What Were Naoko’s Sailor Moon Comedy Comics About?

Oh, Naoko, you and your jokes...

Oh, Naoko, you and your jokes…

If we were to sit here and talk about everything I love about Ms. Takeuchi and her work on Sailor Moon, we’d probably be here for quite awhile. Since we neither have that kind of time, nor is anyone really interested in reading my open love letter to the creative force behind this series, I’ll spare you.

But there is one point that I’d like to highlight today, and that’s how often she was willing to step outside her comfort zone to try new things with her characters, both in her art and in her storytelling.

Today we’re going to take a look at when Naoko branched out into comedy strips starring our favorite soldiers of love and justice! If that interests you, stick around!

So adorable!

So adorable!

So what are we talking about, anyway? Well, as it turns out, Ms. Takeuchi drew some short comedy-themed strips for Nakayoshi early on during the Dark Kingdom arc, which were later made available in the first art book.1

These are three-panel comics — which are a spin-off of the popular 4-panel comic formula — that all fall within a similar serious setup, deviation from your expectations, then a comedic ending. Possibly even more interesting, though, is that she chose to draw them in the anime style and not in the manga style she typically keeps to.

Considering these were made for Nakayoshi, that makes this fact even more strange. My best guess is that because she doesn’t really see her Sailor Moon characters as inherently comedic, it was easier for her to do these stories using the anime as inspiration. But that’s just pure conjecture.

Read also:  Why Were Dracula, a Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster in Sailor Moon?

Just listening to me talk about these isn’t really all that interesting, so today I’d like let the translations of these comics speak for themselves. Let’s read on!

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Panel 1

Sailor Moon Panel 1

Moon Tiara….

Sniffle

Sailor Moon Panel 2

Sailor Moon Panel 2

Haah

Aaaa chooo!

Sailor Moon Panel 3

Sailor Moon Panel 3

Tuxedo Mask

With the wind so strong today, you’ve gotta be pretty cold in that miniskirt, Sailor Moon!

(We can all see your butt!)

[The wind fwooshes past, her skirt flitters in the wind, and she sneezes twice more.]

Sailor Moon

Waaah!

Sob

[the tiara clinks worthlessly to the ground]

 Sailor Mercury

Sailor Mercury Panel 1

Sailor Mercury Panel 1

Shabooooon

Sailor Mercury Panel 2

Sailor Mercury Panel 2

Spraaaaaay!!

Bluuub

Sailor Mercury Panel 3

Sailor Mercury Panel 3

Sailor Mercury

So, how is it? Lemme know if you feel itchy anywhere, Sailor Moon. Now, be honest!

Scrub scrub 

Sailor Mars

Sailor Mars Panel 1

Sailor Mars Panel 1

Sailor Mars

(臨) Rin – Power
(兵) Pyou – Energy
(闘) Tou – Harmony
(者) Sha – Healing
(皆) Kai – IntuitionOfuda

Akuryou taisan

Sailor Mars

(陣) Jin – Awareness
(列) Retsu – Dimension
(在) Zai – Creation
(前) Zen – Absolute2

Sailor Moon

[dizzy]

Sailor Mars Panel 2

Sailor Mars Panel 2

Sailor Mars

Akuryooo taisaaaaan!

[Sailor Moon wobbles and mumbles to herself]

Sailor Mercury

Oh no! Mars’ super-kanji technique was too strong and got to Sailor Moon!!

(She looks like Umino…)

Naoko

Y’know Rei, that’s way too hard for Usagi.

Sailor Jupiter

Sailor Jupiter Panel 1

Sailor Jupiter Panel 1

Plink

Choux Crème…3

Sailor Jupiter Panel 2

Sailor Jupiter Panel 2

Sundae!!!!

Crackle Zap

Sailor Jupiter Panel 3

Sailor Jupiter Panel 3

[The cream puff sundae pops into existence]

Sailor Moon

Awright!! Hey Mako-chan, keep ’em coming!

Sailor Jupiter

You got it all wrong, Usagi. It’s Supreme Thunder.

Sniffle

And that, my dear readers, brings us to the end of our foray into the rare world of Sailor Moon comedy! Well, except for Rei in the anime, but let’s not talk about that.

Personally, I really like what she did here with the characters and I wish she had kept this up as a series, maybe in the back of the manga volumes or in random issues of Nakayoshi. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Ms. Takeuchi never really carried on with this theme except for these comics. To be fair, she did continue this style with her personal comic essay in Young You, so there’s that at least!

Anyway, what do you think about why she went with anime style here? Just jumping on the popularity train of what people would be familiar with? Trying out a new style? I’ve always thought of the anime and manga incarnations as slightly different characters, so it’s interesting to see even Ms. Takeuchi use them that way!


References:

  1.  See the Sailor Moon Artbook Vol. 1
  2.  See Kuji-Kiri (Wikipedia)
  3. Otherwise known in English as a “cream puff,” but for the sake of the joke we had to go for some inaccurate French here, my apologies; see Profiterole (Wikipedia)

11 thoughts on “What Were Naoko’s Sailor Moon Comedy Comics About?

  1. To me, the style still resembles the manga a bit, although Mars in her first panel looks very anime-ish. It´s such a pity that we only got 4 comics, I enjoyed them and it would be nice to see more.

    • She mentioned in her liner notes that she decided to draw it in the anime style, though I’m kinda curious why. You can especially tell with Mercury, since she has the sleeves (and doesn’t in the manga).
      Kinda fun to see, though!

  2. For what I can see, I think it was a mockery of the anime portrayals of the attacks and wanted to play with that, and that’s why they were written in anime style. The really sad part of it is that she made one for each scout so, not having at least one more for Sailor Venus feels like it is an incomplete set. Just one more for Venus Crescent-o Beam would’ve been enough for closure. *cries in a corner*

    • I wonder if she already drew these up early in the season, so it might have been before Venus came about? Or maybe due to the format of the final page in Nakayoshi they only needed four comics? Whatever the case, it really is a shame!

  3. Yay! Thanks for the translations!!

    I think these ideas could have easily came to her after seeing the stock anime attacks over and over. Since they’re always the same and familiar to fans, it makes for an easy setup for the 4-panel comic formula. I suppose she could have done the same images/framing but in her style but it would be less easily recognized at first glance. (And maybe there was a bit of “why not try to draw it?” going on too haha who knows!)

    • I personally love working on this stuff and would love to do more translations (especially of her Young You comics, or other side things that don’t get enough attention), but unfortunately those don’t usually fit the theme of this blog. x_X

      I have been working on translating her liner notes from the manga, though, which I’ll be sharing on the blog soonish!

      • Do you really mean there’s a possibility that you’ll be translating the liner notes of the first volume edition and maybe even the Young You mini-comics not already provided by Miss Dream? …Please insert the “shut up and take my money” meme here. Speaking of that, is there a way to become a Patron if my money is kept by the Post and not by a bank? Because I obviously don’t own a credit card, and sadly Paypal seems to work with bank accounts only!

  4. I love seeing little tidbits of Sailor Moon stuff like this, where I had no idea it existed. I love the sundae one!

    • There were so many fun little things about the series that never really got the attention they deserved. The liner notes in the original 90s manga release are a big one for me. I’m still surprised they haven’t been translated (the Mixx / Tokyopop ones weren’t translations, but totally rewritten text)

      • “(the Mixx / Tokyopop ones weren’t translations, but totally rewritten text)”
        WHAAAAT?! THEY WERE!?! x.x

        • Yeah, they were rewritten as if Naoko were writing them in the present (late 90s) and often addressed her US fans, which wasn’t exactly true.

          Often they were thematically based on the same topics, but they’re otherwise not really translations as far as I’ve seen.

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