Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #10 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • 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: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     June 27, 2002
Release Date: July 09, 2002


Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #10
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Sakura starts the 5th grade on a high note with a beautiful new teacher, Kaho, and a precious birthday gift from Yukito. However, the Clow Cards make sure to remind her that she still has her duty as Cardcaptor in addition to her school-work. The Snow Card's storm, the Voice Card's theft of Tomoyo's voice, and the Lock Card's attack on her school field trip, are just a few of the problems she has to deal with. Not an easy task when she's home sick with a high fever, but without Sakura, how can the Cloud Card be captured?Extra! Limited edition postcard in every volume!

The Review!
The second season of Sakura kicks off here with our favorite heroine moving up a grade. Yes, our little Sakura is growing up!

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:
The transfer for this volume appears to be much like the last one, where it’s a general improvement over what we’d been seeing. Colors look more vibrant, though there’s still a general softness to things. Cross coloration is very minimal with only a few really tightly drawn areas showing it. Aliasing is also very minimal throughout. The new opening and ending is also in place for these episodes, though the eye-catch appears to be the same as the previous volume.

Packaging:
While there’s a lot of yellow on the cover, mostly in Sakura’s outfit, the background is definitely more lime green in nature which I’m not sure we’ve seen before. The cover art, as usual, just looks gorgeous and makes me wish I could draw like that. The back cover provides a collage of artwork in the background as well as the usual summary and production information. The discs episode numbers and titles are also clearly listed here. The insert provides a nice shot of Sakura and Tomoyo together with Kero tagging along, and this release comes with a great little postcard of Sakura and Meilin in an athletics race with everyone looking on.

Menu:
The menu system here is really pretty barebones, but not altogether surprising. The main menu has some static artwork with no music. Access times felt a bit slower in a few areas this time though, such as returning from the art gallery or at the end of the textless opening.

Extras:
Two extras made it onto this release, with the first being the standard issue of production artwork. With a new opening on this disc, we get the textless version of it here, which is definitely a plus considering how gorgeous it looks.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It’s a whole new season (albeit a short one if I recall correctly) and a whole new grade for Sakura and friends. Her brother and Yukito also move up in their high school path, but both manage to stay in the same class. In Sakura’s case, her entire class is moving forward together, but they’ve got a new teacher. And as luck would have it, it’s Ms. Mizuki.

This just sets off all kinds alarms in Shaoran’s mind since he still feels a sizeable amount of power coming from her. Sakura on the other hand still seems to almost idolize her, and gets a bit dreamy eyed around her. With Mizuki now teaching the class, she wins them over quickly by letting them go outside to play for their first free period. But during this, she provides an ominous portent to Sakura about things falling heavily.

No sooner does she say this than we see the Sakura blossoms falling, but in the end that’s not it. Throughout the day, massive amounts of snow begin to fall, covering the city entirely in over three feet of it. Another card is obviously at work here, but while that is important, the fact of Mizuki knowing something was going to happen is even more telling. This gets some minor discussion, mostly from Shaoran after he finds out, but it’s left to the side until it happens again in a later episode.

This episode is also important due to the fact that Yukito gives Sakura a gift for her new year. It turns out to be a watch, which she just goes gaga over, much like a girl her age would. It’s a terminally cute sequence when Kero is trying to find out from her about it. But where it plays a larger role is later on when it gets lost, and ends up bringing her and Shaoran closer.

This also ties to another event later on. A rather solid episode features Tomoyo losing her voice to the VOICE card of all things (surprise surprise!). Prior to that, we hear just how great her voice is and about the upcoming recital she’s a key part for. I really have to hand it to Junko Iwao in just how fantastic her voice is to be able to pull that off in addition to the wide variety of other roles she’s done. She’s definitely one of my favorite actresses out there. During Tomoyo’s time down, Sakura feels very responsible for it all since she’s supposed to capture these things. While at Tomoyo’s with Shaoran, Sakura tries to figure out what to do about it all, but Tomoyo notices (again) how Shaoran is watching over her. She takes advantage of not having a voice to point this out to him, which only serves to fluster the poor boy.

While I generally hate the will they/won’t they kind of ‘romance’ relationships, it’s one that works perfectly for this age level, and little things like this are just perfect.

Throughout these episodes, there’s a fair amount of portents of things to come. Things come to close to being revealed on a number of occasions with Toya intending to tell Yukito about Mizuki. Toya also manages to become even cooler with things he says and does during the episode where Sakura falls ill. The relationships in that family are just done so well, that it’s almost eerie.

For the start of the new season, these were solid episodes that provided good Clow Card action, great character development and some really fun stuff in general. My two year old was fixated by it while my wife and I simply smiled and laughed during the show. Solid entertainment, very recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Textless Opening

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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