So I never noticed until reading the end of the new release of the Sailor V manga how closely this conversation mirrors the conversation with Yaten in Stars and the massive character development it shows.
Mina at the end of Sailor V is still in denial- she sort of thinks there’s something wrong with her that she keeps prioritizing duty over love, that she is wholeheartedly devoted to being Sailor V at this point, but can’t put that sort of commitment into her flings with guys. Ace is able to hurt her and almost manipulate her by playing on her confusion- and she desperately wants to prove to him that “nonono I care about this stuff I’m normal see”
When he tells her that “her love will not be granted”, he delivers it in such a harsh way, like it’s a curse, almost like he wants to break her. And it clearly does hit her hard, though ever strong, Mina moves forward and is dedicated to finding her allies. She’s finally figured out who she is and she’s not wavering, she’s just not completely secure in it yet.
Yaten basically says the same thing when Mina’s gushing about high school romance- that she’s always going to choose Usagi over any of that. Only unlike Ace, Yaten phrases it like a choice- this is the person they’ve chosen to carry in their hearts.
Here, there’s no denial from Minako, no discomfort. She’s sworn her life to her best friend and her princess, and she admits it without regret or hesitation. She frames it as a choice as well, and she’s secure in her choice.
Her devotion to Usagi is just as fulfilling and valid as the *chance* she lost with Ace- moreso to her, which is why she rejected him when he basically tried to get her to run away with him- she COULD have had that relationship granted if she was willing to give up her allies and her principals, but she wasn’t. And I think this exchange shows that at the end of the series, she’s reached a place where she realizes this.
And what’s more, it’s important to note that here Minako has someone who shares her values and someone she can depend on who’s backing her up- Rei. She’s not alone. Rei basically responds “yes, we have this, so we don’t need men to get by.” She puts her arm around Minako to show their conviction and comradery. Rei is clearly proud of who they are and content with it. It shows that rather than seeing her “fate” as a loss, Minako has instead gained a strong partnership- the “typical romance” deal wasn’t something that was denied her, but something she didn’t ever really need.
I just love it. I love the parallels. It’s basically the same Hannibal Lecture, and both times the characters aren’t broken by it, and the second time Mina gets to demonstrate how confident she is in her “unconventional” choice, with Rei supporting her. I love how well mapped out Mina’s development and arc is, from beginning to end. I love how this theme of Mina finding who she is and where her values lie comes across so strongly and so positively. I LOVE YOU MINAKO AND NAOKO TAKEUCHI BASICALLY.