What is the Manga Comparison Project?
Since its initial release in the February 1992 issue of Nakayoshi, the Sailor Moon manga has gone through four major reprints in Japan – the original Nakayoshi print, the compilation tankobon print (early 90s), the re-mastered ‘shinsoban‘ reprints (early 2000s), and the ‘kanzen‘ (early 2010s). What you may not know, though, is that Ms. Takeuchi has made changes to the art and text with each release.
This project is dedicated to compiling a list of what’s changed with each release to help us better understand how Sailor Moon has evolved over its past 25 years.
While many of these changes are minor, I think they’re worth pointing out since Ms. Takeuchi felt it was worth making these changes. Please note, though, that when a change is made in one version and is retained in the rest, I will only point out the version when the change is made.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my kind Patreon subscribers who help make this, and other side projects, possible. These comparisons go up 1 month early on Patreon, so it you’re interested in being involved, please check it out!
Brought to you by:
- Bryce Lozier
- Misty Van Dyke
- Katie A.
- Roffles Lowell
- The Sailor Book
- Robin Drain
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Act 2 – Ami (Sailor Mercury)
The versions we’re looking at are:
- Nakayoshi magazine – Published March 1992 (released to stores in February 1992)
- Original tankobon – Published July 6, 1992
- Remastered tankobon – Published September 22, 2003
- Perfect tankobon – Published November 29, 2013
Note: There were few differences between the Remastered and Perfect editions, so for the sake of simplicity, I will only discuss the Perfect version when there are changes. Also, Ami’s name is changed throughout from hiragana (あみ) to kanji (亜美), and I didn’t bother to point out sound effects.
Let’s get going!
Despite the nearly constant edits to Sailor Moon’s brooch that the Remastered release is known for, there are surprisingly few edits to this beautiful cover art to Act 2. In fact, the only real differences I can make out is that the location of the title moved around and… that’s it. Wow!
The most obvious change between the Nakayoshi to Original releases is that the Original removed the story summary (explaining what happened in the previous Act) and replaced the panel with a whole new scene – including Jadeite! Also, the top panel was expanded to use up some more excess space. Also, a sound effect of wind blowing through a canyon has been added.
Yet more changes were made as we moved into the Remastered version. The glowing orb in the second panel was changed from black to grey (why??) and in the third panel, Queen Beryl’s hair was redone and her design modified. She also went from two necklaces to one, and her neck, mouth, and dress were redone.
One other small – and generally insignificant – change between the Original and Remastered is that the line above Jadeite’s right speech bubble has been removed. Huh.
Since, as I mentioned above, Jadeite doesn’t appear on the first page of Nakayoshi, this was actually the first manga appearance of our favorite general from the far east.
So what’s changed? Not much, surprisingly. Between Nakayoshi and Original editions, Usagi’s hair changes quite a bit, particularly by gaining more volume in the bangs and in the “odango” portion becoming more round to match her anime design.
Going from Original to Remastered, a shadow was added to the bottom of the Jadeite panel for… reasons? To make him look more dark and sinister? Dunno, it’s weird. Her odango become full balls now, the heart inside her top speech bubble is removed and a heart drawn to the left of it, and her bangs are once again adjusted.
Differences between Nakayoshi and Original are minor, but include our to-be-expected updates to Usagi’s odango in the top-left and lower-right, in addition to more flowers added to the top left and a door added to the lower-right panel.
In the Remastered edition, some more mild changes were made. Luna looks a little thinner to me in the top-right panel, and a mouth drawn in when she’s attacking Ikuko. Also of note, Usagi’s blouse in the top-left has been updated to remove the shading on it and a line on her collar has been cleaned up. Oh… and her brooch has been totally redrawn.
Last, but not least, the rabbits on her door sign and the one in the right text box of the middle panel has been redone, and more flowers added to both the left and right text boxes of the middle panel.
There’s only one small difference that I can spot in the Original release that differs from Nakayoshi: Usagi’s skirt in the top-right isn’t as wide, so to fill in that spage two extra checkerboard patterns were added.
In the Remastered, some of the in the upper-right (particularly near Usagi’s head) move around a bit, and her question to Luna (beneath her crossed arms) changes a bit from an informal question to something a bit more challenging (N/O: あたしを監視しようっての？; R: あたしを監視する気？), but this has little change on the meaning.
Also, a tuft of hair from next to Usagi’s odango in the top-right has been removed, and Luna has been touched up. Another change includes Luna’s text in the top-left being moved up a bit (so it doesn’t go on top of Luna). Lastly, the rabbit in the left textbox of the middle panel has been redrawn.
No change to the brooch… weird!
It doesn’t look like there were any changes here between in the first two iterations, but several small changes were made in the transition to the Remastered version. Namely:
- The moon on Luna’s forehead was made smaller in both panels, and she was made thinner
- A dotted border was adder around the top-left panel
- Flowers were added onto the checkerboard in the top left, and her comment about pudding is moved inside the speech bubble
- Usagi’s chin no longer extends past the bottom of the middle panel
- The comment from Sailor V in the lower right telling you to look for her in Run Run is removed
Wow, now this page has had a lot of changes to it, and there are actually a lot of details I’ve never noticed before.
During change to the Original release, the Usagi panel in the top-right was enlarged to show more of her sleeping, and the text of her snoring and sleeping peacefully is moved to above her head. Luna in the middle panel was cleaned up so she looks a lot less like a pig (???) and now has a cat tail. She’s also been made a bit thinner.
Lots more changes came during the transition to the Remastered release. The Crown Game Center scene in the top panel looks tightened up and generally improved, as does the sky in the scene. The typing text across the panels is also cleaned up and moved around a bit.
In the middle panel, Luna’s face has been cleaned up, the screen she’s looking at redrawn, and the arcade machines both in the foreground and background have had more details added to them. The picture of Ami and her profile in the lower right (and lower left) has been completely redone, though I think it’s somewhat lost in this update that Luna was looking at something on Ami’s forehead. Overall, this is a much nicer image of Ami, though. Can’t complain.
Unsurprisingly, Luna’s face was also cleaned up in the lower-left panel.
Here we have yet another page with a few changes. Between the Nakayoshi and Original editions, a lace background was added behind Ami in the top panel, and a screentone pattern added to the lower-left.
With the release of the Remastered version, a lot of the shading was removed from Ami’s blouse (dunno why…) and her test results were totally redone to look like a printout and not handwritten. Probably most interesting there is that Ami’s score dropped from an impressive 900 down to 500 – probably meaning that she was tested on only five subjects instead of nine. Scores were also added for the top three through five, since it was just the top two last time. Probably insignificant, but the last name of the second place holder changed from Chiaki Nagata to Sachiko Nagata. Some glowey-orbs are now added in from of Ami’s fact, too.
Lastly, Usagi’s textbook in the lower-right goes from white to brown, and some emphasis marks are removed from above the speech bubble in the lower left where someone asks about Ami’s cram school.
Last but not least! Text underneath Usagi from Naoko says “I thought this was Miss Rain!” – a reference to her earlier manga where the Ami design was clearly taken from – is removed in the Remastered version.
Tons of small changes – don’t you love that? In the Original edition, a background for a school hallway was added to the middle panel behind the girls as they walk away from Usagi, a screentone was added behind Usagi’s hands as she looks at her miserable test scores, and some trees were added behind Usagi as she thinks about how her mother is going to murder her.
As we go on to the Remastered edition, Umino gets… well, a whole lot less ugly. His design is cleaned up and the girl next to Naru gets her awkwardly-drawn hand moved behind her elbow and Naru’s school uniform is touched.
In the middle panel, Usagi’s hair gets some volume added to it, though I’m not really sure why. The text below the panel where Usagi looks at her test score used to say “Please study, I mean it!” but now has been removed.
Ikuko’s text has been changed from handwritten to typed, and Usagi’s text changed slightly to mention that her mother has been bossy lately, while previously there was no subject to the sentence.
Finally, in the lower-left, Luna’s been cleaned up ever so slightly, the trees touched up and falling leaves moved around, and Ami’s hair made darker and right arm thinner.
Got a few small changes here to the Original version, name to the moon on Luna’s forehead (which was also adjusted in the middle panels as well), a circle’s been added around Luna at the top, and Luna’s whiskers extending behind the box in the middle-left has been removed.
In both the lower-right and lower-left panels, Usagi and Luna have now gained skirts – thank god.
Moving into Remastered territory, the shading on Ami’s blouse and hair has been toned down a lot in all four of her panels.
Luna’s face has been redrawn at the top, made smaller (by adding Ami’s right hand) in the middle-right panel, her tail motion removed in the middle panel, body redone a bit in the middle-left, ears shrunk in the lower-right, and head-and-ears shrunk in the bottom-middle (and tail colored in now – it was white in the Original).
Other small changes include:
- Emphasis lines added around Usagi’s surprise in the top-right
- The word “cat” to the left of Usagi’s face at the top
- Usagi’s comment in the middle panel updated to add the word あれれ, meaning something like “Hey, you know…” rather than just “You know…”
- Usagi’s design in the lower-right has been slimmed down (clothes were too baggy)
- Ami’s shoulders are slimmed down in the bottom panel
- Ami originally remarked “Ah,” but that’s been removed
- The feather background behind Ami was redone
- Usagi’s chin in the lower-left has been cleaned up
Yay! Finally, a page with few changes!
Between the Nakayoshi and Original versions, some glow… bubble… things were added to the middle panel, and the music note redrawn.
On to the Remastered version, Luna’s front-left leg was made shorter as she runs, the “dash” effect removed, and star made smaller. Also, the Sailor V screenshot has been redrawn, with the sound effects moved.
Once again, minimal changes here! In the Original version, a number pattern was added over Ami’s eye as she looks at the game. In the lower-right, it looks like Naoko forgot to fill in the hair for some onlookers, so now they all have black hair. Finally, in the bottom-right, the high score table for Sailor V has been redone.
Originally, Ami’s took a high school (presumably the max score?) of 999, with the next highest being an H.M and Ken, tied at 5 points. I guess it’s safe to say that Naoko isn’t a gamer, considering how low these scores are. Also, the screen only says “Ranking” and nothing else.
In the Original version, it reads “Sailor V Ranking” and the top scores are now lead by Ami with 11300, HM (57300), ST (48530), KY (33300) and KK (25700).
Onto Remastered, Ami’s arms have been made thinner in the top-right (and hair made darker), more numbers added to the top-center panel, Ami’s body added to the top-left, and Usagi’s body cleaned up a bit in the top-left as well.
Lots of work was done in the middle-panel, with more onlookers added on the right, the onlooker behind Usagi updated to have his arms crossed, Ami’s school uniform was colored in (whoops! looks like it was left white by mistake!) and arcade machine redone. Also, some speed lines were added to Ami’s hands, in addition to her hair getting filled in.
In the lower-right, a remark of there being “a ton of people” has been removed, and one person’s pose changed to have his elbow out. Also, the sound effects were there. In the bottom-center panel, Ami’s been cleaned up a bit, bodies added for the onlookes, and once again, the high score table redrawn.
No changes between the Nakayoshi and Original for once. The only changes in Remastered are Usagi’s flailing arm motion being redone and her text at the top being typed as opposed to handwritten. Some of the emphasis lines were also redone to accommodate that change.
Updates in the Original include more rounded odango on Usagi’s head in the top-left and some volume added to her bangs. Also, a bunny has been added to the speech bubble in the middle-left panel. Otherwise, that’s it.
Moving into the Remastered, Ami’s hair highlights have been adjusted throughout, to no one’s surprise. Also, Motoki’s comment at the top has been moved into a bubble, Usagi’s odango at the top get cleaned up a bit again and the flower background redone. Usagi’s brooch has been redone to the new style here as well.
The bunny in the middle-left has been redone a bit, and Usagi’s shocked expression over Ami going every day has had the bubble touched up.
Lastly, in the bottom-left, Luna’s face has been cleaned up, and Ami’s uniform has been colored in black. I guess Naoko kept forgetting about that!
Huh, did Naoko get tired of making edits? There were so many in the beginning, but it seems like she left pages alone if there were no big (read: Luna) edits. Anyway, no changes between Nakayoshi and Original.
The Remastered made some pretty dramatic changes – specifically, changing Ami’s floppy disk to a CD. She also removed the sound effect of the teacher putting her hand on Ami’s shoulder in the middle-right panel (why??). In the lower-left panel, Usagi gets hands (instead of her weird, freakish mitten-things) and the girl to the left’s skirt goes from white to black (as it should).
Once again, few changes to mention. The most obvious is the advertisement on the left in Nakayoshi which was replaced with liner notes in the Original. Also noteworthy, in the top panel, Usagi’s pigtail was added then too.
Moving into the Remastered edition, the liner notes were removed for a picture of Ami, Usagi’s hair at the top was re-drawn a bit (top-left) and she’s got eyelashes on her left eye. On the lower-left, her odango and bangs were redrawn, and right at the bottom, the typing sound effects were removed. Weird.
One minor change in the Original here, and that is some flowers being added to Usagi’s speech on the left-hand side.
Once we get to the Remastered, we see in the top right, Ami’s body has been redrawn to make her sleeve less poofy and add a skirt (thank goodness!) and her keyboard is much more complicated. Also, the screen now has some stuff on it. Once again, the floppy disk has been replaced with a CD, because… you know, CDs.
Probably not noteworthy, but Ami’s statement with the disk was slightly rewritten, from ディスクの勉強の内容 (the study contents on the disk) to ディスクの内容 (the contents on the disk).
More interesting to me is the top-left panel, with Ami’s transformation pen. It’s much thinner now and looks more like a ball-point pen, while the original drawing seemed to depict it almost like a fountain pen.
Other changes include Usagi on the right having her shirt properly tucked in now (the left part was sticking out), an emphasis mark changed, and in the center panel, Usagi now has a pigtail falling behind her back.
On the left-hand side, Usagi’s clothes get less bulky, and her hands are redrawn. I can’t say for sure, but I think Usagi’s transformation pen was also touched up. One last small change, but at the very bottom, the boy’s hair gets a little more detailed… for some weird reason.
Just one change in the Original release: the bag (Usagi’s?) above the dropped disk is black.
There are few changes in the Remastered edition, too. Ami’s uniform in the top-left (as she leaves the room) has gotten less… poofy, and once again the floppy disk is now a CD. Only one change was made to Luna, and that was to make the moon smaller in both of her images.
I’m thinking Naoko was just getting tired of this. Once again, no changes between Nakayoshi and Original releases.
In the Remastered release, the following changes were made to the top-right panel:
- The flyer has been totally redesigned, and some text added. Specifically:
- “A brand new way to study!”
- “Send your scores right through the roof!”
- “Ami Mizuno (Grade 9) also increased her scores by…” (cut off)
- The rabbit and Luna icons have been updated
- Luna’s text has been rewritten:
- Old: “Maybe you should join and study a bit too, Usagi.”
- New: “‘Send your scores through the roof’? Maybe you should join and study there, Usagi.”
In the top left panel, Usagi originally describes the school as “odd” (へん) but in the Remastered uses the word “weird” (ヘンテコ). The nuance is a little different, but not much of a change. Also here (and throughout!) Mamoru’s hair has been filled in to remove highlights, and his sunglasses changed – most noticeably in the bottom-center panel. Finally, Usagi gains a second odango in the top-left, having only one originally.
Other changes include Usagi’s clothes getting less poofy in the bottom left, the stars being updated, and Luna’s paws getting shrunk.
Just two small changes between the Nakayoshi and Original editions, as far as I can tell: Luna has been filled in a little more in the lower-right, and the text in the lower-right has also been rewritten:
- Old: “Huh, these’re just some normal questions.”
- New: “Is this the cram school lecture? Huh, these’re just some normal questions.”
In the Remastered version, a few changes have been made. Starting with the top-left: Mamoru’s hair has been redone, and he thankfully gains a right-shoulder now that the swishing sound effect has been moved. Also, Usagi’s heart-pounding sound effect at the very top has been removed – which I think is a shame.
In the middle panels, the advertisement is changed, the floppy disk becomes a CD, Luna’s paws are made smaller, and the text bubbles are re-arranged (though the dialogue is the same).
Down in the bottom, Usagi’s hand is redrawn and Luna gets thinner. Under the panel where Usagi beats on on the computer, Naoko originally wrote a note that said “Really, Usagi, you’re something else,” but that’s gone now. Also some of the emphasis was removed from the bottom-left panel when the screen comes to life.
If I told you that Luna changed between Nakayoshi and the Original, would you be surprised? No? Good. She did, and that’s all that changed.
The changes in Remastered are also minimal:
- Luna is redone again
- a black shadow is added to the bottom of the left-middle panel with Mamoru
- a black shadow is added to the bottom-left panel with Usagi
- Luna’s speech bubble was redrawn a bit
Why were the shadows added? It’s weird, but Naoko does that a lot as we’ll see throughout the Remastered.
Between the Nakayoshi and Original, there was only one change, and that was to Usagi’s odango in the center panel. Once we move on to the Remastered version, though, there are quite a few more chances. Specifically:
- The dialogue in the right-center panel moved from two bubbles to one and a Luna icon added, along with a bunny icon for Usagi’s speech
- Usagi’s brooch is redrawn and the illuminating circle around the disguise pen updated
- Luna’s instructions have been expanded:
- Old: Toss it up in the air!
- New: You can disguise yourself with your Moon power. Toss it up in the air!
- In the center panel, once again Usagi’s odango is redrawn, starts are moved around, and her mouth is slightly redrawn. Her eyebrows look different too.
- Luna’s instructions have been revised (in addition to a new cat icon!):
- Old: Yell “Transform!” 変身 (henshin)
- New: Yell “Disguise!” 変装 (hensou)
- More starbursts are added to the left panel where Usagi throws the pen
No changes between Nakayoshi and Original. Once again, though, there are a few with the Remastered.
The most obvious is the top panel, which was redrawn. Next up is Usagi on the right. Her nurse uniform has been redone. Namely:
- Usagi’s left odango is moved and hair is a little fuller
- Usagi’s mouth is moved?
- the sleeves are less poofy
- the hem of the skirt is shorter, but a straight line
- also, you can’t see the outline of Usagi’s hip on the right
- the buttons were redrawn
- the… fabric lines around her bust are redone to emphasize things less
The background behind Nurse Usagi has also been redone, in addition to some cleanup on Luna.
Another interesting development is to Usagi’s text. In the original, she says “transform into a doctor!!” which has been changed to “change into a doctor!!” Naoko also updated the kanji reading, so Usagi now says the English word for doctor (ドクター) instead of the Japanese (おいしゃ).
More shading has been added to the Crystal Seminar school building, and above that, the sound effect and Luna have been redone. To the left of that, Usagi’s uniform is again adjusted, and in the panels below that some rush/emphasis lines are added to the two panels for… reasons.
In the bottom-left panel, Ami’s missing shoulder has been drawn in and her Usagi’s hair filled out a bit.
One change in the update to the Original edition: In the top-left panel, the Silver Crystal was originally called “that Silver Crystal,” but now reads “the Mysterious Silver Crystal.”
Remastered? Yep, more changes! In the top left, the teacher now looks a little more sinister due to her eyes and some shaded added to the top of the panel. Our floppy disk is now a CD, and in the top-left the familiar advertisement is once again on display.
In the middle panel… could it be?? Yes! Usagi’s odango, hair wisp, nurse uniform (buttons and sleeves), mouth, eyes, and hair have been redone.
An angry star was removed from the youma’s speech bubble in the lower-right, and in the bottom middle Luna’s face has been redone as well as a star being changed above Usagi’s speech.
In the lower left, once again Usagi’s odango undergo cosmetic surgery, Luna gets a facelift, and Usagi’s brooch is updated.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
For once, there’s a change in the Perfect version: in the panel in the middle of the page, Nurse Usagi originally warned the students they would become 廃人 (haijin; invalids, disabled). This is… umm… not politically correct. Usagi now says they’ll become 病気 (byouki; sick).
Blah, blah, no changes in Original. But in the Remastered, it looks like all but the youma were redrawn!
- the brooch on the right is redrawn, and the background behind that is totally redone
- Usagi’s fingernails have been added – possibly her whole hands are redone
- Sailor Moon on the left was completely redrawn, as were her glasses
Between the Original to the Remastered editions, there were a number of noteworthy changes. Not unexpected, considering how Sailor Moon’s design changed. Notably, in the top left, her odango got redrawn and her uniform was redrawn to give her a shorter torso, cover up her cleavage (??!), change her brooch, and redo her choker.
Also in this top panel, Usagi’s introductory text has been updated to include the text “pretty soldier” before Sailor Moon.
A little more detail was added to her odango in the lower-right, but not much else.
Once again – no changes in the Original.
From the Remastered, Luna was redrawn in all three of her panels, for starters. In the top-left, Usagi’s odango is redone. In the middle left, shading has been added to the youma’s eyes, and the design of her shirt filled in on the left so you can see it better. Also in the panel, Ami’s hair has been filled in some more, and her choking sound effect removed.
No changes in the Original. But from the Remastered, we first see in the top that the Mercury symbol on Ami’s forehead has been redrawn. While it’s much nicer, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Also in the same panel, Ami’s skirt was updated to make it less fluttery.
In the lower-right, Sailor Moon’s choker has been added in (whoops!) and to the bottom-left, her choker has been added and her right sleeve redrawn.
Surprisingly, I only found one change in all of the versions. Usagi’s odango jewel in the top left panel wasn’t colored in originally, and that was fixed in the Original version. Wow!
Starting from the Remastered, Usagi’s odango were redrawn in the top panel, and the charm on her choker was too, in addition to a star to the left of her head being updated. Finally, the panel of Tuxedo Mask to the lower-left was cleaned up by moving a sound effect down.
Between Nakayoshi and the Original, Naoko fixed up the odango jewels not being colored in within the top panel.
Moving on to the Remastered version, the Moon Frisbee has been renamed the Moon Tiara Boomerang, in addition to being redrawn. For some reason, a wisp of hair was also added to the top panel next to her left ear, overlapping with her collar. Why??
In the lower-right, some more hair was added behind her ear, and in the bottom-center panel, Usagi’s face has been slightly redrawn, particularly her eyes. In the lower-left, Luna once again is fixed up.
There are two significant changes between the Nakayoshi release and the Original release:
- This was originally the end of the act in Nakayoshi, but a whole new page was added from the Original.
- Luna’s final text was changed:
- Old: You’re a Sailor Soldier too, Ami!
- We were searching for you!
With the update to the Remastered comes more changes. Mercury’s glove cuffs (?) are redrawn a bit, as his her bow. In the top panel, text has also been removed, where Luna (Usagi?) said “… that costume?” Some of the glow bubbles have also been added. To the top-left, Usagi gets her tiara back (oh no!) and her odango is added to the top-left.
In the lower-right, Luna is redrawn, and in the middle panel the background and Mercury symbol have been updated. Luna’s text in the middle panel has also been changed, from:
- Old: You can control water at will and make a mist
- New: The soldier of water and intellect.
I guess Naoko wanted to bring the Mercury description in line with the anime?
As I mentioned, this page is completely original to the Original release. With the release of the Remastered, only a few small changes were made, including the unsurprising update to Luna, the Mercury symbol was redone in the center panel, and to the left, Usagi gets her tiara back and her brooch redrawn.
And that concludes my review of Act 2, the second chapter in the story of Sailor Moon. I hope you enjoyed it!
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