Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #17 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • 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. #17

By Chris Beveridge     September 09, 2003
Release Date: September 09, 2003


Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #17
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
I’m in Love With…!

Ski lessons are impossible in a blizzard, but what can Sakura do when an avalanche threatens the entire class?! Next, Touya and Yukito star in Akizuki’s movie which gets too close to their real lives for comfort. Unfortunately, Yukito begins to fade forcing Touya, Sakura and Li to reveal their feelings and face their fears. When Yukito asks Sakura to really examine her heart, she is left confused. Doubting herself and her feelings, she decides to visit Clow Reed in the past. Don’t worry Sakura- Li’s there to help!

The Review!
Closing in on the final episodes, Cardcaptor Sakura takes a few episodes here to tie up some loose ends.

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 is pretty much on par with how things have gone recently, 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 isn’t as strong as it was but it’s still there and there’s still a fuzziness to a number of areas that’s bothersome.

Packaging:
Shifting to a blue background and bringing back the smile, Sakura’s here in a very nice shot with a cute outfit with green plumage. 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 dark looking cast shot of the more magically powered folks.

Menus:
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)
With only three episodes left after this volume, it’s time for things to start getting wrapped up and things to be revealed. With a volume title of “Confessions”, we get a couple of those as well, so expect spoilers.

Eriol of course continues his bag of tricks as he works his way into creating various situations that lead to Sakura converting her cards over to her ownership. Sometimes the situations are a bit weird or nonsensical, such as the recent swimming pool one, but other times they’re pretty decent. We get a couple of those here, such as the one where the gang is all on a school ski trip and everyone’s having a good time. Tomoyo is a master of the skiing arts, so she spends most of her time videotaping Sakura, who is now just happy that she’s not falling down all the time.

A round of scary stories puts Sakura in the wrong mood for awhile, but eventually she’s back outside and having fun and ends up going to a new slope with Eriol now that she’s gotten better. While the two are out, a snowstorm gets stronger around them and they find themselves really stuck in a blizzard. It’s a great moment where Sakura realizes she has to use her powers to save people from an avalanche, but Eriol is right next to her and she desperately tries to figure out the best way to deal with it.

Some of the best material of the series comes after that, where the school festival season is back and we focus on Yukito and Toya’s piece. Having been roped into a movie, the two of them engage in a fun performance that ends up getting Sakura involved when she drops by the set. The focus though is pretty much on Yukito, as he continues to disappear at times and his sleeping problems are still as strong as ever. Toya tries desperately at times to talk to him, but there’s always something in the way of it. But this is finally brought to a head and Toya pushes everyone back and confronts Yukito about everything, unknowing that Sakura is listening. She’s shocked that he seems to know so much and even more so at the price he’s willing to pay to help Yukito.

Sakura’s life changes quite a bit in these episodes, as she takes what she’s learned from this encounter and realizes just how close she is to losing anyone at any time, a revelation that children come to at different times as they grow up. With so many important people in her life, this really brings her to the realization of how precious life is. Instead of being shy and awkward about certain things, she decides to take things into her own hands and confess her true feelings to Yukito. This has a very tender and warm cascading effect on her other relationships; some very heartwarming and heartwrenching moments.

With this volume bringing us into the late 60’s for the episode count, I continue to be amazed at just how well it’s held up throughout. I’ve found myself enjoying all the moments between the characters just as much as when we first met them and their awkward interactions. It hasn’t gotten overdone or drawn out, but just laid out simply and beautifully. With so little left, every episode has felt like it counted more as get towards the end run. I can’t wait to get the next volume.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic DMR-E20 DVD Recorder, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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