For those of you who don't already know, aside from French versions of the manga, the orginal Japanese versions have been out of print for some time, but, just as the Sailor Moon Manga has been re-released, so too will Sailor V be-- and it's not the same Sailor V we once knew! In an attempt to "freshen up" the series for the new millennium and provide more tidbits for the long-standing fans who are eager to know more about the origins of the Sailor Moon universe (and perhaps signal the beginnings of an all-new continuity!) the storylines have been altered, and situations changed in new and exciting ways.
For the next few weeks leading up to the relaunch of the manga that started it all, this column will be where I, Dr. Xadium, one of the world's two greatest Aino Minako fans (this does not extend to live action Minako, who is a stubborn goat), use my web of insidious influence in the shadowy underworld of the Japanese Manga scene to provide you, the loyal Genvid visitor, with exclusivesneak peeks into the "new-age" Sailor V.
This week: A blast from the past. A legendary figure in the Sailor Moon universe makes his shocking debut in Sailor V, in a retroactive continuity move worthy of DC Comics. For once I have to apologize to the notoriously inaccurate Moldavian fansites, who have provided such wonderful gems in the past as "Sailor V turns out to be Usagi's split personality" and "Artemis transforms into a wildcat which Mina rides like She-Ra in a new chapter 9 called 'Lovely goddess of Tokyo Jungle!! The Dark Agency's Glass Menagerie'" (which would have involved some kind of youma raid on Tokyo Zoo resulting in the city being turned into a veritable jungle, Mina donning nothing but leopard skin and fighting evil on the streets-- not that I have anything against seeing Mina in leopard skins, mind you.)
For once the sites were right, predicting that Tuxedo Kamen would make his debut in Sailor V, albeit in a radically different guise (similar to how the Batman dressed up as a regular joe his first time out fighting crime in the comics). I assumed they were mistaking him for Kaitou Ace, but was shocked to find out all the rumours were true, as can be seen in this picture here [ Standard thanks to Unnamed_Mangaholic_Z for the pre-print scan and NipponCha_Cha_Chai for the quick trans/scanslation of the new text; Please remember to buy the manga when it's commercially available. ]. On a mission to Rome, Sailor V tangles with the Dark Agency and encounters a strange new ally....
(read from right to left, as usual)
This panel also shows the lengths to which Takeuchi-sensei is tying in Sailor V to the Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Live Action TV series. (The following text is Spoiler Protected, Highlight it with your mouse if you've seen PGSM episode 35 or don't care about spoilers):
Remember in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon When Mamoru reveals he had figured out Aino Minako's Identity long ago when she was still Sailor V? This was the incident he was referring to-- as you can see Mina is untransformed, yet he calls her "Sailor V".
(NipponCha_Cha_Chai tells me that in some other pages, which we don't have, it turns out that this outfit was a sad side effect from the hit on the head he took in the car accident as a child, and Sailor V's braining him with the Crescent Moon compact is what finally gets him out of the "Elvis" Mode. We also find out that, as Mamoru suspects later in the Sailor Moon manga, "Chiba Mamoru" was just a name given to him by the doctors at the hospital, as a closeup of the flaming car wreck his was found in shows a burning license reading "M--ioh Ke---aro".)
As we can see, new layers of the onion are being added, giving even more re-read value to the Sailor Moon manga. Who can every look at the passionate embraces between Mamoru and Usagi and not see the foppish, Bat-eared, Elvis Impersonating Mamoru in her arms. Not this reader, that's for sure!
Next week: More glimpses into the future of Sailor V!