Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #07 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • 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. #07

By Chris Beveridge     February 09, 2002
Release Date: January 08, 2002


Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #07
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Sakura’s look-alike has been causing trouble and if Sakura can’t figure out which Card it is, her brother may suffer the consequences.

Then a beautiful new teacher, Miss Kaho Mitsuki impresses Sakura, but Li senses trouble! For some reason she always mysteriously appears whenever there is a Clow Card. Coincidence? And what is her relationship with Toya?

Finally, everyone at school begins to collect cards that look suspiciously like the Clow Cards. What will happen if one of them is real?

The Review!
This installment of Sakura goodness really delivers in the content department with a cast that plays quite well off of each other from the subtle moments to the slapstick side. It's hard to believe with this volume we're now 28 episodes into the series.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Of course, being that this is the only language on the disc again, it's a pretty easy choice. Throughout the track we didn't notice any dropouts or distortions and continued to find the opening and closing songs to be the best use of the stereo channels. The majority of the dialogue is through the center channel while the remaining music and sound effects made decent use of the left/right channels.

Video:
Things are really a mixed bag here which is so disappointing after how well things have been going. The first episode has two problems, one of which may be source related. The more annoying of the two problems is the cross coloration that's very noticeable here from characters hair to their entire bodies during midrange shots as well as showing up more heavily in the opening. The second and third episodes are much better but still have some cross coloration showing up. The last episode reverts back to what the first episode is like and gets heavier. The first episode also appears to shift in brightness during a number of sequences, often times multiple times in the same scene. This may just be how the source is, but it's distracting when it suddenly gets darker and then quickly gets lighter again.

Packaging:
A softer lime green is the main background color for this cover with a nice almost sleepy image of Sakura in what I'd hazard to be a maid-ish outfit. Who knew Tomoyo had that fetish? The back cover mixes a lot of animation shots together with a soft feeling as well as providing a nice summary of what to expect. Episode numbers and titles are also clearly listed. The insert provides a nice shot of the new character, Ms. Mizuki alongside the chapter listings. The first pressing also gets a nice little Happy Holiday's card featuring the Kinomoto family.

Menus:
The menu system here is really pretty barebones, but not altogether surprising. The main menu has some static artwork with no music and quick access to the few submenus that exist. Again, oddly enough, English Subtitles are defaulted to off.

Extras:
In the extras department, the main thing we get is the image gallery which provides ten pieces of conceptual artwork. We get a number of shots of the new character as well as Sakura in her various costumes and some background settings.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The four episodes here provide a great balance between the episodic nature of the series so far as well as pushing more the groundwork for the supposedly larger picture that's coming up as we get deeper into the series. There's some good creepy stuff here to be sure alongside all the sugary stuff.

Two of the episodes deal with the episodic nature and bring more Clow Cards to the forefront. In one of them, a powerful card takes Sakura's form and causes all sorts of mischief around town and among her friends, though Sakura denies doing most of the stuff that they claim she did. This only makes her more frantic to figure it all out. The show focuses mostly on the comical side of things, but it also takes a turn into a more subtle side when the card as Sakura takes Toya to look for something in the forest. Toya's innate abilities to see things that others don't gets pushed more as well as his general feeling that he knows what's going on with Sakura.

The other one brings an amusing fad to Sakura's school in the form of enchanted cards that the kids all carry around in hopes of making their wishes come true. Some carry a cooking card to help them cook better while others are scooping up the romance cards and focusing their wishes on some unsuspecting boys. The amusing part is that the cards are all designed to look like Clow Cards which at first sets Sakura off a bit. But once she realizes they're harmless, she goes on a hunt to get a cooking one so she can learn to deep fry some foods that Yukito likes so she can get him to herself a little bit more. Of course, as luck would have it, one of the more powerful cards gets mixed into the regular ones and when Meilin accidentally acquires it, the group gets into some serious trouble.

The darker side of things takes place through a couple of episodes here, and starts somewhat innocently enough. The regular math teacher for Sakura's class is taking an extended vacation, which means they're getting a substitute. This teacher is the young and attractive Miss Mizuki, a red haired woman with some nice bone structure. She had met Sakura the previous day so the two ended up being friendly right off. Li, however, finds something to be very strange and powerful about her and cautions Sakura.

Things proceed in a usual manner though when Sakura, Li, Tomoyo and Meilin all end up in a difficult situation due to one of the cards running amuck. The Maze card appears and swallows them whole when they visit a local shrine. The interactions among the kids are really interesting in how they approach a solution, but it's later in the episode that things really begin to take shape. Once they're out, we learn that Mizuki is the keeper of the shrine and gets all familiar with Toya when he comes looking for the now late Sakura. We then start moving into flashbacks and other ways of of seeing the past and learning a lot about Toya and the Kinomoto family in general.

The show really does a nice job of gradually building in more of the darker elements of the show and building upon the family ties of the Kinomoto's. There's also a lot of nice subtle changes in the dynamic of the group of kids that works well in expanding their characters. If you've been with the series this far, you really can't miss this disc.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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