Venus of Love: Why not Minako Kanano?
Is Minako’s entire name just an entire pun?
The main protagonists in Sailor Moon have family names that follow patterns, their names all contain characters that their matching celestial body contains and a character ”no” that literally means "field", which fits in with a sound pun where the “no” sounds like the possessive particles の making their names sound like “of the Moon”, “of Water" etc.
月野 = Tsukino 月 = Tsuki = Moon
水野 = Mizuno 水星 = Suisei = Mercury (literally, Water Star)
火野 = Hino 火星 = Kasei = Mars (literally, Fire Star)
木野 = Kino 木星 = Mokusei = Jupiter (literally, Wood Star)
Excluding Moon, these arises from the five Chinese Phases (or elements), Water, Metal/Gold, Fire, Wood and Earth. The five ancient planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are named for these respectively. However, one character, Minako breaks this trend with her family name 愛野, which literally means “Love Fields”. Logically her name should be 金野 (likely pronounced Kanano or Kaneno) to match the others. (Mamoru, Hotaru, Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna’s family names all contain characters from their respectively planets too)
Though obviously, there is a connection between Venus being the Goddess of Love, there might be something a bit more than this, though there’s also the argument that Minako was simply created earlier and so doesn’t match, I personally feel there’s something more there, especially with Minako’s given name.
美奈子, mi-na-ko. In this name the ”mi” meaning ”beauty” the ”ko” for ”child”, a typical feminine name ending. The middle character “na” does not have substantial meaning on its own. Found in the name for the city of Nara, but its most common use is simply representing “na” sounds. Particularly in names. For a woman who seems to adore puns, I personally find the use of this kanji incredibly suspicious
Kanji as shown above, can have multiple readings, this is due to native Japanese readings and various interpretations of Chinese readings that have come through by communication over Japanese history and it is here that I believe Minako’s pun comes in.
美 and 子 both have several alternative readings, among them respectively are “bi" and "su”. If Minako’s name were to be misread like this, her name would become bi-na-su.
This is awfully similar to ビーナス (Bīnasu) which comes from the English word "Venus".
So in this sense, Minako’s name can be seen as a direct pun on her planetary body. Aino Binasu: Venus of Love
Check out more Name Origins here: