Sailor Moon S TV Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 145
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon S TV Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     June 12, 2001
Release Date: June 12, 2001


Sailor Moon S TV Vol. #3
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Sailor Moon and her friends continue to depend upon the help of Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus in their battles with the mysterious Eugeal of the Witches 5 over the heart crystals.

But even as Sailor Moon and her friends try to protect the victims with the pure hearts, a new challenge appears - the return of Sailor Moon and her friends try to protect the victims with the pure hearts, a new challenge appears - the return of Sailor Chibi Moon! How can the Moon Princess concentrate properly on Tuxedo Kamen with distractions like these?!

Contains volumes 5 & 6 "Back from the Future" and "Secret Destiny." Six UNCUT episodes on one DVD!

Special two-sided, reversible DVD cover of volumes 5 & 6, Interactive menus with scene access and extras.

The Review!
Really making the best bang for the buck, Pioneer has put another six episodes on this disc, getting us a decent way into the S series. While the overall plot doesn't advance all that much, some interesting tidbits are revealed.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. While we've had no problems with the past two volumes, nor really noted any scratching tinniness at the higher levels, this disc proved a bit different. It sounds like it's recorded at a lower level, and sounds much more hollow than before, partially due to jacking up the volume dial. On our office setup, we listened to most anime at the "11" notch and have no problems. But to hear the dialogue, on both language tracks, we had to bump it all the way up to "18" to get it to a similar level.

Video:
The video side of things look a bit better this time around, but that's probably attributable to our new player. Color banding is minimal, and artifacting in the blues and backgrounds is minimal as well. There's still a similar level of background fuzziness, and the animation shows enough jitter, but that's definitely source related. I honestly don't expect much in terms of the video for this series, based on the low quality of the production and the apparent poor source materials.

Packaging:
The double sided covers continue, and I've definitely swapped this one around. No Chibiusa for me on my shelf. The reverse cover of Michiru and Haruka is great with the blending of the green and blue colors, as well as being more mature in content. Sweet. The back cover goes over some of the stories contained in the disc as well as listing the episode titles. The rest of the information is pretty standard fare, but I really like that they block off a small section and show what the reverse side cover is.

Menus:
The menus are all Chibiusa related, so I was very pleased that the access times and speed in general is very fast, as I raced through them to set up the language options and check out the extras. The layout is pretty typical of what we've seen for the Sailor Moon series so far, so there weren't any surprises here.

Extras:
The original Japanese opening makes its appearance here (so no subtitles or anything). The other extra is the Chibiusa bio pages that also have a number of pictures.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much to my dread, Chibiusa makes her appearance on this disc, bringing the Pink Heart Sugar Attack! into my living room. While I'm not a huge fan of Sailor Moon, I do enjoy the show and what they're doing with it. But Chibiusa just grates on me.

Ignoring her existence, there are some fun episodes on here. The plot behind everything doesn't advance much, but we do get some more insights into the group picking the people to be tested for the talismans. While we do get some glimpses at the "mad scientist" that's creating the daihmon's, we get more footage and info on the other group working with him, the Witches 5, as led by Eugeal.

Just about each episode, Eugeal recommends a new target and then takes the item as created by the mad scientist, and heads off to cause harm. On the plus side, she's very direct. She cruises up in a car, screeches to a halt, pulls out her rifle, and shoots the target with a weapon that forces out the heart crystal.

But, as things go, the Witches 5 group always picks a target that's associated or friendly with the Sailor girls in some way. This of course is a typical plot device we've seen through the previous 13 episodes we've seen so far, but after awhile it just gets to you. Or at least to me. The first half of the episode focuses on the particular character and their hobby, job or other theme, which is what gets the attention of the Witches 5. We get some fun little bits with the various Sailor girls in street clothes mode or in school and then the prep for the attack by Eugeal.

Then the episode break, and boom, change the characters from the previous episodes with the character of the week here, repeat as necessary. There is however one episode that really stands out on this disc, and it focuses on the past. It brings us to the introduction of Michiru and Haruka, with Haruka reeling from the visions of the end of the world and the appearance of her device to turn into a sailor soldier.

It's during this episode that we're treated to the first meeting between Michiru and Haruka, as well as how the knowledge of the end of everything had change Haruka before she gained the powers to try and do something about it. Things here really helped to flesh out these two girls, and to make them more interesting characters than they had been so far. It was definitely a piece that was missing from the show so far.

There were definitely some entertaining moments throughout this batch of episodes though. The one that stands out most involved Chibiusa walking through a park, and a little boy who ends up harassing her and saying all kinds of weird and bizarre things to her. While most of it was just general weirdness, the kid ends the sequence by pulling down his shorts and underwear and saying, "look at my elephant!". Damn hilarious. I did check out the dub for that sequence, only to hear "Look at my sailor moon undies". They did the best they could with that I guess.

Other than a few grating areas, there were some definite good parts to this disc. I'm still not one of the people that consider Sailor Moon to be the end-all be-all of anime series, but I do find it fairly enjoyable, and I know when my daughter gets older she'll probably love it (subtitled only!). This batch has some good building blocks in it, but I hope that some semblance of the plot starts to take hold soon.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Creditless Original Japanese Opening

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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