by Naoko Takeuchi
The first volume of Codename Sailor V was reviewed here.
Minako Aino may be only thirteen, but she's really taken her role as a champion of justice to heart. As Sailor V, she protects the city of Tokyo from the minions of the evil Dark Agency, prevents innocent animals from getting run over by cars, and stands on street corners soliciting charity donations for worthy causes! With such a hectic schedule, you'd think that Minako wouldn't find time for romance, but she always finds time for her favorite things: celebrities and boys. Right now, the hottest idol is Phantom Ace, and Minako's crazy about him...and handsome policeman Wakagi...and her classmate Otonaru...and...and...? Trouble's brewing and the stakes are high - when the time comes to settle down and be serious, will Sailor V be able to handle it?
In my last post, I mention that Codename Sailor V has three volumes. I wanted to clarify this further, since it could be confusing. When the chapters of the series were originally gathered up and put into book form in the 1990s, they were printed as three volumes. When the series was reprinted in 2004, it was consolidated into two books. When the story was translated in the United States, they kept the two-book format, so this volume does complete the series.
The story really evolves in this book. At the beginning, Sailor V indulges in the familiar episodic slapstick that propelled the first book from one adventure to the next. But somewhere in the middle, the story starts to take on a more serious, somber tone as memories of her past life begin to bubble up in Minako's subconscious. The connections between the world of Sailor Moon - the role of a sailor guardian, the Moon Kingdom, and so on – and Sailor V are coming together, and in the process Minako is maturing into the leader that she was always meant to be. She'll have to leave her days as a flashy superstar and teen idol behind to work in a much more covert team, but by the bittersweet conclusion Minako's ready.
In Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus doesn't really seem to get a lot of page time, and when she shows up she's already very dedicated to the mission and her duties as a soldier. It's been really cool to explore the character in greater depth and find out how she became that way. As a stand-alone series, I don't think Sailor V could work, since the final chapters are clearly written to lead into something else. But as a supplement to the main Sailor Moon series, I found it very enjoyable.
4 out of 5 stars
To read more about Codename Sailor V, Vol. 2, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2011: Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir
2010: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
2009: Winter's Child (Once Upon a Time series) by Cameron Dokey
2008: Event: Book Group Expo