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Manga Guide :: History

        In February 1992, the Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon (BSSM) manga (Japanese comics) was first serialized in Nakayoshi, a monthly manga magazine for young people. The manga series became a hit and not long after, it was exported around the world. The popularity of the BSSM series, which combined the magical girl and sentai (e.g. Go Ranger or "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers") genres, spawned numerous manga volumes, artbooks, an anime, musicals, a live action show, and myriad toys and products. In the United States, the BSSM series helped pave the way for the introduction of other anime and manga releases.

        The world of Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon first began in July of 1991 with what had been planned as a one-time story in Run-Run magazine. Run-Run magazine was making its debut that summer as the sister magazine of Nakayoshi. Naoko, who was currently running a successful monthly manga series called The Cherry Project was asked to create a single manga issue about any subject she wanted. With a suggestion from her editor to use "sailor suited" characters and the idea of creating a superhero based story, Naoko wrote a one act manga called Code Name wa Sailor V.

        Soon after the publication of the first installation of Code Name wa Sailor V, Toei Animation Co. approached Naoko and began negotiations to turn the series into an anime. Less than a year later, Naoko released the first act of Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon in the February 1992 issue of Nakayoshi magazine. She had decided to expand the original idea of a sailor-suited soldier of justice into a group of five girls, which was more closely related to the popular sentai theme seen in shows like Go Ranger.

        In March of 1992, a month after the first issue of BSSM appeared, the Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon anime began airing on TV, as part of a cross-media promotion. The manga continued to be published every month in Nakayoshi through March 1997. It was also released in compiled volumes beginning in July of 1992. The Code Name wa Sailor V manga also continued to be published in Run-Run and was compiled into three volumes, called tankoubon.

        In September of 2003, over five years after the publication of the last installment Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon, the manga was revamped and re-released to the public during the airing of the live-action version of the Sailormoon show, Pretty Guardian Sailormoon. The reissued versions of the manga included a title change to match the live action show, new covers, a few color pages, stickers, and some updates to the drawings. This new version of the manga split the acts up differently, for a total of 60 acts in 14 volumes (including two "Short Stories" volumes that contained many of the side stories).

        The Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon manga was first brought to the United States in August 1998 and published in Mixxine Magazine volume 1-1 (later in Smile) as "Sailor Moon". The manga was also released in volume form by the publishers of Mixxine, Mixx Entertainment, beginning in December of 1998. The publishing went through several name changes, finally ending with "Tokyo Pop." The English manga was separated into three different groups, "Sailor Moon", "Sailor Moon SuperS" and "Sailor Moon StarS". The final volume of the English translated version of Sailor Moon was released in September 2001.

Sources: TOKYOPOP, Alex Glover, The SM-RPG Book, Animefringe, and MangaStyle