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 Miss Dream for having taken the time and effort to scan all the various versions of the Sailor Moon manga. I couldn’t have done this without the great scans.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Act 6 – Tuxedo Mask
The versions we’re looking at are:
- Nakayoshi magazine – Published July 1992 (released to stores in June 1992)
- Original tankobon – Published October 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, I didn’t bother to point out non-substantive changes, such as Ami’s name being changed throughout from hiragana (あみ) to kanji (亜美) in the transition between the Original and Remastered, as well as changed or rewritten sound effects. There are also many cases where the under-eye makeup is made slightly more emphasized for the Sailor Team, but the change is so small that I often omit it.
Let’s get going!
This is a bit of an odd duck since the Original manga release chose to include the final page of Act 5, albeit with no changes. I suspect the page was included because Act 6 was the beginning of a new volume in the Original release while it was included in volume 1 in all subsequent releases. In that sense, Ms. Takeuchi probably wanted to provide some context for the upcoming scenes.
The Nakayoshi and Original releases are nearly identical, other than the Original being changed to greyscale. However, the Remastered Version shows some changes to the Moon Stick, which I suspect were done to bring it in line with the then new PGSM. These changes were also retained in the Perfect release.
Wow, talk about changes. While the Nakayoshi and Original releases are mostly the same, the Original changes one line of dialogue from:
- Nakayoshi: We’ll destroy our enemies and find the Mystical Silver Crystal and Princess!!
- Original: I’m the leader of us four.
The bottom of the page has been revised as well, from a story and character summary in Nakayoshi to a liner note from Ms. Takeuchi in the Original version.
Once we reach the Remastered edition, however, the page gets completely restructured by adding in two new panels at the bottom to fill in the empty space created by the odd policy of removing all of Ms. Takeuchi’s liner notes.
Remastered changes include:
- Luna’s been copied over from the last page of Act 5 (and, incidentally, the first page of the Original release) and her dialogue has been slightly rewritten from that page.
- The Moon Stick design in the top-left has been revised.
- The middle panel has been expanded upon to show more of Usagi and Usagi’s dialogue has been changed into a question — “I’m the leader of the us four?”
- Luna’s dialogue from the top-right in the previous two releases has been added to a new panel at the bottom. The art in this panel comes from the previous top-right panel in the Nakayoshi and Original releases.
Page 3 (and 4) are unique in that they are completely new to the tankobon releases and didn’t exist in Nakayoshi. I struggled with how to number these, but considering they’re consistent from the Original release on, I think it’s best to carry on with normal numbering.
The only difference I could spot in the Remastered release was that “Sailor Mercury” has been moved further to the left to make it clear it isn’t a part of the text and Rei’s hair has been filled in with more black, especially around her shoulders, to make it less reflective.
Once again, this is a new page that didn’t exist in the Nakayoshi release. Changes from the Original in the Remastered consist of:
- そして is added to the description of Makoto, which helps clarify that this is the last girl she’s discussing.
- “Sailor Jupiter” is moved further to the left, probably for the same reason as “Sailor Mercury” in in previous page.
- Usagi’s right hand has been removed and some hair has been added in its place for some reason.
- To be fair, Ms. Takeuchi has a bit of a history with oddly drawn hands, so I suppose she decided to just get rid of it?
- The Moon Stick has been redrawn to include more detail and bring it in line with the new design.
- Usagi’s brooch has been cleaned.
- Usagi’s skirt has been redrawn to be a slightly shorter.
The line in the left-hand panel is the same text from Page 2 of Nakayoshi: We’ll destroy our enemies and find the Mystical Silver Crystal and Princess!!
Revisions on this page are pretty minimal. All I could see is that one of Mamoru’s lines in the bottom-left panel is moved from overlapping his shoulder in Nakayoshi to be closer to the beginning of his thought from the Original and beyond.
The majority of changes to this page take place during the transition from the Original to Remastered release:
- The sound effect of Luna stepping into the room has been removed for some reason.
- The headline regarding Tuxedo Mask has changed the word “mysterious” from katakana (ナゾ) to kanji (謎).
- A depiction of Gyopi, from Sailor Moon’s TV predecessor and Nayayoshi alumni Goldfish Warning!, has been removed from the lower-right corner and replaced with a generic teddy bear and snowflake.
Revisions are minor here too. A ね (ne) was added to Usagi’s dialogue in the middle panel to soften her statement in the Original while in the Remastered release we see some adjustments to Usagi’s odango and hair in the middle panel, Mamoru’s school bag is now colored in rather than white, Usagi’s brooch is completely redone in the bottom panel and the sound effect from Mamoru holding up his school ID has been removed. Additionally, Mamoru’s hair is colored in to remove some of the shininess.
Additions to the Original release are rather minor, consisting mostly of a mark to Usagi’s dialogue bubble in the middle-right panel, a triple sweat mark to her middle dialogue bubble in the lower-right panel, and a star to the third dialogue bubble in the same panel.
In the Remastered release, Mamoru once again gets his hair colored black in the top-right panel, the mark added to Usagi’s dialogue bubble in the middle-right panel is once again removed and Makoto’s collar is colored in now. In the center panel, Makoto’s hair no longer crosses the panel boundary and her statement calling Usagi a cheater is changed from katakana (ウワキモノ) to kanji (浮気者). Ami’s dialogue in the middle-right panel shows a similar change, with “him” (=Mamoru) and “school uniform” changing from katakana (カレ/セーフク) to kanji (彼/制服). Her question to Usagi about his name went from casual (なんてヒトなの？; “what’s his name?”) to a little more proper (名まえ知ってるの？; “do you know his name?”).
In the bottom-right panel, Usagi’s response to Ami’s question also changes from “a guy named Mamoru Chiba” to “Mamoru Chiba.” The double and triple sweat marks are removed from her first and second dialogue bubbles, respectively, while her dialogue in the second and third bubbles change have changed as well.
- Original: I’ll let you have him, Ami. He’s a real jerk.
- Remastered: He’s a real jerk. Is that your type, Ami?
Interestingly enough, Ms. Takeuchi forgot to fix Usagi’s brooch in the panel while she was working on it.
There are a few minor text changes made to the Original, including 「って」in the center bubble in the middle left panel to imply that “this is what I heard” as opposed to being a direct statement made by the speaker. Also, the spacing was adjusted in these bubbles as the Nakayoshi release looked a bit odd. Finally, Luna’s text has been expanded in the lower-right panel to include 「ナニを考えてんの！？」 (“what is he thinking?!”).
The Remastered version sports yet more changes, including:
- The dialogue in the top-left panel has been largely rewritten for clarity and to make it sound more natural, though the meaning is generally the same.
- Some of the white lines on Luna have been filled in to remove the “reflection” in the middle-right panel.
- The dialogue in the middle-left panel has been rewritten once again, for slight clarity in the middle bubbles to a full rewrite in the far left bubble.
- Original: “Do you know anything? Tell me anything you know about this Tuxedo Mask and Mystical Silver Crystal.”
- Remastered: “The whole country is abuzz talking about this Tuxedo Mask and Mystical Silver Crystal.”
- In the bottom two panels, some words are changed from katakana to hiragana, hiragana to katakana, and katakana to kanji. Why? Just a different way of placing emphasis on words, I suspect.
Only one small change to the Original release in the bottom-left panel, where 欧州支部長 (commander of the European region) has been added.
The Remastered release features updates to the monitors Zoisite and Kunzite are watching in the top-left (going from hand-written to some awful Photoshop job that looks like early 2000s web design) and some dark masking and swirls of energy to Queen Beryl’s crystal ball in the bottom-right.
This page only features two small text changes with the Original release:
- In the top-left panel, Ami’s line has been shortened from “We need to hurry up and find or somehow help [the Princess]” in Nakayoshi to “We need to hurry up and somehow help [the Princess].”
- In Nakayoshi, the bottom panel reads “Tuxedo Mask is… no way…”. In the Original release, this has been changed to “Tuxedo Mask is an enemy? No way…”
In the Remastered release, Ami’s line in the bubble in the top-middle panel has been revised from “At this rate, all of Japan’s going to fall into a panic” to “At this rate, there’s going to be mass panic.” I guess Ms. Takeuchi didn’t want to limit the hysteria to just Japan? It’s a weird edit.
Another small text change in the Original release here, to the very last line of the final bubble in the bottom-left. In the Nakayoshi release, the sentence ends with なワケ (Lit. “So you mean to say that…?”) while this is changed to なの to make it more of a straight forward question.
There’s more going on in the Remastered release, however, with a new background added to the top-left panel, Rei’s vest between her two arms getting colored grey in the middle-left panel, and Rei’s hand is moved up and the ribbon on her uniform is added in the bottom-middle panel.
These next few pages are a bit hard to follow since not only were the text bubbles rearranged (as well as the order in which Luna explains things), but new pages were also added starting with the Original version that don’t exist in the Nakayoshi release.
For the sake of my sanity and yours, I won’t be touching on any of the text changes that happen post-Nakayoshi release for these next few pages since the order is different anyway.
In the Remastered release, there have been some minor changes to clean up the dialogue and make it less verbose, the background to the right-hand panel has been updated, and the ribbon on Rei’s collar in the top-left has been colored black.
Once again, some more dramatic changes to the entire page structure and dialogue.
Changes in the Remastered release are minor, limited to a colored overlay on the middle-right panel and a small text change to Luna’s dialogue in the bottom left to include 「のだから」 (“which is why [I had to awaken you as Sailor Senshi]”).
Here we have the first of several new pages added from the Original release. Most noteworthy to me is that the top panel is taken from the preceding page of the Nakayoshi release and expanded on. With the Remastered release, Ms. Takeuchi remembered once again to color in Rei’s ribbon, made the transparent balloons opaque (probably for readability), and colored in Ami’s hair to make it less glossy.
And here we’ve got yet another added page absent in the Nakayoshi release. Changes in the Remastered release include once again making balloons opaque, adding some hologram effects to the top panel, and an update to Usagi’s brooch once again.
Am I the only one who finds it kind of weird how the brooch is only changed sometimes? Since nearly every page was touched in some manner or another, you’d think the edit would be more consistent.
Once again, post-Nakayoshi releases are pretty heavily redesigned, but I think we’ve reached a point where were can consider this “the same page” once again.
Though this isn’t terribly important, the text behind the Sailor V arcade game screen in the Nakayoshi and Original releases appears to come from a recipe for making a jelly roll. From the Remastered release, the screens have been revised to look more like a game. It also includes some edits to the arcade board’s controls to make it look more like a real game, removes some shooting sound effects from the lower-right panel, and includes some flashy, sparkly bubbles in the bottom-middle panel.
This panel underwent quite a few changes from the original Nakayoshi release. Notably, the top-right panel had been moved to the preceding page and instead the scene of Usagi gazing at the Sailor V is expanded and a whole dialogue bubble is cut in the center panel (“She’s also a soldier of justice, so I can hardly think of her as unrelated to us”) in the Original release.
The Remastered release makes further changes by adding some of Ms. Takeuchi’s favorite glowing bubbles throughout the page, simplifying Luna’s dialogue in the bottom-right (Original: “I don’t really sense her presence” has been removed), and the newspaper graphics have been updated. Interestingly, the stand selling Mystical Silver Crystals originally labelled them as replicas, but that has been removed in the Remastered version, implying that this shop is claiming to be selling the real deal.
Well, well… one of the rare pages to go mostly untouched! The only difference I could find was the sound effect of Usagi nodding in agreement in the bottom-left panel in the Remastered release.
Once again, only very minor changes to the Remastered release here. In the top-middle panel, more junk has been added to Usagi’s floor to make it clear she’s ransacking her own room and, in the center panel, shadows are added to the background to give the impression of more people being in the room and many of the sound effects have been removed.
Minor edits again! In the middle panel, the Original changes Zoisite’s dialogue to add “I have no idea who this Tuxedo Mask is, but he sure has come in handy.”
In the bottom right panel, we have a rare instance of Ms. Takeuchi making, and then reverting, an edit:
- Nakayoshi: I offer up this energy to our great master!
- Original: I offer up all of these people’s energy to our great master — and even more to make up for not having found the Mystical Silver Crystal!
- Remastered: I offer up all this energy to our great master!
One final change to the Remastered release is the ectoplasm coming out of the TVs in the top panels.
Only one word (まさか！; No way! I can’t believe it!) has been added to the bottom-left panel in the Original release.
The Remastered release has a few more edits, though, including removing the sound effect of Luna tensing up in the middle panel, adding new graphics to the laptop screen, drawing a proper background to the lower-right panel and then filling in the bottom of Ami’s skirt in the panel to its immediate left, and finally… it could just be me, but Luna’s face (eyes and mouth) look touched up.
There are no changes in the Original release, though a fair number with the Remastered release:
- In the top-right panel, Ami’s dialogue bubble has been adjusted to remove the odd ellipses.
- In the middle-right panel, the Sailor V game screen graphics have been updated and the sound effects from Luna touching buttons removed.
- Luna’s Moon Language™ has been changed.
- Luna’s face in the bottom panel has been edited to be a little more round… though honestly, I like the original version better.
- A layer to add a flash/emphasis has been added to the lower-right panel.
- For some reason, Ms. Takeuchi has failed to remember to color in Ami’s skirt — that is, until the digital-only color edition where it’s finally fixed
- Ami now says “There’s a basement?!”
Once again, only some minor edits to the Original release, including some slight phrasing changes to Luna’s dialogue in the middle panel and a laughing sound effect added to Zoisite’s dialogue in the bottom-left.
The Remastered release makes further dialogue changes, such as that the system was also used to research their enemies (top panel) and that it’s connected to the Moon’s “main system” rather than “host computer” (due to dumb terminals being less of a thing in the 2000s?). For graphical edits, all of the computer screens now are no longer blank in the top panel, the terminal screen’s been edited to draw more attention to Tokyo Tower, and the background of the center panel’s been further fleshed out.
Let’s see, what’ve we got here! No changes to the Original release, though several edits to Remastered. Black smoke is added around Zoisite at the top, a weird overlay (that ruins a great shot of Usagi, in my opinion) is added to the center panel, Usagi’s brooch is updated to the new design, and Usagi calling out to Luna at the bottom-left is removed.
With the Original release, the panel in the lower-left corner is removed and the dialogue spread out a bit to make up for its loss. It’s an odd choice, but the panel is reused on the following page (spoiler?), so I guess that’s fine. With the Remastered release, we get edits to the Moon Stick (the crescent moon is a bit bigger and the design at the center is changed) and glowing balls all over the page, because why not??
Ms. Takeuchi has once again decided to make my life difficult by breaking up a Nakayoshi page into several new pages going forward. Oh well!
Starting with the Original release, we get a new panel of Usagi opening up her eyes. Other than that, no further changes for once!
This page was newly added from the Original release and has no equivalent in Nakayoshi. There are several small small changes from the Remastered release, including: the lines on Usagi’s collar have been added in, white dots on Tuxedo Mask’s hair at the top have been removed, the… uh… cape clasps (??) on Tuxedo Mask’s shoulders have been colored grey instead of white, and the border in the lower-left corner now overlaps instead of the awkward connection it made before.
And here we have the missing two panels from the bottom of the previous Nakayoshi page! The only changes to the Remastered release are coloring in Tuxedo Mask’s hair at the top to make it look less glossy and some of Ms. Takeuchi’s signature magic glowy balls in the middle panel.
I swear, this has been the hardest manga act for me to compare yet due to the sheer volume of panels being swapped around between pages.
In any case, the Original release moves Sailor Moon’s transformation up from the following page to make things a little more exciting. The Remastered release doubles down on the brooch edit not once, not twice, but three whole times on a single page by adding it into the bottom-right. The Sailor Moon transformation panel is also made a lot less messy by removing a lot of the weird circles while also making the odd decision to not color in her boots. Seems strange to me, but it’s actually in-line with the Nakayoshi release, as we’ll see on the following page.
Looking at the composition of the Original release vs. Nakayoshi, I agree with the choice to move Sailor Moon’s transformation back. This gave Ms. Takeuchi room to add in a panel of girls getting ready to transform as well as another panel of Luna worrying about Usagi.
From the Remastered release, the top panel is completely redrawn to show Luna frantically working on the computer, in the middle panel Rei’s ribbon is colored in, Mercury and Mars’ hair is made less glossy in the lower-right panel, and Jupiter gets her belt added in the lower-left.
Though there were no changes made to the Original release, that was made up for with some small edits to the Remastered: Luna now says “Sailor Moon” instead of “Usagi” in the top-right, some shading is added to Sailor Moon’s skirt in the top-left, additional shading is added around Luna’s dialogue further down on the page, Usagi now says “Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter” instead of “Ami, Rei, and Makoto” in the bottom-right, and some triangles are added to the same panel because… reasons.
There was only one change in the Original release, with the addition of the line もしかして (Could it be…?) to the Sailor V panel in the lower-right. The Remastered release, however, contains several more revisions relating to the three appearances of the Moon Stick on the page and also changes the text in the middle panel (Original: The Stick… but where did it come from?!; Remastered: The Moon Stick appeared?!)
Surprisingly, the only edits to this page were in the Remastered release, and that was limited to the white dots on Tuxedo Mask’s cape at the top, the special effects surrounding the center of the page, and the way the sound effect is written on the page.
Could it be…? A busy page that didn’t undergo any changes?? Why… I believe it could! NEXT!
Another page with very minor revisions. In the Nakayoshi and Original releases, the sound effect in the top panel is for the Star Locket falling into her lap, while in the Remastered release, it is for the Star Locket opening up. Interesting!
Once again, Ms. Takeuchi decided that my life should be difficult and split out the original Nakayoshi release into multiple pages staring with the Original.
There are, however, quite a few revisions to the Remastered release that are worth mentioning:
- Usagi’s dialogue in the top-right panel changes from “Where… am I?” (ーーどこ？ここ・・・) to “What is this place?” (ーーここはどこ？). Very minor and unimportant change, but I’m curious as to why Ms. Takeuchi felt the need to make such a minor revision.
- The glint in the window in the Original release has been removed.
- The odd pattern in the top-left panel has been changed.
- The haze in the middle panel has been changed to the Takeuchi Bubbles.™
Here we have another page that’s been added in the Original release and didn’t exist in Nakayoshi. Aside from the obvious font changes for sound effects, the only notable change on this page is to Usagi’s brooch in the middle-right panel.
Interestingly, there are only three changes in the Remastered release, which are that the sound effect for the door closing behind Mamoru has been removed, Usagi’s brooch has been redrawn, and “to be continued” is written at the bottom of the page.
And that concludes my review of Act 6, the sixth and first chapter in the second Sailor Moon tankobon release. I hope you enjoyed it!
So what do you think of these Manga Comparisons? They’re quite time-consuming to do, though I do think there’s a lot to be gained from seeing how the manga has evolved over time — not just in the edits made, but in how Ms. Takeuchi has decided to change the dialogue, etc. However, I also see how they can be a bit of an overly detail-oriented mess to read through, so I’m hoping to hear from you, dear reader, about whether this is something worth seeing through to the end of the manga.
As always, I thanks for reading!