Cardcaptors Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cardcaptors

Cardcaptors Vol. #5

    September 11, 2001
Release Date: September 11, 2001


Cardcaptors Vol. #5
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Fire and Ice! The Fiery Card interrupts Sakura's trip to the winter carnival and proves to be Sakura's biggest challenge yet! Meanwhile, "magical cards" that look like the Clow have become the rage at school, but when Sakura goes to buy one, she senses a real Clow Card in the store - the Shot Card.

Then, the new school term starts and Sakura is elated to meet her new teacher. However, before she can settle in, the Snow Card buries the town in snow; will Sakura lose her precious presents?!

The Review!
The wonderful experience of watching Carcaptor Sakura gets a dumbing down and added repetition, but some of its original charm shines through anyway.

Audio: Strong, even on the dub. The voices came through clearly, there was some directionality, and the background music was mostly timed to the animation (unlike one of the earlier discs). The announcer voice and intro song still annoyed me, but there was nothing technically wrong with it.

At the end of the first episode, there is what sounds like an English dub of one of the original series songs, and it's very well done. If you listen too closely to the lyrics, you might laugh, but the tone and rhythm are just right. Does this mean English dubbed songs are going to make a comeback?

Video: If you can ignore the bad CGI at the beginning and end of each episode, the animation is the reason to watch this show. Both in terms of transfer and master quality and the original art, this series captivates people of all ages. This disc is no exception. Kero-chan says "check!"

Packaging: The three card-captors take front stage, with Kero flying up and the Firey card fuzzy in the background. The back has the usual montage of scenes, but in this case they make some of the text hard to read. The episodes are clearly listed, but there is absolutely no way of knowing that this is volume five of the series, not even from the numbers on the spine.

Inside is a clear plastic stand-up figure of Meilin- kind of scary! There's an ad for the series CD on a separate card. The insert has Julian kneeling behind Sakura and both are smiling. The chapters are listed clearly above. The disk itself if the usual tasteful silver with a hard-to-see Kero-chan and the Cardcaptors logo. A pretty good packaging job, but it could use a little tweaking.

Menus: No music or movement on the menus at all. On the other hand, they were very well organized and simple to navigate. The scene access was especially well done. Overall, these menus are similar to previous ones.

Extras: The only real extra was a character intro for Kero, appropriate considering the first episode on the disk. The intro, however, has an entire scene in miniature with text below it- very nice. I wish more character intros gave up on the traditional birthdates and blood types and went for animation instead.

Content: Each episode on this disk begins with Sakura's dream of the "radio tower" (really Tokyo Tower) and of a mysterious figure standing on one of the platforms. But every time she gets close to seeing the person's face, she wakes up.

Knowing she has nearly captured all the cards, Sakura worries what will happen to Kero when she finishes her job. Will she stop being a Cardcaptor, and will Kero leave? Worried, Sakura decides to learn to capture cards on her own, or with just Li's help. This attempt backfires when they come across the Firey card, and Li and Sakura both take a beating.

Though the chopped version of the episode doesn't provide much emotional reason for Sakura's behavior, the song at the end was very well done. I can't comment on the translation (not recalling the Japanese version), but this is one of those soft and sweet magical girls songs that I'm very glad Nelvana did not cut from this version.

Meilin competes with Sakura again in the second episode, after the girls realize that the other students are buying fake Clow Cards. This leads to a final showdown that doesn't go the way anyone planned, least of all Meilin. Li is really showing his maturity here, and Sakura gets to be creative, but the character development continues to be choppy. Secondary characters (and some parts of Li's personality) suffer the same fate as Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune in the Sailor Moon R dub- that is, what the characters do and what they say about it don't quite match.

The last episode finally brings the mystery of Sakura's teacher to the fore. She warns Sakura about the weather right before a giant snowstorm hits. Of course, Sakura is too busy blushing at Julian to notice until the snow is waist-high. Once again, she and Li take off flying above the city, looking for a card. And once again, Li protests. After a fairly predictable battle, and unexpected guests shows up, and another mystery firmly establishes itself.

After all, how many fifth-grade teachers do you know who live in a temple, can sense the effects of Clow Cards, and don't bat an eyelash at their students running around town after midnight?

Once again, I have to recommend the sub over the dub, but if you simply must buy in English only, Cardcaptors sure beats all the Pokemon clones.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
25" Samsung Stereo TV, code-free Pioneer 333, Sony STR-SE391 receiver, Sony speakers, and the cables that came with the set.

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