The Unique Tragedy of Minako Aino

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Jun 17, 2019
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#1
While I believe that just being a Senshi in and of itself is a tragic experience all around, Minako's situation always stood out to me as particularly tragic just because of her unique circumstances. All the others on the Inner Team: Mamoru, Ami, Rei & Mako already had hard lives and lead lonely existences before meeting Usagi, finding out their true destiny gave them a reason to live and was a relief more than anything else, now they finally found the place they belonged.

Not so for Minako, she had the exact opposite experience. Minako was actually leading a happier life before she got her memories back and awakened as Sailor Venus, she had a generally stable home life, was popular in school and well-liked, and was overall just enjoying her life as an ordinary middle-school girl, carefree without a care in the world. But we see in all versions of the story that becoming Venus quickly destroys this life. She begins to lose her friends, has to give up her favorite sport and her dreams of becoming an idol to put her Senshi duty first, and also has to carry the burden of the memories of a tragic past and being the only one to really fully remember the fall of the Silver Millenium. Instead of actively gaining something from her newfound life as a superhero, Minako is only losing, because her life was already largely complete and satisfying beforehand but is now being changed for the worse.

Each version of Sailor Moon touches upon this quandary of Minako’s in it's own way, with PGSM going the farthest and putting forth the notion of the Senshi Venus completely consuming the identity of the girl Minako to a scary degree. No other Senshi has quite this uniquely tragic experience (though the 90's anime does try to give this role to Usagi for a bit there towards the end of Classic) and that's why imo Minako is one of the most tragic characters of the entire series and might be the most tragic Senshi of all.
 
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lord Martiya

Aurorae Lunares
Dec 11, 2015
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#2
She wasn't completely carefree (it's hinted she grew up abroad, and she was having trouble reinserting herself), but it's indeed quite the tragedy.

There's also a rather worrying sign of her change in Codename: Sailor V, namely how ruthless she gets with time: in her first battle she spent most of the time trying to get Narkissos, AKA her crush Higashi to stand down, and mostly killed him by accident when he charged her and she fired the Crescent Beam in panic, but when it comes to Ace, she gives him a single chance to surrender or be destroyed, and when he attacks she basically executes him.
 
Likes: morri
Jun 17, 2019
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#3
She wasn't completely carefree (it's hinted she grew up abroad, and she was having trouble reinserting herself.
Where was it hinted that she grew up abroad? I thought her being in England was only anime-canon.


There's also a rather worrying sign of her change in Codename: Sailor V, namely how ruthless she gets with time: in her first battle she spent most of the time trying to get Narkissos, AKA her crush Higashi to stand down, and mostly killed him by accident when he charged her and she fired the Crescent Beam in panic, but when it comes to Ace, she gives him a single chance to surrender or be destroyed, and when he attacks she basically executes him.
Yes, she definitely gets more ruthless as she awakens as Venus, I don’t think the Minako from the first chapter of Sailor V would be able to so ruthlessly run through Beryl with a sword with zero hesitation. It does seem that Venus in the past was a substantially different person from Minako herself, probably much more serious and ruthless, colder.

Another disturbing little bit that hints at this is Minako’s little quip during her introductory chapter in the Sailor Moon Manga Proper where after she detransforms from Venus she now refers to her civilian, Minako Aino self as “just a disguise.”

In fact it’s this scene itself that has Usagi ponder later on in the chapter on whether the “real” her is actually Usagi or Sailor Moon.
 
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lord Martiya

Aurorae Lunares
Dec 11, 2015
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#4
Where was it hinted that she grew up abroad? I thought her being in England was only anime-canon.
It's easily missed by Westerners, but between her father working for a trading company (that would often send their employees to work abroad for years, and they usually take their families with them), her troubles with finer nuances of Japanese language (that is, the butchered proverbs, that also appear in the manga) and poor grades in English (common among kids who grew up abroad due the difference with which it's taught in Japanese schools), and familiarity with airports, Japanese fans find obvious she's a kikokushijo (that is, someone who grew up abroad).
It does seem at that Venus in the past was a substantially different person from Minako herself, probably much more serious and ruthless, colder.
In Codename: Sailor V Artemis actually hints she was closer in personality to Hikaru - though with the same serial Romeo tendencies.
 
Likes: kasumigenx

CrystalBard

Lumen Cinererum
Nov 19, 2020
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#5
Sailor Venus strikes me as the Silver Millennium version of a foaming-at-the-mouth PATRIOT five-star, bomb-the-enemy-and let-the-Gods-sort-it-out general who saw some [BLEEP] she probably didn't want to. Those memories likely scarred her all over again when she reawakened, IE, I think Venus was about to snap before Silver Millennium fell. Maybe even with PTSD that had hell not broken loose she could have sorted out, but she just kept getting re-traumatized.