The Sailor Moon series began as a manga written and drawn by Takeuchi, the series' creator. It was an evolution from her earlier Codename: Sailor V idea, expanding the concept into a team of five girls rather than just one. Recurring motifs include schoolgirl antics, astrology, astronomy, Roman myth, Greek myth, geology, teen fashions, and Japanese elemental themes.
Only one story arc was originally planned, and the storyline developed in meetings a year prior to publications, but after it was completed Takeuchi was asked to continue. Four more story arcs were produced,often being published simultaneously with the five corresponding anime series. The anime series would only lag the manga by a month or two. The complete original manga spans 52 issues, known as Acts, as well as ten separate side-stories. Its main series was serialized in Nakayoshi magazine, from 1991 to 1995; the side-stories were serialized in Kodansha's Run Run.
The entire series has been published in book form by Kodansha. The first edition came out as the series was being produced, from 1992 until 1997, and consisted of 18 volumes with all the Acts and side stories in the order in which they had been released. The second edition began in 2003 when the live-action series was running. The individual Acts were redistributed so that there are more per book, and some corrections and updates were made to the dialogue and drawings. New art was featured as well, including completely new cover art and character sketches (including characters unique to the live-action series). In all, the new edition consists of 12 story volumes and two separate "short story" volumes