Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #06 (Mania.com)

By:Robert "DarkSong" Piekut
Review Date: Thursday, February 07, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, November 06, 2001



The Review!
Konnanachiwa!!! Yes, the insane CCS fanatic is back once again for a totally unbiased *cough* review of volume 7 of this amazingly colourful and sugary-sweet show. Got your insulin ready? Let's go!

Audio:
Thankfully, all we get is the wonderful Japanese audio, and this show features some of my favourite seiyuu in the business. The audio track once again is crisp and clear, no complaints here at all.

Video:
For the most part, this disc keeps the high standards for visual quality that has been evident in previous releases. On either of my systems I viewed this on, I couldn't detect any major artifacting of any sort. The only blemish is in the 3rd episode on the disc, there is a scene where the visual quality noticably deteriorates - the image becomes "fuzzy" - but this flaw only lasts for about 5 seconds, and goes back to normal. Otherwise, they're keeping their high standard. Since this disc is not progressive, I did not hook up the Skyworth to my computer monitor via progressive VGA to check it out.

Packaging:
Another pink cover - Yay! CLAMP's artwork stands as some of my most favorite out there, and this is an absolutely gorgeous piece, in my opinion. On the back cover we have the usual collage of images for the episodes within, including one I especially love of Tomoyo in pigtails. It's really nice to see the production credit info actually listed on the back, and the only thing that ruins this package - to me - is the eyesore of a blurb to "Visit the official Cardcaptors website". I'd prefer NOT to see that, as this is the real deal, not that blasphemy they made. Inside the case, we get a nice insert listing the chapters, and showing Li, Sakura and Tomoyo singing, with Kero playing conductor.

One interesting note is looking at the text of the packaging from Chris' review, and looking at the back of mine - up above in the "what they say" section - there seems to be a difference. I'm wondering if there was a different printing lot of covers, or another explanation for the difference.

Menus:
The menus are about as minimalistic as can be - no animation, no background music and the image quality used is horrid - VERY fuzzy. Unlike Chris, the Subtitles were NOT defaulted to off for me on either PowerDVD or my Skyworth.

Extras:
Once again I'm sad to say that the "extras" are rather lacking, to me. There are 14 pieces of line art in a simple gallery. I also got a lovely collectible postcard with a picture of the girls in their cheerleader squad uniforms, and Tomoyo filming the scene. Little extras like that make me happy, but I would REALLY like to have seen a return to the character profiles like they did on the first disc.

Content:
Since I'm usually again doing content-reviewing, because of the spoiler factor, I'll take this time to address a few concerns I have with this disc.

Overall I have no major problems with it, outside of the great volume 4 mystery, and that it's not being released fast enough for me. ^_^ I only have one gripe, and that's with the translations. I've made comments to this extent in previous reviews that I have some issues with the way Rika Takahashi does her translations. In no way am I saying I'm an expert at it - I'm not fluent in Japanese. I am fluent in other languages, and fully understand the problems trying to do translations and make it work properly. And even more so, in the anime community we have warring camps as to "literal translations", "idiomatic translations" and the evil that is dubtitles. At one point, I was in the "literal translations" camp, not taking the time to engage my brain and think about it, and realize that some things can NOT be translated literally - that you have to change the wording a wee bit to make it work, otherwise you end up with "Engrish".

However, during my viewing I found two more cases where I don't know what the heck the translator was thinking. In the "Leave it to Kero-chan" sequence at the end of the third episode, where he's reviewing Sakura's battle costume he mentions there are eigth notes on it, and the next line he says, "be careful not to mistake them for fourth notes". Now, anyone who knows anything about music would realize there is no such thing - they are called quarter notes. This I'd have to classify as the translator leaving it in as a literal translation, while making it sound absurd.

The second instance is in the 4th episode. Sakura is watching a show about castles, and wishing she could live in one. Touya her brother is teasing her - as usual - and makes the comment, "In the first place, you aren't exactly fitted to be a princess, Sakura". Now I don't know about you, but when I went to school that was not considered to be correct english. It distinctly smacks of "engrish" to me.

The translator does a good job overall, but issues here and there creep in that make me grind my teeth when I see them. I just wish a little more care would be taken in it - but perhaps I'm just a nitpicker since this is one of my favourite shows. One thing that DID happen in this disc that pleased me, is that the issue with the eyecatches seems to be fixed - up to this point it's been the same Sakura eyecatch only, but a Tomoyo one appears on this disc, which pleased me to no end. Let's hope this keeps up!

Well, at this point we're 20 episodes into the 70 episode series - this disc ends at episode 24, but 4 episodes are still missing due to volume 4 not coming out until January 2002. Only thing I can really say is "MORE, FASTER!" See you next disc!



Review Equipment
1) RCA 25" TV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE845 DD/DTS receiver, S-video cables, Fibre optic audio out to receiver, Paradigm speakers. 2) Toshiba MD-1402 DVD-Rom, PowerDVD, ViewSonic G810 monitor



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
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