Minako Aino

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Character Information
Name: Minako Aino
Name (kanji/kana): 愛野美奈子
Alignment: Moon Kingdom
Species: Human
Gender: Female
Lives: Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Occupation: Shiba Koen Junior High School student, idol singer (PGSM)
Family: Mother, Father
Associates: Artemis, Boss, Usagi Tsukino and friends, Hikaru Sorano, Natsuna Sakurada, Toshio Wakagi, Katarina, Alan, Sugao Saitou
Aliases: Sailor Venus, Sailor V
First Anime Appearance: Crybaby Usagi's Magnificent Transformation (non-talking), The Last Sailor Senshi! Sailor Venus Appears
First Manga Appearance: Sailor V is Born!
First PGSM Appearance: Act 1 - I am Sailor Moon!
English Name: Sailor Venus, Mina Aino
Actors: Rica Fukami (anime), Ayaka Komatsu (PGSM), Stephanie Morgenstern (1-65 dub), Emilie Barlow (83+ dub)
minakoaino.jpg
Minako Aino

Minako Aino was the present-day incarnation of Sailor Venus and the civilian identity of Sailor V. She appeared in all versions of Sailor Moon and was the protagonist of Codename: Sailor V.

Personality

Anime and Manga

In the anime and the manga Minako was shown to have both silly and serious sides. In the manga, Minako's serious side manifested more often when she was Sailor Venus (as was true for many of the Sailor Senshi). In the anime, Minako was a very silly character at times, but she could be more serious; this was especially true in the first season in general, and specifically in "Sailor Venus' Past! Minako's Tragic Love," "Retire From the Sailor Senshi? Minako's Concerns," and "A Time of Shock! True Identities Revealed to One Another" (wherein she worried that she did not have a pure heart and tried to prove she was pure hearted in some very bizzare ways).

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

minakoaino.jpg
Minako in PGSM

Live-action Minako was notably more serious than her anime and manga counterparts. This was not surprising, because even though she presented a cheerful image for the public, Minako was constantly living a demanding double life, first as Sailor V, then as Sailor Venus. Her life as an idol meant that she was isolated from the general public, and she seemed to have no parents; the only constant people in her life were Artemis and her manager. As a result, she was more mature than most girls of her own age, and found Usagi rather irritating upon first meeting her (a complete contrast from their easy relationship in the manga and anime). However, on further contact, Minako warmed to Usagi's friendliness and open nature (and often protected Usagi from Mio Kuroki in later episodes).

She had most contact with Rei Hino, since she trained her to be the leader in her absence. Minako had high standards and was constantly challenging Rei and giving her unusual tasks. At first, Rei was both irritated and puzzled by Minako's behaviour. Gradually, however, they developed respect and friendship for each other. Minako was completely dedicated to her mission and was determined to accomplish her goals. This led to her making some desperate measures, such as working with Zoisite to erase Usagi's memory of Mamoru, and often using herself as bait. Rei and Artemis were often critical of this tendency, but when Minako made her mind up, she did not listen to anybody.

Minako's illness meant that she only had a certain amount of time in which to accomplish her goals and stop the past from repeating itself, which added more pressure to her already heavy burden. Later in the series, she began to have blackouts and her powers started to fade because of her physical condition. Despite all this, she occasionally showed flashes of a mischievous humour with Artemis, Rei, and Usagi that was familiar from her manga and anime incarnations. This, together with her more girlish behaviors shown in Act Zero when she first met Artemis and became Sailor V, indicated that her original personality would have been more in line with the other incarnations, had her double burdens of special duties and fatal illness not been inflicted upon her. After her death, she was revived thanks to the Silver Crystal. In the Special Act, she continued with her idol career and even won international awards for her work; despite this, she remained friends with the other girls.

Family

Minako had a mother and father who appeared in Codename: Sailor V. Minako's mother looked rather like Ikuko Tsukino, but her personality was much more abrasive, and she was always yelling at Minako. This in itself might not have been too bad, but she was shown to be dissatisfied with her life as a housewife and complained about her husband for being pathetic and not earning enough money. Minako's father was much quieter and tended to give in to his wife. In the Sailor Moon manga, in the third Exam Battle story, Minako listed her mother as one of her dislikes, complete with an illustration of her yelling.

Her family was never mentioned in any other incarnation of the series, and in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, it was implied that she was living alone.

In the story "Parallel Sailor Moon," she was married to an assistant director for a sitcom and had one child, Mina, who was also a Senshi.

Personal Life

Anime and Manga

While the girls were in middle school, Minako wore a different sailor fuku from the other Inner Senshi. This was because she went to school in Shiba Koen instead of Azabu Juuban. She later joined Usagi, Ami, and Makoto at Juuban Municipal High School.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Minako was an idol singer with an unclear medical condition that was slowly killing her. She dedicated the remainder of her life to being a Senshi and following the mission of her past life, since once Minako died she expected she would be reborn in another form. She first appeared as Sailor V, then in a variation of her Sailor Venus costume as the presumed princess (acting as Princess Serenity's decoy), and finally as Sailor Venus herself.

Hobbies

In the manga, her hobby was given as "chasing after idols," and in both the anime and manga, she loved to follow different celebrities; in "Parallel Sailor Moon," she even took her daughter with her as sort of a "field trip." Many of the enemies' plots were foiled just by her being a groupie. Her anime profile listed Minako's hobby as "playing" and was not clear what this referred to, but in both the anime and manga (especially Codename: Sailor V), she enjoyed playing volleyball.

Relationships

Minako was rather boy crazy and, in the anime, manga, and Codename: Sailor V, she had many crushes. All of these crushes ended without Minako getting a boyfriend, and some even ended tragically. For example, both Higashi-sempai and Kaitou Ace ended up being enemies Minako had to kill, and Alan being in love with Katarina seemed to emotionally scar Minako. Kaitou Ace/Danburite/Adonis even predicted that her "love will be hopeless for all eternity" and that she would always choose duty over love.[1]

Musicals

In the musicals, Minako was played by Nana Suzuki, Sakae Yamashita (CD only), Chizuru Soya, Kanatsu Nakaya, Akiko Miyazawa, Miyu Otani, Nao Inada, Yuki Nakamura, Ayumi Murata, Mizuki Watanabe, Momoko Shibuya, and Erica.

Trivia

  • Minako is the only Senshi of this Solar System whose civilian family name does not begin with the Japanese kanji character(s) directly denoting the corresponding celestial object. However, her family name begins with the character meaning "love" (愛), which still indirectly represents the planet of Venus, as Venus is the goddess of love in Western mythology.
  • Her sailor-style school uniform during her junior high period is the most classic or orthodox among those of the Sailor Team. Such style reflects the Japanese militarized schooling system of the past, which can be traced back to the Meiji (明治) Period. However, it actually originated in Europe, where it is also worn by school boys and is not exclusively for girls as in Japan.
  • In the animated series Shuriken School the character Ami Saeki, resembles Minako as they both have long blonde hair with a red bow, have a very similar personality and wears a sailor-style school uniform

References

  1. Sailor V - Vol. 15 - Translation by Alex Glover


Civilian identities of Sailor Senshi
Solar System Senshi
Usagi Tsukino | Ami Mizuno | Rei Hino | Makoto Kino | Minako Aino | Chibiusa
Haruka Tenou | Michiru Kaiou | Setsuna Meiou | Hotaru Tomoe/Miss Dream | Chibi Chibi
Luna Tsukino | Shiva Shingetsu Astarte
Kinmoku Senshi
Kou Seiya | Kou Yaten | Kou Taiki | Princess Kakyuu
Shadow Galactica Senshi
Chuuko Nezu/Chuu Rat | Reiko Aya/Half Bird | Akane Karasuma/Manila Karasu | Nyanko Suzu | Miss Butterfly
Senshi in Parallel Sailor Moon
Kousagi Tsukino | Ami Jr | Rei Jr | Mako Kino | Mina Aino