Bizarro Back Issues: Sailor Venus Kicks Misogyny Into A Coma At Her Local Arcade (1992)
We're only a few weeks away from the debut of a brand-new Sailor Moon Crystal animated series, and folks, I could not be more excited. I love Sailor Moon, ever since I saw the original anime during its run on Cartoon Network when I was a kid, and I've been looking forward to the debut of Crystal from the moment it was announced. In fact, in order to prepare for the debut, I've even gone back and started reading through the manga.
The thing is, while I've read a lot of Sailor Moon, there's one piece of the franchise that I've never been all that familair with: Naoko Takeuchi's Codename: Sailor V, which I only picked up recently. And it is fantastic, if only for the story where Sailor Venus beats the living crap out of some MRA gamer dork at the local arcade.
If you're not familiar with Sailor V, it's a story that ran parallel to Sailor Moon -- it started a month after Moon's original run in 1992 -- that essentially functioned as a prototype. Stop me if you've heard this one before: A young girl in middle school who spends a lot of time sleeping, eating and daydreaming meets a magical cat that informs her that she's actually a Guardian of Justice before sending her out to fight monsters while wearing a pleated skirt.
The difference, of course, is that it's not Usagi Tsukino getting the message, it's Minako Aino, who would later go on to become Sailor Venus. And also, I suppose, that Sailor V gets a slightly more superheroic version of the traditional Sailor Senshi fuku, if only because it includes a mask that will slightly lower the chances of Queen Beryl just cold showing up at her house and shooting her in the face. She even has the same color scheme -- the orange outfit doesn't show up until she becomes Sailor Venus. Oh, also, she has a moon castle, although I don't think she ever goes there.
While Sailor Moon's adversaries take plenty of different forms, V's tend to mostly be pop idols who hypnotize people through their songs and then suck up all their energy for nefarious purposes. Seriously, this happens like five times in a row, and every time, V is surprised to find out that this new idol is actually a monster. That might seem like a reasonable thing to be surprised about, and it would be if every single one of them did not have the word "Dark" somewhere in their name, and were also managed by the same talent firm, which was "the Dark Agency."
She never really does catch on to that one.
Occasionally, though, she runs into a menace that doesn't come from the Dark Agency and has no designs on conquering the Earth for the forces of the Negaverse. Sometimes, they're just jerks. See, as you might expect if you're familiar with how our lazy heroines and their stuffy feline advisors tend to operate, Artemis is always trying to get Mina to train for her very specific duty of kicking people in the face until they turn into dust, with varying degrees of success. You'd think that would be pretty exciting, even for someone who loves sleeping as much as I do, but the training just isn't happening, so Artemis and his supervisor, the Boss, get the idea to train her using video games:
Mina is, of course, a natural at the game, which makes sense. If there was a game called Super Chris Sims Bros. where you were tasked with the fast-paced action of writing jokes about Batman while keeping one eye on the cartoons playing int he background, I'm pretty sure I would be amazing at it. Unfortunately, while she does very well and ends up learning actual combat skills -- like how I can jump twice my height and hotwire any car I see -- her presence at the arcade does not go unnoticed by Taku, a local creep who finds the very presence of a woman at the arcade to be a truly horrifying turn of events.
Much like today's modern gatekeeper jerks, Taku subscribes to the Fake Geek Girl myth. He refuses to accept that a girl could be interested in video games, let alone actually excel at them, and when Mina's training with the Sailor V video game gives her the ability to beat his high score at his favorite game, Lovely Fight, he blows a gasket. Thing is, he goes next level with it. Having been presented with actual evidence that a young lady can beat his high score, he comes to the conclusion that Minako simply cannot possibly be a girl.
Needless to say, Team Sailor Scout is unimpressed with this dude's bonkers misogyny, and while there's an initial question of whether he's actually a servant of the Dark Agency and their plot for world domination, they eventually determine that he's just some dork.
Still, in this case, everyone agrees that it'll be fine if Mina wants to go ahead and unleash the full fury of moon-powered karate on him. First, though, she takes a brief detour into left field when she uses her Transformation Pen to turn into an "armored sentai heroine," only to find that the armor is actually too heavy to fight in, and rather than intimidating Taku, makes him believe she's just a cosplayer.
But then it's time for moon-powered karate.
The problem, such as it is, is that Sailor V's strength is meant to be fighting actual monsters bent on the destruction of the human race, and not just spindly Reddit bros who hang out at arcades harassing people. That's kind of an important distinction, if only because one of classifications can take a V-Kick to the face without being rendered comatose in the middle of an arcade, and the other cannot. That's why one of those is generally considered superheroism and the other is, you know, felony assault.
Fortunately, Artemis is there to provide some sage advice about what a real hero should do when a crime has been committed: FLEE THE SCENE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
And that's how Sailor V trained in the fine art of superheroism. But don't worry about Taku. I mean, he never shows up again so we don't really know if he actually survived being V-Kicked into unconsciousness, I'm just saying don't worry about him. That dude deserved it.