Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
By:Robert "DarkSong" Piekut
Review Date: Thursday, February 07, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2001
Konnanachiwa!!! You guessed it - I'm back to review the third CardCaptor Sakura disc, and quite happy to be doing so. I didn't have this in my hands for more than 30 minutes, before I sat down to watch it. ^_^ So, once again, here's 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: Once again, the Japanese language track is crisp and clear - just as we've come to expect from Pioneer in these releases so far. Unlike Chris, I have no problem singing along with the Opening theme - with the exception my voice doesn't go quite that high. ^_^ Sound remains good through the rest of the disk, in the episodes as well as the other musical tracks. Chris remarked that it was good sound from something that was originally a TV series, and I concur with his evaluation.
Video: Since my last review, I've upgraded my computer (which I now use for most of my DVD viewing, since the quality is MUCH better than that of my Apex player) to a better video card and monitor, and any defects are much more apparent. I only noticed a bit of "fuzziness" in an opening sequence, and a touch of "jaggies" - but nothing if you weren't specifically being nit-picky about it. Pioneer keeps up the fine work on this series - for which I'm grateful.
Packaging: Oh yes, Sakura in her neko costume - this one ranks as my personal favourite of her battle costumes, actually. The hot pink on the cover matches the vibrant colours that permeate this show, and although I may be a dark person at heart, the brightness this show brings makes me happy. Once again, the covers are both rather clean and nicely done, and thankfully the only "Cardcaptors" propaganda that is on it, is the small blurb to visit the official website. Personally, I'd rather not see it sullied with any trace of that abomination, but I can live with that much.
Menus: The menus are simple and once again much easier to navigate than the first disk. I also as well would prefer it to default to subtitles ON, since there is no dub (thankfully), but it doesn't take much work to get them switched on.
Extras: The limited quantity postcard has a picture of Sakura and Tomoyo in kimonos and Mei-Ling(who hasn't appeared in the series yet) in a cheongsam, for the "Girl's Day" holiday picture. Kawaii!! We also get over 2 dozen pieces of line art, obviously sketch work from making of the show. I'd much prefer to see them continue the profiles they started on the first disk, but that idea seems to have vanished, sadly enough.
Content: Since it is hard to write about the content without spoilers, be warned in advance. This time, however, I will write some summaries - to express a point that this show is more than it appears on the outside.
CardCaptor Sakura is, to best describe it, kawaii. Sugary-sweet - in fact too much so for a good friend of mine who happens to be a Sailor Moon fan. And I take every chance to torment her about having no true inner kawaii, as a result of her dislike of this show.
The first episode on this disk starts with Sakura depressed with the appearance and general attitude of the surly brat Li Shaoran, and his disparaging comments about her lack of ability. Tomoyo and Rika take her to a shop to try to lift her spirits, where the dreaded Card of the Week - the close cousin of the infamous Monster of the Week(TM) - appears. Sakura does that thing she does so well, and captures this card while making sure not to harm Rika, who's been possessed by it - once again demonstrating how nice a girl Sakura is.
The second episode gives us a treat, and starts the development of this series from a "Monster of the Week" show, to reveal some background on Sakura and her family. It's the Sports Day festival at her school, with races and such, and we get to not only find out more about her father and her deceased mother as well, but we finally get to meet Tomoyo's mother - who is quite the character. Another card appears - a not very threatening one this time - and Sakura manages to capture it as well.
The third episode has Sakura going to visit Tomoyo's house for the very first time, and helping her open a box containing things precious to her and her mother - but the aforementioned box has been taken over by a Clow card. We get to see more of Tomoyo's mother, and get a lot more background about Sakura's mother Nadeshiko, and the relationship between Sakura's parents, and Tomoyo's mother.
The final episode on this disk opens a whole new can of worms, and adds yet another dimension to a series many people would dismiss as formulaic and repetitive. Earlier in the series, Li Shaoran told Sakura to give him the cards she'd already captured, and said he would get them. Up to this point, she had captured all the cards, but this time it is Li that ends up in possession of this one. The plot thickens!
As for other issues with this volume - I'm happy to say that it is my opinion that the translator has "toned down" their attempts to be - in my not so humble opinion - too "hip" for their own good. As much as I'd prefer to see honorifics used, at least the translation is not a butchery.
Once again, we see the touches that are a trademark of CLAMP's influence - Li Shaoran seems to be rather...interested in Yukito. One might write that off as a hero-worship sort of thing, but CLAMP has never been afraid to add their little innuendoes of other things to any of their shows. Tomoyo makes a rather cute comment to Sakura remarking about this - but as Chris said in his review, guess what never appeared in the Cardcaptors version. :P
Oh, and helpfully, Kero-chan answers the question I had from my last review on where Li Shaoran keeps his sword when he's not actually carrying it around. ^_^
Conclusion: Three disks down - and 18 more to go at this rate. *sigh* Oh well, as long as Pioneer keeps this level of quality up, they will have a continued customer in me, I assure you that. And thank you for putting up with my continued use of the style of the "Leave it to Kero-chan" Omakase that appears in the show.
Until the next disc arrives to brighten my day once again, Ho na na!
Toshiba MD-1402 DVD-Rom using PowerDVD on a homebuilt computer. Display is a ViewSonic G810 21" monitor
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Cardcaptor Sakura