Top positive review
The Fore-Runner to Sailor Moon.
on September 23, 2014
One can see clearly upon reading this that it was the mangaka, Naoko Takeuchi's, early work. I don't mean that in an overly critical manner. I did rate it 4/5 stars, after all. It's just not the tightly-plotted work of the actual later Sailor Moon series. The artwork is the same high quality though, and it is a fun series of adventures for our heroine, Sailor Venus.
The story begins with an athletic, reasonably popular (a circle of friends, but not the school ojou or anything) girl named Minako Aino, who seems a high achiever in her introduction in her gym class. Then things go downhill from there. Mina is lazy, not stupid, but not bright either, and kinda bumbling. She has a very good heart, however, and is the reincarnation of a cosmic hero.
This combination irks her partner and mentor, the cat Artemis, about as much as it irks Artemis' partner and mate, Luna in her similar situation (later on) with Usagi (Sailor Moon). If anyone has picked up on the obvious parallels for the characters of Venus and Moon, they should. As these Codename: Sailor V chapters came first, Mina is very much the archetype for Usagi. Amusingly and cleverly, Naoko integrated this fact and made it a part of the first arc of the Sailor Moon manga.
I want to reiterate that this isn't a bad collection of tales. They aren't as good as the later Sailor Moon stories, as they have a weaker plot structure, a less impressive villainous group, and kind of a repeating formula of "monster of the week" plots that mimic each other way too much. While it is true this is the case for Sailor Moon as well, that was offset by the above-indicated plot that was very well executed.
A good bit of story-telling that, while not the best work of this terrific mangaka, is still fun, nonetheless.