Kodansha USA announced last week the return of Sailor Moon to the American market in September. Created by Naoko Takeuchi, the manga has been out of print in the United States for six years. Sailor Moon will be remastered with new cover artwork and a new translation as well as bonus materials from Takeuchi and translation notes. Given Sailor Moon's tremendous role in the popularizing of manga (and anime) in the U.S., this is really quite a big deal.Published bi-monthly beginning in September of this year, Kodansha's new Sailor Moon reprints will condense the original 18-volume series into 12 books that cover the main storyline with two separate volumes for short stories. A Kodansha press release indicates the initiative follows the format of a Japanese re-release in 2003.

The SAILOR MOON manga, which originated in Japan in 1992 and debuted in the US in 1997, follows Usagi Tsukino, a young girl who transforms into super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. The first successful shôjo (girls') manga release in the US, SAILOR MOON changed the book landscape and helped establish the foundation for the manga craze; in particular drawing attention to the popularity of comics among female readers.

As part of Kodansha's Sailor Moon onslaught, the publisher will also release Codename: Sailor V, a precursor to the main series that has never before been published in the United States. Also created by Takeuchi, Codename: Sailor V is the first of the artist's "magical girl" manga in this style.

"I'm very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi's work to her American fans," said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing. Irie is also the former chief editor of Nakayosi magazine in which the SAILOR MOON manga was serialized. "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, CODENAME: SAILOR V, to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last."

More From ComicsAlliance