Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: C+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 86
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cardcaptor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie
By Edmund Lee
April 26, 2002
Release Date: March 26, 2002
What joy is it to receive this disc a few days ago. No sooner than it arrived, it's the first thing that I watched. Keeping in tone with the Cardcaptor Sakura magic, this movie put me into such a good mood that I haven't had for a while.
The movie starts out the usual thing with Sakura battling another Clow Card, this time the Arrow Card. After the incident, we see Sakura having a dream where she is pulled into a pool of water and hears a voice, giving her an advice. On next day, it is another regular day for Sakura as she receives her report card before the school holidays. On her way home from school with Tomoyo, they stopped by the schools favourite toy store to buy a workbook and Sakura went into a competition, where the special prize is a trip for 4 to Hong Kong. With no surprise she happens to win the special prize, and off she goes to Hong Kong with Tomoyo, Yukito and her brother. During their time there, Sakura was drawn to a well and nearly fell into a spell if Li hadn't stopped her. When she was brought back to Li's house, Li's mother asked her to stay the night. And as the dreams get more and more disturbing, Li's mother sense something powerful is drawing Sakura and warns her of the dangers that li!
es ahead. And soon enough the was far too strong for Sakura to avoid and took control of her body and made her released the seal to the dimension that Sorceress is residing in. It is up to Sakura to discover why the Sorceress wants to see Clow Reed so desperately and try to find a way to rescue her friends from her clutches.
The movie comes off as being a standard Cardcaptor Sakura episode. That's how it feels to me. The plot is rather simple and for anyone that pays attention to the movie can basically figure out what's gonna happen in the end. However simple the story is, it's done really well and that's what made this movie so enjoyable. The first half of the movie was rather fun, especially with Toya getting Sakura into some very embarrassing moments. The villain, as always in anime, is never really evil. And while she does seem evil at first, the tone of the voice (bow down to the great Megumi Hayashibara) gives off a hint of desperation, which makes it sound like she was hoping to meet Clow Reed again. I think what made me feel so good was the ending song, "It's My Life/ Tooi Kono Machi de" that captures the emotion of the film real well. The English version just didn't leave the same impression on me like the Japanese version did.
The video presentation is by far excellent on my initial watching. Gorgeous use of colours, with no shimmering or any other video artefacts on my setup. Although a few bits seem to be grainy (by the looks of it, it must have been the source materials), but I didn't really pay anything to it because of the audio. Only while I was listening to the dub, did I notice the grain. Speaking of audio this leads me to...
...the audio quality. By far the Japanese 5.1 track, to put it bluntly, rocks. Good use of sound across all the soundstage, which not only includes the sound effects, but the music and dialogue too. However, turning to the English 5.1 track, seeing as the entire segment was re-recorded with it's own music, there wasn't a lot off oomph in the low frequency range because of that. The dialogue sounded clear in both languages.
With the extras, most (well all of them) are trailers for the movie. All of the Japanese ones were great, but the English one, well just ignore it. Also there's a hidden extra, which is a music clip, but for the sake of everything good that is Cardcaptor Sakura, I refuse to talk about it.
With the dub, this movie now becomes the Cardcaptor movie. Admittedly, I enjoyed the dub, but only up to a point. I can take how the dub changes things around to fit the "Cardcaptor" way of things but what I couldn't stand was how the dub turns the Sorceress into a wholly evil villain. With the actions being on screen, I can't digest how it actually worked. Especially at the end of the movie, when Sakura tells the Sorceress that Clow Reed had died a long time ago and to return her friends, the villain strangely gives up because of that. To the script writers, the whole point of a revenge is to see the enemy dead/defeated and continue on with your evil ways, not make you feel sorry for the villain and that she wanted her "spirit to be set free". So I will say this, to those who curse anything to do with Cardcaptors, just ignore the English dub entirely. For those who have seen Cardcaptors too much, watch it in the original language and see what you are really missing.
Like I stated earlier, it left me in such a good mood, that I would wholly recommend anyone to give this disc a look.
Panasonic SA-HT80, Panasonic TX-76PW10A 32" Widescreen 100hz/Progressive Scan, standard S-video cables