When you see a book that continues to circulate in the state library system despite being held together by many layers of tape and several metal bolts, you know it has to be popular — and difficult to find a replacement.
I remember coming upon that well-read volume of “Sailor Moon” in 2008, when I was researching the series for what would become “The Rough Guide to Manga” (still available at your favorite online bookseller … and, might I add, still a great gift idea, although I will confess the “Publishers” chapter is rather out of date by now).
“Sailor Moon” already was long out of print at that point, and I can only imagine what that volume looks like now — that is, if it even still exists; a quick search of the library system online catalog shows many more “Sailor Moon” volumes listed as “missing from shelf,”“lost”or “claimed returned” than actually on the shelf. People clearly love the story of a moon princess, her beloved prince and her guardians who, reincarnated as teens on Earth, must defend their world from all who threaten it.
Now it looks like the series that rocketed Tokyopop (then known as Mixx Entertainment) to prominence in the U.S. manga-publishing world in the mid-1990s is about to do the same for Kodansha Comics.
For when Kodansha announced it would be rereleasing “Sailor Moon” bimonthly beginning in September — as well as introducing artist Naoko Takeuchi’s prequel series “Codename:Sailor V”to the U.S. — the manga bloggerati promptly erupted on Twitter. And for good reason:The 14-volume rerelease — 12 covering the main story, two devoted to side stories — will feature new cover art, retouched interior art, detailed translation notes and bonus material from Takeuchi. As long as the new volumes aren’t as tightly bound as Tokyopop’s volumes were — those were difficult to read without cracking the book’s spine — Kodansha could finally have its signature series to crow about.
Now that the manga’s confirmed to be returning to the U.S., some fans might wonder about the fate of the similarly out-of-print anime — the heavily edited version that aired on TVor the uncut versions of “Sailor Moon R,” “Sailor Moon S”and “Sailor Moon Super S”released in the past by ADVand Pioneer/Geneon. Unfortunately those memories will have to remain memories for the time being, with no murmurings of any rereleases coming soon from the major U.S. anime publishers.
I’d rate anything other than a deal for an online streaming release as remote … but then again, I also thought no one would ever touch the “Princess Knight” and “Sailor Moon” manga, yet Vertical and Kodansha happily proved me wrong.
THE TALE OF THE SEASIDE SHIRTS
One of the booths that caught my eye at the recent Honolulu Festival was for a T-shirt art exhibition happening locally for the first time in late May. It’s patterned after an outdoor exhibit held for 23 years in Kochi, Japan, where participants send in designs to be printed on T-shirts that hang on clotheslines and flap in the breeze on the beach. This year, participants who submit their designs will have their T-shirts displayed in Kochi and Honolulu, so it’s definitely a chance to gain some artistic exposure.
You’ll have to hurry if you want to participate, though:The submission deadline is March 31, and only 300 designs are being accepted. You’ll also have to submit your design online. And — perhaps a deal-killer for some — there’s a $45 fee per T-shirt entered. (You do get to pick up your T-shirt at the end, though, plus you get entered to win cash awards and other cool swag.)
Visit www.alohaartweek.com for details on how to enter.
ANIME AROUND TOWN
» MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com.