When thinking of characters from the Sailor Moon universe, the titular character and her four inner senshi allies will perhaps be the first to come to mind. However before Sailor Moon began her battle against evil, Sailor V was already hard at work in the manga, anime, or live action timelines.
This #mooniemondays blog post is dedicated to highlighting some of our favorite Sailor guardians. Read on to learn more about Sailor V!
The original Sailor Senshi
In real world terms, Naoko Takeuchi created Minako Aino, a.k.a. Sailor V before she created Sailor Moon and the two volume story Codename Sailor V chronicled the early adventures of the original Champion of Justice. Editorial decisions pushed Takeuchi to develop a team of Sailor Senshi and the Sailor Moon manga series began taking the spotlight off of Minako and on to Usagi Tsukino a.k.a. Sailor Moon.
Minako’s cat companion Artemis drops the news on her that she’s Sailor Venus but then proceeds to give her a moon based power item. She breaks out attacks that will appear again in her time in Sailor Moon but also some that will disappear as her Venus identity takes full hold. Minako encounters some supernatural baddies fairly quickly and has to vanquish them. Her role as a vanguard meshes with her manga role as being leader of the inner Sailor Senshi. Interestingly enough her future companions do appear in cameos as Naoko was laying the groundwork for what is to come.
The Difference Between Minako and Usagi
Minako and Usagi are similar yet different. Though in the Sailor V series, Minako is more Usagi-like than in her other incarnations. She is prone to impulsive and immature flights of fancy, though such things are not unheard of among thirteen year olds. Though she is more athletic and less of a klutz than Usagi. We see a Minako who is coming to grips with the responsibility she holds to defend the planet, but she still fights for a normal life and in search of love. This is a tension Usagi will also feel, though Minako by the time the senshi meet her, has mature while having more time to adapt. She also knows a lot more about the senshi’s pasts and her own destiny. Like Sailor Moon, Sailor V is aided by a handsome character, this time it is a white clad figure called Ace, though his actions will prove to be far different than Tuxedo Mask’s. Minako in the manga holds a leadership role among the senshi.
Minako is the only main character senshi that is known to have had a different persona, even if slightly different, than her eventual planet based self. She also is charged at times with masquerading as a target of the big bads to draw them off the scent of their real target. Before Sailor Moon puts on her red white and blue outfit, Sailor V has one first. Her Sailor V outfit is also different in design than her Sailor Venus uniform. Though as Sailor Venus she retains a red hair bow, and a blue chest bow perhaps hearkening back to her original design.
Different paths taken
Sailor Moon Crystal
While Sailor V’s backstory is presumed intact in the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime, it is not shown. In the original anime though, Sailor V’s past is different in that she fights crime with a police colleague in London, but later disappears after an explosion at a crime scene. She ends up in Japan inspiring an anime series and product franchise. Original anime Minako has her manga self’s confidence, though she doesn’t get to show the leadership abilities that she does in the Manga. This role disappears. In fact she at times has to deal with being seen as a Usagi clone to audiences.
Live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
In the live action series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, she is seen battling with Tuxedo Mask back in his jewelry store robbing days. Her Sailor V self largely remains as she becomes Sailor Venus, though Minako in the live action is far more serious than her other selves, consumed by duty and rarely having fun. Also Minako, an idol star, is far more of a brand than Sailor V was.
While many of the Sailor Senshi have past adventures that begin prior to the awakening of Sailor Moon herself, Sailor V’s was the first story told. It is fascinating to see the precursor to the iconic hero getting her own story arc before becoming just one of the heroes fighting along side Sailor Moon. It is rare, though not unheard of, for a part of an ensemble to get their own prelude and often those prequels are made after not before the series they appear in. It creates an interesting case of what if regarding a character whose development could have gone in a variety of directions.
What do you like about Sailor V? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @geekgalsco!
Featured image credit: Toei Animation