Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cardcaptor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #09
By Chris Beveridge
May 16, 2002
Release Date: May 14, 2002
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #09
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Fire & Ice! Learning how to ice-skate can be a lot of fun. However, the lesson turns into a crash course when the Freeze Card appears. Later, Sakura and Yukito team up in a city-wide search for clues to a hidden prize that ends up in a death-defying drop!
Then the Firey Card attacks and Sakura must learn a new technique with her Clow Cards in order to pull her friends out of the fire! The Review!
This volume brings to a close both “season 1” of the show as well as the Kero-chan Check! segments. This is also the place where at the end, you would have originally been able to go and see the first movie. So feel free to go watch that after you finish this.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:
After the mixed bag we got on the last volume, this one came as quite a surprise. In one change, we noted this was authored by a different company than the previous volumes. There’s still some cross coloration throughout but it seems to be relegated to just some hair and some tight line work. Colors in general seem brighter and backgrounds much more solid. This volume just looked a whole lot better to our eyes.Packaging:
Shifting back to the pink again, this cover features Sakura in her school uniform with her wand over her shoulder as well as her protective skating gear while the cherry blossoms fall. The back cover provides the usual soft images underneath the text along with the episode numbers and titles as well as production information. The insert provides a good shot of the girls in their cheerleading outfits as well as chapter stops for each of the episodes. Menu:
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. Extras:
The only extra included here is another line art gallery.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bringing the first season to a close, much like Vol. #9 did in Japan (though that had four episodes, since the first volume only had three and we had four), things go out with some hints of what’s to come and the feeling of the innocence coming to an end is very subtle.
Throughout the three episodes we get extended segments of one of Sakura’s dreams, where we see her in an outfit from Tomoyo, staring at the Tokyo Tower. On the tower is someone obscured in shadows, but obviously menacing in some way. With each dream we see more and more of the person, usually followed later on with a segment showing Kero-chan looking up into the sky with a pensive look. There’s something afoot to be sure.
But there’s plenty of regular things going on while the big evil lurks. A rather good episode ends up with the entire class going to learn how to ice skate at an indoor rink. One of the nastier cards, Freeze, has taken over the rink and after sensing the abilities of Sakura and Shaoran, it freezes everyone and tries to take them down. This is visually a good episode since it takes place in a very bright area and the ice animation looks good and is pretty creative as well.
The relationship between Sakura and Yukito heats up here as well, when he agrees to be her partner in a special retailer event that involves finding clues and solving puzzles. The two play off of each other nicely. There’s some fun when Meilin and Shaoran participate as well, with Meilin being the butt of many jokes, especially when she runs up against Sakura’s brother. But the moments with Shaoran and Yukito are priceless.
The last episode, the obligatory Christmas episode, is probably the best in general though. With Christmas also doubling as Yukito’s birthday, Sakura spends some time with him and the two end up going out and having a good time together, though of course they come across the Li’s again, who continue to act like an old married couple. There’s a lot of good character moments throughout this episode, and with a major card causing trouble, there’s some good action sequences as well.
After nine volumes of this show, I still eagerly look forward to each new one and this was no exception. It’s not for everyone, but it’s one of the few shows where all of my family will sit down and watch it, including the two year old who doesn’t understand a lick of Japanese.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.