Codename Sailor V Volume 1 Manga Review

Codename Sailor V Volume 1

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Codename Sailor V Volume 1The Sailor Moon franchise is well known to me, so when Kodansha Comics decided to license the manga, including the Codename Sailor V manga that started it all, I decided that I needed to give it a read and see what it was all about.  Reading this, I’m kinda surprised it launched such a beloved franchise.

The manga features AINO Minako, aka “Mina-chan,” who is a 13-year old junior high school girl who is pretty, is good at sports, loves video games at the game center (arcade), but is not good at schoolwork because she doesn’t apply herself. A talking cat named Artemis comes by her home and tells her she’s been chosen, even taking her to space and showing her a castle in orbit of the planet Venus, which is Mina’s. After coaching her on transforming into Sailor Venus, Mina’s first assignment ends up taking down the older teen she has a crush on as he’s alien and evil.

Mina receives communications from someone called “Boss,” and they have a secret HQ under the local game center that Mina loves to frequent. As the manga progresses, Mina even has a Sailor V video game at the arcade (marking the entrance of the secret HQ).  Mina is drawn in such a way that she looks seventeen, not thirteen, with long legs and an adult-sized chest. Takeuchi-sensei loves having Sailor Venus perform high kicks to accentuate the legs, enhanced by Sailor Venus’s short skirt costume.

Thus, the pattern of episodic stories begins.  Mina either crushes on someone or becomes a fan of some idol or idol group.  In all cases, these people are “the enemy,” belonging to something called the Dark Agency, and for whatever reason, they want to enslave Japan and get energy from humans. Mina is often reluctant to believe these people could be the enemy, but when she gets involved, she quickly kicks butt.  Her exploits at taking out criminals even have the local female police Inspector General a big fan, though she keeps it quiet and plans to recruit “V-chan” into the force (though one male police officer hates Sailor Venus for showing them up).

Because of how the stories are done, this first volume is pretty much “fluffy bunny” material.  I do like that despite how lacking in substance Codename Sailor V is, Mina in her Sailor V mode goes ahead and does what is needed and is good at what she does.  So that is a redeeming feature for the manga.

I did notice that there appear to be a couple of cameos from some of the Sailor Moon chicks as Codename Sailor V went on. I gather that since the Kodansha Comic’s release is turning the original 3-volume series into 2-volumes, combined with Takeuchi-sensei supposedly initially only planning on a 1-volume story run, the cameos by the Sailor Moon girls are to make sure the two manga series are officially linked.

On the Kodansha side, a few color pages are included at the start of the volume, which is much appreciated. The normal translator notes are included, as are honorifics (sans brother/sister honorifics).

Since there’s one more volume to get, I’ll go ahead and get it.  However, I’m not sure this has any real reread value for me.  When my nieces get older, it will be interesting to see how they like the manga though.

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2 Responses to “Codename Sailor V Volume 1 Manga Review”

  1. PockyCrumbs says:

    Hi! Great Review! I’ve just finished reviewing this manga myself on my blog and came across your entry while checking info and looking for good manga images. Your review is probably a bit better than mine because yours has a simple and clean plot summary. Still I would appreciate you taking a look at my blog if you have the time! I want to be more connected to fellow blogger/Manga fans/reviewers!

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