Living Nervously

Sailor Moon Kanzenban 1

So, anybody remember this announcement?

Sailor Moon Kodansha 1“Hooray!” the anime community cheered. “A major title that didn’t even use the characters’ real names is being rescued! I can retire my old Americanized, error-filled Tokyopop versions!”

Yes, one of the features Kodansha Comics USA touted when they rescued the Sailor Moon manga was “an entirely new, incredibly accurate translation”. Awesome, right?


It wasn’t so awesome. Unless you consider “accurate” to include “awkward” and “incorrect”…

So, if an “entirely new, incredibly accurate translation” is not, then will “an all-new translation” be accurate?

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 1While not formally announced, this “Eternal Edition” is almost certainly the kanzenban (aka perfect or complete) edition of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon manga. Kodansha Comics had previously released the shinsouban edition (aka renewal or the second edition) of the manga. That version condensed the 18 volumes of the series down to 14 volumes, altered the art and dialogue, included some color inserts, etc. The kanzenban, however, further reduces the series down to 10 volumes, puts the side stories near the main story instead of being separated, includes a larger trim, features additional art and dialogue changes, and — the best part in my opinion — adds color artwork featured in the splash pages of Nakayoshi magazine.

Although the kanzenban version is already four years old, Takeuchi is not likely to be releasing another version of the manga for a long time. So…

Dear Kodansha Comics,

A new edition! Is very exciting! In a time like this!

Sailor Moon Exclamation

I am full of beauty for this series.

Sailor Moon Beauty

It was the series that matriculated me into the anime world.

Sailor Moon Matriculated

I enjoyed the story of a girl who had to take on an evil princess-queen.

Sailor Moon Princess Beryl

Sailor Moon, you are my first love. And the only love for me is you.

Sailor Moon Only Love

But I must confess an odd feeling while reading your version.

Sailor Moon Odd Feeling

Honestly, Kodansha, sometimes your version wandered so far a-field from a good release.

Sailor Moon A-Field

I already know it! I can’t say how many times I’ve read the manga, even in Japanese! But I know this is isn’t right!

Sailor Moon Many

I kept going, “No, they didn’t! No way!”

Sailor Moon No Way

“There’re not calling this ‘incredibly accurate’, are they?!”

Sailor Moon There're

Oh, honestly! Forcing delicate young fans to think this is how the everyone should sound.

Sailor Moon Honestly

It’s translation wasn’t good, and it’s editing wasn’t good.

Sailor Moon It's
And you were oddly obsessed with, commas.

Sailor Moon Comma

But fans didn’t bear a whiff of secrets about how they felt about your release. Because it was out of the ordinary.

Sailor Moon Whiff of Secrets

You finally got a bit of Peace when you changed translators.

Sailor Moon Peace

But you’ll do better this time… “Right, Kodansha?”

Sailor Moon Wrong Line

Seriously, please exorcise better choices or a better team.

Sailor Moon Exorcise

I know my eyes are Spark Ring at the thought of the Eternal Edition.

Sailor Moon Spark Ring

And an improved translation would produce a friendly face on me.

Sailor Moon Produce Face

Because I… you know, this one is so bad, I can’t even make a joke. Not even close to what the Japanese text says. Completely. Wrong.

Sailor Moon Pluto Fail

I do pray for your good health and humor on the Eternal Edition.

Sailor Moon Small Lady Speech

But the translation needs to be completely Ribbon.

Sailor Moon Death Reborn Revolution

You may not be calling the rerelease the “perfect edition” — and it doesn’t have to be — but can we have something that is eternally good?

Well, until I see the final result, I guess I’ll be…

… living nervously.

Sailor Moon Living Nervously


Final Comments:

Are any of you planning to pick up the Eternal Edition of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon manga? Double- or triple-dipping? Any thoughts on the previous Tokyopop or Kodansha Comics releases?

FYI, Pluto’s completely wrong line should be about how Usagi and Chibi-Usa have always been a handful for her. Pluto’s lonely and serious; she doesn’t have anyone to argue with like that. Feel free to ask about any other of the issues featured here.

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  1. The Fullmetal Narcissist

    Honestly, it looks kind of so-bad-it’s-good. I might be tempted.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      Some parts are definitely laughable.
      Unless you plan on borrowing from a library or whatever, used copies should start dropping like a rock. Not really worth buying new right now.

  2. Kapodaco


    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      Lots of oops-es.

  3. dreager1

    Wow, that translation does seem bad. I believe that I read the Kodansha Comic release of the series back in the day, but I have no idea which edition it was. I don’t remember noticing it being too bad, but I definitely am not quite as observant about it

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      I know for the early volumes, Motoki was called “Bro” in the first edition and “Onii-san” in the second. That was one quick way to see whether the book was the first printing or second.

      1. dreager1

        Oh, that’s pretty interesting. Right off the bat I guess you can tell that the second was trying to be more specific to the original

  4. Coco

    I own both English (TP/Mixx & KC) & German localizations and I prefer the German version. It’s not as awkward and flows well from bubble-bubble. As a huge SM fan, I might buy the Eternal Edition, but most likely not as a pre-order.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      When the first Kodansha version was coming out, Amazon had just about every volume for dirt cheap as a preorder. ($4 to $5 generally). Hoping that the series’ popularity will lead to price wars again and every volume is 50% off or more.

      1. Coco

        That may be tempting, but lets hope they update the translation hiccups. -_-
        I just browsed through Egmont Manga’s (German SM pub) website for any new SM announcements, but they’re probably holding off till AnimagiC in July for big series announcements.

        1. Krystallina (Post author)

          Hopefully more countries get the third edition, and also that that new artbook finally gets a release date!

          1. Coco

            *fingers-crossed* IKR?! I’ve been waiting for the new artbook, too!

  5. Mr. Panda

    Oh man, these translations. I’m probably not going to pick them up since I still own the really old Tokyopop MIXX comics, but eh, we’ll see. Haven’t owned the Kodansha one yet, I suppose. 😛

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      I still have those too! 🙂

  6. I didn’t grow up with SM and the translations for this honestly baffled me. I couldn’t get into it. I hope their next attempt is actually worth investing in because it’s clear they’re scraping their fingers in pockets filled with hopes and dreams. ROFL I can’t.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      I’m sure they were rushing each volume and trying to cut costs because of the length of each volume plus color pages. Still doesn’t explain the elementary level mistakes though. Hoping a team like the twin translators can give this series the respect it deserves.

      1. Very true.
        Haha then again we’ve been having a ton of terrible translations lately. COUGHe2COUGH

  7. The Otaku Judge

    The suspect wording made me produce a friendly face.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      I guess my prayers for your good humor have worked.

  8. Arria Cross

    Ahahaha! What else can I do but chuckle? Oh wow. I didn’t realize it was this bad. Still exciting, though. If you think about it. They’re going to make tons of money if they keep on releasing these not-so-great English releases because then they’ll always have something to correct for their next release. 😉

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      I heard that the translation for the Eternal Edition might be used for a bilingual version of Sailor Moon in Japan. English readers experiencing this type of translation would be bad enough, but poor Japanese ESL students shouldn’t be getting bad or outright incorrect examples of English!

      1. Arria Cross

        Oh my gosh. Seriously? Sigh. I think more people should let them know about the errors, so they could commission a better translator next time…and then they could use the better version for the ESL students.

        1. Krystallina (Post author)

          The preview images seem better, but they’re really hard to read. Well, only a few more months and we’ll see!


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