Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Book Set 1 -

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Mania Grade: A-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 99.98
  • Running time: 875
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Book Set 1

By Lauren Goodnight     April 02, 2007
Release Date: October 04, 2005

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Book Set 1
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
Curiosity is part of any 10-year old's life, but Sakura just broke the seal on a magical book and released all of the mischievous spirits imprisoned on the cards inside! Kero, the "Guardian of the Clow Cards" is horrified to find all of the cards gone and tells Sakura she must become the "Cardcaptor" and retrieve the spirits before they work their mischief in the world.

The Review!
As this release is simply a repackaging of the individual discs and not a reauthoring of said discs, all technical specs are identical to the original release.

The video is clean throughout the two boxes, with no noticeable bleed or shakiness.

With only the Japanese audio track included, the sound doesn't suffer. The anime shows a little of its age here with a sturdy bi-directional soundscape.

Extras on each disc include clean opening and ending credits, character designs, and Pioneer/Geneon trailers. Each disc has the same extras it did the first time around.

Packing for this set is clever, with the two boxes designed to look like the Clow Card book and the Sakura Card book. There are no inserts, but rather a cardstock sleeve with bright graphics for each book. The books themselves are simple clear plastic flip-cases with room on each leaf for one disc. As the discs themselves have no numbering, keeping them in order can be a chore for someone like me, who might not be very organized. It won't take much of a beating either, so play it safe with your Clow and Sakura Books!

As a series, Cardcaptor Sakura is one of those delicious candies that might be good for you, but you can never be sure. The main characters are well delineated and do not change much throughout the course of the show, which is an admirable trait here rather than a repetitive one. Sakura herself is kind and bright without being Miss Perfect. Tomoyo, her best friend, is rich and also kind, but she often uses her power for creepy stalker-y means rather than good or evil. Li Sayoran is the character we see the most change in over the course of the show, as he grows out of his man-crush and into his more adult feelings for Sakura. Sakura herself shows a similar growth, but in a more muted fashion.

That said, this is an action show with romantic overtones, not a romance with fighting. Each adversary is creative and is based on a magical item known as a Clow Card. These are like tarot cards with attitude and vaguely free will, and they lash out at humanity blindly until they are captured and subdued with magic. Sakura is the newest inheritor of this magic, with competitors Li Sayoran and Li Meiling hot on her heels for dominance of the cards. There are, of course, higher powers at work, and thus the three must often work together to solve problems they would not be strong enough to solve on their own.

CCS is sincere but not sickening. The webbing of romance is fun for young adults and the action is more than sufficient for the kid in most viewers. With creative team CLAMP's recent resurrection of all things old, this lengthy classic stands to remind the audience of what made this team great: solid, well-paced plot played by characters with staying power.

In summary, if you buy one of these sets, you must buy them both. Because of where the first set stops, the second set will cry out to you. Even if you are not particularly involved in the plot, the cliffhanger is deadly. If you buy the second without the first, don't complain to me about not having all of the facts . . . several characters have secondary personality traits you don't see at all until the second set, but to fully "get" these transformations, the first set is a must. I cannot recommend this series enough to old-school and mid-school anime fans, because you will be reminded of why you love televised anime. New-school? This is a great example of what a series without any filler episodes can do. Three tight story arcs and top-notch week-to-week animation make Cardcaptor Sakura a must-own.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

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