Sailor Moon Vol. #05: Introducing Sailor Venus! (of 14) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, July 12, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2002



What They Say
Zoycite's evil monsters are still searching for the Rainbow Crystals and only Sailor Moon can stop them... but first she has to defeat the jealousy in her own heart! If you thought the fight against Queen Beryl and the Negaverse was wild before, you won't believe the action as Sailor Venus arrives! She's bold, she's beautiful... but just whose side is she really on? Green-eyed monsters abound in the fifth fantastic collection of Sailor Moon on DVD!

The Review!
Yet another new sailor scout and even major plot revelation. If it wasn’t for the filler, I’d be more interested.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in the only language available, English. Though done back in 1995, the disc has a rather good pro-logic mix to it, with the music being the main beneficiary of it and sending a lot of sounds to the rear speakers. There’s some minor directionality with sound effects and dialogue across the forward soundstage, but the track overall sounds decent with no noticeable dropouts or distortions.

Video:
The transfer for this release is somewhat better than the past couple of volumes, but that’s not really saying all that much. The main difference is that we saw less of the ghosting and mid-range blockiness than we did in those volumes. There’s still the usual amount of grain and a low level of cross coloration running through. But again, the show doesn’t have much in the way of a lot of vibrant colors and the backgrounds are done in a fairly minimalist way at times.

Packaging:
The cover for this release continues the nice bright style the foreground characters of Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus. There’s more blonde hair here than… well, let’s avoid the bad jokes. The backgrounds of dark orange offset all the yellow in the characters hair, giving it a nice feel. The back cover provides a few small animation shots and a rundown of the show and what it’s all about. Episode titles are listed, but no numbers and there’s no volume numbering either. The insert provides another shot of the cover while the reverse side has some new artwork and lists the episodes as well as the previews on the disc.

Menu:
The menus are pretty decent and definitely shiny. With nothing on the disc outside of the extras, episode selection is the main menu. Unfortunately, there’s no episode numbering here either so unless you start with the first episode and let it play through, it can be very difficult to tell where to start and where to pick up again if you leave off somewhere.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the introduction of Lita in the last volume, we get a few episodes where we get used to her being part of the team and adjusting to her style mixing in with everyone elses. While there’s no standout episodes involved here, there’s some fun little side stuff going on.

Lita and Andrew’s little romantic bit, or rather, Lita’s crush on Andrew gets some play as she gets friendlier with him while at the same time his girlfriend gets an offer to go to Africa for her studies. It’s all set up of course to bring the forces of the Negaverse after his girl, since she may have one of the crystals in her. It’s amusing watching how Darien chides Andrew over Lita while he’ll eventually end up with Serena.

While Lita does get some exposure, this run of episodes also has a focus on the secondary characters. There’s an amusing segment with Rei’s grandfather, you remember him and the shrine, where he gets sought as a potential crystal holder. Probably the best of the filler was Kitty Chaos, where Luna ends up getting involved with a large ugly cat who may be the possessor of a crystal. This is probably one of the more humorous episodes on the disc and gives Luna some decent spotlight. Of course, to counter that, there’s the “Tuxedo Melvin” episode, which just grinds and grinds on your mind.

The final two episodes are the ones where all the real fun happens though. We finally get the introduction of Sailor Venus and her cat Artemis. This addition to the team, though somewhat more confrontational than past additions, brings them up to full power and sets the stage for the next major arc. And that involves the truth of who is who between Darien and Serena in one of the more amusing “You’re?!” sequences.

A good number of things still grate on me with this dub, but in terms of plot, the couple of decent episodes help make it worthwhile to keep going through. And with Sailor Venus now here, there’s a leggy blonde whose not goofy to look at.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: C
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 14.98
Running time: 150
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sailor Moon