Codename: Sailor V Volume 2

Codename: Sailor V Volume 2 by Naoko Takeuchi

The fun part of Sailor V for me continues to center around seeing Takeuchi work out some of the plot lines and characters that are explored more fully in Sailor Moon, with the benefit of a more breezy angst-free heroine. The most hilarious aspect of the book is the sudden appearance of Sailor V’s latest crush, Phantom Ace. I know some people may find Sailor Moon’s boyfriend Tuxedo Mask, what with his tuxedo, mask, and habit of throwing roses everywhere, but Phantom Ace seems to enjoy running around town throwing playing cards while wearing some sort of bizarre girdle over his clothes. It is truly something else. Sailor V fights off evildoers who are trying to make girls pudgy with mysterious candy, deals with her own loss of popularity when she slacks off on her public appearances, foils a plan involving brainwashing kittens, and even assists a hapless mangaka.

Gradually the threats that Mina has to deal with move from being the typical formulaic monster of the week to adventures that involve a little more of the emotions and personalities of the characters. Mina intervenes in the life of one of her classmates who has always been a loner. She tries to pursue Phantom Ace and in the process learns that she’s going to have to choose duty over love, which is about as unshoujo-like an ending as I’ve ever read in shoujo manga. Perhaps because Mina is fated to become a supporting cast member in another character’s manga, she’s not going to get the typical happy ending in her own series. While the storylines in Sailor V were not particularly complex, I do think that reading this series gave me more of an appreciation of Sailor V when she makes her dramatic appearance in Sailor Moon. Mina appears as a character who is already familiar, and it was fun to see how much she’d evolved between the ending of her own series and her new supporting role in Sailor Moon.

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