Cardcaptors Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, December 29, 2001
What They Say
One fateful day:
What’s a kid to do? Sakura, an everyday fifth grader, discovers the mysterious Clow Book and accidentally sets all of the powerful Clow Cards free. She now must recapture all the cards with the help of Keroberos, who awakens to give Sakura the Key of Clow. Sakura may have just found her destiny but she still needs some convincing!
Partners in crime:
The powerful Shadow Card has captured all the shadows in the school. Watch Sakura become more fearsome as she dons her spectacular Battle Costume, even though it’s not exactly her idea to wear it!
On a trip to the aquarium, Sakura discovers the escaped Water Card. This is the most difficult card that won’t be caught without some careful planning. Eager to capture this card all on her own, she comes up with a brilliant plan/ Watch as Sakura proves her destiny as Cardcaptor.
Why review the awful Cardcaptors instead of the superior Card Captor Sakura? According to Madman, sub only shows just won’t sell here, so the best the Australian sub fan can hope for with local releases is bilingual discs. Where does that leave shows such as Macross, Southern Cross, Mospeada, DBZ and Card Captor Sakura, whose US counterparts are too different to match up neatly? Only the English dub sees a local release, but not even getting the start from Episode 1 International English version is much consolation.
Cardcaptor equals English dub only, and perfect example of the utter re-writing of shows that sub fans hate. The names…oh god, the names. Beyond that, the sound track is technically solid, with some nice action scenes.
Three episodes to a single layer disc is about right to maintain quality. The night sky shots in the first episode do suffer from a degree of chroma noise, but the transfer is reasonably nice and crisp. As with Madman’s previous dub only disc, no subtitles, hard of hearing or otherwise, are provided.
The menu, while animated, falls on the rather pastel dull side. In large print on the left is episode titles, which play the episodes. On the right is the front cover image with “hidden” authoring credit. Much like the later DBZ discs, there is no chapter selection provided via the menu, and only the first episode has the opening titles and last the closing credits. Eyecatches? What are those? None here.
A smallish and text based selection of extras. First up are character profiles for Sakura, Kero and Madison (shudder). They’re written from the point of the view characters themselves, spanning three pages.
The Clow cards covers the first four cards Sakura faces (Windy, Shadow, Fly and Water) with a brief description of their powers and effects. The Story has three pages and serves as a text based recap of the basics of the series, which is kind of unnecessary on this disc because it includes the first episode.
Standard Madman double sided cover in clear keepcase. The front has the Sakura in school uniform doing a roller blade leap on top of a pastel flowery background, clearly showing what market this disc is trying to aim for. One interesting point is much like the DBZ discs, this features an Australian rating higher then I’d consider warranted for it’s intended market, PG due to all evil those supernatural themes. The back has a combination of screen captures and art book images on right and episode descriptions on the right. Strangely the packaging seems confused, with the first episode blurb claiming Sakura’s in the fifth grade while she’s actually in the fourth. While having a decent list of whom licensed what and the creators were, it’s short on technical information such as region code. Inside the double-sided cover are shots of the first four Clow cards against a pastel background. The disc itself features a repeat of the front cover image.
Thankfully the version on this disc is the same that was shown locally that actually starts from the start of the series instead of skipping ahead to Li bring in early as in US/Region 1. With Sakura narrating, she retells the start of a normal day, despite having a strange dream about a strange book. Later she enters her father’s library and finds the same book, accidentally releasing the magic cards held within. Awakening the guardian of the book, the yellow winged teddy bear guy Keroberos (Kero for short) she’s bestowed with the title of Cardcaptor and tasked with recapturing the cards. First up she faces the Fly card
Arriving at school early, Sakura’s friend Madison springs a video of her flying last night, and Kero reveals he snuck into her school bag. After letting Madison in on everything, strange things begin to happen at school. Sakura plans to investigate the cause, with Madison coming along to film the results and bestow the first of Sakura’s Battle Costumes, along with providing some major lighting so Sakura can defeat the Shadow Card.
On a trip to the aquarium, Sakura sees a trainer gets attacked by an underwater whirlwind, only for to be saved by Sakura’s brother Tori. Sakura converses with Kero on the possibility of it being due to the Water Card, and she has flashbacks to the capture of the cards in the previous two episodes. Urgh, spacing filling flashbacks. Sakura puzzles over which two cards she decides to use and how to capture water, before barely surviving an attack by the Water Card on a return visit. It does give her an idea on the proper combination of cards to use and she succeeds in capturing it.
Cardcaptors gets off to a rather generic start and quickly jumps into episodic action. Most Clamp fans will probably end up just importing the superior Cardcaptor Sakura instead though.
English language,Character profiles,Clow Card profiles,Story of the Clow Book
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor
Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: B-
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 24.95 AU
Running time: 70
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2