Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: C+
- 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. #12
By Chris Beveridge
November 09, 2002
Release Date: November 12, 2002
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #12
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Mysteries Revealed! Kero confronts Sakura’s teacher, Kaho Mizuki, to discover that the final judgement is upon them and the fate of the world is in balance!
Then the earth splits open introducing the final card, the Earth Card. If Sakura can capture it, she will have captured all of the Clow Cards and Kero will regain his true form. However, will Sakura be ready for the final judgement? Will Sakura be ready to face the judge, Yue, when he appears? How will she be able to fight someone she loves? The Review!
The brief second season comes to a close with this volume as we get three episodes that bring everything to fruition in an excellent way. And if that’s not enough, the first episode of the third season starts us on a new path.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 continues to be a general improvement during regular playback. 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:
Pink is the name of the game again here, with a slight orange tinge to it. Sakura’s in the outfit of her recent dreams and almost looks a bit somber here. 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 Sakura, Li and the big Kero in their defining moment.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:
The only extra included in this volume is a brief eight page line art galleryContent:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The conclusion to the brief second season, after oh so many hints and teases during practically every episode, is rather enjoyable and plays out much like one would suspect. In fact, it’s almost predictable in some ways, if you were paying enough attention. Me? I’ve just been enjoying the show and trying to avoid looking for deeper meanings along the way.
Things feel like they’re coming to a close in general here, and this becomes readily apparent when during one evening while walking back together, Sakura, Li, Tomoyo and Ms. Mizuki end up facing the final Clow Card. The battle with the Earthy card puts several of them in danger, but it’s mostly Sakura dealing with the problem and trying to rectify what she started way back in the first episode. There’s a lot of underlying stuff going on here as well, as it’s amusing to note Ms. Mizuki is the calmest of the group.
Of course, she also got something of a talking to by Kero in the previous episode. She had been participating in an archery competition for adults, where Yukito was representing his school as something of an honor. It looked like it was coming down to the two of them being the main skilled archers, which lead to some very nicely done scenes between them. But it was the time later when Kero senses something and heads off to sit down in front of her and just start talking about what’s going on.
Kero knows it’s about to hit the fan.
And that’s indeed what comes up. With the last card captured, Sakura feels relieved that the catastrophe that was mentioned is no longer going to happen. But that’s not the actual deal, it turns out. Once all the cards are captured, Yue the Judge will arrive and see if the owner of the cards is worthy of them. With the cards divided up between Li and Sakura, Yue’s human form takes each of them on individually. It’s really surprising how the first battle goes, so much so that it’s almost not even shown for the most part. Sakura’s battle against Yue is much more revealing, both in how she does it with her cards as well as the consequences of the failure. And while I hate the “out” that Ms. Mizuki gave her, it’s something I do expect from a show where the age level of the target audience is close to Sakura and younger.
With all this said and done, the inclusion of the first episode of the third season is very welcome here. While the Japanese release had only three episodes on this volume, Pioneer’s included the next and I found that having the moving on of the plot and life of the characters to serve as a good epilogue to what’s past and a prologue of what’s to come. We’re mostly introduced to a new transfer student in Sakura’s class, one who has an eye for Sakura already and is causing Li to become very concerned. Even Toya gets some trouble, as there’s a new girl in his class who’s apparently decided he’s the one for her, though he barely gets a word in edgewise.
We’re well past the halfway mark of the series now, and with the overall plot from the first two seasons down, I’m enjoying it just as much as I was the first four episodes. There’s very few series that can pull that off after forty-seven episodes, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how season three shapes up. It’s off to a solid start.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Line Art Gallery
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.