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!
♪ 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!
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 41st, 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!
Minako plays for keeps in volleyball
When I say “Minako Aino,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? … after “Sailor Venus” … and “Sailor V” … yeah, after “Artemis” too.
Okay, fine. When I say “Minako Aino” and “favorite sport that you see her engage in occasionally throughout the Sailor Moon anime and manga,” what comes to mind? That’s right, volleyball! Glad we’re on the same page.
While there isn’t really anything terribly remarkable on the surface about the fact that Minako plays volleyball, it turns out that there may actually be yet another of Ms. Takeuchi’s many hidden references when you dig a little deeper.
I hope you’re paying attention, because today we’re going to serve a volley of information your way!
Don’t feel bad, Mina-P! We all have weak points…
As odd as I’m sure it sounds, this is actually an article I’ve wanted to write about for a long time. Quite simply, it combines two of my favorite activities: talking about Japanese and looking at the minutia of the world of Sailor Moon.
If you’ve got a moment, why not join along as I throw out a possible theory as to why Minako seems to occasionally struggle with the intricacies of the Japanese language.