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[IWIW] Walkin' on Sailor Moon (thread 3 of a continuing series)

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Shadowjack

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Although her plan might not even need to involve anything more complicated than asking "Hey Usagi, can I borrow the silver crystal for a moment?"
Usagi: "Sure, Ami, I'll just— Waaaaaaait a minute. Why do you want it?"
Ami: "I require it as the key component in an intricate and masterful plan to become Queen of the Solar System."
Usagi: "Okay! Here y—"
Rei: "WAITWAITWAITWAITWAIT. ¿What?"
 
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Shadowjack

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Sailor V Chapter 1-1: Sailor V vs. The Pretty-Boy Demon

Since we're in-between story arcs and on-topic updates, let me take a moment to properly check out this here Sailor V manga.

So far, I've read only a couple of chapters. They're funny! But given the general sapphic death zeppelin zaniness I find it hard to fit them directly into the TV show's continuity. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

I suppose one could propose that this is Minako's description to the others of what she'd been up to before they met.

Ami: "Are you familiar with the phrase 'unreliable narrator'?"
Minako: "…What does 'familiar' mean?"

I have some clips in here; read right-to-left.



So. Volume 1, Chapter 1, scanlated by "Grand Theft Fansub."

Minako Aino, age 13, 7th grade, i.e. last year, pre-timeslip.

The First Meeting With Artemis
Minako's in gym class, practicing a routine on the uneven parallel bars. Whoa! And she's doing pretty good… we've got quite the budding athlete here. She then screws up the landing when a certain white cat arranges to be underfoot at a crucial moment. I get the feeling this might set the tone for their entire future relationship.



Takeuchi understands cats.



Establishing the Rest of the Characters

Minako's Best Friend Forever
A clever and cute girl with a nice smile and short blue hair, whose name is… Hikaru. The scanlators helpfully print "I am not Mizuno Ami" on her T-shirt.

Higashi
A new transfer student, an upperclassman, a blond, hunky pretty-boy skilled in all things. Women want him, men want to be him.

Minako's current all-consuming life's goal is to deliver a love letter from her to Higashi, but she's competing against basically the entire straight-or-bi female student body, most notably the entourage of devoted love-slaves who follow Higashi around campus.

Artemis
Also, every time she tries to deliver the letter, that certain white cat arranges to get in the way. It's not clear whether or not this is on purpose. Artemis takes orders from "the Boss", who communicates with him via what it is either a magic wand or a pen radio (or both). The Boss insists that Minako is the One; Artemis has been watching her all day, and isn't so confident.

Takeuchi draws Artemis with BIG SCARY STARING EYES.





Minako Meets Higashi
Minako blows a math test, and gets assigned academic detention… but to her joy, she's assigned Higashi as a tutor. Instead of math, he spends the time blatantly flirting with her, finally saying that he'd really like it if she put a red ribbon in her beautiful long hair. Then he wanders off for extracurricular activities with another of his bitches, who is also a pretty blonde with long hair, and marked with a red ribbon.

Minako vows to ignore all warning signs and woo Higashi as he has never been wooed before. When the boys in detention express skepticism, she beats the snot out of them.



Artemis Recruits Minako
After being bawled out by Mom for soiling her uniform and being unladylike, and after her evening bath, Minako, wrapped in a towel, stares into the mirror and wishes she was pretty.

Er… she is. But I guess she's at that age, you know?

So in walks Artemis, who says—

Mina screams "TALKING CAT?! PEEPING TOM?!", and flings him out the window!

Artemis tries again, and shamelessly tries to take advantage of her youthful insecurity by stating that as a superhero she would be more beautiful than anyone. (Also stronger.) Though, to be more charitable, maybe he's just trying to guess what Kids These Days will respond to. Anyway, he starts to launch into the "You Are The Chosen One" routine, but—unlike Usagi—Minako cuts him off and starts asking good questions. Like, "Since when do cats talk?" and "What's all this Chosen One stuff?" and "What's your angle in all this?"



Artemis eludes all questions and gives her a magic compact shaped like a crescent moon. "Just open it up. Open it. OPEN THE COMPACT." She does so, and—creepy moment—sees Sailor V staring out of the mirror at her!



Out of Body Experience Montage
Minako is taken on a quick tour of the Inner Solar System by Artemis (and the Boss chimes in at a couple of points). They point out Earth as the world to protect, hint that Minako may be Venusian, pass quickly over Minako's floating sky castle, and reemphasize the Chosen One business.

Minako: "Floating Sky Castle?!"

We don't get a good view of it, but it's named Magellan, appears to be encased in crystal, and orbits over Aphrodite Terra.

Minako wakes up in bed and decides it must've been a screwy dream… She ties on the red ribbon and sets out.



Villain Revealed
Higashi takes a (ZOMG 80s Ultra-Tech) video cell phone call from "Mistress Fluorite". Apparently, he is actually a youma, "Narkissos," and part of Fluorite's intricate plan to TAKE OVER THE WORLD… starting (where else?) with Tokyo. Artemis happens to overhear the whole thing, and freaks.

Hikaru has clued Minako into a good time to catch Higashi alone, so Minako jets off… and Artemis tries to stop her… and before she can throw him out another window, she sees Higashi with the blonde girl from before.

She's hurt, but not crushed, instead intelligently noting that there are other fish in the sea. She turns to go.

That's when Higashi mindrapes the other girl. She screams, Minako instinctively comes running, and she and the youma spot each other at the same time. Minako also notes the bevy of brainwashed blondes behind Higashi, and suddenly my "love-slaves" joke seems less funny.

(Speaking of which, here's a brain-bleach thought: Did Beryl have her way with Mamoru/Endymion while he was in her clutches, or was she too busy fixing him up for his battles?)



So, the Big Action Sequence
Artemis throws Minako the pen/wand, and Boss starts shouting "transform and kill that guy to save everyone!" Minako starts asking questions again, but very quickly realizes that when a demon is trying to put the whammy on you, cast spells first and ask questions later.

"Moon Power, Make Up!" One starkly coruscant transformation sequence later, we get our first "Who are you?!" "I'm BATMAN!" introduction.



I note that:
  • The Sailor V uniform looks darker and heavier here than it is drawn in the anime.
  • Yer showin' an awful lot o' inner thigh there, Mina.

He waves his minions forward, she makes like Neo in the Burly Brawl, and all the while she's trying to talk him down—she doesn't quite get that he was never actually human. (Because no one took the time to explain it!) Finally, she listens to Artemis, and whips out the Crescent Beam—another function of the magic compact. She sees his true form in the mirror, and out the other side comes the Beam, which roasts him.

Naturally, all his brainwashed zombies fall asleep, no doubt to recover later. And Minako is just standing there in shock.



Denouement
Home after. Minako's sprawled on her bed, utterly exhausted and a little traumatized. Artemis feels guilty for having been so blunt, but the Boss simply tells him, "Show your new partner the ropes, End Of Line."

So Artemis does some kitty kisses and snuggles, and gets Minako smiling again. He properly introduces himself, and instructs her to leave the compact by the window in the light of the full moon, to recharge. (Once again, is this high technology or a magical artifact? Or are we dealing with Clarke-tech here, indistinguishable?)

That morning, Minako decides that, you know what? she thinks the ribbon looks badass no matter who suggested it originally.



So she keeps it, and vows that now her all-consuming life's goal is to find some other cute guy. Artemis points out that surely she's learned now that looks can be deceiving. In response, Minako is all, "Well, duh."

…and that attitude lasts all of thirty seconds, at which point Hikaru shows up bearing the latest issue of a new idol 'zine, and Minako finds herself with a new obsession.



And Artemis realizes that he's got his work cut out for him.



Spoiler: Show
Minako sticks out her tongue a lot. Takeuchi gets a lot of good facial expressions out of her, actually.


The demon boy Higashi/Narkissos. No good pics of the entourage.

 

Evil Midnight Lurker

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The Sailor V manga is much more fun than the Moon manga. Maybe it's because this is what Takeuchi actually wanted to do, and the other was more or less forced on her by the editors?

And the scanslators -- who are working off someone else's text dump -- are having quite the fun time themselves. I especially like one later page that comes with a caveat to the effect of "if the translators didn't want us to make this stuff up they should have told us what was actually in these captions." :D
 

Jhiday

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I quite like the Sailor V manga (certainly a lot more than the Sailor Moon manga), but it does get a bit repetitive after a while.

Having read the whole of it, I still have no clue who "the Boss" is supposed to be. Luna would be the least awkward choice, but it doesn't really fit.

I think that Takeuchi just really like Charlie's Angels and kept the concept in Sailor V long after plot developments in Sailor Moon made that plot element unworkable, just because it's fun.
 

Peter Svensson

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So, Naoko Takeuchi originally just planned for Codename: Sailor V to be a one shot, just a single installment to cleanse the palate after completing her previous ongoing series, the more serious "Cherry Project" about a young girl figure skater's rise to the top.

It was ludicrously popular. Off the strength of this single story, Naoko was offered an ongoing series, and an anime adaptation given one caveat. That she make it into a team series. Inspired by the Super Sentai shows she loved which all featured a team of five color coded heroes who fought monsters and aliens, she agreed. Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon was born! (With some quick retconning here and there.) Off and on she'd continue with new installments of Codename: Sailor V, finally completing the series AFTER she had wrapped up Sailor Moon.

Now, we should probably mention that the Sailor Moon manga has a very different approach to things than the anime did, being a lot more serious at times. It's a VERY loose adaptation, and the next episode Shadowjack watches will be one of the last direct translations from the manga.
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

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I quite like the Sailor V manga (certainly a lot more than the Sailor Moon manga), but it does get a bit repetitive after a while.

Having read the whole of it, I still have no clue who "the Boss" is supposed to be. Luna would be the least awkward choice, but it doesn't really fit.
I know that was explained eventually, but I can't remember whether it was in the V or the Moon manga.

Spoiler: Show
Boss is the Lunar mainframe computer, and might also be the spirit of Queen Serenity.
 

ANT Pogo

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Yeah, the Sailor V manga was never intended to be a prequel to Sailor Moon. I'm not even sure she even intended to keep Sailor V going, given the way she recycled elements from it into Sailor Moon (the lead character's personality and family, the cat familiar looking for "The One" at the behest of a mysterious boss, mineral-themed boss villains, the basic magical-girl-crystal-planetary-kingdom backstory, etc).

That's why, even after Takeuchi decided to keep Sailor V going and retcon it to be a part of the Sailor Moon backstory, some things still don't fit right between the two.
 

Q99

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Usagi: "Sure, Ami, I'll just— Waaaaaaait a minute. Why do you want it?"
Ami: "I require it as the key component in an intricate and masterful plan to become Queen of the Solar System."
Usagi: "Okay! Here y—"
Rei: "WAITWAITWAITWAITWAIT. ¿What?"
Minako: "Hey Usagi, can I borrow the silver crystal?"
Usagi: "Sure, what do you need it for?"
Minako: "Ping-pong!"
 

Shadowjack

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Yeah, the Sailor V manga was never intended to be a prequel to Sailor Moon. I'm not even sure she even intended to keep Sailor V going, given the way she recycled elements from it into Sailor Moon (the lead character's personality and family, the cat familiar looking for "The One" at the behest of a mysterious boss, mineral-themed boss villains, the basic magical-girl-crystal-planetary-kingdom backstory, etc).

That's why, even after Takeuchi decided to keep Sailor V going and retcon it to be a part of the Sailor Moon backstory, some things still don't fit right between the two.
I kind of suspected something of the sort was going on.

"Hey, love this series, Takeuchi! Can you come up with something just like it only not to sell to TV?"
"Uh… 'Just like it only not.' Sure. Give me a minute." /writes on paper. "One 5 schoolgirl superheroes, led by a white black magic cat…"



Minako: "Hey Usagi, can I borrow the silver crystal?"
Usagi: "Sure, what do you need it for?"
Minako: "Ping-pong!"
Usagi: "Wait! Let me get my lucky paddle!"
 

Archer

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Re: Sailor V Chapter 1-1: Sailor V vs. The Pretty-Boy Demon

So far, I've read only a couple of chapters. They're funny! But given the general sapphic death zeppelin zaniness I find it hard to fit them directly into the TV show's continuity. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
If sapphic death zeppelins are wrong, I don't want to be right.
 
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