical girl” character and genre. Nonetheless, Takeuchi has frequently discussed the publisher and editorial interference in the Sailor Moon manga, and criticised the 1990s anime adaptation for having “a slight male perspective” due to the mostly-male creator team, compared to her manga which was “written by a girl (me) for girls…” (quoted in MTV). She originally trained to be a licensed pharmacist at Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy and graduated with a degree in chemistry. Takeuchi is also a songwriter under the pen name “Sumire Shirobara”, and has written many songs to accompany various Sailor Moon adaptations.


Sources:

Sailor Moon official website (accessed: July 26, 2021);

AnimeNewsNetwork (accessed: July 26, 2021);

Alverson, Brigid, Sailor Moon 101: Pretty, Powerful, and Pure of Heart available at MTV.com (accessed: July 26, 2021).



Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au


Translation

According to the publisher's website the versions of the manga that are currently in print are available in Japanese, English, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Thai, and Portuguese.

Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs

Sailor Moon Volume 1: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 2: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 2, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 244 pp. 

Sailor Moon Volume 3: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 3, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 4: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 4, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 5: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 5, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 256 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 9: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 9, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 264 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 10: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 10, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 11: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 11, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 12: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 12, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 280 pp. 

Sailor Moon Volume 13: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 1, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 200 pp. 

Sailor Moon Volume 14: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 2, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 208 pp. 

Summary

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon follows 14-year-old Usagi Tsukino, a klutz and crybaby who receives the power to transform into a magical warrior named Sailor Moon, Soldier of Love and Justice. Transforming not only changes her clothes, but grants her access to supernatural powers to fight enemies. The story is set in Tokyo, Japan. There are five primary arcs to the series, plus several short stories that accompany the core narrative. The arcs reflect the primary antagonists and themes the protagonists face in those chapters. The five story arcs are: The Dark Kingdom Arc, The Black Moon Arc, The Infinity Arc, The Dream Arc, and The Stars Arc. This entry focuses on the Infinity Arc. The series draws extensively from Classical mythologies, as well as fairytales and other folktales.

Infinity Arc (Volume 6, Volume 7, Volume 8)

A strange phenomenon is turning ordinary citizens of Tokyo into animals, and all signs point to the trouble originating from the elite education institution, Infinity Academy. The enemies are a group of aliens called the Death Busters, whose frontline soldiers are magicians known as the Witches 5. Around the same time, Chibiusa befriends a sickly girl named Hotaru Tomoe who attends Infinity Academy, and whose body is secretly being turned into a cyborg to keep her alive by her father, Professor Tomoe. As the Sailor Soldiers investigate, they meet two older female students who attend Infinity Academy, and are a lesbian couple: the glamorous violinist Michiru Kaiō, and the famous race car driver Haruka Tenō. The girls are soon revealed to be Sailor Neptune (Soldier of the Deep Waters and Embrace) and Sailor Uranus (Soldier of The Sky and Flight), respectively. However, they are not interested in allying with Usagi and her friends. Sailor Pluto is revealed to be reborn, and is working as a scientist at Infinity Academy under the name Setsuna Meiō.

Together, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Pluto form the Outer Soldiers; soldiers whose existence was a secret, as they were charged with defending the Moon Princess from a distance. They meet with Usagi and her friends, and state their duty is to protect the galaxy from the Goddess of Destruction, whose awakening is nearing. The Death Busters brainwash the Sailor Soldiers to fight each other; however, Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibimoon, and Tuxedo Mask combine their powers and create the Holy Grail, which breaks the spell. The Sailor Soldiers channel their power into the Gail, which Sailor Moon drinks from, evolving her power to that of Super Sailor Moon. She vanquishes the last of their minor enemies, and the Outer Soldiers confess their final secret. The Goddess of Destruction is none other than Sailor Saturn — the soldier whose soul now resides in the body of Chibiusa’s friend, the sickly Hotaru. The only way to prevent Sailor Saturn from awakening is to kill Hotaru. As Chibiusa rushes to protect Hotaru, Hotaru’s body is possessed by an alien Death Buster known as Mistress 9. Mistress 9 steals Chibiusa’s soul and disappears.

United at last, the Sailor Soldiers arrive at Infinity Academy to confront their enemies but become trapped in, and must escape, a labyrinth filled with their dreams and nightmares. Mistress 9 uses Chibiusa’s soul to increase her powers, and unleashes her ruler, Master Pharaoh 90, to convert Earth into a new homeworld for their species. However, Hotaru’s soul is still alive in Mistress 9’s body, and she uses the last of her strength to return Chibiusa’s soul to her. As the Sailor Soldiers fight a losing battle, Sailor Moon hurls herself into the void created by Master Pharaoh 90 to release the Illusionary Silver Crystal. At that moment, the weapons of Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Pluto activate and summon forth Sailor Saturn (Soldier of Silence, Destruction, and Rebirth). However, instead of destroying Earth as they feared, Sailor Saturn destroys Master Pharaoh 90, along with herself. Sailor Moon emerges from the void and restores Tokyo and the lives lost—including reincarnating Hotaru as an infant, her soul fused with that of Sailor Saturn. Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna take baby Hotaru into their care, and claim raising her as their new mission.

Analysis

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon draws on Greek and Roman mythology, Japanese folklore and traditions, and fairytales to establish its worldbuilding. The series has a strong focus on the theme that peace and happiness are always worth fighting for, even though they can never be permanent, because hardship is part of human existence.

At one point, the Sailor Soldiers become trapped in a labyrinth filled with their individual dreams and nightmares. Reincarnated members of the Witches 5 aim to keep them trapped there, to prevent them from stopping the Death Busters’ plans. Labyrinths are also featured in Greek mythology, such as King Minos’ labyrinth to contain the famed Minotaur. However, instead of battling a singular monster, the labyrinth in Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon forces them to confront their deepest inner thoughts through the visions they experience.

There are also biblical references throughout the Infinity Arc, such as the repeated allusion to a “Messiah”. Several characters are both seeking and fearing a mysterious figure known as the Messiah, however it is ultimately revealed to be Usagi herself. Additionally, Chibiusa’s school project results in her creating a model of the Holy Grail, an object said to contain the blood of Jesus Christ in Christianity and also a motif from Arthurian literature. In Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, Chibiusa modelled her project on the Holy Grail her mother used to increase her powers. When the sailor soldiers later combine their powers, Chibiusa’s art project transforms into a true magical artefact, and the magic her Holy Grail collects from the other soldiers for Sailor Moon to drink allows Sailor Moon to become Super Sailor Moon.

Further Reading

Fujimoto, Yukari, “Sailor Moon! The Treasure Box All Girls Want” in International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, ed. Masami Toku. New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 32-39.

Nozomi, Masuda, “Shojo Manga and Its Acceptance: What is the Power of Shojo Manga?” in International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, ed. Masami Toku. Routledge, New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 23-31.

Addenda

Originally serialised in Nakayoshi Magazine: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997.

First Japanese compilation of 18 volumes: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1-18, Kodansha Comics, 1993-1997.

Second Japanese compilation of 12 volumes: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1-12, Kodansha Comics, 2003-2004.

Third Japanese compilation: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volumes 1-10, Kodansha Comics, 2013-2014.


Editions used for entry:

Sailor Moon Volume 6: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 6, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 7: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 7, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 8: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 8, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 232 pp. 

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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon / Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon [美少女戦士セーラームーン (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn)] (Series): Arc 3: The Infinity Arc

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Japan, Worldwide

Original Language

Japanese

First Edition Date

1991–1997

First Edition Details

Originally serialised in Nakayoshi Magazine: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997.

Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1–18, vol. 6–8, Kodansha Comics, 1993–1997.

ISBN

9781612620022 / 9781612620039 / 9781612620039

Official Website

Sailormoon-official.com (accessed: January 20, 2022).

Awards

1993 – Kodansha Manga Award – Shōjo Category

Genre

Comics (Graphic works)
Graphic novels
Shōjo Manga / Girls' Manga*
Urban fiction

Target Audience

Crossover (Teenage Girls, Young Adults)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Female portrait

Naoko Takeuchi (Author, Illustrator)

Naoko Takeuchi is the creator of numerous successful manga series for teenage girls; most notably the globally-renowned Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon and its prequel series, Codename: Sailor V. As a manga artist, she both authors and illustrates all her works. She has won numerous awards, and Sailor Moon is considered the archetype of the “magical girl” character and genre. Nonetheless, Takeuchi has frequently discussed the publisher and editorial interference in the Sailor Moon manga, and criticised the 1990s anime adaptation for having “a slight male perspective” due to the mostly-male creator team, compared to her manga which was “written by a girl (me) for girls…” (quoted in MTV). She originally trained to be a licensed pharmacist at Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy and graduated with a degree in chemistry. Takeuchi is also a songwriter under the pen name “Sumire Shirobara”, and has written many songs to accompany various Sailor Moon adaptations.


Sources:

Sailor Moon official website (accessed: July 26, 2021);

AnimeNewsNetwork (accessed: July 26, 2021);

Alverson, Brigid, Sailor Moon 101: Pretty, Powerful, and Pure of Heart available at MTV.com (accessed: July 26, 2021).



Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au


Translation

According to the publisher's website the versions of the manga that are currently in print are available in Japanese, English, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Thai, and Portuguese.

Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs

Sailor Moon Volume 1: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 2: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 2, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 244 pp. 

Sailor Moon Volume 3: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 3, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 4: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 4, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 5: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 5, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 256 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 9: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 9, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 264 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 10: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 10, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 11: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 11, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 12: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 12, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 280 pp. 

Sailor Moon Volume 13: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 1, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 200 pp. 

Sailor Moon Volume 14: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 2, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 208 pp. 

Summary

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon follows 14-year-old Usagi Tsukino, a klutz and crybaby who receives the power to transform into a magical warrior named Sailor Moon, Soldier of Love and Justice. Transforming not only changes her clothes, but grants her access to supernatural powers to fight enemies. The story is set in Tokyo, Japan. There are five primary arcs to the series, plus several short stories that accompany the core narrative. The arcs reflect the primary antagonists and themes the protagonists face in those chapters. The five story arcs are: The Dark Kingdom Arc, The Black Moon Arc, The Infinity Arc, The Dream Arc, and The Stars Arc. This entry focuses on the Infinity Arc. The series draws extensively from Classical mythologies, as well as fairytales and other folktales.

Infinity Arc (Volume 6, Volume 7, Volume 8)

A strange phenomenon is turning ordinary citizens of Tokyo into animals, and all signs point to the trouble originating from the elite education institution, Infinity Academy. The enemies are a group of aliens called the Death Busters, whose frontline soldiers are magicians known as the Witches 5. Around the same time, Chibiusa befriends a sickly girl named Hotaru Tomoe who attends Infinity Academy, and whose body is secretly being turned into a cyborg to keep her alive by her father, Professor Tomoe. As the Sailor Soldiers investigate, they meet two older female students who attend Infinity Academy, and are a lesbian couple: the glamorous violinist Michiru Kaiō, and the famous race car driver Haruka Tenō. The girls are soon revealed to be Sailor Neptune (Soldier of the Deep Waters and Embrace) and Sailor Uranus (Soldier of The Sky and Flight), respectively. However, they are not interested in allying with Usagi and her friends. Sailor Pluto is revealed to be reborn, and is working as a scientist at Infinity Academy under the name Setsuna Meiō.

Together, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Pluto form the Outer Soldiers; soldiers whose existence was a secret, as they were charged with defending the Moon Princess from a distance. They meet with Usagi and her friends, and state their duty is to protect the galaxy from the Goddess of Destruction, whose awakening is nearing. The Death Busters brainwash the Sailor Soldiers to fight each other; however, Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibimoon, and Tuxedo Mask combine their powers and create the Holy Grail, which breaks the spell. The Sailor Soldiers channel their power into the Gail, which Sailor Moon drinks from, evolving her power to that of Super Sailor Moon. She vanquishes the last of their minor enemies, and the Outer Soldiers confess their final secret. The Goddess of Destruction is none other than Sailor Saturn — the soldier whose soul now resides in the body of Chibiusa’s friend, the sickly Hotaru. The only way to prevent Sailor Saturn from awakening is to kill Hotaru. As Chibiusa rushes to protect Hotaru, Hotaru’s body is possessed by an alien Death Buster known as Mistress 9. Mistress 9 steals Chibiusa’s soul and disappears.

United at last, the Sailor Soldiers arrive at Infinity Academy to confront their enemies but become trapped in, and must escape, a labyrinth filled with their dreams and nightmares. Mistress 9 uses Chibiusa’s soul to increase her powers, and unleashes her ruler, Master Pharaoh 90, to convert Earth into a new homeworld for their species. However, Hotaru’s soul is still alive in Mistress 9’s body, and she uses the last of her strength to return Chibiusa’s soul to her. As the Sailor Soldiers fight a losing battle, Sailor Moon hurls herself into the void created by Master Pharaoh 90 to release the Illusionary Silver Crystal. At that moment, the weapons of Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Pluto activate and summon forth Sailor Saturn (Soldier of Silence, Destruction, and Rebirth). However, instead of destroying Earth as they feared, Sailor Saturn destroys Master Pharaoh 90, along with herself. Sailor Moon emerges from the void and restores Tokyo and the lives lost—including reincarnating Hotaru as an infant, her soul fused with that of Sailor Saturn. Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna take baby Hotaru into their care, and claim raising her as their new mission.

Analysis

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon draws on Greek and Roman mythology, Japanese folklore and traditions, and fairytales to establish its worldbuilding. The series has a strong focus on the theme that peace and happiness are always worth fighting for, even though they can never be permanent, because hardship is part of human existence.

At one point, the Sailor Soldiers become trapped in a labyrinth filled with their individual dreams and nightmares. Reincarnated members of the Witches 5 aim to keep them trapped there, to prevent them from stopping the Death Busters’ plans. Labyrinths are also featured in Greek mythology, such as King Minos’ labyrinth to contain the famed Minotaur. However, instead of battling a singular monster, the labyrinth in Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon forces them to confront their deepest inner thoughts through the visions they experience.

There are also biblical references throughout the Infinity Arc, such as the repeated allusion to a “Messiah”. Several characters are both seeking and fearing a mysterious figure known as the Messiah, however it is ultimately revealed to be Usagi herself. Additionally, Chibiusa’s school project results in her creating a model of the Holy Grail, an object said to contain the blood of Jesus Christ in Christianity and also a motif from Arthurian literature. In Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, Chibiusa modelled her project on the Holy Grail her mother used to increase her powers. When the sailor soldiers later combine their powers, Chibiusa’s art project transforms into a true magical artefact, and the magic her Holy Grail collects from the other soldiers for Sailor Moon to drink allows Sailor Moon to become Super Sailor Moon.

Further Reading

Fujimoto, Yukari, “Sailor Moon! The Treasure Box All Girls Want” in International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, ed. Masami Toku. New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 32-39.

Nozomi, Masuda, “Shojo Manga and Its Acceptance: What is the Power of Shojo Manga?” in International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, ed. Masami Toku. Routledge, New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 23-31.

Addenda

Originally serialised in Nakayoshi Magazine: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997.

First Japanese compilation of 18 volumes: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1-18, Kodansha Comics, 1993-1997.

Second Japanese compilation of 12 volumes: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1-12, Kodansha Comics, 2003-2004.

Third Japanese compilation: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volumes 1-10, Kodansha Comics, 2013-2014.


Editions used for entry:

Sailor Moon Volume 6: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 6, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 7: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 7, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.

Sailor Moon Volume 8: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 8, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 232 pp. 

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