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Review: Codename: Sailor V, volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi

>>Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Title: Codename: Sailor V
Author: Naoko Takeuchi
Series: Codename: Sailor V Deluxe Editions #1
Format: Manga
Pages: 272
Genre: Shojo, Magical Girl, Comedy
Publication Date: September 13th, 2011
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: C+

From Goodreads: Like Sailor Moon, Minako Aino is a normal 13-year-old schoolgirl until a fateful day when a white cat introduces himself to her and tells her she has the power to transform into the hero, Sailor V. Using a magic pen to transform, Sailor V fights the evil agents of the Dark Agency as she strives to protect the earth.

Codename: Sailor V, created by the author before she created the mega-popular Sailor Moon, has never before been available in the U.S.

Why did I read this book? I'm a huge Sailor Moon fan. It was the first anime I ever saw and then became the first manga I ever read. Naturally, I've always wanted to read the Sailor V manga, and now I finally can!

Source: Bought

My Review
Codename: Sailor V was the predecessor to Takeuchi’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and was never translated to English, until now. It’s the story of Sailor V, or Sailor Venus and how she becomes a sailor senshi. Minako Aino is a first year middle school student who loves to sleep, eat, play video games. She’s approached by a talking white cat, Artemis, who tries to get her to realize her potential as a hero.

The first thing I noticed about Minako’s story is that it’s very similar to Usagi’s (Sailor Moon). Their personalities are very similar (both love video games, not very good students, outgoing ) while some characterizations are the same as well. Minako has many references to the moon and even has a crescent –shaped compact for transforming. I even though Minako’s mother looked and acted an awful like Usagi’s. This isn’t really a bad thing, it’s actually kind of cool to see how Takeuchi developed the character of Sailor Moon and what the role this series played in that.

Reading this was reminding me all the things I loved about Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: the light-hearted shojo and school life story and the beautiful artwork. Takeuchi knows how to draw gorgeous pictures, however, some of the action scenes in this volume were lacking in detail.

As for the story – we aren’t given much substance. For many of the first chapters, the enemies and storylines felt very repetitive to the point where I was starting to wonder if the story was going to go anywhere. Luckily, the last two chapters were better. One of them was my favorite, where Sailor V wins a trip to Hawaii and hilarity ensues.

Rating: C+
Overall, I loved getting to follow along in Takeuchi’s and Minako’s journey to Sailor Moon through Codename: Sailor V. As an existing fan I enjoyed all those things I fondly remember. This volume is fun, light and features some great artwork as we know Takeuchi can do. I would mostly recommended this to those who are interested in the history of the Sailor Moon series or are particularly fond of the character Sailor V.

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