Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Robert "DarkSong" Piekut
Review Date: Thursday, February 07, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2001



The Review!
Konnanachiwa!!! I'm quite happy to be back here reviewing the second CardCaptor Sakura disc for all of you people. I'll start off with the obligatory disclaimer - this review is being done by a self-confessed CCS fanatic, but I will make every effort to attempt to make this an objective review.

Ok, Ready? Let's go! DS-chan CHECK!
Audio:
Since it's a subtitled-only release, all we get is a Japanese audio track - which is definitely fine by me. As in the first disc, it sounds clear to me; no distortion or muddiness detected anywhere at all.

Video:
As with the first disc, this is another good transfer. I'm seeing very minimal artifacts of any types on any of my test systems. Colours are good with no bleeding. Another solid release, if you ask me.

Packaging:
Kowai!! The attack of the bright colours continues! It comes in a white Amaray case, and the front cover artwork is predominantly a bright, cheerful yellow. Once again, there's a minimum of "CardCaptors" propaganda on there, merely a blurb to visit the "official CardCaptors site" on the back. I wish there would be an English language version of an official CCS site that they could put the info on there instead for this subtitled-only release, but oh well.

Menus:
The menus have been cleaned up a bit from the first disc - Pioneer probably got some feedback that the selection screens were not as easy to use as they thought, and they went to a more straightforward format this time. It's not an issue if you used a DVD-Rom, but it was more difficult with a stand-alone DVD player on the first disk, but not an issue on this one. I must admit that I love how on the extras menu, when you toggle subtitles, Tomoyo switches from looking at the toy in one hand, to looking at the other. A nice, cute touch there!

Extras:
What extras? In this menu option, we see the textless Ending sequence - okay, that's always nice to have, I'll say that. You also see the requisite DVD credits, and again oddly placed, here is the selection to turn subtitles on/off. But they did not continue the character information on this disc, to my displeasure. Following a logical progression, if it appeared, it should have featured either Kero-chan, or my favourite character in the series, Tomoyo. Let's hope the character profiles makes a reappearance in future discs, or that we do start to get some good extras in here!

Content:
Once again, I'm not going to do any in-depth description of the included episodes themselves, because quite frankly that would be too spoilerish for my own tastes. Just watch the show - I promise you won't be disappointed. ;)

My previous pet peeve about the translator's attempts to be - in my opinion - too "cool" in the subtitles, seems to have continued. I'm liking the translations a bit more, for the most part - although I cannot say they're a "perfect translation", as I'm NOT fluent in Japanese, else I'd be collecting the R2 discs - they're closer to the fansubs I have and enjoy. I still have some issues with some translation choices. In fact, one certain scene where Touya is carrying Sakura home, and talking with Yukito, I like this translation a bit better. It's more CLAMP-y, a bit more with innuendoes that are tributes to CLAMP's other works. On the other hand, in one part where Kero-chan is using ventriloquism to intimidate someone, he says "What the hell do you think you are doing here?" I find that completely inappropriate, personally. It's still a mixed bag in the translations/subtitling for me.

Also, looking at the Opening/Ending songs, they have an alternating format of one episode english subtitles, the next romanji subtitles. They did the same thing on disc1, but it's VERY good to see that being done, for those of us that like to use it as a tool to help learn Japanese. Not that I personally need it in this case - I can sing along with "Catch you, catch me" in both English and Japanese, and when I'm tired, I'll mix the languages together as well. ^_^

It's still early in the series, so there's still a lot of background going on. For the most part it's still in a "monster of the week" format - each episode Sakura captures another card, and starts to learn how to add it's magical powers to her own. But in episode #8, when Li Shaoran appears, we are starting to see the beginning of the actual plotline that is underneath all the sugarcoating and uber-kawaiiness of this delightful little show. When he first appeared, I'll admit I took an instant dislike to the little punk, and those of you who may be watching for the first time might as well. He'll grow on you, believe me. My only question I have, is where does he hide that Tai Chi sword of his when he's not carrying it around. ^_^

Conclusion:
Well, I hope you enjoyed my review of this disc, and my little tribute to the "Leave it to Kero-chan" Omakase that appears in the show. Despite a lack of extras on the discs, as long as they keep cranking out these discs with the original, unmangled goodness, this Otaku will remain content enough.

So, until the third disc comes out, Ho na na!



Review Equipment
Apex DVD player, Zenith 25" TV, S-video cabling, Sony Receiver (non-THX),
Apple Macintosh G4 using Apple DVD player on a 60" plasma display and Toshiba MD-1402 DVD-Rom using PowerDVD on homebuilt computer system.



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Cardcaptor Sakura