美少女戦士セーラームーン (Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon) or "Pretty Soldier Sailormoon" is a magical girl show that features the adventures of fantastical girls in a dramatic world. It was first published in "Nakayoshi," a serial magazine for young girls, as a manga (comic) from February 1992 to March 1997. The popularity of the anime prompted the creation of new arcs for the manga. (For example, the anime created the Doom Tree series so that the manga could make the Black Moon arc and catch-up; executives of the anime urged the creation of the Infinity Arc after the success and public demand for more Sailormoon anime.) The public praises BSSM as the first manga to combine the magical series with the action genre typically associated with boy-related manga.
The creator of BSSM is the artist Takeuchi Naoko, who illustrated all the manga pictures and developed the storylines of the senshi. She released it all in an 18 volume series and also published six artbooks of her colored manga.
BSSM is not an original story in itself. It is based off Naoko's first "Sailor-suited heroine" SailorV. SailorV's comic, Codename wa SailorV (The Codename is SailorV), appeared in the "Run-Run" magazine as a sister to "Nakayoshi." Naoko was given the chance to draw a story of anything she liked; so, she chose a superheroine who would fight for justice. She based her heroine's costumes on the typical girls' school wear, the seeraa fuku (sailor suit), to get the attention of the young girls who wear them. The standard female objects of normal life are turned into weapons of great power and importance in Naoko's magical girl mangas.
Codename wa SailorV features the adventures of Aino Minako and her magical cat Artemis. With his help, she transforms into the powerful warrior SailorV and fights against all kinds of evils. Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon follows the story of Tsukino Usagi and her magical cat who find other Sailor Soldiers to help fight against the evils that attack the earth. The SailorV manga eventually ends where Minako joins up the Sailor Team and becomes Sailorvenus in the BSSM manga.
BSSM has evolved from this humble manga collection to a series of musicals and a live-action television production; it's an international phenomenon! It has been translated and shown in Mexico, France, China, Australia, US, and many other nations. Though the public criticizes the anime for not "staying true" to the manga, it nevertheless introduced Sailormoon to the world and started a major interest in anime and manga from Japan.
武内直子 (Takeuchi Naoko) is a name you should be familiar with. She's the creator of the Sailormoon series and one of motivators of the magical girl series! As a gifted storyteller, songwriter, illustrator, and pharmacist, Takeuchi much more than a treasure; she's a legend in manga history.
Born in the Yamanashi Prefecture on March 15, 1967 (three days before my b-day!), Takeuchi dreamed of becoming a great manga artist. She was a member of the astronomy and drawing clubs in her high school and debuted as a manga artist when she was eighteen. Soon after, she received the Nakayoshi Comic Prize for her first short story and the New Artist Award with "Love Call" in 1986. Takeuchi attended Kyoritsu Yakka University and graduated with a Chemistry degree, working as a licensed pharmacist afterwards.
After finishing her second manga, The Cherry Project, Takeuchi showed interest in creating a story about "fighting magical girls for love and justice;" thus the plans for Codename wa SailorV were in place. The sailor-suited soldier (as suggested by her editor Osa-P) debuted in 1991 and become a great hit. Her publishing company, Kodansha, wished to her to continue the manga while they created a simultaneous anime program. Takeuchi decided to create a spin-off "team show with an all-female group" since she was a fan of live-action team shows. Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon won the Kodansha Manga Award for girl's comics in 1993 and took the world by storm.
After her success, he married Yu Yu Hakushou creater Yogsahi Toshihiro and had a son. She continued to write manga including "Love Witch," "Miss Rain," and "PQ Angels.". Takeuchi was strongly involved in Pretty Guardian Sailormoon which explains why the plotline explored many depths of the manga rather than the anime.
Many of us wonder how Takeuchi came up with the idea of Sailormoon. At the 1998 San Diego Comic-Con, she answered that she "wanted to create a character that would empower her readers" and relate to them as well (the sailor 'fuku' uniform is a very common outfit of the young schoolgirl). She familiarizes herself with Sailormoon, stating that she was "close to her personality." Usagi's family members (Ikuko, Kenji, Shingo) are the names of Takeuchi's own immediate family (her mother, father, brother respectively).
2 Manga Information. The Moon Garden.
3 Codename: SailorV. Wikipedia.org.
5 Takeuchi Naoko. Hitoshi Doi's Sailormoon Page.
6 Artist Biography: Takeuchi, Naoko. Voice from the Gaps.
7 Public Interview with Takeuchi Naoko. The Online World of Anime & Manga.
8 The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko.
9 Naoko Takeuchi. Black Moon.