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Codename: Sailor V (コードネームはセーラーＶ Kōdonēmu wa Sērā V) was 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 Minako Aino as Sailor V before she teamed up with the other members of the Sailor Senshi.
In 1991, Takeuchi, known for her previous manga, The Cherry Project, was offered to write a short story about anything she wished. Being a fan of both the Magical Girl genre and Tokusatsu shows, 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 amount of potential it could have. They contacted Takeuchi with the intent to create an anime from this duel 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, Codename's chapters 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, somewhat absentminded, and dreams about finding her true love one day. Her calm and normal life changes when 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 solider 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 beautiful Guardian of Justice, Sailor V. Sailor V begins to fight 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 senshi and realizes that her duty to protect the 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 (shinzouban) - 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 (shinzouban) - 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|
Connection to Other Series
In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Sailor V has also 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 releases have 15 acts, while the shinzōban releases have 16. This is due to Naoko Takeuchi deciding to take the final act, "A New Journey Begins" and divide it into two parts for the re-release. The content remains unchanged.
- All of the inner senshi from Sailor Moon make cameos.