Monday, 20 November 2017

Book Review ♡ Codename: Sailor V by Naoko Takeuchi

I mentioned - both on here and Instagram - that Daniel bought me the entire set of Sailor Moon manga for our fourth anniversary, and I was over the moon. After blasting through the first five volumes and loving them, I happened to read something about the two volumes Codename: Sailor V, and how they really make you see Venus in a different light - and that you should ideally read them before you read Sailor Moon. 

So, I ordered myself both volumes of Codename: Sailor V and put off reading any more of the Sailor Moon manga until I had learned about Sailor V's backstory. Whilst I will go into more explanation below, I am just going to start off by saying that I was more let down by these two volumes than I was impressed. 

I had no idea they were so similar to the anime, and I honestly just didn't care to see Minako acting the same way as Usagi. I know that my opinion is heavily affected by the fact that I saw the 90's English dub of the anime first, then read the Sailor Moon manga, and then finally read the Sailor V manga, when they all came out in reverse order, but it is what it is.

Everyone says that Codename: Sailor V makes you see Minako in a different way due to the fact that you're getting to see her backstory, how she became a scout, and how she find out what her destiny was (I'll get to that), and yes, the ending of the second volume was pretty shocking. Minako found out a lot about herself, her past, and her future that forced her to grow up real quick, and I admire her for that, but I still can't shake away the memory of who she was throughout the entire manga.

When I picture Minako/Sailor Venus, I do not see her as a lazy, boy-obsessed, hungry, tired, crybaby - but that's exactly how she is in this manga. Once again, this is purely because I am used to Usagi being this way, and Minako being a calm and mature person who has always seemed to be wise beyond her years. Even with everything she went through, it's difficult for to me to imagine her going from being an Usagi-clone, to the Minako we know and love.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I can forgive Minako for being that way as she is only a 13-year-old girl, and 13-year-old girls can be childish and annoying - but they don't have to be rude. Some of the things Minako said to Artemis, and the times she made him cry, really didn't sit right with me. At one point she said, "That thing doesn't even belong at our place", to which Artemis replied, "Am I lower than a pet to you?" I'm a huge animal lover, so that kind of hurt me, but I may just be splitting hairs here.

Something else that surprised me about this book was the appearance of Usagi and the other Scouts. I was under the impression that Naoko Takeuchi had written Codename: Sailor V, and then later decided to re-work the story so that Minako was part of a group, but it's evident that that was her plan all along. Which makes me wonder: why did she make Usagi so similar to Minako? Why not make Minako the main character? She had all the same characteristics - her best friend even looked like Ami!


I know I've spent this entire post complaining about what I didn't like about this manga, but don't get me wrong, I did actually like it. I love this universe and Naoko's writing. I do wish we had gotten some insight on why Minako chose to wait until all the Scouts had been found before joining them; it seems as though she could have lent a hand at rounding them up!

My absolute favourite part was the end, when it was revealed to Minako that her destiny is to be Sailor Venus, and nothing else. Even though Artemis had mentioned earlier that she was prohibited from falling in love, I don't think Minako really understood what he was saying: her duty is to protect the princess, not fall in love - despite being the Guardian of Love. Whilst she took the news quite well, as if that's what she had expected all along, I still think that would have been a tough pill to swallow.

Until next time,

Indya xx