Is Usagi Just a Copy of Minako from Codename: Sailor V?

♪ One of these things is not like the other ♪

♪ One of these things is not like the other ♪

Whether Minako is considered a prototype for Usagi or a completely unique character seems to be a matter often debated among fans — and not without good reason. After all, it’s a well known fact that Ms. Takeuchi originally started Codename: Sailor V as a one-shot story meant to tell the tales of a sailor-suited warrior of justice. Only later did that idea get transformed into the Sailor Moon world that we came to know and love.

The anime even played heavily, perhaps too heavily, on this trope, adding further fuel to the Usagi/Minako copycat fire.

And yet, like practically everything else in the Sailor Moon universe, things are not as simple as they seem.

Today we’re going to take a look at Usagi and Minako’s characters in-depth and and see if we can settle once and for all just how similar (and different!) they really are. I hope you’ve got a talking cat handy, because you just may need one to untangle this mess!

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Happy Birthday Michiru Kaioh!

Happy Birthday Michiru! (courtesy of Non's blog)

Happy Birthday Michiru! (courtesy of Non’s blog)

Sailor Neptune — talented violinist, painter, and a Sailor Soldier who will rip your heart out in the pursuit of her mission.

Considering that my first encounter with the anime after Sailor Moon R was through episode summaries, I had actually read about Haruka and Michiru’s misadventures before I ever had any idea what they actually looked like. And yet, somehow, when I first saw the grainy, low-res late-90s screenshots of them, the character designs was a perfect fit for how they was portrayed in the series.

Much like the ocean that she represents, Michiru gives off the image of a calm, gentle beauty, but carries within her an unimaginable force that could break a ship in two.

In honor of Michiru Kaioh’s birthday, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight five interesting facts about the Senshi of the sea and her role in Sailor Moon. Happy Birthday, Michiru!

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How Did Sailor Neptune End Up in Season 1 of Sailor Moon?

Wait a sec... is that...?

Wait a sec… is that…?

If there’s one thing I love more than tackling modern day Sailor Moon rumors, it’s finally putting to rest stories that have been with the fandom since its earliest days. And today I’m happy to say that we’re going to talk about just one of those stories!

That’s right, we’re going to talk about the supposed blink-and-you’ll-miss-it inclusion of Sailor Neptune in the first season of Sailor Moon, a whole two seasons and a little over a year before she ever was unveiled to the public.

Is it really the Sailor Neptune we all know and love? And if so, how did she get there?

Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out!

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Happy Birthday Haruka Tenoh!

Happy Birthday Haruka! (courtesy of patisserie DeCo)

Happy Birthday Haruka! (courtesy of patisserie DeCo)

If you were a North American fan of Sailor Moon back in the mid- to late-90s (and even into the early 2000s), your exposure to the… well, let’s say “deeper” parts of the series was limited at best. Nudity? None of that. Death? Make them unconscious instead. Homosexuality? Let’s try “cousins.”

Then one day, you were taking a trip down the information super highway — known to some as “the internet” — when all of a sudden you read that there was much more to Sailor Moon than you had been led to believe. Eternal Sailor Moon flew around naked. The Sailor Senshi died. Oh, and what’s this? Some of the Sailors were lesbians??

I think I speak for many of us in my generation of Sailor Moon fandom when I say that the exposure to Haruka and Michiru’s relationship was an incredibly eye opening experience. For that reason alone, these two characters will always be incredibly important to me.

In honor of Haruka Tenoh’s birthday, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight five interesting facts about the Senshi of the wind and her role in Sailor Moon. Happy Birthday, Haruka!

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Happy Birthday Makoto Kino!

Happy Birthday Mako-chan!

Happy Birthday Mako-chan! (courtesy of patisserie ROUGE)

Sailor Jupiter has always held an incredibly important place in my heart as a Sailor Moon fan. Though she may not be my favorite character, she’s certainly one of my top 10 favorite Sailor Senshi, and ranks firmly in the top five of the Inners.

So what’s so special about her, you ask?

Her TV debut — “Jupiter Comes Thundering In,” for you old DiC dub watchers — happens to be the first Sailor Moon episode that I ever saw, way back in 1997. That chance encounter set off a love for the series that I’m still talking about 21 years later.

So today I’d like to take a moment to celebrate Miss Makoto Kino’s birthday (her 40th, if case you’re counting!) by examining five interesting facts about her character and role in Sailor Moon. Happy Birthday, Mako-chan!

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Why Are Sailor Saturn and Sailor Pluto’s Roles Reversed?

Just what's going on here, girls??

Just what’s going on here, girls??

Ms. Takeuchi’s near obsessive attention to detail is just one of the many things that make Sailor Moon such a great series. No matter how many times you watch or read through it, there’s always something new to discover.

And yet, despite her impressive ability to get even the tiniest details right on matters ranging from mythology to astronomy — and in a pre-Wikipedia world, no less!! — even Ms. Takeuchi messed up at some pretty crucial points.

… or did she?

Today we’re going to take a look at the ancient Moonie myth surrounding just what is going on with the Great Pluto and Saturn Mix-up. I hope you like Greco-Roman history, because things are about to get mythical!

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Happy Birthday Minako Aino!

Sailor Venus cake by YouTuber DreamChaser

Sailor Venus cake by YouTuber DreamChaser (watch video)

Ah, Minako Aino — part-time lover, part-time volleyball playing, Queen-stabbing Sailor Senshi. Is there nothing this girl can’t do?

Thanks to her dual story arcs in Codename: Sailor V and in Sailor Moon, Minako is one of the few characters sporting character growth nearly on the same level, or possibly even greater, than Usagi herself!

The girl who was once a crime-fighting rookie eventually joins the Sailor Senshi as a veteran warrior and leader of the Sailor Team. The fact that these two arcs blend together so easily is yet another credit to Ms. Takeuchi’s amazing storytelling abilities.

Today in honor of Minako Aino’s birthday (her 40th, if case you’re counting!), we’ll be talking about five interesting facts about her character and the role she plays in Sailor Moon. Be sure to stick her around and wish her a good one!

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