Saturday, March 3, 2012

Manga Review: Codename: Sailor V, Volume 1, by Naoko Takeuchi

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Volumes: 3 (or maybe 2?)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Like Sailor Moon, Minako Aino is a normal 13-year-old schoolgirl until a fateful day when a white cat introduces himself to her and tells her she has the power to transform into the hero, Sailor V. Using a magic pen to transform, Sailor V fights the evil agents of the Dark Agency as she strives to protect the earth.

Codename: Sailor V, created by the author before she created the mega-popular Sailor Moon, has never before been available in the U.S.


I had rather low expectations for this. I watched the anime when it was on TV and I was really little, so I don't remember any of it, and I never read it. But then, not too long ago, I watched it online, and was very unimpressed. Really unimpressed. Which made me wary to read the manga. But I've heard a lot of good things about it, and I know that it was big when it first got translated and people were really excited about it coming back, me included. And I'd already decided that I was going to give both series a try, only I'm still not sure for how long.
Now, with those low expectations, I kind of enjoyed the manga. I wasn't all that impressed, and none of it was beyond what I was expecting, but it wasn't bad. Which is actually pretty good, in my book.
We meet Minako Aino, also known as Sailor V. She isn't very smart, is pushy, falls 'in love' with guys way too easily, plays video games a lot, and doesn't really believe the cat when he talks to her. Minako is alright as a character, but I'm not all that attached to her. I think it's mostly how easily she becomes obsessed with things that bothers me, as it does with anyone, in books and not. Also, she was fighting when told, except for at certain points when she would say that she'd never really chosen, or agreed, to fight for them. And she seems exactly like the people she's inadvertently saving, an annoying teenager that would fall for anything people are saying. It might be more cliché, though, if she were to be annoyed by it all originally, though. I don't know which I would prefer.
Pretty much all of the book consists of Minako fighting villains rather easily for a chapter each, most of which (if not all) are from the Dark Agency. One of the villains is a boy from her school, several others are pop-stars, one's a tourist hostess. Except for the last one, where she helps out a guy that she has a crush on and a gang he's involved in. But it kind of bothers me that she's winning so easily, and how she's doing it seems a little... dumb? But, you know, whatever. Don't want to complain or nitpick the logistics too much.
She's also, kind of, rivaling with the police, one of whom hates her and another that admires her. I didn't mind the police, found them (or, the one that admires her) a bit entertaining. We didn't get much of the personality of her friend, except that she's a lot like Minako, but we did get to see a bit from the geeky boy at her school, Amano, who was just alright. I did like Artemis, the cat, for however much we did get of him. Oh, and I noticed the small appearances that Usagi made, which I found interesting. Nice to know that she'd planned that (assuming that she did write Codename: Sailor V first, which I believe she did?).
I'll be reading the next one when I get it, which I'm not sure when that'll be. Soon, maybe? There are only two volumes of Codename, though, right? Since they're in an extended version, or whatever? I hope so, since I haven't heard anything about a third volume being released. And I want to start Sailor Moon, which I already have one volume of, but I want to finish Codename first. It's the prequel, and I like going in order, so it bothered me a bit that Kodansha was releasing them at the same time. But, that's alright.
I'll be reading it, nonetheless, and hope I don't have to skip ahead to Sailor Moon.

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