Sailor Moon S TV Vol. #4 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • 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: 140
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon S TV Vol. #4

    August 14, 2001
Release Date: August 14, 2001


Sailor Moon S TV Vol. #4
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
In the battles with Eugeal over the heart crystals, the Sailor Scouts all learn each other’s identities. However, instead of bringing them together to save the world, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and the new arrival, Sailor Pluto, insist that Sailor Moon and her friends only get in the way!
Sailor Moon gains even more power when they uncover the secrets of the Holy Grail, but even though she defeats Eugeal, even more powerful foes replace her! Meanwhile, Chibi-Usa (Mini-Moon) has made a new friend, Hotaru. Will they learn that her father is the evil Professor Tomoe before it is too late?

Contains the UNCUT Versions

The Review!
For those of you who have suffered patiently through the slow build-up in the last 2 volumes, your reward is at hand: plot! Still, this disk is for shoujo-lovers only.

Audio:
The audio had its ups and downs. The intro song came across quite well, but some random moments in the series sounded a little hollow, especially when the voices were high-pitched. I didn't notice any scratchiness or glitches in the track.

Now for the important part: the voice acting. I listened to the whole disk in Japanese first; while the acting was not the best I've ever heard, it was reasonable, with the exception of Chibi-Usa (anytime) and Usagi (when she whines). The jokes were generally funny, and the subtitling quite sufficient.

Then I listened to the dub. Now the odd thing about this dub is that, despite the fact that most of the actresses do a great job, it still comes across poorly. The first reason for this is that Usagi (Serena) is terrible. The overblown style used to make her funny just comes across as obnoxious. Listening to her is painful. There is also no variation in her tone, even in quietly serious moments. To a lesser extent, the voice actress for Haruka (Amara) is flat and not quite up to the task, but she isn't annoying. Eugeal also failed to thrill me.

Most of this could have been overcome, if it wasn't for the second problem: the script. In order to keep the continuity from the earlier dubbed and cut series, they made Amara and Michelle cousins again, but because the material was uncut, they had to leave in the cute love scenes and pretend that they were something else. It was kind of funny to watch. What weren't funny were the frequent changes that made characters seem completely different. Finally, I accidentally watched the first episode on this disk in dub. It has always been one of my favorites because of the humor. The dub loses that. Most of the jokes are toned down or written in such a way as to fall completely flat.

So if you can at all help it, please try to watch this disk subtitled, rather than dubbed. If you end up hating the Japanese version, feel free to flame me.

Video:
Varied. Starting with the second episode, dark backgrounds show vertical lines. Backgrounds in general are somewhat blurry throughout the disk, and sunset or bright light backgrounds tend to wash out and blur the character animation more than is necessary for the effect. The ending theme is also fuzzy, though that may have been intentional. While the colors are mostly bright, this is definitely not a high-quality animation series, and a lot of shortcuts were taken. On the other hand, the transfer itself doesn't seem to have contributed to the problems.

Packaging:
Another reversible cover in a clear case, this disk features Sailor Moon on the front and Mimet on the back (along with scenes from the episodes). There's also a preview of the reverse cover, a lovely shot of Sailor Pluto with a heart crystal. Pluto is also featured on the disk itself. On the back of the reverse side is the grail, with everyone looking on in shock as Sailor Moon and Eugeal reach for it. Finally, the insert has a nice shot of Haruka below the chapter listings. A cute package overall.

Menus:
The menus use Sailor Mercury's transformation sequence and attacks. They are quite pretty and take very little time to navigate. The scene access menu is a little confusing at first, but here's a tip: each group of chapter numbers at the bottom belongs to an episode. Overall, this was a nice setup.

Extras:
There are two extras: some solid background information on Ami and a small picture gallery, and the original Japanese opening sequence (Chibi-Usa was removed and a few other changes were also made, such as the costume Usagi is wearing in the final shot). These didn't blow my mind, but they were nice to have.

Content:
The first episode on this disk is an old favorite of mine. This is the classic "everyone finds out who everyone else is" episode required in every Sailor Moon series. As always, it is quite hilarious, especially since Minako is the actual star of the episode, rather than some random human.

After these discoveries, Haruka and Michiru are even more firmly resolved to find the talismans on their own. Besides some very touching scenes between the two, we get a better understanding of their differences as well, culminating in the first climax of the series when the talismans are found.

That should be the end, right? Of course not. The story abruptly shifts back to its earlier heart-crystal-of-the-day format, but with a few changes: there's a new Death Buster in charge now- Mimet- and her style is to go after celebrities. So rather than developing the person she will attack, the episodes focus on a fan of the celebrity- usually Mimet or Minako- and on Chibi-Usa, whose new friend Hotaru becomes the next mystery to solve.

Though Sailor Moon is never exactly fast-paced, these episodes advance the plot as much or more than the last two disks, and it includes both humor and some reasonably serious trauma, setting us up for the final arc of the series. Even if you skipped the last two disks, the first one and a general plot synopsis of 2 and 3 would probably be enough setup for this one.

A note: one of my favorite elements of Sailor Moon is that the bad guys are given personalities and reasons for what they do. If you aren't yet sick of Usagi forgiving her enemies, you may enjoy the depth and humor this volume brings out in the Witches 5.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Extras

Review Equipment
25" Samsung Stereo TV, code-free Pioneer 333, Sony STR-SE391 receiver, Sony speakers, and the cables that came with the set.

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