Sailor Moon Super S TV Vol. #3 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, June 28, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002
What They Say
The Amazon Trio continues their search for the Pegasus by targeting fashion designers, ballet instructors, and others with pure dreams. Sailor Moon keeps struggling against the Dead Moon Circus, but when they target Sailor Venus and Sailor Murcury, are they closing in on Chibi-Usa? How long can Chibi Moon keep her Pegasus dream a secret? Meanwhile, when a Pegasus begins causing trouble around the city, can they continue to trust it?
The Sailor Moon formula is wearing thin in this repetitive, and wildly inconsistent, set of episodes. I can't help but feel that by this point in the Sailor Moon S series things were actually going somewhere.
For this review, the entire show was watched with the Japanese audio almost exclusively. Like volume 1, the audio tends to be a rather uninspired mono mix with some distortion as things get loud. This is probably the way it was originally mixed, but it would be nice to at least have the opening theme song sounding better.
Again, with six episodes on a single disc, we get a fair amount of compression problems, especially in scenes with busier backgrounds, and a fair amount of grain, being an older show. Things still look decent, all things considered, and overall video quality is pretty consistent with earlier volumes.
Volume 3 features a wonderful green cover featuring Sailor Jupiter on the front, and Sailor V on the reverse side and mini-poster insert. I'm loving this cover, as green is a very underused color for anime covers. Go to the store and see for yourself! Although green isn't a really flashy color, the volume 3 cover really stands out. Personally, I love it.
Menus are responsive and functional. The design is nearly identical to the SMS discs, though there is significantly less animation and sound. Volume 3's menu uses some pretty annoying background sound effects and the transition animations seem grainy. Still, there's nothing really to complain about.
The only extra on this disc is a karaoke version of the ending. It's actually very nice to have, since you can use the DVD audio selection to choose between a vocal and non-vocal track, and the subtitle timing is very well done. (Each word lights up as you sing along.) The song here is the new ending song that appears with the episodes on this disc.
(Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers.)
I was so happy with the episodes on volume 2, that perhaps I set my expectations a little too high for volume 3. There is some good stuff here, and long-time Moonies will find a lot to like, but I thought it got a bit too repetitive at times, especially during the fight scenes, which have a way of working themselves out almost identically every time.
Last time, the stories focused on those for whom their dreams had seemingly passed them by. With the exception of a touching story about a middle-aged woman living alone in a big house, these episodes return to the formula of revolving around the famous and beautiful, or of targeting the Sailors themselves. As the supporting characters here are less sympathetic (after all, who cares about the beautiful dreams of those who have already become successful?) the stories are less involving, lacking the soul of previous episodes. On this disc, we also get the stories of a famous fashion designer who has lost his passion for his job, two-timing Minako attempting a double date with a disguised Hawks Eye and Tigers Eye, a manipulative ballet instructor, and the most popular boy at Chibi-Usa's school. Of course, almost all of the battles in the episodes play out exactly the same, leading to a great temptation to fast forward through them.
The most interesting episode of the bunch is a sweet episode in which Ami and Usagi's brother, Shingo, enjoy each other's company at the beach. I'm not saying that Ami is my favorite of the Sailors, you understand, because that would imply I'm becoming a fan of the show, but she is the only one who isn't always spouting off banal nonsense about love and relationships, and she is the only one who isn't overeating or obsessing about something unhealthy, and she is the only one who doesn't make an ass of herself at ballet lessons, and... oh, what the heck! Ami rules. I just wish she had a bigger part in the show even though it was nice to see her get some serious screen time this time around. Her episode has some real tenderness to it, and does have the best battle scene, the only one I really enjoyed.
The real problem here is that we are 18 episodes into this series, and there is still no real sign that things are going anywhere. The plot still doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and the villains, the Amazon Trio, are starting to wear out their welcome. They seem so obsessed with their own interests, that they haven't really put together a reasonable plan for capturing Pegasus. In one episode, Fish Eye actually builds a barrier for keeping Pegasus out, but what I can't figure out is why he didn't just use the barrier to keep Pegasus in. In another episode he seems more interested in taking over a fashion business or in becoming a prima donna ballerina than in capturing Pegasus. Hawks Eye and Fish Eye aren't much better, frequently fighting with each other and sometimes even getting into each other's way.
Which reminds me, since Fish Eye finally has a larger part to play in these episodes, be sure to watch the Japanese version, rather than the English dub that rewrites Fish Eye as a woman, instead of a flamboyant transsexual. There are frequent jokes about Fish Eye's preferences that only play out well with that knowledge. The fashion designer, for instance, immediately identifies Fish Eye as a male, but seems strangely turned on by that fact. Also, only in the Japanese version do you get one of the best testicle jokes in the Magical Girl genre.
In all, I'm still interested in Super S, but things will need to pick up quickly to keep me interested. Maybe if I was only watching one episode per week things wouldn't feel so repetitive, but with six episodes on a disc, it's hard to pace yourself. Overall, the stories continue to be lighter and brighter than Sailor Moon S, but ultimately, there isn’t any real sense of dramatic tension to it. I am hoping that in the next batch of episodes, things start coming together.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Karaoke Ending
Panasonic Panablack TV, Panasonic RP56 DVD player, Sony ProLogic receiver, Yamaha and Pioneer speakers, Monster cable. (Secondary equipment, Pioneer 105s DVD-ROM, ATi Rage Fury Pro, ViewSonic A90f, PowerDVD 3.0)
Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: C+
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 145
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sailor Moon