Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment, Japan
- MSRP: ¥18800
- Running time: 530
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Magic Knight Rayearth
Magical Knight Rayearth Memorial Box Set
Magical Knight Rayearth Memorial Box Set
What They SayThe Review!
© Geneon Entertainment, Japan
Having only seen the first episode of this series, I decided to buy the box because I'm a big fantasy fan, and because I love the soundtracks, and because it was very cheap for a Japanese release. (Remember Memories at 10000+ yen?)
This first box includes the entire first season of 20 episodes of Rayearth on 4 discs and the value for money here is amazing. The second box includes the entire second season, and will cost around 10000 yen more when it is released in June.
The show starts off with the standard "main characters are transported to other world to save it" plot and the three girls learn that they are destined to become "Magic Knights" and they must save the world Cephiro if they are ever to get back home. Now starts the quest to find certain people and items that will aid them in their quest. The show actually reminded me of Fushigi Yuugi but without the romantic plots, and since I was very disappointed with FY, I was also disappointed with Rayearth, which is basically a "monster of the week" show and the fantasy elements aren't nearly as many as I thought they'd be.
My quick review of the show:
Acting: OK (can't stand Hikaru)
But, don't let my negative feelings for the show discourage you from buying this box. I've been know to have some anime tastes not common to the masses. I know the show is very popular and even though that escapes me at this time, I'm sure many of you'll love this. And if you already like the show you MUST get this!
Let me tell you why.... The box consists of 4 DVDs in Jewel Cases in a thick cardboard box, it's just like a LD box but in Jewel Case size. The design on the box is rather dull, but then again it usually is on boxes. Each Jewel Case has a separate cover and back with great art. Each disc holds 5 episodes and some different extras.
The menus are standard non-animated menus with some Rayearth pics in the background. Each disc's Main Menu features the following:
Play disc Chapter Index Staff & Cast Episode Guide Play Story
The "Play Story" needs some explaining. Each episode seems to be stored twice on the disc. Normally the show starts off with the OP, followed by a "Intro" where narration explains the story thus far, followed by the name for the episode and the show starts. After the episode you get the Ending Theme and the "Next Episode" and "Who is it today" game (if you've seen the show you know what it is).
But the "Play Story" option skips the intros and endings, and only plays from the "Name of the Episode" part to just before the Ending Theme should start. What you get is a more movie like viewing, and you don't have to skip those chapters that you normally perhaps skip. This is a great option IMHO, and it deserves all the praise it can get.
The episode guide has a short summary of each episode in text format, and the Staff & Cast has info for each episode.
Each disc also has some extra option on the Main Menu, with the disc's extras. They are:
Rayearth Special - A digest episode of the show
Character Data - Many many drawings of every character in the show. Not sure if they are CLAMP or not.
CD TV Spot - 10 commercials for music CDs and a game.
Non Credit Themes - The OP and END themes without any text.
Next Episode Collection - All of the "Next Episode" clips in a menu.
Phew! The extras for this one are a big A+!!
The video quality is good, on the border to great. There are some white/black dust specks visible throughout, but you only notice them if you look for them.
The audio is the standard DD 2.0 we're all familiar with, and it is very clean and offers that great music in it's splendor. Nothing to complain about here.
To sum it all up, this box is probably a Rayearth fan's wet dream, the extras are amazing and together with solid audio/video packaged in a cute box and at a price that would be cheap for a US. release, this is a great buy and I'm proud to own it, even if the show itself didn't live up to my expectations.
Japanese Language,Option to auto skip OP/END/"Next episode" and digest in beginning of each episode,Rayearth "Special" digest episode,Separate credit less Opening and Ending,Merchandise commercials,All "Next episode" clips collected,Episode Guide to each episode,Tons of conceptual drawings,Production notes