- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Sailor Moon is setting sail for the U.S. after a six-year absence in print.

Kodansha USA Publishing LLC said Friday that it will release new deluxe editions centering on the iconic manga character that helped cement the Japanese comic art form with American readers in the late 1990s.

Naoko Takeuchi’s “Sailor Moon” will relaunch in September under the Kodansha Comics imprint. It will be accompanied by a two-volume prequel series titled “Codename: Sailor V,” the first time it will be in print in the U.S. In it, teenager Minako Aino will fight as Sailor V against the Dark Agency before discovering Sailor Moon.

The “Sailor Moon” comic will be released every two months starting in September and feature new cover art, retouched interior art, new dialogue and bonus material never before published in the U.S. The books will be distributed by Random House Publisher Services.

“I’m very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi’s work to her American fans,” said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing in a statement.

“As we continue to build the Kodansha Comics manga list, a title like ‘Sailor Moon‘ is the jewel in our crown. As the former chief editor of the work in Japan, I’m especially thrilled to finally release the prequel … to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last.”

Sailor Moon proved a popular draw with comic fans, including female readers. The character also grabbed a foothold in American pop culture, with references in songs and books.

In Japan, the character is a juggernaut, having been featured in animated films, live-action musicals and a live-action television show.




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