The Lover: Adonis

Ace's fourth incarnation—and perhaps his most heartening—is actually his original persona, Adonis. Like most characters in the Sailormoon-universe Ace had a past life during the final age of the Moon Kingdom. His, like those of the shitennou, is a love story, but not all love stories end with "happily ever after."

Although an important character in the plot of Codename wa Sailor V, Adonis never actually makes an appearance. He is simply mentioned in a flashback. His story is told in Volume 15: "A New Journey Begins!"

While filming The Chinese Princess Story Ace begins to subtly reveal that he knows Minako's secret identities. He alters the script to tempt her with information about her past life:

Ace: Shall we film the climax? The scene where the princess, an abandoned child who has lost her memory, is taken to her homeland. From your line, Princess.
[Minako reads the script.]
Minako: This is my true land?
Ace: No. The land you loved, the people you loved, are no more.
[He takes her in his arms.]
Ace: They were destroyed by the enemy.
Minako: Stop it! Ace! Just who are you?! How did you know I was born of Venus?!

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

Ace responds to Minako's inquiries by removing his mask, and Minako is shocked to see a glowing Venusian symbol upon his forehead—the same that would adorn hers when she becomes Sailor Venus. "I am Adonis," he says, and he begins to explain both his past and Minako's.

During the Silver Millennium, Minako was the princess of the planet Venus and a member of Princess Serenity's personal guard. Ace was a man named Adonis, a citizen of Venus and a soldier of the lowest rank in the Venusian army. It is presumed that he lived in a rural part of the planet and quite possibly in poverty. The two never met during Minako's reign, but Adonis fell deeply in love with his princess. He pined after her greatly, but he would never dare approach her: her rank was too far above his. Adonis worked hard to improve his social standing so that he might one day introduce himself to his beloved.

But you do not know me. In my previous life, I had no rank. I was a miserable soldier in a remote region. You lived in a palace overlooking Venus. The chosen strongest sailor soldier, shining brightly. Before long, for your mission, you went to the ruler of the solar system, the moon. That planet, radiating unsurpassed light. A planet eternally unreachable to us. Then, we were borrowed for the war taking place on the chief planet. By the soldiers under direct supervision of the prince . . .

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

When Queen Beryl organized an attack against the Moon Kingdom, Minako and the rest of the guardian soldiers were called to the moon to protect their princess. As the war progressed armies were borrowed from neighboring planets to aid Endymion's military. Adonis was brought to the moon with the rest of his regiment. Adonis thought that this opportunity to work in such close quarters might finally give him the chance to meet his princess.

What Adonis found, however, was that his obstacles involved more than just a gap in social status. This new proximity to Minako allowed him observe her interactions with members of the interplanetary court, and he learned things about her personality he had never known before. He saw her protectively embracing the Lunar princess and realized the depth of her dedication to her mission.1 However, it was when Adonis spotted his beloved Sailor Venus gazing passionately into the eyes of his commander, Kunzite, that his heart truly broke. He realized then more than ever that his hopes of impressing her were futile. His chance to romance Minako lay in another lifetime.

I knew then . . . If I changed one wheel of fate, the two of us might fall in love. . . .

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

When the final battle of the Silver Millennium was fought and the senshi were defeated, Queen Selenity used the last of her power to ensure that her daughter and allies would be reincarnated on Earth.2 She sealed the souls of the senshi and Endymion with the ginzuishou, promising them a new start in the future. The energy from the ginzuishou, however, collected the souls of many of the battle's other casualties as well, including Queen Beryl, the shitennou, and Adonis.

Adonis's story is important because it sheds light not only on Minako's past but also on the workings and chronology of the Silver Millennium itself. Descriptions of the Silver Millennium and the Moon Kingdom's last battle remain some of the most convoluted and ambiguous plot points in the Sailormoon manga. Adonis contributes a commoner's perspective, which helps untangle some confusion.

His account helps to put the battle into scale: Beryl's destruction was so great that armies from other planets were needed to fight on the moon's behalf (though it is unclear whether Venus was the only additional army or if regiments from other planets were brought as well). He mentions being borrowed "[b]y the soldiers under direct supervision of the Prince," implying that the shitennou may have been more involved in the fighting than the senshi themselves, who were likely relegated to staying close to their princess. His story also implies that the shitennou did not succumb to Beryl until the beginnings of their new lives, not before or during the final battle. Ace himself talks about being "born" into a life of evil as Danburite. For him it is fate, not choice, that defines his multiple personalities.3

The fact that he was reincarnated poses more questions about the Moon Kingdom's final moments. How many were affected by the ginzuishou's power? Did the queen intend to reincarnate the enemy as well, and why Adonis?4 Was he perhaps more important during the battle than he gives himself credit for?

Ultimately, however, Adonis serves to tie the three aforementioned personae together and to explain the need for each.

1 It has been suggested that Adonis thought Venus and Serenity to be lovers, but this assumption is not enforced elsewhere in the manga. For further reading see "Homophobia?" in Clippings.
2 Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Volume 3, Act 12: "Reincarnation."
3 For further reading see "Dual Nature" in Clippings.
4 For further reading see Fifth Shitennou?.

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