a glance at the girl underneath

Aino Minako at a glance. For more detailed information on certain facts, click on the avaliable links below.

Name: Aino Minako [more]
Birthday: October 22, Libra [more]
Age: 13~16
Blood type: B [more]
Schools: Shiba Koen Middle School, Juuban High School [more]
Likes: Idol-chasing, the colors red and yellow, Curry, Ramen, Gyoza, and P.E. class
Dislikes: Shitake Mushrooms, Mama, Cops, English, and Math Class
Special Skill: Having fun [more]
Dream: To become a popular idol

O, What's in a name?

In Japanese, Minako's name is written using the following characters 愛野 (Aino) 美奈子 (Minako) with the surname written first. Starting with her last name, the character means 'Love' while the character means 'plains', 'field.' Literally translated, her last name would mean "Love field," but the character can also be interpreted as a pun for the Japanese possessive word 'no'. Therefore, her last name can also be translated as 'Love's' or 'of Love. Although, 愛野 is a real last name, Takeuchi obviously chose the surname as because of Minako's connection with the Goddess Venus. As for her first name, the name 'Minako' is a very popular name among Japanese girls. Takeuchi might have purposedly chosen such a name to emphasize Minako's ordinariness because before she became a Sailor Soldier she was just another Japanese school girl. (Interestingly enough, Minako and Ami are the only ones in the Sailor Team's whose first name is written in Kanji/characters.) Now let's deconstruct the name 'Minako:' The character means 'beauty,' 'beautiful,' while the meaning for the character is a bit more complicated. The meaning of changes depending on the character it is paired with, but in ancient readings of the character, it is said to mean 'God's long-cherished wish,' 'prosperity,' or 'glory.'1 However, the character is more often chosen for its pronunciation than for its meaning. As for , it means 'child' and is a character commonly used in Japanese girl names. So putting all these definitions together, 美奈子, can be literally translated as 'Beautiful, Prosperous, Child.' So Minako's full name (愛野美奈子) can be translated as 'Love's Beautiful, Glorious Child' or 'Beautiful, Divine Child of Love.' As an interesting side note, 美奈子 can also be pronouced as 'binasu' which is the Japanese pronunciation of the english word 'Venus.' Takeuchi has clearly put a lot of thought into the naming of her characters, as Minako's name clearly alludes to her ties with the planet Venus and her alter-ego as its soldier.

Star sign: Libra - The Scales

Libra is an air sign ruled by the planet Venus. Being an Air sign means Libras are sociable and somewhat intellectual souls. Also their guardian planet, Venus, makes Libras ardent admirers and lifetime pursuers of beauty. This love of beauty explains Libras' natural gift and interest in the arts. It also gives them the natural ability to present themselves 'beautifully' in any given social situation as they are charming creatures who pay a lot of attention to the feelings and thoughts of those around them. Libras love harmony and balance and hate anything ugly and disruptive. They are happiest when everything in their life is balanced and are often too eager to cooperate or compromise for the sake of harmony. This is why Libras would sometimes resort to deceit just to keep the peace. Libras want to please everyone and this often results in Libras sacrificing their own needs or comforts for the sake of others. Being ruled by the planet of Love, also makes Libras true romantics. They love falling in love and all the lovey-dovey romantic gestures that come with it, but after the relationship settles Libras have a hard time staying interested and will often wander off. So to recap:
Positive traits
Negative Traits
Just, sociable, refined, accommodating, kind, fair, diplomatic, likable, artistic, charming, romantic, and idealistic. Vain, superficial, indecisive, unreliable, fickled, self-indulgent, easily-influenced, and lazy.
Minako is very much the typical Libra. She loves beauty especially beautiful men and women and can be extremely superficial and fickled when it comes to falling in love. Minako does have a strong sense of justice which can be seen in her occasional rescuing of bullied cats and kids. Minako is very sociable and appears to be well-liked by both her classmates and friends, but she admittedly lacks refinement in both manner and speech. Minako does emcompass most of the negative traits above, but I would argue against her being unreliable. Minako's flights of fancy, indecisiveness, short attention span, and laziness does make her unreliable (especially in terms of schoolwork), but when it comes to her duty as a Sailor Soldier, the amount of dedication and effort she puts into it is unquestionable. The other Sailor Soldiers' obviously believe in and depend on her and never question the decisions she makes as a soldier.

Japan and Ketsueki-gata2

The popularity of Ketsueki-gata (or 'blood types') in Japanese society is not something to look upon lightly. To the Japanese, knowing one's blood type is like knowing one's astrological sign and they take it as seriously as some Americans do Astrology. In the past, this strong belief in blood types has led to discriminaton in various ascepts of society, in particular when finding employment. (Interesting fact: During World War II, only soldiers whose blood type were B were chosen to become Kamikaze pilots.) Even though this suspicion has died down a bit, Japan's belief in Ketsueki-gata still remains strong. Japanese Matchmaking companies, websites, and some fortune telling websites still use blood types to gauge compatibility. Also some Japanese companies still produce/sell products made for specific blood types and these products range from health drinks to condoms (yup, condoms). Takeuchi listed Minako as being blood type B, known as the 'Individualists' of the four blood types, and they are said to possess the following traits:
Positive traits
Negative Traits
Do things or lives at one's own pace, easy-going, wild, active, a doer, creative, passionate, strong, independent, bright and cheerful, full of energy and enthusiasm, sociable, curious, sensitive, meant to excel, flexible. Short-tempered, eccentric, selfish, irresponsible, unforgiving, capricious, unpredictable, superficial, lazy, brash, indiscreet, neglectful of things they are not passionate about, and dislike custom.
In my humble opinion, Minako fits the blood type B stereotype to a tee. There is nothing in the above list of traits that she does not possess. Minako is very passionate about the things she loves, but extremely neglectful of things she hates (such as studying and schoolwork). She is also always full of energy and enthusiasm, but she can also be unpredictable and unforgiving. So it makes sense why Takeuchi assigns this blood type to Minako.