Aino Minako was just a normal girl until a talking white cat named Artemis transformed her into the super heroine SailorV! Now Minako's duty is to fight evil, but with already having troubles in her love life and regular interests (not to mention her school work), what's a girl to do with so much responsibility? Everyone's always hearing about SailorV in Takeuchi Naoko's other series, Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon, so here's her story!
On a night that Neo Nobility was down, I decided to finally get around to reading "Codename: Sailor V" on MangaFox. I finished less than two days later. "Codename: Sailor V" was exactly what I expected it to be.
Story: Plot wise, the story wasn't special. You know the early filler episodes of Sailor Moon that involved the enemies stealing energy in whatever way they can? That is basically what the entire Sailor V manga was. Although it's not as good as Sailor Moon plot wise, it is funnier. There are a few moments that made me laugh out loud, such as the part where
Minako calls Artemis a transvestite because he had a girls' name. My biggest complaint with the story is that most of the manga is filler like, and all of the important stuff is jammed into the last chapter. (Which was a lot longer than the other chapters.)
Art: The art was really good. I absolutely love Naoko Takeuchi's art. It's very pretty.
Character: Minako is one of my favorite Sailor Moon characters, so reading an entire manga dedicated to her was pretty fun. All of the "first loves" that she had were funny, and I found her first impression of what Artemis was telling her more believable than Usagi's with Luna. Speaking of Artemis, he was pretty cool in this too, especially when he was making fun of Mina.
Enjoyment/Overall: This manga was nothing all that special. However, seeing where the inspiration for Sailor Moon came from was rather interesting. It was also cool reading a manga dedicated to Mina. I'll give this a seven.
Codename : Sailor V was originally written as a one shot in the summer season issue of RunRun by Naoko Takeuchi, most famously known for writing the series ' squeal, Sailor Moon. Shortly after, it began its serial run also in RunRun and was later complied into 3 volumes by Kodansha. As of 2011, Kodansha Comics USA has condensed those 3 volumes into 2 and released both in English.
The Sailor V serial focuses around Minako Aino, your typical Japanese middle schooler. She's somewhat lackadaisical, but is still free spirited and energetic. One day, she encounters a mysterious talking cat
named Artemis, who informs her of her powers and what her true purpose on Earth is. In the beginning of the manga, Minako doesn't really take her job as a sailor senshi seriously, but, by the end, she is a true hero. Personally, I loved how this manga develops Minako as a character. I find her to be extremely likable and fun to follow. By the end of the manga, I have to say that Minako is probably my favorite sailor senshi besides Sailor Moon herself.
As for the visuals of the manga, they are absolutely gorgeous. I'm a big fan of 90's manga with clean, thin lines. While the character design is rather simplistic, how Takeuchi draws each characters' expressions just breathes life into them. As an artist myself, I can really appreciate how beautiful each panel is. I hope that one day I can be as talented as Takeuchi-sensei.
Overall, I'd say that it's a wonderful and enjoyable read that any fan of the magical girl genre should have. I suggest to read it before diving into the Sailor Moon series, as it is set before it.
Currently, Codename : Sailor V is licences in English by Kodansha Comics USA and available for purchase.
This manga is the prequel to the all-famous franchise. Originally, it was supposed to be only a oneshot but Naoko decided to continue it as “Sailor Moon”.
But is it any good? Is it really worth the read to learn about Sailor Venus’s origins and why she managed to get Artemis?
Well, you won’t really miss much if you don’t. The manga was only supposed to be a oneshot after all, and it shows.
The battles itself are really episodic and really formulaic – Minako nearly falls into a villain’s trap where they’re to get human energy by manipulating means and she defeats them. Artemis tries to motivate
her and Minako is rather mean towards him and all the while trying her best to avoid responsibility. She doesn’t relate as well as Usagi would later but it’s still rather enjoyable as Minako and Usagi are pretty alike.
Boy-crazy, bad grades in school, a ton of friends, but Minako’s way more athletic and way more into idols than Usagi. Minako, at least, takes her job seriously by the end when her memories of the past returned to her and takes things better in stride.
When Artemis first shows up and gives Minako the power to become Sailor V, she just accepts it although she does say that she never said it was okay from time to time.
There is a sub-plot where the police wants to stop her from doing vigilante work (although, the superintendent general is a huge Sailor V fan and would rather recruit her) but it doesn’t really go anywhere other than mishaps here and there.
In the later chapters, they’re cast aside but Sailor V does join up in the end for part time, so I guess it worked for them in the end.
As for the art, it’s still very her unique style but there are a few problems in this manga, even though it’s an early work:
The character models look almost exactly like the Senshi (although they do appear here and there as a teaser of what’s to come) and other side characters from “Sailor Moon”.
Sometimes, Minako doesn’t even look like a middle school student (except for when she’s in disguise) – she either looks too old or too young. It’s rather jarring.
Scenes are a little hard to tell – when things are serious, it can take the reader out when there’s chibis and it’s hard to tell if there’s certain scenes meant to be taken seriously or not. It’s a little hard to understand what’s going on in between scenes and even pages because of how mixed up everything is.
The anatomy of the characters are off. Sometimes it just looks downright weird!
Granted, as mentioned before, this is her early work so hopefully it’s improved in her other manga. It is a little annoying, though, with all the side notes everywhere. Sometimes I would have to spend a little too much time on the page just to make sure I got every piece of text that’s on there. If there was a need for extra dialogue, though, it would have been better off using that for more exposition on Minako’s position.
For a prequel, it’s fine. It’s not really a must-read but if you’ve always wondered where Minako got her iconic red ribbon, how she became Sailor V, and to read some of her adventures, then it’s fun. It gets a little boring with the episodic fights and the clones of the “Sailor Moon” characters but if that doesn’t bother you at all, then sure – go right ahead and pick this up!
I would say that reading a lot of manga is boring and hard to get into, but since I watched Sailor Moon before reading Codename Sailor V, I had Minako's voice already in my head and her mannerisms were the same and really enjoyable for me. I have only read volume 1 so far and it is more story than fighting which I LOVE. Her character is charming and funny just like you'd expect! Great so far. Read this if you want to know Minako's story.
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