Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Codename: Sailor V

Before the world shattering successful manga-turned-anime that is Sailor Moon(set nostalgia factor for 10!), there was a still to this day lesser known prequel manga featuring Sailor V in her early days before the Sailor Scouts/Senshi/Soliders all get their act together. Naoka Takeuchi started out her Sailor Saga with a single heroine, and then some eager-minded corporate folk hipped her to the idea of creating an entire team of magical girls, a trend which has had serious ripples in the whole mahou-shoujo genre since then. Minako(Mina in the original TV dub)was Earth's first acting Sailor hero, and this chronicles her original adventures with nagging mentor Artemis. It was in Japan a 3-volume manga series, but was compiled for the first time in English by Kodansha Comics into two large volumes. Some of these chapters were actually released after the Sailor Moon manga had ended, but lead into the events of its beginning.

Minako Aino is your average "blonde" Japanese schoolgirl who is very athletic, loves video games, and a totally boy crazy(remind you of someone?). She's leading a semi-normal teenager's life when she's visited by a talking white cat named Artemis. He lets her know that she's got a special destiny as the Pretty Soldier, Sailor Venus, or just Sailor V to keep it short. There is an evil corporation called the Dark Agency that is in league with the Dark Kingdom((aka: the Negaverse), and they're trying to steal life energy from people to turn them into mind-controlled followers. Artemis gives Minako a magical pen which transforms her into Sailor V, as well as give her the ability to perform a sort of "Honey Flash" where she can disguise herself as anyone she can think of, regardless of age or gender, although her disguises usually end up appearing like a blonde girl. The Police aren't too happy with there being a masked crimefighter stopping these new mysterious new criminals, so the swooning fangirl Inspector Natsuna sets out to make her part of the SWAT team, and sicks the hapless officer Toshio to recruit her. All this leads to Minako getting help from another masked Phantom Ace, who it may or may not be working secretly for the Dark Agency.

Codename: Sailor V not totally essential if you're just interested in the main Sailor Moon storyline, but its still is a great manga read. It's got a great comedy element to it that a lot of the Sailor Moon manga usually only uses in the backup stories. I'd recommend this for any fan of seriously funny shoujo, or those who appreciate a superhero story with a winning sense of humor.

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