A Little Princess Sara Vol. #1 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Bandai Visual
  • MSRP: 3800�
  • Running time: 128
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: A Little Princess Sara

A Little Princess Sara Vol. #1

    March 25, 2000
Release Date: March 25, 2000

What They Say
Sara Crewe, sent home from India to a school in England by her rich father, has everything money can buy and so is nicknamed "The Little Princess." But Sara has more than wealth. She has a loving heart, a quick mind and a vivid imagination. So it is that when poverty strikes, she is able to survive--especially when she is helped by a little bit of magic!

The Review!
I chose this DVD as my first region 2 DVD for two basic reasons. One, the book by Frances Hodgeson Burnett that this anime series was based on had been my favorite book as a child, and I feel that might allow me, with my non-too-good knowledge of Japanese, to follow along. Also, with five episodes per disk at $40 shipped, it was one of the best bargains I could find. (Bought it from sazuma.com.)

The DVD case itself isn't flashy, but is simple and elegant. It's in a black Maray case. The background color on the front is blue, and there is a fancy, curliqued border. The picture on the cover is of Sara Crewe holding her doll, with her father and Peter in the background. The title is below that, and then is the English title, written in fancy script letters. In the same script writing, only smaller, is the description of the show.

Inside the case, there is an extremely detailed liner notes sheet, and I really wish that I read Japanese so I could read it.

The DVD is silver, with ribbon of bright blue. Embedded on it is a blue silhoutte of Sara. All in all, it looks really pretty. I popped it into my Apex DVD player, and the claymation Bandai logo came up. After that, I was taken directly to the menu. Compared to what I'm used to for region 1 releases, I found this menu to be quite simple. You can select which episode you'd like to see, and whether you'd prefer to see it raw or with Japanese subtitles. Once you click on an option, it takes you immediately to the beginning of the episode. Not only were there no extras, but I was
unable to even choose a section of the episode I wanted to see. Each episode is divided into four sections--the opening, the show, the next ep previews, and the closing.

The audio seemed clear. Of course, I use an APEX DVD player and listen through my TV speakers, so I'm perfectly willng to admit that my opinion might not hold much weight. I was rather impressed with the video quality. While it didn't make me go, "wow!" I didn't expect it to. The entire art style is far too simple for that. I did not notice any rainbow effects or pixellation, which I felt was pretty good for a show made in 1985. There was a bit of "graininess" in the last episode. However, I suspect that that was probably a problem with the source tape and therefore there was nothing that they could do about it.

As far as I could tell, the story seems to stick rather faithfully to the original. The characters LOOK like they should, and the voice acting seems to be good. There was an addition of a character, Peter, whose primary purpose seems to be to ferry Sara around town. There are also a few scenes that did not happen in the novel. However, they in no way took away from my enjoyment of the show, since, as far as I could tell, everybody was kept in character. The main problem was that Sara's clothes weren't nearly as ornate and beautiful as I feel they should have been. She didn't really look all that high above her classmates, but I suspect that animating frills and such can be rather difficult.

The show is an absolutely charming Nippon World Theater Production. And at a suggested retail price of 3800 yen for 5 episodes, it's a great deal, too!

Japanese Language,Japanese Subtitles

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