Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Media Blasters
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knights Rayearth TV Vol. 4
By Chris Beveridge
May 30, 2000
Release Date: May 30, 2000
Magic Knights Rayearth TV Vol. 4
What They Say
© Media Blasters
Twilight (Levels 13-16)
Steadily, the Magic Knights defeat their enemies and gain new
friends. Growing closer together, the three discover new abilities, new tools to aid their quest, and new insights. But as the three girls come ever closer to their goal of becoming true Magic Knights the legendary battle draws near.The Review!
Disc four brings us a step closer to the completion of season one of this series and as such, things start to really pick up in these episodes.
The audio for both the Japanese and English audio tracks fare well. They're both in a standard stereo mix with some directionality here and there but overall not much. Most of the dialogue will come from the center channel, depending on your setup of course. We only had a chance to spot check the English track but didn't notice any obvious flaws or distortion.
The video for these episodes follow the third disc fairly well in that they look much better than the first disc, but the animation quality hinders things slightly as its uneven in places. Some truly gorgeous looking sequences are followed by rather plain pieces (and I'm not referring to the SD sections). We didn't notice any rainbows or line noise though there were some slight nicks in the master that showed up and the occasional hint of some pixellation. Overall, we were very pleased with the video transfer for this disc.
The cover for this release breaks slightly from the past ones in that it features a couple of the villains. Namely, Caldina and Ascot and a new one introduced in these episodes. I had hoped possibly for a Clef or maybe even a Presea on this one, but giving the villains a bit of a nod works as well. The back cover contains an overall review of the show as well as bits on these particular episodes. There's some artwork as well as a few screenshots and a full list of the special features.
And with the menu having the same design as the last couple, you know that it's going to be slow going. But otherwise we had no trouble with the menus and things accessed fairly quickly when we went into the extras and other areas such as disc setup.
The extras on this disc were really nice. The alternate version of the opening song is presented as audio only (with a blue placeholder card on the screen) and an interview with the voice actress for Mokona. Unless Mokona has a line outside of puu! on the English track, it had to be an overall easy job! The interview suffers the same as the other ones, but the actress is cute enough to watch all the way through. The art gallery has some spiff pictures scanned into it (I sense new desktop images!) and the omake was similar to previous ones with the exception of being a different character.
Of course, what made this disc so much fun is the show itself! The disc contains episodes 13-16 out of the 20 for the first season and the pace is really picking up. A good portion of this disc involves Caldina and her attempts at ensnaring and eliminating the trio, though with the twist of Ascot trying to stop her from doing it, even at the risk of his own life.
There's also the advancement of the main plot of saving Cephiro with the trio making progress in awakening the next Rune God. The sequence in that domain was pretty good, though I like the first Rune God better. What will the fire one be like? I'm looking forward to finding out.
The fourth episode probably was the one that had some of the more interesting action sequences with Zagato sending off another of his minions, this time Lafarga, a controlled guard of the Princess and the best swordmaster in the lands. His fights with Hikaru were very well choreographed, although in the end just a bit too short. These sequences also helped shed more light on the history of the world and the people who surrounded the Princess.
Probably one of the best things about this disc is the amount of evolving not only the characters do but the swords and the armor. In true RPG fashion, the armor gets some serious advancement here and the weapons continue to beef up. There's even a reference in the show itself about how much like an RPG everything is. Of course, Hikaru doesn't even know what that is and we learn she's never even played a video game. It also gives some slight insight into her Earthbound life, which so far has been pretty minimal for all the characters.
Onward and upward, the season finale disc is next!
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Mokona Voice Actress Interview,Alternate Intro Song
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.