Sailor Moon Vol. #04: The Secret of the Sailor Scouts - 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. #04: The Secret of the Sailor Scouts

By Chris Beveridge     June 29, 2002
Release Date: June 11, 2002


Sailor Moon Vol. #04: The Secret of the Sailor Scouts
© ADV Films


What They Say
When Queen Beryl sends her newest and most relentless henchmen to gather the
Earth's crystals, the Sailor Scouts may have met their match! Fortunately,
the mighty Sailor Jupiter arrives just in time to even the odds! And as if
that wasn't enough excitement, Luna finally reveals the secret origin of the
Sailor Scouts' amazing powers in the fourth stunning collection of Sailor
Moon ® on DVD!

The Review!
Be afraid! There be plot ahead!

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 seems to be about the same as the previous volume, which means it’s not as good as the first couple. 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 green and yellowish stars set against a variable shade of green background while we get Sailor Moon in dominance with Lyta. 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.

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)
This latest batch of six Sailor Moon episodes actually does the unimaginable and provides actual plot points, relevant information, a new scout and a new villain. There’s even a death! But fear not, Serena continues to be an absolute airhead.

Nephlite feature strong early on, as he continues to try and figure out the best way to find the Silver Crystal. He initially starts to think that Serena’s friend Molly has it, based on some feelings he’s getting from her. He uses her to try and draw it out, but comes up empty. From this, he learns that Molly may actually be a friend of Sailor Moon’s, so he uses Molly to draw her out. This actually works, but the whole situation begins to backfire on Nephlite as he comes to realize he’s discovered love. Yes, that’s right, the big bad buy is in love with Molly. This is something that Zoicite easily takes advantage of, and ends up providing some rather dramatic moments.

With Nephlite failing the Negaverse but having feelings, he ends up getting bumped off of the top spot with Queen Beryl, which leads to Zoicite getting the time to shine. Beryl produces a dark crystal for Zoicite to use, which allows the bearer to better track down those people who may have the Rainbow Crystal inside of them. The whole situation with the past of the Rainbow Warriors is explained, which gives some push for each side to deal with things faster. Of course, you wonder why this tool wasn’t provided in the first place.

So Zoicite is now hitting the rounds on Earth and going after those that the crystal shows. The first target becomes a rather lucky guy whose ability with games is renowned. Zoicite figures his luck is being emphasized by the crystal, and sets out to transform him and capture the crystal. Of course, Sailor Moon ends up helping out, but a lot of this episode is devoted to the introduction of Lyta, the tall amazon-ish newly discovered Sailor Scout. Lyta takes the role of Sailor Jupiter and all it demands rather easily and after saving the gaming gent, joins up with the scouts with little hesitation.

There’s a fair bit of good stuff throughout these episodes, as well as some leadership challenges as things progress. Plot, changes, new scouts… what more could a Sailor Moon fan ask for?

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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