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: 29.98
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cardcaptor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #11
By Chris Beveridge
September 13, 2002
Release Date: September 10, 2002
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #11
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
The Dream Card pulls Sakura into a prophetic dream where she meets another Sakura who tells her “Everything’s going to be just fine.” Of course, that only makes her nervous. However, not quite as nervous as Li gets after he is cast as the princess in Sleeping Beauty! With Sakura cast as the Prince, they resolve to do their best, but they certainly couldn’t have expected the Clow Cards to attack them on stage. Still, their troubles are only beginning. The Light and Dark Cards warn Sakura about the arrival of Yue the Judge, just as Mei Lin is forced to return to Hong Kong!The Review!
The plot may be moving forward slowly, with each tiny bit almost like pulling teeth, but I still can’t bring myself to complain as these four episodes were just a sheer joy to watch.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:
The yellow backgrounds are back with this volume, which offsets the very bright pink of Sakura’s outfit. Just like every other volume in this series, I can’t get over how great this cover looks. 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 Meilin in her China gear, and this release comes with a great little postcard of Sakura and her friends at the beach.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 ending sequence 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)
With the episodes now in the forty-ish range, we’re starting to see more of the larger plot come to life. Or at least some part of it, with the heavy emphasis on Sakura’s dream being the main focus. Each episode teases out a little bit more of it while other things go on, as there’s always a new Card to deal with.
There’s actually a fair amount of things going on throughout these episodes. The dealings with the Dream card alone brings to the forefront a number of things for the characters, as we initially start off by following Sakura, Meilin, Shaoran and Tomoyo all going out shopping and to the movies together. The Dream card manages to latch onto them and starts bringing their dreams to reality, but only so that they can see. While this provides some greater clarity for Sakura and her fortelling, it does provide an extremely humorous moment when Shaoran finds himself and Sakura taking over part of the movie they were seeing.
And in showing that things go in circles, one episode deals with the class putting on a play for the Arts Festival. In an opportunity to give everyone a shot at any role, a ladder is brought out. I can’t imagine how those things work, but you know there was some tweaking by Mizuki as Shaoran and Sakura wind up as the leads in Sleeping Beauty. Of course, much like things seem to go in the Kinomoto family, Sakura lands the role of the prince and Shaoran as the princess. There’s some great moments throughout here as the two practice and Meilin gets jealous. Watching Shaoran perform this role while you have Yukito egging on Toya about his own acting roles was just too perfect and is just the kind of comedy that makes this show so enjoyable to me. This episode also provides two of the best looking and most interesting Cards of the series so far, particularly in their hiding places.
The best episode here though is the final one, which deals with Meilin being called home by her mother. Naturally she doesn’t want to go and wants Shaoran to do something, but his upbringing won’t allow him to do it and you just know deep down he’s ready to see her go back and go be her own person. The one who takes this the worst is Sakura, who understands just how upset Meilin is about it and tries to get her and Shaoran to talk about it. She brings Meilin home with her for a sleepover, since there’s barely a week before she has to go back. This provides the two a chance to really talk, and like all girls, it circles around boys. The look into her past and the time with Shaoran there is very illuminating on why both of them are they way they are and adds quite a bit to the characters.
Throughout all four episodes, I pretty much just smiled like I do with all of these discs. While the plot with Mizuki and the dream at Tokyo Tower continues to proceed slowly, I’m enjoying how they tease out the bits of it and are getting the others aware of it. I feel like I could watch this series like this forever.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Textless Ending
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.