Mania Grade: C+
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Europe
- Released By: MVM Entertainment
- MSRP: £5.99
- Running time: 135
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon Vol. #08
By Bryan Morton
May 30, 2005
Release Date: February 16, 2004
Sailor Moon Vol. #08
What They Say
© MVM Entertainment
It came to conquer the Earth - and only Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts can stop it! As the evil Anne and Alan continue to scheme up new ways to steal the Earth's energy for the Doom Tree, will the combined power of all the Sailor Scouts be enough? The power of friendship will be tested as never before when our planets' mightiest protectors join forces in their greatest battles yet! Don't miss the excitement in the eighth electrifying collection of Sailor Moon on DVD.
43 - A Knight To Remember
44 - VR Madness
45 - Cherry Blossom Time
46 - Kindergarten Chaos
47 - Much Ado About Babysitting
48 - Raye's Day In The SpotlightThe Review!
The Doom Tree arc continues, with Serena & the other Scouts somehow managing to remain blissfully unaware of their adversaries real identities.Audio:
The audio for this version of Sailor Moon is in English only. I have to admit having a certain fondness for this dub, as I wouldn't be the anime fan I am today without dubbed Sailor Moon, but it's also fair to say it's far from being one of the best dubs around. It's perfectly serviceable, though. The soundtrack is in 2.0 stereo - the dialogue remains locked to the centre, but the SFX & music make some use of the available channels to give some feeling of depth. There are no obvious audio glitches.Video:
The video for this release isn't bad, all things considered - there are no obvious encoding defects, with only a slight graininess spoiling things. Sailor Moon sticks to mostly pastel colours & simple backgrounds, so there's not much opportunity for visual 'wow' anyway. DiC's added scene transitions feel a bit out of place, with their much smoother CG feel, but that's more a personal opinion than a problem. Packaging:
The front cover features Sailor Moon striking a pose, with Sailor Mars & Sailor Jupiter off to one side - all colourful enough, if nothing special. The back cover features a group picture of the Scouts ready for action, along with episode titles and a technical info panel.Menu:
Only one menu for this disc - a single static screen featuring a group pic of the girls on the right, with the episode titles listed on the left for easy selection. It's all placed on a fairly tasteful purple background. With no extras, subtitles or audio options on this disc, there's no need for anything else. The single-screen layout makes using the menu pretty much a no-brainer.Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
At this stage of the story, we're still firmly in 'monster of the week' territory, although there are moments of plot development scattered about. Lita takes center-stage in the first episode, as her old friend Ken falls victim to a Cardian attack. Raye's able to divine the location of the Cardian's next attack, giving Lita a chance to take revenge for her friend, but when the battle doesn't go well, a new ally comes to the Scouts' aid: the Moonlight Knight, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the 'missing' Tuxedo Mask.
Target number two is a new Virtual Reality game arena - Serena's brother and father are one of the first people inside to try out the new games while the Scouts are also visiting for some unofficial training when Alan and Anne release their Cardian. Sailor Moon to the rescue, but she has some trouble getting her tiara attack to work. The problem gets worse next episode, where Sailor Moon's transformation fails & the other Scouts are captured. It takes an intervention from Queen Serenity & a power-up for Serena before she's able to return to being the unbeatable warrior-of-justice she's meant to be.
The next two episodes give kids the run of the show - first with a kindergarten girl, Carrie, who's a big fan of Sailor Moon and befriends Mina when she saves her from some young bullies, and then when Serena and Darien are left looking after a young baby when its mother falls victim to a Cardian attack. Finally, it's time for Raye's school festival, where she's determined to steal the show for herself, but her plans are disrupted when Anne & Alan drop by and decide it would be a good occasion for gathering more energy for the Doom Tree.
The main points of interest here are the arrival of the Moonlight Knight - who unlike Tuxedo Mask doesn't appear to be Darien in disguise, yet manages to have the same problem with cheesy motivational speeches - and Serena's power-up from Queen Serenity. Serena's always been the reluctant hero, and it seems her lack of confidence in herself had been starting to affect her abilities. The Moonlight Knight and Serenity's visit go a long way towards correcting that, and also give her a bit of a boost in her efforts to prod Darien into remembering his past.
Other than that, it's all filler that follows the usual Sailor Moon formula. The various storyline provide an excuse for each of the girls to get their moment in the limelight (except for poor Amy), although there's no power-up for them just yet. While the individual episodes each have their moments, you definitely wouldn't want to watch all six episodes back-to-back, but there's enough here to make the release interesting for Sailor Moon fans.In summary:
If, like me, you see the Sailor Moon dub through rose-tinted glasses, then this release is probably worth picking up, especially given its low price. It's also currently the only official Sailor Moon release in the UK. While it's not in the same league as the subtitled version, it does have its own appeal. Anyone religiously opposed to the dub will obviously want to keep a safe distance.
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.