April 10, 2012
Cover-to-Cover: Sailor Moon
Cover-to-Cover is a column where I’ll choose my favorite cover from a particular series. This time, it’s the one and only Sailor Moon! This Cover-to-Cover is going to be a little different than my previous ones because the Sailor Moon manga has had the honor of being released not once, but twice in America. And while I own the original Tokyopop edition of the manga, there are many people who are just getting into the series through the Kodansha release. Not only that, but the re-releases are quite lovely, and I have a fondness for the simple yet elegant covers. Thus, I’ll be choosing my favorite cover from both the original release and Kodansha’s re-release.
Of the original eighteen volume release of the series, one thing that sticks out to me is how many of the covers are group images. Several volumes are of all the Sailor Senshi, and these covers match the tone of the manga at its most serious moments. But I have to say, of all the covers in this release I probably like the image on volume eight the best. It’s simple but lovely – Usagi is giving the reader a pretty smile while gorgeous pink flowers surround her. I think I’m a sucker for covers that highlight nature and the passing of the seasons, so I guess it makes sense that this would be my cover choice. And while many of the manga covers feature the Senshi, this cover is of Usagi the girl, not Sailor Moon - and I think that’s part of the reason why I like it.
Now, choosing my favorite cover for the Kodansha release of the manga is going to be a lot harder. First of all, I have to say that it’s impressive how much Naoko Takeuchi’s artwork had improved by the time she drew the covers for this edition of the manga. The character’s faces seem rounder, and overall the covers have a softer (dare I say, more feminine?) feel that really suits Sailor Moon. The covers are also more simple, and many of them only highlight one Senshi. At first, I considered choosing volume four’s cover because Jupiter is my favorite Senshi (and because I love her pink and green color combination). But I’m going to cheat and choose a cover that Kodansha has not yet released yet: volume 12. I have a fondness for seeing Neo-Queen Serenity because she’s so regal and I’ve always loved her dress. But what really made me choose this cover is that Neo-Queen Serenity is with Chibi-Usa and Chibi-Chibi, and I’ve always liked seeing pictures of these characters as their future selves. Overall, though, I love all of the covers of the Kodansha release of the manga because of the use of white backgrounds, which allows the image to speak for itself. Sometimes less really is more.