Sailor Moon Vol. #14: Love Conquers All (of 14) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Sunday, October 27, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, January 07, 2003



What They Say
At long last, Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts have arrived in the future, but now they're faced with their greatest challenge ever! Rini's been taken over by the Negamoon, the future city's been devastated and Serena's future self lays trapped inside a giant crystal! Can the combined power of champions of love defeat the evil power of the Dark Crystal?

The Review!
The final installment of the original couple of seasons of Sailor Moon comes to a finish here with larger stakes and villains than the first season.

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 pretty decent, but suffers from what most of the other volumes in this series have suffered from. 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 here provides a good full length shot of Serena as Queen Serenity in her gown while Rini in her “scout” outfit is striking a pose next to her. The back cover provides a few small screenshots of animation and a brief summary of the shows episodes as well as listing the titles of the six episodes. The insert provides another shot of the front cover while the reverse side lists the previews and the episode titles.

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 all the revelations in the previous volume, it’s little surprise that there’s a few more interesting things to happen here.

The most drastic change comes from Rini, who through the manipulation of Wiseman changes from the little girl we’re familiar with to the more adult form known as the Wicked Lady. Wiseman, as it turns out, is the real person pulling all the strings behind the scenes on the Negamoon. He’s manipulated his own people as well to achieve his goals of pure revenge against Crystal Tokyo and those who live there. With the Wicked Lady under his command now, he uses her to take down anyone who gets in his way, including his previous servants. This naturally causes some of them to not necessarily change allegiance, but to strike back against Wiseman as those important to them fall.

The main struggle, which spans over most of the episodes, deals with Rini as the Wicked Lady battling against the Scouts and Sailor Moon as well as Tuxedo Mask. The big themes from the series get brought out here to the forefront, with love and friendship being things that can overcome everything. Everyone is doing everything they can to help Rini fight against the control she’s under, but the ones most important to her are the people who can change things. And that means that she has to really realize that Serena and Darien are truly her parents, just younger. With the knowledge gained earlier, the two do their best to try and convince Rini to free herself from Wiseman’s control.

The final climactic battle is one of those episodes that just works really well, managing to transcend the dub and the edits to still give you that feeling that few shows manage to do. The culmination of all their efforts together and the do or die thrust to their stands helps the show after all the filler to rise above it and bring about some really good stuff. The end episodes of this series are always the best of the batch, providing some enjoyable villains without the formula of the monster of the week. It’s been ages since I last saw the end of this particular season and it definitely reminded me why I like the show in general.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 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: 110
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sailor Moon