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. #13
By Chris Beveridge
December 28, 2002
Release Date: January 07, 2003
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #13
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
The Power of One’s Own Star! Without the power to use the Clow Cards, Sakura must discover a new method of using her magic and her new staff. But will she be able to do this while being attacked by Eli’s traps: a possessed piano, a giant Teddy Bear and her own friend, Li Shaoran?! How much can a 11-year old handle?The Review!
The third season gets in full swing here and there’s plenty of neat little things going on as well as some large overall changes.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, beautiful pink, is again the focus here as we have Sakura in a beautiful outfit but with the subtle change to the stars being more prominent than before. 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 those who may be her adversaries for this season behind her. 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 line art galleryContent:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Following from the events of the last episode on the previous disc, where the third season really kicked off, things in Sakura’s home town aren’t going so well. The rain continues to pour continually over just this town, much to the bafflement of everyone. Sakura knows that it’s a problem that she’s supposed to handle, but as we see in the flashbacks, she’s unable to utilize her wand and to activate her Clow cards. And so, the rain falls and falls hard.
Kero and Yue confer a few times as they begin to suspect what may be causing the problem, but both of them are unsure of its real possibility, since it’s one of those “it can’t be” kind of situations. What really starts to get things interesting is that Toya starts to really sense what’s going on with everyone, expect probably Tsukishiro, and starts slowly opening up about it. His heightened senses of supernatural activity and the like has been going off for ages, so it’s little surprise he really wants to get something off of his chest.
The big focus here for things early on is Sakura and her inability to activate her cards, which means she’s unable to deal with the problems that are coming up. Through some self exploration and a general feeling of the paranormal around her, she learns that she’s now a medium between the two extremes of the Clow with it’s sun and moon pulls. Utilizing the Stars as the center, she’s able to substitute that into her release spell, but not without some serious issues around it.
Her use of the stars to use magic to deal with problems has some side affects. The first is that she’s now using her own inner magic ability as opposed to relying on the magic infused into the Clow Cards by Clow Reed. With this new usage, she’s drawing more and more power from herself, causing her to conk out a bit quicker than usual. The other side affect is that she can’t properly use the existing Sun and Moon phase Clow Cards. To help her, she uses them as a base pattern and, one at a time as needed, she’s beginning to convert them to Star Cards that she can use to fight what’s causing the problem.
So with new power comes new issues, but it also appears that it means somewhat of the same villains. While there’s someone, or something, out there that’s testing Sakura and her new powers, they’re doing it in ways that are similar to the opening episodes of the series, which makes for some dull moments. I mean, come on, we’ve see things like the possessed piano already. But barring this aspect of it, things are definitely getting interesting and moving into a new phase.
One thing I find myself really liking is the new opening sequence, which is done by Yoko Kanno with Maaya Sakamoto singing. The animation style at times is very different from what’s in the series, giving a very stylized look, such as the staircase piece with Sakura at the top. While the first seasons opening song is definitely my all time favorite, there’s just something different enough about this one that it really hooked me.
Season three is off to an interesting start, though I hope we can avoid repeating a lot of the first season’s build-up and monster of the week stuff. More things, such as learning why Shaoran feels how he does about Tsukishiro are what I want to see. Heck, anything that causes the poor boy to go fully red is worth seeing!
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,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.