Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #15 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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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: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #15

By Chris Beveridge     May 08, 2003
Release Date: May 13, 2003


Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #15
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
What if…? Would there be an earth-shaking battle if Spinel met Keroberous? If Sakura and Li were trapped alone together in an elevator, could Li confess his feelings to Sakura? How could Keroberous and Yue stay hidden if couldn’t take on their mundane disguise? And what if Tomoyo disappeared? Could Sakura persevere without her best friend? Many trials lie in store for our heroine and her friends - good luck, Sakura!

The Review!
Bits of the overall Clow storyline are touched upon throughout these episodes, but once again it’s little more than continual teasing.

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 looks similar to the last one or two volumes, which means not as good as it should be. Colors look vibrant, though there’s still a general softness to things. Aliasing is also very minimal throughout. Cross coloration continues to be strong and there’s still a fuzziness to a number of areas that’s bothersome.

Packaging:
Continuing with the pink, Tomoyo’s latest creation, something more Chinese inspired, provides a very striking cover when combined with the Sakura design. The artwork overall is just as good looking as past volumes. 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 the oblvious Sakura and the two boys who are “competing” for her attention.

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.

Extras:
The only extra included in this volume is a brief page line art gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series gets closer to its conclusion, things are moving a bit faster in terms of revelations about what’s going on. Well, nothing like specific revelations, but more of the usual kind for this series where things are revealed in very tiny nuggets, but in a way that you realize we already knew what’s being said. Essentially, Clow as Eriol is still keeping everyone in the dark and messing with them, or testing them if you prefer.

That’s not to say the episodes aren’t enjoyable, it’s just the specific moments where the teasing out of information gets tiresome. A very enjoyable episode starts the disc off where Sakura’s class is having a sweets festival at school. Once the word sweets comes up, you know Kero is going to be involved. Since she knows better, she makes a huge basket of sweets juts for him and sets it in the far off corner of the school grounds where he can just devour it. He knows enough to enjoy that and stay away from the festival itself. What proves his undoing though is when Spinel, in his Kero-like form, ends up bumping right into Kero.

Amusingly, Kero doesn’t recognize Spinel (or so we’re lead to believe?) and ends up believing that he’s just some kind of local monster that speaks Japanese. It’s a great little encounter as Kero treats him like a nice little puppy almost and the ends up forcing a ton of sweets into Spinel’s mouth. This was bound to happen, since we learned earlier in the episode that “something bad” happens when Spinel eats sweets. So things are set up simply and it turns into a fun little episode with Kero really being central, though Sakura and friends get a number of “sweet” moments themselves.

The remaining episodes turn to focus more on the plot of Eriol testing Sakura and Li in various ways, as well as forcing Li’s emotions to be more open. Between Tomoyo tweaking Li over his feelings for Sakura and the things Eriol plots, Li’s definitely getting more confident in what he’s really feeling for her. And it’s just so spot on when he continues to massively blush when he ends up in certain situations. One of the best moments on the disc though takes place after the group spends a good part of the day at a stuff bear event at a department store. When the day is done and they head home, Eriol tweaks things so that Li and Sakura get stuck in the elevator together. Though he does force events again later on in the elevator, a lot of this plays out very well as the two of them deal with things.

And Sakura is one of the most oblivious people out there. I’d complain about it, but I know too many people like that in real life.

Eriol’s later manipulations in the other episodes proves to be amusing as well, such as when he casts a spell on Yue and “giant” Kero so that they can’t transform back to their other identities, which leads to them living with Sakura briefly in their other forms. Tie that in with a cleaning day at the Kinomoto household and you basically have a bull in a china shop with Kero. It works nicely overall though since we get some bits of background on Clow and the relationship between Yue and Kero with Clow, something that ends up surprising Yue.

If there was something I didn’t care for with all of these episodes, its that there were a few more silly moments throughout that just didn’t feel right. Such as Kero in large form, having his eyes bug out like a WB cartoon. Too many elements like that creeped into these episodes. There was a segment where we pan across the classroom and you have Tomoyo going with her “oh ho ho ho” laugh, but they also did it as a word balloon and put a text version of it in there. These elements just felt too out of place and too, well, strong at the time they were done.

That aside, things are moving along nicely here. The characters are growing, as Eriol continues to point out, and the relationships are on the verge of changing. I’m still enjoying this show just as much as when I started, though I am at the same time looking forward to its conclusion.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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