Sailor Moon Super S TV Vol. #7 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: C+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Super S TV Vol. #7

By Chris Beveridge     May 26, 2003
Release Date: May 13, 2003


Sailor Moon Super S TV Vol. #7
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Pegasus sacrifices his freedom and the Golden Crystal to save Mini-Moon’s life, but just as everyone begins to fear that Queen Nehelenia has won, the Queen is betrayed! Sailor Moon attempts to use the power of the Golden Crystal, but that’s not enough. Will Mini-Moon’s idea defeat Nehelenia, and even if it does, can Sailor Moon and Mini-Moon avoid being trapped on the dark moon?!

The Review!
Pioneer solves the problem of Super S’s awkward episode count, by finishing off the series with a half-length DVD of the series’ final three episodes at half-price. Even clocking in at a svelte 75 minutes, though, in typical Super S fashion, it still feels about one episode too long.

Audio:
For this review, the entire show was watched with the Japanese audio exclusively. Like all volumes in the series, the audio is an uninspired monaural mix with minor distortion, as things get loud. On this volume, I noticed that the opening song was mixed a bit louder than previous volumes, giving it a fuller sound, though not without some clipping.

Video:
This is, by far, the best looking volume of the series, though the image is still unsatisfyingly grainy. Colors are brighter and more stable, though there are still a few, rare instances of print damage. The opening animation looks better than I remember it looking in previous volumes.

Packaging:
And Pioneer sticks the landing! The packaging for each of the previous volumes had to pay service to both of the VHS tape covers that contained the same episodes. This necessity led to some thematic layout problems that made them awkward looking. With only one cover to deal with, we get a very unified look for the final volume. The cover, which features Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon in white gowns, is done up in white, silver, and blue, with hints of rainbow and has a very classy look. The inner side of the reversible cover is a bit bland this time, with just a detail of the cover and some text. The mini-poster insert features a larger version of the cover illustration.

Menus:
Menus are responsive and functional. The closing song plays in the background of the main menu. The transition animations, unfortunately, have some kind of funky sound effect going on that make it annoying to navigate.

Extras:
None.

Content:
(Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers.)

The final battle with Queen Nehelenia and the Dead Moon Circus reaches its conclusion and the final mysteries are revealed in this concluding volume to the Super S season. There are two more episodes of endless battles as the senshi and Queen Nehelenia duke it out for control over the Golden Crystal, the magical artifact that will either save the Earth, or destroy it.

Considering that this fight has been going on for about three episodes already, there is very left in this battle that we haven’t seen before. Queen Nehelenia continues to make all the classic mistakes of the stereotypical arch-fiend, betraying her associates, turning them against her, and revealing the intricate details of her plot, giving the senshi enough time and information to foil her. (What, you didn’t think she’d actually win, did you?) Intercut with the battle are more scenes of Mamoru writhing in bed with a mystery illness that serves little purpose than to drag things out and destroy any dramatic tension left in the fight. Every important plot detail and every interesting twist could have been done in about half the time, making it a chore to get through both of these episodes.

Then something miraculous happens. As if clouds parted, allowing the warm, golden rays of the sun to pierce through, the final episode strikes forth boldly and delivers the tense, emotional ending I had hoped for. Queen Nehelenia has been beaten back, though not completely defeated, and she is given one last chance to make her dreams come true. At last, we finally see Nehelenia’s true appearance, and begin to understand the motivation behind her plotting. Sailor Moon rushes forth to save Chibi Moon, and perhaps Queen Nehelenia herself.

This episode is taut and efficient, answering all the questions that the series has left up to this point. Queen Nehelenia is presented in a sympathetic fashion, though without revisionism or condescension. The queen of the dark moon is clearly, and subtly, contrasted with Serenity, the queen of the white moon. Nehelenia’s final choice, to preserve her dream, even at the cost of all that is truly important, is at once appropriate and heartbreaking, and is the exact opposite of Sailor Moon’s own fierce determination.

As Sailor Moon fights against Nehelenia, her emotions and ours, run from anger to outrage, to sympathy, and finally to pity. We clearly see that Nehelenia is not so much fighting against Sailor Moon, but against her own fears and isolation. The whole episode is a nifty bit of filmmaking, and is full of wonderful and moving visuals, the kind that have been missing from many of the uninspired episodes of this series. Would it surprise you to know that this finale was directed by, none other than, Kunihiko Ikuhara?

At only $15, this collection of three episodes might seem like a good bargain, but only the final episode is recommended, and necessary, viewing. Although some might celebrate Pioneer for choosing to give us a bargain priced finale, I can’t help but think that putting seven episodes on the first three volumes (something they did for the Sailor Moon S season releases) would have eliminated the need for it.

If you’re a Sailor Moon fan, you’ll need this disc to finish out the story, and even though there aren’t any extras, the (relatively) good audio and video quality on this disc make it worthwhile. For everyone else, it will probably amount to just one more instance of the typical frustration of Super S – that you have to sit through a lot of sub-par stuff to get to the good, and sometimes quite brilliant, stuff.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic Panablack TV, Panasonic RP56 DVD player, Sony ProLogic receiver, Yamaha and Pioneer speakers, Monster cable. (Secondary equipment, Pioneer 105s DVD-ROM, ATi Rage Fury Pro, ViewSonic A90f, PowerDVD 3.0)

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