Is Codename: Sailor V a Canonical Prequel to Sailor Moon?

Codename: Sailor V

Codename: Sailor V

If there’s one thing that the past several years of blogging about Sailor Moon has taught me, it’s that nothing is as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to the in-universe timeline.

While an amazing series in its own right, Codename: Sailor V (“Sailor V“) only seems to exacerbate this problem by squeezing a whole story line into the one year or so leading up to Usagi and Luna’s fateful meeting — all without ever addressing the implications her adventures have upon Sailor Moon‘s lore.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at the connections between these two  series and try to answer the question of whether we can truly consider Sailor V to be a prequel, or perhaps part of a parallel universe. You might want to take notes, because we’ve got a lot to discuss!

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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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Did Sailor Moon Director Kunihiko Ikuhara Hate Naoko Takeuchi?

Kotono Mitsuishi and Kunihiko Ikuhara discussing the Sailor Moon R movie

Kotono Mitsuishi and Kunihiko Ikuhara discussing the Sailor Moon R movie

In the immortal words of the Plain White T’s, “hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like you.”1 And, if the internet is to be believed, this pretty much sums up the relationship between Sailor Moon‘s creator and acclaimed anime director (Sailor MoonRevolutionary Girl Utena, and more) Kunihiko Ikuhara.

It makes a certain amount of sense, when you get right down to it, too. They both have very strong, outspoken personalities, and Director Ikuhara was personally responsible for completely changing Rei in the anime — a sore spot in Ms. Takeuchi’s eyes.

Today, we’re going to take a look into whether there’s any truth behind this rumor and why (or why not!) that may not be the case. Regardless of which side of the anime vs. manga debate you happen to be on, you’ll want to stick around for this!

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What Is Considered Canon In the Sailor Moon Universe?

Did they every really wear these princess dresses? Well...

Did they every really wear these princess dresses? Well…

When you spend a lot of time analyzing the ins and outs of a given series — and especially one as expansive as Sailor Moon — you’re going to eventually find yourself confronted with the question of what is and is not canon, and what sources you can actually derive meaningful information from.

Over the past 25+ years, we’ve seen the story of Sailor Moon presented to us in the form of a manga, anime, musicals, video games, a live action TV show, more musicals, a completely different anime, and countless book adaptations spread throughout. While I personally like to believe that there’s a general thread of an overarching “one Sailor Moon universe” running between all most of them, the answer is a little more complicated than I’d hope.

So join along, my dear reader, as we take a stroll through the Sailor-verse™ and try to suss out how they all fit together. I hope you like puzzles, because this one’s a level 8!

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Why Is There No Sailor Sun in the Sailor Moon Universe?

Shush, Endymion, and let me tell you about my OC, Sailor Sun...

Shush, Endymion, and let me tell you about my OC, Sailor Sun…

The longer the Sailor Moon series went on, the more Sailor Soldiers we were introduced to, with Sailor Soldiers practically crawling out of the woodwork to join the cast in the fifth and final season, Sailor Stars.

And yet, despite the fact that we had countless Sailor Soldiers of planets, asteroids, dwarf planets, and even stars, there’s someone suspiciously absent from our solar system lineup: a Sailor Sun.

Today we’re going to talk about Sailor Sun’s absence in the Sailor Moon roster, and how this possibly relates all the way back to the Moon Kingdom and the Silver Crystal. I hope you left some room for breakfast, because this article is most definitely going to be sunny side up!1

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Are Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne Sisters?

Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne

Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne

Though hardly on the same level of the brutal Sailor Moon debates we’re used to dealing with here on this blog, the subject concerning the connection between Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne is one of those seemingly simple issues that the fans can never quite agree on.

If these two are sisters, then that opens up a whole new slew of questions, such as the nature of their seemingly romantic relationship and how two related people could each have their own Sailor Crystal. If they aren’t, why do they look so much alike??

Today we’ll be taking a look at Sailors Lethe and Mnemosyne — the so-called “sister Senshi” — to see if they really are related, and just what’s going on with all this Sailor Crystal confusion. You might want to grab a science book, because this whole issue is about to get astronomical!

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What Information Did Naoko Share With American Sailor Moon Fans?

Naoko Takeuchi at San Diego Comic-Con 1998

Naoko Takeuchi at San Diego Comic-Con 1998

I am what you could reasonably call a longtime Sailor Moon fan — a “lifer” if you will. I was there when the series was taken off the air, came back on the air, and was taken off again. Yours truly remembers when “new” episodes of Sailor Moon meant the last part of the Sailor Moon R anime that DiC never bothered to get around to dubbing.

And then there were the misguided Sailor Moon / Pop-Tarts campaigns.

Today we’re going to talk about something a little different: we’re going nearly 20 years into the past to talk about the time that Ms. Takeuchi addressed American Sailor Moon fans and answered some of our burning questions. It’s gonna get interesting, so stick around!

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