Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: C
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cardcaptor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #05
By Robert "DarkSong" Piekut
February 07, 2002
Release Date: September 11, 2001
Konnanachiwa!!! Back again for disc #5, and wondering what evil force captured the fourth disc. Where's a Cardcaptor when you need one? Anyhow, failing that, we'll just have to settle for my review of volume 5.
Thankfully we get to hear this show in it's lovely original language, because my mind is still in shock remembering the horrid casting that Nelvana did for the English language "Cardcaptors" debacle. Casting Tomoyo as a Valley Girl should be punishable by death! But on this disc, once again the audio is clear with no discernable distortion - although I have to force myself to not sing along with the music, to make sure there are no flaws. ^_^
I'm a bit disturbed with the visual quality, because this disc has been the worst so far. Not that it's horrid, mind you - but I've been scrutinizing it very carefully, and noticed a few things. I'll go into detail about them in the "content section", but I'll say that easily 95% of the video is gorgeous, but when you do get defects - it does indeed stand out.
Hey Chris - guess what? This is the second cover that isn't primarily Pink! Does that make you feel better? ^_^ Another gorgeous illustration is used on the front - I expect nothing less from CLAMP, tho. The back cover shows another collage of shots from the episodes - alas all the shots of my beloved Tomoyo are covered with text - and the usual list of credits and info. And unfortunately that eyesore of the blurb for the "official cardcaptors website" remains. I wish it would just go away! The insert is an amazingly cute image and I also got the collectible postcard - this time a shot of most of the female cast on the beach.
Easily one of the weakest parts of the disk, the menus are bland. In an era where many other releases have amazing stuff done by outfits like Nightjar, with sound effects, music and animation, CCS suffers from the plain jane treatment of static images that suffer from fuzzy image quality as well. Oh well, at least the menus are functional, and not difficult to use.
What extras? Besides the postcard, there's a 24 image gallery of line art. I'm still really missing the character profile that was done on the first disc, and vanished afterwards. Come on Nelvana/Pioneer - you've proven you can do better already, let's see it again!
Since I'm usually again doing content-reviewing, because of the spoiler factor, I'll take this time to address a few concerns I have with this disc, and make some miscellaneous comments.
This disc has the most problems with visual quality so far.The ending credit text at the end of the first episode on the disc was blurry for some reason - on both review systems, and I checked multiple times.In the second episode on the disk the worst problems occur. You see several defects - a couple of what looks like film "burn marks" and scratches intermittantly through the episode. You see a few more scratches in the fourth episode on the disc as well.
Why do I bring up what some people might call minor details? The level of quality in this release has been so high to this point, that when these defects occur - and if you have a high enough quality setup to see them - it's like someone stood up and shouted it. I don't remember seeing anything like these on the earlier discs.
I continue to have issues with the way the translator does some of the subtitles. In the first episode, when Chihuhara is revealing another of Yamazaki's habitual lies, the comment is made that "She's been acquainted with Yamazaki since kindergarten." Now, I can't see anyone using that particular wording - yes, it might be literally accurate, and grammatically correct, but it sounds completely wrong. Later on in the episode, when their teacher does a bedcheck, you distinctly hear them call him "sensei", but it's translated as "sir". Once again, not technically incorrect, but I don't feel it suitable - anyone who's watched the show to this point knows he's their teacher. In the "Kero-chan check" part at the end of that episode, you hear him say "ichiban" - which means "number one" - but in the translation there's nothing even close to the spirit or intent of what he said there. Small things like that do disturb me.
Enough of the negatives - let's get on with some positive points! In the beginning of the series, when Li was introduced - let's face it, he was a jerk, and pissed a lot of people off in his behavior. Well, guess what - he's no longer in that position. In fact, his attitude towards Sakura starts getting a bit better, and then in the third episode on the disc he gets his just desserts. A new character is introduced, Li Meilin, and she is downright hostile to our poor Sakura-chan. It amuses me to no end to see Kero refer to Li and Meilin as "the kid and the brat". ^_^ Also, in the fourth episode, Tomoyo once again wins the award for best line with the comment "It seems our relationship chart has gotten a little complicated." Have I mentioned how much I love Tomoyo? ^_^
My biggest complaint about this release of Cardcaptor Sakura? It's coming out too bloody slow for my taste! I'd be tickled pink to see a disc a month, if they could keep up the same quality. Oh well, good things come to those who wait, right? See you again next disc!
1) RCA 25" TV using S-video cables, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE845 DD/DTS receiver, Fibre optic audio out to receiver, Paradigm speakers. 2) Toshiba MD-1402 DVD-Rom, PowerDVD, ViewSonic G810 monitor