The staple of the magical girl genre, Sailor Moon is based on the Japanese manga created by Naoko Takeuchi. It has become one of the most popular and most recognizable anime and manga titles.
The various members of the Sailor Scouts each have their fair share of secrets. Sailor Venus, with the powers of love and light, fights alongside the Sailor Scouts. She is guided by her talking cat, Artemis. The fifth member to join the Sailor Scouts, Venus came with plenty of backstory behind her. Sailor Venus (also known as Sailor V) has a lot of secrets that many fans may not be aware of.
Besides having her own manga series with a proposed anime adaptation, this "Soldier of Light and Beauty" had a past as a crime-fighter in England in an episode of Sailor Moon never dubbed in English, killed Queen Beryl, died in the live-action show, and much, much more. Learn more about this champion of justice with Sailor Moon: 15 Things You Didn't Know About Sailor Venus.
When Sailor Moon was being dubbed into English, several episodes were cut entirely. One such episode featured the first appearance of Sailor Venus and explored her background in-depth. The episode was titled "Sailor Venus' Past! Minako's Tragic Love." It was not dubbed by DiC, though it did later get dubbed by Viz.
During the episode, it flashes to half a year ago when Minako was in London. She fights crime and becomes good friends with a policewoman by the name of Katarina. She also falls for an older boy named Alan and introduces him to Katarina - the three of them become the best of friends.
Minako lived a good life as the crime fighter Sailor V, but all good things must come to an end! Eventually, Sailor V gets caught in an explosion and Katarina believes she is dead. However, Minako survives, but she sees Alan and Katarina are together romantically. She decides to leave the two of them alone. Minako went to America, where she joined the Sailor Scouts. In present day, Katarina is targeted by Minako's enemies because she knows her true identity. Sailor Venus ends up saving her and the two make up.
Codename: Sailor V was created by Naoko Takeuchi before she came out with the sequel manga series, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. The series followed the magical schoolgirl Minako Aino who protects the people of Earth. The manga begins with the 13-year-old Minako in middle school. She meets Artemis, a white talking cat with a crescent moon on his forehead. He gives her the ability to transform into Sailor Venus using a magical pen. Minako takes on the form of Sailor Venus, but calls herself Sailor V, and begins fighting crime.
The manga began as a one-shot but ended up having 15 chapters (16 if you count Takeuchi splitting the last chapter up into two). Takeuchi wrote Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon at the same time as Codename: Sailor V, and it ended up overshadowing her original project. This meant that Codename had shorter chapters that were released less consistently than Sailor Moon.
A couple of characters from Codename even had their likenesses used in Sailor Moon and every Sailor Soldier from the sequel cameoed in the manga. So the sister series ended up surpassing the original.
Naoko Takeuchi was contacted by Toei Animation, who heard about Codename: Sailor V (before Sailor Moon was released). They were interested in creating an anime based on it, but they wanted multiple characters to have the ability to transform. So, eventually, the Sailor Moon anime was born and Codename: Sailor V stayed as just a manga. There was an OVA teased to promote the manga, but it never came to fruition.
Sailor V did (sort of) get her own video game, though. A prototype of Codename: Sailor V - The Game, a side-scrolling game similar to Streets of Rage, was developed by Vladimir Kutiakov's collective "Caroline Software Incorporated." It was released on the NEC PC-88 and NEC PC-98 systems back in 1993. The game was based on the fictional Sailor V game from the Sailor Moon anime.
Just like the other Sailor Scouts, Minako has several image songs, which are tie-in singles created for the purpose of exploring the personality of the character in question. Sailor Venus has several songs in the original anime, including "I Saw Your Dream" from the first season, "I'll Stand Alone" from the second season, and "The Goddess of Love's 'How to Love'" in Sailor Stars. She also sings the song "Route Venus" in two separate episode.
Sailor Venus has several songs in the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series, in large part because she is a pop idol in the show. Not only does she have her image songs, she also has the songs she herself sings. In the show, she releases her second album, which is called Venus. Her most popular song on the album is "C'est La Vie," which is also a pun on her name, Sailor V. Her other songs include "Venus Over My Shoulder", "Romance", "Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang!", "Sayonara ~ Sweet Days", and "Happy Time, Happy Life." She also shares the song "Friend" with the rest of the Sailor Senshi.
In the Sailor Moon musicals, Sailor Venus has the song "Traditional the Grace ~Storm of Love~." She also shares the song "We Can't Be Soldiers of Love Forever" with the rest of the Sailor Senshi.
Sailor Venus goes by several identities, meaning she has a lot of different names. Her Japanese name, Aino Minako, means "Beautiful Child of Love," which relates to her beauty, youth and powers of love. Aino refers to "the only one," which could be a reference to how Minako was alone when she first started fighting crime as a Sailor Senshi. Her North American name, Mina, also means "love."
Her Sailor Senshi name seems to represent the Roman goddess of love, Venus; the actual planet of Venus is Kinsei (金星) in Japanese, which translates to "metal star." This relates to her power to control light and metal. She has a metal beaded chain that she wears on her belt which she can use to trap her opponents or save her friends. She also has a metallic crescent boomerang.
Rica Fukami (the voice of Myung Fang Lone in Macross Plus) voiced Aino Minako/Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon. She had a stand-in, Nanae Sumitomo (the voice of Fuji Shizuku in Battle Arena Toshinden 3), for parts of episode 163 during Sailor Moon Super S. The DiC English dub of the show had Stephanie Morgenstern (the voice of Yin and Chung Pow Kitties in Yin Yang Yo!) voice the character for the first 89 episodes, and three movies. But Emilie-Claire Barlow (the voice of Courtney in Total Drama All Stars) took over the role for Cloverway's dub of episodes 90 to 166.
Cherami Leigh (the voice of Lucy in Fairy Tail) voices Sailor Venus in the Viz Media dub of Sailor Moon. She actually found out she had landed the role when she was on the way to the rehearsal dinner for her wedding. In Sailor Moon Crystal, Minako was voiced by Shizuka Itô (the voice of Lenalee Lee and others in D. Gray-man) in the Japanese version and Cherami Leigh reprised her voice role for the English dub.
In the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon TV show, Sailor Venus was played by actress Ayaka Komatsu. In the musicals, Sailor Venus has been portrayed by over a dozen actresses, including Nana Suzuki, Ayumi Murata, Mizuki Watanabe, and Momoko Shibuya.
Despite being the fifth member to join Sailor Moon's team (the last one in the first season), Sailor Venus is actually the first Sailor Senshi to awaken and transform. Minako met Artemis when she was 13. He gave her the ability to transform with her magical pen a year before Serena learned she was Sailor Moon.
Sailor V is mentioned in the manga and anime before she finally appears as Sailor Venus. So of the five original Sailor Scouts, Sailor Venus has been fighting evil the longest. In the anime, she worked alone in England fighting against the forces of the Dark Agency.
Sailor V is actually a role model to Sailor Moon in the anime. Serena frequently plays the video game starring the crime fighting heroine at Game Center Crown. After Sailor V takes off her red mask and is revealed to be Sailor Venus, she never takes on the moniker or disguise of Sailor V in present day again.
While all of the Sailor Scouts have fought the Dark Kingdom (also known as the Negamoon), Sailor Venus was the only Sailor Scout to fight the Dark Agency, a sub-division of the Dark Kingdom. The group was dedicated to gathering energy for the Dark Kingdom by using idols. Unlike the main enemies in the Sailor Moon series, this group was widespread, operating outside of Japan. They were led by Kunzite's underling Danburite
Danburite's backstory is closely linked with Sailor Venus. He's the reincarnation of Adonis, who died in the attack on Silver Millennium. In his past life he fell in love with Sailor Venus, but it was an unrequited love; she became his obsession after he was reincarnated.
Danburite tried to get closer to Sailor V and even pretended to be an actor in an attempt to get Minako to fall for him. He was successful, breaking Minako's heart when he showed her his true colors.
Queen Beryl met different fates in the Sailor Moon anime and manga. In the original anime, Sailor Moon (as Princess Serenity) uses her Moon Stick to defeat Queen Beryl. This was changed to Sailor Moon killing Beryl by destroying her necklace with a sword in Sailor Moon Crystal. However, Queen Beryl's original death was not at the hands of Sailor Moon, but rather Sailor Venus.
Venus kills Queen Beryl using a Stone Sword, stabbing her in her torso so she could save Sailor Moon. She almost gets to kill her in Sailor Moon Crystal, attacking Beryl with a Holy Blade to save the Sailor Scouts. However, Beryl was able to shield herself from the attack. That's when Sailor Moon takes the blade from her to destroy the necklace that gives Queen Beryl her power.
Yes, all the Sailor Scouts have secret identities, but Sailor Venus takes things a bit further. Not only is she a Sailor Scout, but she has also been a crime fighting heroine who went by the identity Sailor V. Because she's become such a household name, she gets her own Sailor V video game, and before any of the Sailor Scouts meet her, they've already heard of Sailor V.
Just like Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus also has the ability to disguise herself using the crescent moon compact she got from Artemis. None of the other Sailor Scouts have this ability. Venus uses it frequently in Codename: Sailor Venus but only sparingly in Sailor Moon. She uses it once during the Exam Battle side stories to transform into a student at T·A Academy for Girls, and another time in Sailor Moon Crystal to become a Mugen Academy student so she can go to a concert.
In the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series, she lives a double-identity as both a pop idol and heroine.
Sailor Venus looks strikingly similar to Sailor Moon, and the Moon Kingdom uses this to their advantage. In the manga, anime and live-action show Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Minako pretends to be the Moon Princess, Princess Serenity. She and Artemis came up with this plan to throw off the Dark Kingdom and protect the real Princess Serenity. She kept up the charade until Serena finally awakened and was revealed to be the real Princess of the Moon.
Venus is the only other Sailor Scout besides Sailor Moon with the ability to disguise herself using a crescent compact. In the anime, Sailor Venus uses Sailor Moon's disguise pen once to become Sailor Moon (with pigtails). This was to trick Kaolinite into returning Sailor Moon's Cosmic Heart Compact.
Each planet has a graphical symbol in astrology/astronomy known as a planet symbol. These symbols appear on the foreheads of the Sailor Scouts and during their signature attacks. There is also a metal associated with each planet. While Sailor Venus' planet symbol is pretty accurate (with the exception of the circle being exchanged for a heart), her metal is not.
Each symbol represents a specific type of metal allied with each planet, based on alchemy. The actual metal associated with Venus is copper. However, Sailor Venus has an orange gem with gold in it instead. Gold should actually be associated with the sun. The word Venus in Japanese is Kinsei, which (in addition to meaning "metal star") could be translated to "gold." The color of the planet is also similar to Sailor Venus' light ("golden") powers.
Before being reincarnated on Earth, Princess Venus lived in Magellan Castle. This palace orbited the planet of Venus; it was a gift to Venus from Queen Serenity for her birth. It was named for the space probe sent to explore Venus in the 90s, which was named for Ferdinand Magellan.
Besides living the life of royalty, Princess Venus also led the guardians in charge of protecting Princess Serenity. In Sailor Moon Crystal, it is established that she and Kunzite were in love in their past life. However, in Sailor V, a man by the name of Adonis fell for her. He would later be reincarnated as Danburite and lead the Dark Agency under Kunzite's command in the manga. In the last chapter of that series, Sailor V does fall for Kunzite.
Poor Minako always seems to be unlucky in love throughout the Sailor V manga. This is usually played for laughs, however, there is a much sadder side to it as well. The first youma she kills is the boy she had a crush on. She also falls for Phantom Ace, an actor who turns out to really be Danburite; a man who was in love with Sailor Venus before he was reincarnated as one of Kunzite's lackeys. Instead of living happily ever after with him, she has to kill him.
In the final chapter of Sailor V leading into Sailor Moon, which is notably much more serious than the other light-hearted chapters of Codename: Sailor V, Minako is told she'll be unlucky in love forever because she needs to put her duties as a Sailor Guardian first. This is part of the reason why her character is much more serious in the sequel manga series Sailor Moon. Minako faces a pretty sad, ironic fate considering how, as a fighter, she is associated with love. Just keep shooting those hearts Minako - maybe one will stick someday!
Minako was a very different character in the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series. Rather than become close to the other Sailor Scouts, she was more of a lone wolf. Minako is also a famous pop idol in this version, with a couple albums released. She is determined to find the Silver Crystal and the Moon Princess. Part of the reason she keeps her distance from the other girls is because Minako has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
With only a short period of time left to live, Minako attempts to have surgery that has only a small chance of success. Beforehand, she asks the Sailor Senshi she's grown most attached to, Rei (Sailor Mars), to lead the team after she dies.
The rest of the group plan a surprise party for Minako after the surgery, but never get to celebrate. Minako dies and serenades viewers with a song in the afterlife. However, she is brought back to life when Usagi uses the Silver Crystal to restore the world.
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