We were so close to an animated Sailor V, and yet so far…
Rumors of the purported Codename: Sailor V anime have been with the fandom practically since the day Sailor Moon first hit the airwaves. And who could blame fans for the confusion? After all, even the Sailor Moon manga was confused about what its own title was in the lead up to the series debut.
Considering what a massive success the Sailor Moon franchise was proving to be — not only on TV, but in movie theaters, on stage, and in the manga as well — it seems like a spin-off series should have been a sure thing.
So what happened?
Today we’re going to take a look at what information we do know about the Codename: Sailor V anime, see how far it made it into production, and come up with a few theories of our own as to why it never saw the light of day. Put on your hard hats, ’cause we’re digging deep!
Codename: Sailor V (and Artemis!)
Despite being the font from where the whole sailor-suited magical girl genre got its start, the Codename: Sailor V always seems to find itself in the shadow of its more famous offspring, Sailor Moon.
While it probably is no surprise to most of you reading this that the series debuted prior to the latter’s creation — if only by a couple of months — what many don’t realize is that the Sailor V manga was originally written and released out of order, only to be recompiled in the proper order we’re all familiar with in the compiled tankobon releases.
Today we’re going to talk about these timeline mix-ups, the possible reasons therefore, and how Sailor V was branded in light of its connection with Sailor Moon!
Stick around — you’re going to want to read this one in order!
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 42nd, 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!
In search of the missing link
Now that it’s been over a quarter of a century since Sailor Moon first hit bookshelves, and hit the airwaves shortly after that, I doubt it’s really much of a surprise to anyone to hear that another series by Ms. Takeuchi, Codename: Sailor V, served as a precursor to our favorite series.
And if you didn’t know… well, surprise! Now you do. Since I have a strict “one tidbit per post” rule, I guess that means that we call get to just go home then.
… or, I could finish what I started.
Today we’ll be talking about the creative process that was involved in turning a one-shot manga starring the no-nonsense beauty Sailor V and her sidekick kitty-pal Artemis into the multimedia powerhouse starring a full-fledged Sailor Team.
I hope you join along for the ride!