Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sailor Moon Manga Vs. Anime


One of the very first pieces of manga art that I fell in love with.

Back in February I decided to watch the entire series of Sailor Moon. I thought at the time my goal would be a more year round goal and didn’t think I would reach that goal in a month. Go me putting my mind to something! XD Now if I had that kind of motivation with other parts of my life….

While watching the anime I kept thinking how some parts were so different from the anime and why the anime was better than the manga/vice versa. Before February I hadn’t seen the anime Sailor Moon in a long time. I had read the manga much more recent than that but it had still been years. So I figured since I relived the major reason I got into anime I might as well go one step further and reread the series that started it all for me.

I have to say even though it has been a few years since I have read my beloved Sailor Moon manga the first few volumes are the most worn mangas I have. Back in the day when my mangas only took up two shelves on my one bookcase (one bookcase HAHAHAHA!) I would reread Sailor Moon all the time. I didn’t have series upon series to read on back in the day. The book stores hadn’t even started carrying mangas yet and if they did the store was still 15 miles in the snow away! But yeah, even though I don’t read my Sailor Moon mangas yearly they have received the most love.

So with that said it is time to compare the manga vs. the anime. I have reread all the mangas and I am ready to talk about the difference between the two and what version I think comes out on top. Now that both versions are fresh in my mind it is shocking how different the two really but how fans love and support each version. On with the show!

Edit: WOW! This is a lot longer than I meant it to be. Um...beware of paragraphs?

This only applies to the American manga obviously but I wish there were less American references. I know that they were sorta breaking new grounds in regards to bringing mangas over the U.S. but meh. They could have left the manga more intact. In that regard it was almost like the anime in that they would add in something that made no sense and didn’t really contribute to the mood going on. And big sad face at the American names. :(

Rei isn’t a major jerk face to Usagi all the time. In the anime every scene has her poking fun at Usagi..or saving her. It doesn’t seem to be any middle ground with Rei’s feelings towards Usagi. But it got a little old with her constant teasing of Usagi. In the manga Rei tones that back (that and Usagi isn’t…as annoying? Silly?) and focuses more on being the cool, elegant soldier. Either way it is more enjoyable to watch. Actually Rei’s whole personality is much more likeable. So yay manga!

The manga is a no fillery friend of the week/bad guys die during the first or second battle kinda pace. Sometimes that was a good thing and sometimes it was X_X. Like give me time to adjust to the plot. I want to see the girls pretending to have a normal life in between battles. But it was nice not having a new friend of the week to pretend to care about and next week they are forgotten on the side of the road. The manga got to the point of the story while the anime allowed for more characterization. But the manga is better at making the baddies not look so incompetent as they fail each week. XD

The nickname V-babe got on my ever loving nerves. I am not sure if this is a nickname that the American translators gave Minako or something that was actually written in the Japanese version but MOG! Hate it! Kill it with fire. X_X So stupid. So very, very stupid. But since the American version lost the honorifics I guess they had to come up with something? I just know I am not a fan of that nickname. Brb going to the unfun corner.

Motoki knows who the Sailor Soldiers are in the manga. Now the soldiers weren’t that great keeping their identity a secret in later seasons in the anime (not counting Naru because she didn’t actually catch them in the act, she just figures it out) but I think it’s just odd that Motoki knows. His role is different in the anime though as Usagi spends much more time having a crush on him and he is actually Mamoru’s best friend. So it’s neither a good thing nor bad thing that Motoki knows in the manga. It’s just different.


Yay for not being such jerks this time! XD

The manga has many more attacks than that anime. At first I thought maybe that was because the animators were lazy. But in the manga they fight a lot less mini bosses (really limiting down friends of the week to barely nothing) so it is easier to make a new attack in the span of half a page. The anime would have to have many more attacks than in the manga to be equal to the number of bosses verses attacks. So while it makes it seem like the anime soldiers are weaker as their attacks don’t change as often it makes sense in some weird way.

Another big difference between the anime and the manga is Mamoru’s age. I think it was a safer choice to make Mamoru a high student (17ish at the start of the manga) than a college student at the start of the anime. Most Japanese students start college at 19 and we don’t know what year Mamoru was in. So at the very least Mamoru was 19 and Usagi was 14. None of this REALLY matters since the age of consent is ridiculously low in Japan but for me those few years make a difference. 14 and 17 is much closer than 14 and 19. Like seriously anime Mamoru what were you thinking?! X_X


Everyone dies. Even you two.

No one is saved. There is no Usagi saving souls or finding the good in people. If you are a baddie you are going to DIE! DIE SUCKER DIE! This goes along again with the fast nature of the manga. There is no time to hash out that the 4 sisters really have good hearts and the Amazon Trio surely have no redeeming factors. You do something bad and you are going to get squished. I am not sure how I feel about that. On one hand I think anime Usagi was a bit too forgiving with baddies who learns seconds before uncertain death that MOG they understand about love and junk. But….sometimes things aren’t as black and white and saving baddies is a grey area. So while the anime saved too many people the manga didn’t save….anyone.

I might get stoned for this (or cheered) but I think the Sailor Moon S anime was better than the manga. Even with the fillery parts. I think the manga made things too complicated in regards to the baddie. The anime simplified things. I mean, were they trying to turn the planet into a different kind of planet? Just weirdness. I also thought it took away from the plot to have Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto to already have the talisman. The sense of urgency was lost knowing they already HAD the talisman. I think that Michuri and Haruka were more conflicted with their feelings about duty and friendship in the mangas though. The anime they were hard core and going to kill anyone who got in their way. But I still liked the anime more. XD

Mamoru is actually tolerable in the manga. Perhaps that is because he is closer to her age and not a total perv but meh. He doesn’t get on my nerves. Sailor Moon needs rescuing from time to time but he doesn’t act like he is the one who pulls her through the hard times. He is SLIGHTLY more useful during the main fights but it’s more than that. He seems to love her more and doesn’t focus on her faults as much. Sometimes he can be a jerk but I don’t want him to dieinafire. XD



Speaking of Mamoru I really enjoyed the romance between him and Usagi a lot more in the manga than in the anime. Mamoru treated Usagi like a child who needed to be watched along with Chibi-Usa. In the manga he truly shows that he loves her more with words and actions. In the anime Mamoru is rarely seen touching Usagi probably because of the age factor. Manga Mamoru is much more romantic and treats Usagi like an equal. Also WOOHOO premarital sex for all.


They are doing a great job pretending to be boys.

The Stars chapters were totally different than the anime series. Almost unrecognizable kind of different. I do like the Star Lights and am glad they got a lot of focus in the anime but making them the main characters really changed the direction of the anime from the manga. I really would have liked to see a lot more of the Sailor Soldiers that were slightly featured in the manga. And the ending would have been a lot more epic and would have brought the series together had the bad guy really been the same all 5 seasons. So I have mixed feelings on this…

But Super S was so much more tolerable in the manga version. Everyone knew up front that Pegasus was talking to Chibi-Usa and that he probably was a good guy. None of this oh yeah sometimes a flying pony appears but we won’t talk about it for like 15 episodes. The mangas do a better job of making all the girls look compete actually. But I do like that the Amazon Quartet were actually made into Sailor Soldiers instead of bad guys who stumbled on redemption.

In the end Usagi was stronger and better liked in the manga. In the anime at the end of every season she “got it” but she resorted back to her childish antics at the beginning of the next season. She only showed her super powers during the final baddies and usually got her butt handed to her every other episode. But in the manga she was a lot more mature and stronger in her resolve to save everyone. Sure she had her moments when she got jealous of Chibi-Usa but she had her attacks and moved on. Yay for mature Usagi with a side dose of silly.


I wish Luna could stay human forever.

In conclusion I think the manga was stronger as a whole. The anime did a better job in hashing out the story lines a little clearer but the manga cut to the chase and didn’t have 1000 pages of friends/monsters of the week. Most of the characters came across better in the manga but I did like how the anime didn’t reuse words 14 times to explain issues (this is the Blah System in the Blah Universe with Blah as leader. Really imaginative).

Either way though I love Sailor Moon. Both versions have strengths and weaknesses. But I am sure true die-hard fans enjoy both versions and are still fans after all is said and done. It was fun reliving my past and hope that future generations will remember Sailor Moon and enjoy the series half as much as I do. Thanks for reading! XD


Benji said...

Really? I think the manga is a mess.. like, every page is just a cloud of sparkles and people shouting

Christina said...

Benji- Well I guess I can see how someone would think that. But it is a manga about magical girls fighting so there are quite a few scenes with magical girls fighting. Sorta like half the scenes in Naruto and Bleach have people fighting.

Amira_07 said...

In the anime, Serena is 16 years old. but thank you for your opinion :)

Amira_07 said...

Serena is 16 years old in the anime, but thank you very much for your opinion.

Christina said...

Amira_07. She is 14 at the start of the anime and 16 at the end. Either way there is some jail bait going around. Well there would have been had the story taken place in America. XD

Adam said...

I wonder if there are rules regarding reviving dead posts. I just finished the sailor moon manga and I have mixed feelings, but overall I agree with you. I think S was handled much better in the anime, but overall I liked the manga more (which seems impossible because I love the anime). Like you said Supers was actually really good in the manga, and Stars....well, I'm on the fence with stars. I think it was rushed and I didn't really get to know Seiya as well. I really thought Usagi's suffering came through better in the anime of Stars (but it had its obvious problems too)

Christina said...

Adam- As long as notifications work long live reviving old posts!

While all major animes suffer from filler episodes the ones in S weren't as bad as other seasons. Like they almost flowed into the main plot. Of course Michuri and Haruka are my favorite characters so either version, the anime or the manga, is my favorite part of the series. Random helicopters are always fun though.

In Stars it was like oh..... I STILL need to make mangas? And bam three volumes later we have a random wedding. While people were dying left and right in both versions the anime just made Usagi suffer so much more. Of course people against this season are probably upset about the whole Seiya angle anyway (the gender issues and what not) but as much as their scary outfits scared me Seiya and crew really had a part in Stars the anime while in the manga they were just another group of Sailor Scouts in a long line of other Scouts. Almost forgettable.

Supers was such a hot mess of an anime as they were trying to change the main character over to Chibiusa. They thought their core audience had grown up and were trying to reach a new generation. They thought wrong. Things just translated so much better in the manga, with not so much Chibiusa.

Unknown said...

I must say I just found this post and I totally agree with you. Each version has its own spark. I don't know which one is my fav since both are so different to me. But I have to say I was glad when stars came and chibiusa wasn't the main character, she became so annoying after a while in the anime but she was a much more interesting character in the manga.
Also I found watching the anime with English subtitles is more understandable than watching the dub version.

In other thoughts I can't wait for 2013 anime and see what they have up for us :p

Christina said...

Patricia Elizabeth- When I was at AWA last month the host of the costume contest mentioned something about Sailor Moon and 2013. That was the first I had heard about the "new" anime/project for Sailor Moon. So while I love both the manga and anime versions I wonder how this new "take" will be received by fans. Is it going to be a whole remake? An anime that goes more in line with the manga? Or totally new material with the girls in the future? I wants to know more! XO I hope it adds to the series and not takes away with an obvious move for more cash.

Anonymous said...

I hope when they do the remake; stars will be more lined with tha manga. I have not read any of the mangas but I read the author's disappointment about the last season. Please, have the other senshis their ultimate powers! Bring Cosmos and make Seiya's group the filler not the main characters. I was disappointed that the main sailor soldiers did not get the ending they deserved. (and I mean powerups and pretty costumes!)

Nessa Montenegro said...

I know this post is old, but it's new for me since I just found it! I hope there isn't a problem reviving old posts...
I've just recently started reading the manga, when I got a tablet. It's much easier and confortable read on a tab then on my desktop. :) But I need to say I'm LOVING the MANGA!
I'm starting the dream arc now..But I agree with you in many things:

Mamoru - Besides I like the roses things, it's kinda silly he keeps doing that for 200 eps. The vilains are like "oh, throw a rose on me". It doesn't do anything, except at the very 1st season, when his rose actually really damaged Beryl.
We feel at the manga that he loves Usagi, treating like his equal. Besides makes more sense a relationship between of 17 guy with a 14 girl. What on Earth a 19 guy would have in common with a junior schoolgirl? Specially like it's shown that he is too mature.
But we see their development as a couple and as persons. Mamoru has powers, even though Usagi is much more powerful than he (or anyone else), we can see his use to the story. She is quite able to fight, not just do some stupid speech.
We see at the begging of Dream, that he entered KO university to study medicine, (while in anime is not even mentioned what the hell he wants - he just go to a university, God knows to do what) while Usagi enter high school, what just happens in Stars at the anime.
Yay for some sex! Former lovers of past lives, deeply in love and they barely kiss? Who is gonna believe that?

Usagi - more mature, responsible, and good fighter. We can see why she is future of Earth. In anime I always wondered why would someone would follow her commands, when she could barely do something for her own. Even to finish the baddie of the day, Usagi needed someone to tell her "go! finish him!"

Outers - Everyone loves them! But they simple disappear after S and just come back in Stars. Yay for manga, for keeping them. Besides we know them better.
Yes, I agree that having them searching for the talimans, rather than be aware they have it all time was much better.
They are much active in manga than at anime. They spend more time fighting monster and searching for the 3rd talisman than at the tea house. Almost every appearance at the anime they were in a tea house.

Pluto - I really liked her. Her death is much more dramatic in manga than anime, but besides I was crying for her death at Black Moon arc...I think it was too much extended. I counted: Pluto took 10 pages to finally die! Considering in manga things are fast, an action taking 10 pages is a long way. But page 6 or 7, I was already die Pluto! Die! Let's move on.

The daimon stuff and the invasion is too detailed. So, I got confused. I'm with you on this, anime simplified things. But overall I go with manga, gives more deatils even if sometimes is confusing, but there are better fights, I think.

Haruka in anime is completelly manly, I like her duality man/girly the manga explores (with really short skirts!).

And...They are better dressed!!! Even if the senshi skirts are REALLY mini (to the point of indecency), her civilian outfits are much more detailed and elegant.
Mamoru's ever green jacket, some Usagi's outfits, that 2 outfits Setsuna weared during her rare appearances (specially that wine thing they dressed during all Stars season) and even the always elegant Michiru has bad fashion days...

Nessa Montenegro said...

I'm not sure about my feelings for the aways regenerate villains X die and stay dead, bad guy.
I think it should have been midle term...

Anonymous said...

Hi christina id really like to get in contact with you regarding your blog, just send me a pm through blogger or email me at

Unknown said...

In the anime, Usagi is 14 at the beginning of the series and 16 at the end. Opinions aren't a factor.