by Naoko Takeuchi
To see reviews of the previous books in the Sailor Moon series, click here. This review does contain spoilers for previous volumes.
Hotaru Tomoe has been possessed by Mistress 9, an evil alien intent on opening a portal to the Tau Star system, unleashing Master Pharaoh 90 to destroy the earth. Although Hotaru knows she faces destsruction, she struggles to contain the power of Mistress 9, and in the process her 'other' self, Sailor Saturn, appears to bring about the end. Sailor Moon and her allies must save the world from destruction, but this time they must fight not only an alien evil, but one of their own.
Sailor Saturn is one of the most interesting characters in the Sailor Moon mythos. As she observes in this volume, she “will forever remain the uninvited guest”, the harbinger of death that no one wishes to meet. Although each of the planetary warriors has been an outsider at one time or another – the inner planets were each isolated before Usagi befriended them, while the outer planets were forced to live on the outer edges of the solar system to protect the Moon Kingdom – but even in this group, Saturn is unwelcome. At least, that's how it appears, but by the end of the Infinity story arc Sailor Moon's all-encompassing love has even found a way to bring Saturn into the fold.
After wrapping up the Infinity arc, the book begins the Dead Moon Circus story, and as usual Naoko Takeuchi jumps right into it. Sailor soldiers don't get much downtime, it seems! A mysterious pegasus named Helios contacts Chibi-Usa and promises to help her whenever she needs him, which unfortunately insures that she'll play a major role in the next view volumes. Dang it. I would rather read more about Saturn or Pluto or virtually ANY other character, but Chibi-Usa was a favorite of Takeuchi's so she'll always be around.
One thing worth nothing is that Takeuchi's art has changed dramatically from the beginning of this series. The characters are as stick thin as ever, with longer legs shown off by tiny skirts and high heels. But her use of screen tones has become much more interesting, and the pages have become much less cluttered. The hands remain as dreadful as ever, but I've grown rather fond of this rather signature design flaw.
4 out of 5 stars
To read more about Sailor Moon Vol. 8, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2011: Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman
2010: The Carl Brandon Society eReader Drawing
2009: Giveaway #12 Winners
2008: Chicken a la King and the Buffalo Wing by Steven Gilbar