Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Short Stories 1 (Japanese) by Naoko Takeuchi: B-

Book description:
This volume compiles the “Chibi-Usa Picture Diaries” and the “Exam Battle”s. These were all little side stories published throughout the series in its first incarnation, and left out and published separately for the second edition.

I’m not sure separating out these side stories was such a good idea. None of those included in this volume are particularly strong, though it might make more sense for volume two of the short stories, which includes “The Lover of Princess Kaguya.”

Some of these stories I was familiar with, as they’d been animated for episodes or specials, though a few were new. None of these are really wonderful, though if one has gotten this far, one’s enough of a Sailormoon fan that disliking them utterly probably isn’t in the cards.

Of the offerings here, I probably least enjoyed Makoto’s exam battle story. Its plot was no worse than the others, but the character was just spouting the same old trope about cooking and cleaning and pretty things and it grew tiresome. To me, the best was the last of the exam battle stories, where Minako pays a visit to Rei’s exclusive girls’ school. Minako’s typically spazzy, but there are a couple of glances of another side of Rei that make it worthwhile. Plus, it’s a little slashy! 🙂

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