by Naoko Takeuchi
To see reviews of previous books in the Sailor Moon series, click here.
This review contains spoilers for the previous volumes in the series.
Three more short stories set in the world of Sailor Moon complete this final addition to the series. In the longest tale, based on a Japanese fairy tale, Usagi’s cat Luna develops a crush on a sickly astrophysicist and wishes to become human, much to the consternation of the father of her kitten from the future. In another tale, we learn more about Rei and her complicated relationship with her father, and the reasons that she has become so vehemently anti-relationships is revealed. In the final story, the children of Sailor Moon and her friends (proving that perhaps even Minako and Rei will one day relent on their anti-men stance) run about causing trouble and showing that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the oak tree.
Takeuchi’s spin on “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” is pretty entertaining. It taps into both traditional Japanese folklore and the Andersen “Snow Queen” fairy tale, than spins it all together to make something new. The cats – Luna, Artemis, and their daughter Diana – really don’t get much development in the man series, so it was nice to spend a little more time with them. I remember the first time that I read this story, I found it extremely strange because Luna, as voiced in the North American dub of the TV show, has the voice of a middle-aged teacher. Seeing the character act as a giddy schoolgirl with a crush was bizarre! But ignoring that oddity, it’s a cute story.
I actually thought that the strongest story in the short stories collection – including Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 – was “Casa Blanca Memory”, featuring Rei and talking about her childhood. We finally see a bit more of her parents, and we see why her relationship with her father is rather strained. Rei also seems a bit more like a normal teenage girl, with a crush on a young man who works for her father. The man, named Kaido, often spends time with Rei when her father breaks an engagement with her, and he confides that he would never be a man who would do something like that. When she finds out that he’s marrying a woman to further his political career, Rei is devastated – less because the man she loves will no longer be available, but because she sees it as a betrayal of those promises that he would be different from her father. Combine this with Rei’s past-life relationship with Jadeite, which helped lead to the fall of the Moon Kingdom, and its little wonder that Rei would rather ignore men altogether.
The last story, “Parallel Sailor Moon”, is pretty stupid. It’s basically an excuse for Takeuchi to draw all her characters as small children. It almost reads like fan fiction, establishing that all the Sailors eventually find perfect men, get married, and pop out offspring that are little replicas of themselves. Pretty weak. But the other two stories are still pretty good, and well worth reading if you’re a fan looking for one last story in the series.
3.5 out of 5 stars
To read more about Sailor Moon Short Stories Vol. 2, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2013: The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles #3) by Rick Riordan
2012: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
2011: News: Brian Jacques, Redwall author, dies
2010: Possessed by Kate Cann
2009: The Book of Nonsense by David Michael Slater