Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon R Movie: The Promise of the Rose
By Chris Beveridge
February 08, 2000
Release Date: February 08, 2000
Sailor Moon R Movie: The Promise of the Rose
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Sailor Moon and her four Sailor Scouts (Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter) must save the Planet and her best friend Darien from the most evil and dangerous creature in the Universe: the bewitching and deadly Kisenian Blossom. She appears as a beautiful, tiny flower, but looks can be deceiving!
Kisenian, traveling from a far-away galaxy disguised as a meteor, aims to gather all the positive energy from Earth and plant the seeds of negativity, leaving Earth full of hatred. But she cannot do it on her own. Kisenian preys on the vulnerable heart of Darien's childhood friend, Fiore. Fiore, jealous of Sailor Moon and Darien's passionate friendship, joins Kisenian in her wicked endeavor to gather energy from every star and planet!
Can the magic of Sailor Moon's Crystal and Scepter protect all of mankind from Kisenian's evil plan? Is she strong enough to save the Earth and her loved ones? Or will she be forced to choose between them?The Review!
For the first time in the U.S., you can now have commercially subtitled Sailor Moon on DVD. What does this really mean? It means Pioneer has gotten me to like this show. Argh!
From an audio perspective, we've got a fairly solid stereo track for both languages here. There's an occasional use of directionality, but otherwise the front soundstage is used pretty much as you'd expect. Dialogue is crisp and clear and the songs sound wonderful.
The video also looks very good, but there are a few things nitpickers like myself will note. While we didn't notice any artifacting or pixellation on our setup, there were several sequences were we saw a lot of small nicks and scratches, and one sequence with an almost white background that had some dust in it. The movie itself is only about seven years old, so it's rather surprising that the condition is already starting to wear down, even by Japanese archival standards. For the most part, it won't be an issue for most people.
One of the common questions about the movies is whether the DVD is the 1.66:1 framing that most everyone's fansubs are. This DVD in particular is presented in its 1.33:1 open matte ratio, meaning that nothing is lost and more is gained on the top and bottom. Nothing is lost to the left or right. This is a good thing.
The packaging on this release is simply gorgeous. The front cover has red and gold foil on it, adding a real level of appeal to it, as does the side causing it to stand out on the rack. The back cover gives a solid level of information about the show and how the disc is set up (and region coding!). The insert is a larger version of the front artwork with the chapter listings and the disc itself has some nice artwork on it. Overall, this is a very attractive package.
The menus for this release also have something that's not been done since the Tenchi Forever release; animation. It looks like every menu page has some bit of animation to it. The main page has Sailor Moon with her crescent wand stretched out, and there are red rose petals flying all over. It may sound silly, but these small things are becoming attractions for a lot of people. With more companies experimenting with menu implementations, it's good to see some effort was made to spruce up what could have otherwise been boring menus here.
There's also a bunch of extras on this disc. The first thing we get is a selection of 16 still images from the movie. The next is the character information page. This is a really well done section. On each characters page, where they're able to, there's a description of the character and two selections for the Sailor Senshi. You can select their transformation sequence or one of their power display sequences. The truly nice thing? Both languages are included. This was something that Pioneer had overlooked on some of their earlier DVD releases, having only the English language version.
There's also two songs in the extras section. The opening from the edited dub VHS version as well as a version of the "Power of Love" song. Definitely nice to have both of these included for comparisons sake.
So we've got a well put together disc. The setup is there, the extras are pretty good and everything works well. But how's the show?
I admit to not seeing much beyond the first season of the DiC broadcast version of the series back when it first came out. I watched it, I enjoyed it and yes, I knew what was missing. But I never really considered myself a fan of it because I'm just too much of a purist.
With having the original language finally available and uncut, it was a real pleasure to see it. The characters seem much less whiny, the dialogue is better and the overall enjoyment was higher. Of course, this is a movie, even though it's short, so the animation quality is definitely better. You can see in some of the transformation sequences that the animators went to town to make it look good, and there's a good level of fluidness to a lot of the other sequences in the show.
The story itself does seem like an extended episode however, as opposed to a real move. This isn't a bad thing, but it does limit it to some extent. The focus is on Fiore, a friend of Mamoru's from childhood who left to wander the universe in search of the perfect flower to bring back to him.
Of course, some things happen along the way to Fiore, and when he returns to Earth, his plan is to destroy humanity so he and Mamoru can live together in happiness. This, naturally, does not go over well with Usagi or the other Senshi. Battles ensue, friendships are tested and love is brought to the forefront.
All in all, a solid long episode of Sailor Moon. Fans of the uncut version will be pleased with a stunning looking copy while those brought up only on the DiC version may be surprised at some of the originals dialogue.
Pioneer has two more of the movies in the queue, and with the option for the remaining seasons of the TV series now open, I really hope that they take a stab at it and bring it over in this same fashion. There may not be a broadcast market for it, but there's hopefully enough of a home video market to support it.
English Language,Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Character Information,Image Gallery,Edited Version Opening
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.