Sailor Moon Super S TV Box Set - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: C
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 99.98
  • Running time: 890
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Super S TV Box Set

By Megan Lavey     September 20, 2004
Release Date: August 03, 2004


Sailor Moon Super S TV Box Set
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Contains the full Sailor Moon Super S TV series in one 7-disc Thinpak DVD box set!

Chibi Usa dreams of a beautiful and mysterious Pegasus that becomes her friend. Meanwhile, Sailor Moon and her friends barely have time to celebrate the peace from their latest victory when suddenly, an eclipse darkens the city. The Dead Moon Circus arrives in town, and the Amazon Trio emerges as the newest group of villains to threaten the earth!


The Review!
Audio:
For the review, I listened to the original Japanese audio track, but spot-checked various places on the English side. It retains the transfer from the original discs. While there's a good balance in the Japanese track, the English one has the background music noticeably lower than on the Japanese side. As SuperS has one of the best background scores in the entire Sailor Moon series, I hate that the volume's dropped on it for those who watch the dub.

Video:
Originally released in 1995-96, these discs retain the original transfer made to DVD when Pioneer began releasing the series in 2002.

Packaging:
This is a very attractive box, holding seven ThinPak cases whose spines correspond to the original releases. They lack the foil embossing that was used on them. The sides of the box feature the images of Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon. The image of Sailor Moon was the reversed cover image of the original volume 4 while the image of Sailor Chibi Moon was the reserved cover image for the original volume 1. The back of the has the same image of Usagi that is on the front along with the Geneon/Pioneer and Toei logos.

This is my first time having a series that is ThinPaked, so I was amazed at how slim these cases are. Each feature one of the covers used on the original release while the back of the ThinPaks has a shot of the four Inner Soldies shaded in the different colors of their respective planets - the same one used on the Sailor Moon side of the box. This very simple back is more attractive than ones for the original discs. Listed on the bottom of each cover are the original episode titles using the original names.

Geneon used the original front covers for all seven discs, only utilizing the reversed images for the shots on the box. The covers are the following:

Disc 1: Sailor Moon
Disc 2: Sailor Mars
Disc 3: Salior Jupiter
Disc 4: Sailor Chibi Moon and Pegasus
Disc 5: Sailor Venus
Disc 6: Sailor Mercury
Disc 7: Princess Serenity and Small Lady

Menus
The load time on these menus is fast and the video is excellent. This release retains the original menus by 342 Media, with each one featuring the Sailor Soldier that was represented on the front. Starting with Volume 4, instead of having a random sound effect, "Rashiku Ikimasho," the second ending, plays in the background. Load times are fast among the different subscreens. The scene menu features a slight change from the keepcases. While the keepcases have the original episode titles with the original names on them, the scene submenus use both. For instance, episode 5 is called "A Couple Made for Each Other! Serena (Usagi) and Darien's (Mamoru's) Love. The cover simply drops the dub names.

Extras
The American release of Sailor Moon is one that's never had much extras, and this boxed set does not have any additional extras that weren't included on the original release.

Content
Sailor Moon is the first series I've ever seen subtitled. The movies were the first anime DVDs I ever owned. Even though I faithfully supported the original release of S and part of SuperS (finances forced me to sell off the original discs last year), I found myself drifting away from the series and moving onto other anime. It's been at least two years since I watched a full episode of the series, only scanning discs for certain favorite clips.

So, when my player automatically began the teaser to the first episode, I found myself growing a bit giddy. Yes, Sailor Moon SuperS is generally considered the worse of the five series. Do I think it is? It does have its high moments and it also has episodes that really bomb - just like the other four series did. The key is to how much Chibi Usa you can stand. I happen to like Chibi Usa, which is why I'm able to stomach this series. Unfortunately, the character development of Usagi is sacrificed to have Chibi Usa take the spotlight, but I really enjoyed the episodes highlighting the four Inner Senshi. They get some beautiful moments in this season.

The original releases were reviewed by Paul Grisham, so instead of reviewing each disc individually, I've selected some of the best and the worst of SuperS, focusing on some of the overlooked episodes while not part of the overall arc, does showcase its highs and lows..

The Best:
Episode 6 - Artemis' Affair!? A Mysterious Kitten Appears!: This is the introduction of Diana, the cute kitten that belongs to Chibi Usa in the 30th Century. This episode focuses on the comedy and allows Luna and Artemis to take the spotlight - one not taken since Sailor Moon R (not counting the S movie). The highlight of this episode is clearly the scene where Minako confronts Artemis over his "indiscretion" as he proceeds to dig himself into a deeper hole.

Episode 14 - Storm of Love! Minako's Grand Two-Timing Plan: For me, this was the most hilarious episode out of the entire run. Tiger's Eye and Hawk's Eye take a bet on which is the first to reveal Minako's dream mirror, both oblivious to the fact that not only is she Sailor Venus, but she's also decided to date both of them at the same time! The result is absolutely hilarious and is completely classic Minako. Everyone else's reaction to her is also funny, as well as Diana asking what two-timing. It's also a favorite for being the first episode to play the second ending, "Rashiku Ikimasho," my favorite song from the entire Sailor Moon series.

Episode 24 - A Dentist of Terror? PallaPalla's House - This episode is based off of one of Takeuchi's "Chibi Usa's Picture Diaries" that ran occassionally during the Sailor Moon run in Nakayoshi and is collected along with the manga. It retains the same premise of a nightmare trip to the dentist for Usagi and Chibi Usa, but is rewritten to place it in context with the SuperS arc. Pair this with PallaPalla, the most playful of Amazoness Quartet and you have an episode that kept me laughing through the second half. It's everyone's dentist nightmare brought to life.

The Worst:
Episode 9: Protect Mamoru! Jealousy of Usagi the Ninja
- This episode is a mixed bag for some people. Some like it because of the comedy. I absolutely hate it because it takes any character development Usagi gains in the first three seasons and tosses it right out the window. While the result is funny, it highlights one of the biggest criticisms about the series - that Usagi's maturity is sacrificed to showcase Chibi Usa. But, the amount of Chibi Usa in this episode is surprisingly minimal and just goes to showcase that Usagi's maturity was sacrificed altogether. Unfortunately, a lot of episodes in the middle of this run contain the same problem.

Episode 12: Try for the Best of Japan! The Worries of a Beautiful Girl Swordsman - While this episode isn't particularly bad, it's also painfully mediocre and really follows the same pattern that goes through most of the series - Chibi Usa/Usagi interact with random side character or character of the day and wind up saving them in the process. These people never stick around for more than one episode and it's the same thing over and over again. Unlike the first series, where you can see the plot advancing just slightly with each passing episode, there is no plot advancement here at all.

In Summary:
Most of SuperS lies between these best and worst episodes. The vast majority lean toward ones like episode 12, and it's another reason why SuperS has the reputation that it does. With Kunihiko Ikuhara as the series director, there's a lot of elements here that remind me of Revolutionary Girl Utena, especially when dealing with the Dead Moon Circus. But being familiar with the manga SuperS storyline, I can also see the potential this series had to be. With the original storyline, you had the Outer Senshi all playing vital roles, and it's much darker than you'd imagine it being. If the animators had chosen to stick alongside the manga, you would have a series that would actually be much better than S. But because of the changes and watered-down storyline that is padded with way too many fillers, while I enjoy this season, I also see it as a vast amount of wasted potential.

Features
Japanese Language, English Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Review Equipment: Emerson 27" TV, Sony DV-NS425P Progressive-Scan DVD player, Yamaha receiver, Sony speakers.

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