Cruel Medium: Fortune or Curse?

The reason for Minako's luck in love (or lack, thereof) has been a source of controversy among fans of the series. One of the most common suggestions is that Kaitou Ace, in his dying moments, cursed Minako's love life to be forever hopeless. Though this idea would alleviate confusion, it might not be an entirely fair hypothesis.

The point in question occurs in the latter part of Volume 15: "A New Journey Begins" right before Ace's shattered body disintegrates:

I'll tell your final love fortune: Your love will be hopeless for all eternity. What's wrong? You should look happier! Now you can go on living without having to torment yourself over the ultimate choice--your love or your duty. Your fate is to continue fighting.

—Kaitou Ace
Codename wa Sailor V Volume 15
"A New Journey Begins"

To fully understand this moment, however, we have to flip a few pages back to Saijou's earlier conversation with Minako. Ace reads Minako's fortune twice in the series, and the two fortunes go hand-in-hand. Both fortunes occur in Volume 15: "A New Journey Begins." The first is prefaced by a conversation between Saijou and Minako about love:

Minako: I love you, Ace! I do love you, don't I?
Ace: Why are you asking me?
Minako: I don't really know . . . because . . .
[Ace flicks her forehead.]
Ace: You're a child. Haven't you awakened yet?

Codename wa Sailor V Volume 15
"A New Journey Begins"

This comment about awakening, of course, carries the obvious connotation of V to Venus, but there might be a bit more to the foreshadowing as well. What tips Ace off to the fact that Minako is not ready to accept her destiny is her indecision between whether she is in love with him or not—a metaphor for her wants versus her duties.

Ace reads Minako's fortune here, as well. He tells her that she will face a crossroad and that she will "always choose something more important than love" (the keyword here is "choose," but I'll come back to that later).

But the subject in question? Men. Their interchange then takes on a different angle. Ace is not asking about Minako's devotion to verify her love for him but instead to verify her willingness to accept her destiny. To draw forth her most honest answer, which at this point is an understandable "I don't know," he picks at her biggest weak point: men.

Minako's history with men has not been an entirely smooth one (if smooth at all). What we learn quickly is that the blonde has a soft spot for beautiful guys and that finding a boyfriend is among her chief priorities. It is fair, then, to assume that relinquishing the search for love would be the biggest sacrifice in accepting her destiny.

And Ace, as one committed to following fate, knows this.

The opposition between men and her mission comes to a breaking point during Sailor V's final fight with Ace. When he prophecies that she will never find love, he is harkening back to what he hinted at before. It is not only that Minako will not be happy with a man, but that she cannot be happily in love while there are still parts of her duty unfulfilled. The fact that she destroys a man at the brink of her transition from V to Venus only serves to back this point up.

The point that Ace is trying to make is that Minako's men versus duty dilemma is at heart a choice. Being happily in love would mean pulling her heart away from her mission; devoting herself wholly to the cause would mean giving up the time and energy needed to maintain a relationship. Because Ace knows that Minako will choose to pursue her destiny, he also knows that she will choose to step down from her search for a boyfriend.

The same logic applies to any of the other senshi, sans Sailor Moon, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Uranus (who can only afford love and duty because their partners share the same calling). By deciding to follow Sailor Moon, the soldiers willingly give up their opportunities for romantic love. This helps to explain why most of the senshi remain single for the duration of the series.

What I am suggesting is that Ace does not have as much sway over Minako's love life as some fans give him credit for. The fortune is just that: a fortune, not a curse. Minako's lack of love, then, is due to her own choice to follow her destiny, a destiny that Ace has no means to control.

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