"Codename: Sailor V" (コードネームはセーラーＶ Koudoneemu wa Seeraa Bui) is a manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi, and is the predecessor of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. The manga was serialized from 1991 to 1997 and followed the adventures of 13-year-old Minako Aino as Sailor V before she teamed up with the other Sailor Guardians.
In 1991, Takeuchi, known for her previous manga The Cherry Project, was offered the opportunity to write a short story about anything she wished. Being a fan of both the Magical Girl and Tokusatsu genres, she decided to combine the two. The result was a one-shot title, Codename: Sailor V, featuring a young girl who could transform into a hero to fight the forces of evil.
Toei Animation caught wind of the story and saw the potential it could have. They contacted Takeuchi with the intent to create an anime from this dual concept, except there would be more than just one character who could transform. That idea would later turn into Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon.
Due to Takeuchi writing both Codename: Sailor V and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon simultaneously, the chapters of Codename: Sailor V were released more sporadically and ended up being much shorter than Sailor Moon. It concluded in 1997 with a total of fifteen chapters.
Codename: Sailor V tells the story of Minako Aino, a 13-year-old middle school student who is outspoken, absentminded, and dreams about finding her true love one day. Her calm and normal life changes after she encounters a white cat with a crescent moon on its forehead. The cat introduces himself as Artemis and claims that Minako is a girl with the power to transform into a guardian more powerful and beautiful than anyone else. He bestows upon her a mission to protect the Earth in the name of her guardian planet, Venus.
To help her with this mission, Artemis grants her two items, a crescent moon shaped compact and a magical pen. The pen allows her to transform into her alter-ego, the sailor-suited and beautiful Guardian of Justice, Sailor V. Sailor V fights against the agents of the Dark Agency, headed by the mysterious Danburite.
At the end of the series, Minako remembers her previous life with the other Sailor Senshi and realizes that her duty to protect the moon princess is more important than romance. Shedding her identity as Sailor V, she begins her true mission as Sailor Venus.
|1||Japanese (original release) - Act 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6||192||December 18, 1993|
|Japanese (shinsouban) - Act 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8||276||October 29, 2004|
|English (original release) -Act 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8||272||September 13, 2011|
|2||Japanese (original release) - Act 7 • 8 • 9 • 10||193||October 22, 1994|
|Japanese (shinsouban) - Act 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16||290||November 22, 2004|
|English (original release) - Act 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16||296||November 15, 2011|
|3||Japanese (original release) - Act 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15||188||November 6, 1997|
Connections to Other Series
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Sailor V appeared in the live-action series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Her awakening, weapons, and attacks were different, but this depiction of Sailor V stayed true to her original manga counterpart. She had a small following of young girls who wished to be like her, including Sailor K, Sailor N, and Sailor M.
Sailor V to Sailor Moon Characters
- The original manga release had 15 acts, while the shinsouban releases had 16. This is due to Takeuchi deciding to take the final act, "A New Journey Begins" and divide it into two parts for the re-release. The actual content remains unchanged.
- All of the Inner Sailor Senshi from Sailor Moon make cameos.
- Usagi Tsukino has three; she appears at the end of Chapter 5 along with Naru Osaka, in Chapter 6, and in Chapter 16 as Princess Serenity in Minako's flashback of the Silver Millennium.
- Rei Hino makes an appearance later in Chapter 6 and Chapter 16 as Sailor Mars in Minako's flashback of the Silver Millenium.
- Ami Mizuno shows up in Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 as Sailor Mercury in Minako's flashback of the Silver Millenium.
- Makoto Kino appears twice in Chapter 16; first as Sailor Jupiter in Minako's flashback, and at the end of the chapter in her civilian form.
- Chapter 9 has a similar plot to Sailor Moon Episode 4: Learn How to Be Skinny from Usagi