Why Do Minako and Rei Always End Up Together?

What's going on here??

What’s going on here??

Alternative title: What Is the Relationship Between Sailor Venus and Sailor Mars?

Whenever the Sailor Soldiers split up in the anime or manga, you’ll notice that the breakdown generally ends up with Makoto and Ami and then Rei and Minako. Today, we’re going to take a look at why that may be, and if there’s any deeper reason as to why Ms. Takeuchi decided on this break down.

Riding a Bike!

Riding a Bike!

Before we continue, I really should be clear on one point: before you get your hopes up on finding irrefutable evidence for your favorite shipping relationship, this isn’t the article you’re looking for.

There’s a lot to be said about the sexuality of the Sailor Soldiers, but outside of Usagi & Mamoru’s questionably legal relationship and the Haruka and Michiru pairing, the series doesn’t really say much about any of the characters’ sexual preferences. I don’t have an opinion either way, so we’ll leave that aspect of this article open to interpretation.

So, back to the focus of today’s question!

Since the Sailor Team is essentially a group of five, and with Sailor Moon as the strong lead, whenever you need to split them up either to go exploring Scooby Doo-style or to pose them in promotional artwork, this leaves you with the problem of figuring out which pairings work best.

Though it may not seem that way at first glance, pairing Ami and Makoto together actually makes a lot of sense for several reasons:

  • their personalities compliment each other pretty well
  • their powers are also complimentary (offense + support)
  • their sizes are complementary

Yes… their heights. What am I talking about? Stick with me – I’m not completely grasping at straws here.

That classic pairing

That classic pairing

You see, Makoto’s towering figure is due in part to her namesake planet, Jupiter. On the other side of the coin, Ami’s smaller form is also attributable to her place in the solar system as the smallest planet.1

Not only does it seem natural for the strongest member of the Inner team to be looking after her more fragile and intellectual teammate, they also balance each well personality-wise and… frankly… on the page, in an artistic sense.

So does that mean that Rei and Minako get clumped together by default, like an unwanted Velma thrown along with Fred and Daphne out of pure convenience? No, not quite! I think there’s still a good case to be made for Rei and Minako coming together.

The proper split?

The proper split?

As with Makoto’s intriguing connection to the Greco-Roman mythology surrounding Jupiter/Zeus, I think there may be something to say about the relationship between Rei and Minako through Mars and Venus. We all know that Ms. Takeuchi is a sucker for tying back into small references, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch.

What can we say about Mars and Venus, then? Well, as you probably know, Mars and Venus are the Roman adaptations of the Greek gods known as Ares2 and Aphrodite3 – the god of war and the goddess of beauty and love, respectively.

They were also… you know… lovers. And that’s where things get interesting.

Like all relationships in the Greek tragedies of yore, the relationship between Ares and Aphrodite wasn’t quite meant to be. In the Odyssey of Homer, Aphrodite was married to Lord Hephaistos, the smith of the gods. When he was away, Ares would sneak into their home and engage in some an extra-marital relationship with Aphrodite.4

Needless to say, their affair was uncovered (by Helios, the sun god, of all people!) and this all ended poorly for the two of them, but not before they had the opportunity to have several children together. Eight, in fact. And their names are:

  • Phobos
  • Deimos
  • Harmonia
  • Adrestia
  • Eros
  • Anteros
  • Himeros
  • Pothos

That’s right! The twin brothers Phobos5 and Deimos,6 the personifications of fear and terror, were the love children of Ares and Aphrodite – Mars and Venus.

So when put into that perspective, I think it’s not all that surprising that Ms. Takeuchi would see fit to put these two together. After all, the Greeks were already convinced that there was an undeniable attraction between love and war, so it only makes sense that she would see the same draw!

There should be some joke here about not having kids...

There should be some joke here about not having kids…

As for if there were any deeper meanings to this? Well, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. But for me, it at least helps explain a bit why it is that we so often see Rei and Minako ending up together when, to be totally honest, they don’t on the surface seem to have a lot in common.

Of course, if you have any other insights into this or thoughts on the subject, please share! I love to hear other opinions on this sort of thing.


References:

  1. Now that Pluto isn’t a planet, at least.
  2. See Ares (Wikipedia)
  3. See Aphrodite (Wikipedia)
  4.  See Aphrodite and Ares
  5. See Phobos (Wikipedia)
  6. See Deimos (Wikipedia)

8 comments

  • I really like this article! From a color perspective, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus go together quite pleasingly, too, since their main colors (red and orange) are analogous. I thought that their pairing was mainly done for this visual effect, but your ideas seem very plausible!! XD And because I can get behind a Rei/Mina ship!

    • The colors really do work well together, don’t they? They also are pretty similar when it comes to clothing and hair style, so regardless of the reason, they definitely go well together artistically! =D

  • First, thanks for writing about this; I was the one who posed the question on Twitter the other day. Secondly, I can’t believe I never thought of the Ares/Aphrodite connection (I love mythology)! Very smart theory.

    • Thanks for offering up the suggestion! More often than not, most of the articles on this site come from starting with a question, then working backwards to find out what the answers might be. The hard part sometimes is thinking of what’d be interesting to look into in the first place!

  • A good read and nice thoughts about them. Try to watch the Sailor Moon Live Action Series, Mars and Venus’ pair is visible. Add the Rei and Minako Exam Battle side story and the Stars arc, both are in the manga.

    • I love the Live Action series, and it’d be awesome to go more into depth on it. x_X Unfortunately, it deviates so much from the anime and manga that it’s kinda hard to talk about in this blog without separating it out as a totally separate beast.

  • I personally have always found the Mars/Venus pairing horribly forced.

    Any so called ‘evidence’ for them being a couple is really just (often annoying) shippers seeing what they want to see. And then trying desperately to pass it off as canon.
    Even in the Live Action series it just doesn’t work for me. Largely because Keiko and Ayake had zero on-screen chemistry.

    Yes, Mars/Ares and Venus/Aphrodite were lovers in mythology. But then Jupiter/Zeus was their father, so what does that analogy say then?

    Too me, it always came across as Naoko trying to replicate the Rei/Usagi relationship from the anime (replace one goofy blonde with another), minus all the things that made that endearing.

    Of course, I’ve never been terribly interested in shipping or slash. I just don’t see the appeal in it at all. Especially when it’s between characters who aren’t even officially recognized as a couple.

    • While I understand that everyone has their own hobbies and interests, I have to agree that I don’t really see much appeal in the “shipping” idea. On one hand, everyone makes a big deal out of how revolutionary and important it is that Haruka and Michiru are lesbians… and in the same breath, proceeds to then go and say that every female character is shipped with every other female character in the series? I’m not sure it works that way.

      No offense to those who enjoy these kinds of pairings, of course. But while I do enjoy digging deep into the series and trying to see what kind of pearls of information you can uncover by reading into the information at hand, I’m firmly against making stuff up. I feel the vast majority of “shipping” is about making things up and trying to shoehorn your ideas into the series.

      As for why I don’t really like the idea of a Rei/Minako pairing? I mean, they don’t really seem to show any care for each other. They’re friends and team mates, sure. But I never really felt any sort of bond between the two. Besides, Rei always felt like more of a loner, and Minako would need someone just as outgoing and social as she is.

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