Sailor Moon Vol. #03: The Man in the Tuxedo Mask - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 135
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Vol. #03: The Man in the Tuxedo Mask

By Chris Beveridge     May 12, 2002
Release Date: June 11, 2002


Sailor Moon Vol. #03: The Man in the Tuxedo Mask
© ADV Films


What They Say
From enchanted cameras to dangerous dollies, the evil forces of the Negaverse will stop at nothing in their efforts to aid Queen Beryl in her plans to conquer the Earth! But when they send a fake Tuxedo Mask to do their dirty work, they make a crucial mistake... because the real Tuxedo Mask doesn't like being imitated! Sailor Moon and her friends have their hands full in the third spectacular collection of Sailor Moon ® on DVD!

The Review!
Sailor Moon continues here with more of what we’ve seen over the past twelve episodes, though with no new character introductions, we get treated to more of the main three Sailor girls getting adjusted to each other and dealing with the problems that crop up from the Negaverse.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in the only language available, English. Though done back in 1995, the disc has a rather good pro-logic mix to it, with the music being the main beneficiary of it and sending a lot of sounds to the rear speakers. There’s some minor directionality with sound effects and dialogue across the forward soundstage, but the track overall sounds decent with no noticeable dropouts or distortions.

Video:
The video drops off from the improvements over the last volume. Mid range shots again prove to be difficult with some of the character faces looking much less defined and hazy as well as some aliasing going on throughout them. Ghosting did continue to seem minimal compared to the first volume though. But the less than defined look of the animation in a number of scenes just didn’t look right. There’s still the usual amount of grain and a low level of cross coloration running through. But again, the show doesn’t have much in the way of a lot of vibrant colors and the backgrounds are done in a fairly minimalist way at times.

Packaging:
The cover for this release continues the nice bright style with the pink shaded hearts set against a starry background while we get Sailor Moon in dominance with Nephrite behind her and Tuxedo Mask coming up from behind. The back cover provides a few small animation shots and a rundown of the show and what it’s all about. Episode titles are listed, but no numbers and there’s no volume numbering either. The insert provides another shot of the cover while the reverse side has some new artwork and lists the episodes as well as the previews on the disc. For the first pressings, a package from the Past & Future expansion set of the collectible card game is included.

Menu:
The menus are pretty decent and definitely shiny. With nothing on the disc outside of the extras, episode selection is the main menu. Unfortunately, there’s no episode numbering here either so unless you start with the first episode and let it play through, it can be very difficult to tell where to start and where to pick up again if you leave off somewhere.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this volume we get up to episode 18 of the first season of the show, and things move along pretty well here. There’s little real new stuff going on, but we do get to know a bit more about each of the characters and their friends.

The episodes themselves continue to be pretty episodic, much like earlier non-new character introduction episodes. We have some kind of event going on, such as one of their teachers getting married. The teacher struggles to figure out how to come up with a good dress for her wedding. The Negaverse then points Nephrite to said person as a good source of energy and he goes off and gives her some item, or changes some item, that will bring them under their control so they can begin to absorb the energy. As luck and coincidence and simple storytelling will do, one or all of the Sailor Scouts are involved in some form and end up seeing the change in character, which culminates in a complete change that frees the Gemini warrior. Said warrior then causes all kinds of emotional grief for someone while battling the Scouts.

What ends up making some episodes better than others is the characters that get caught up in all of this. The episode with the teacher was pretty decent, especially when showing that women who are getting married all act the same when it comes to a wedding dress sale. The episode with the photographer didn’t work that well because even without the photographer kid being converted, he was still a jerk and you just didn’t care about what happened to him. Though I suspect with that, the dub itself was more to blame.

There’s a flash of creativity in here though when Nephrite decides to try and get Sailor Moon to reveal herself through her affection for Tuxedo Mask. He sends off invitation letters to all the girls in the school and dresses up as Tuxedo Mask. He ends up thinking it’s one girl, who it obviously isn’t, and tries to force the revelation out of her. Good tactic, bad choices. But this also brings some very slight bits of information about Tuxedo Mask himself and his transformation process, so it’s not a complete loss.

Sailor Moon’s never been a huge show with me, though I definitely know its place in anime history and why it’s such a huge show for so many people. I just have a hard time really getting into something I know is so edited. But for those who love it, this is a pretty decent presentation and with the episode count and price, an easy guilty pleasure to give into.

Features
English Language

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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