Sailor Moon Vol. #09 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £15.99
  • Running time: 135
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Vol. #09

By Bryan Morton     August 01, 2005
Release Date: March 08, 2004


Sailor Moon Vol. #09
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
It's girl power to the rescue as Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts continue to fight the evil minions of the Doom Tree. Forced to find new victims to feed the monstrous vegetable's ever increasing appetite for energy, Alan and Anne concoct their most diabolical scheme yet! Can Serena and the Scouts stop them in time, or will all their friends at school become veggie snacks? Find out in the ninth volume of Sailor Moon on DVD!

Episodes Comprise
49 - Food Fetish
50 - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
51 - Detention Doldrums
52 - Secret Garden
53 - Treed
54 - Serena Times Two

The Review!
Sailor Moon returns to tie up the Doom Tree story before moving onto a new adventure and introducing one of the most love-them-or-hate-them characters in the history of anime.

Audio:
Audio in English-language only. Presented in 2.0 stereo it's best described as adequate as only the songs and transitions make any real use of the soundstage - all dialog and effects are locked to the centre. That said, it's clear and without any noticeable distortion or encoding defects.

Video:
Video is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame format, and isn't bad considering the show's age. There is some frame jitter visible if you really pay attention, but it's not on a scale that'll be distracting. Sailor Moon is heavy on pastel colours which come across quite well, although there is some graininess in certain scenes & DiC's brightly-coloured CGI scene transitions feel a bit out-of-place. There are no obvious encoding problems.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
With the lack of any features or extras here, the menus are a simple as you can get - a single screen giving direct access to each episode with a picture of Alan and Anne on the right-hand side, all set against a swirling animated background.

Extras:
None

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
The first five episodes on this release wrap up the story of Alan, Anne and the Doom Tree. Lita takes the spotlight in the first episode when she develops something of a crush for Alan and tries to work her way into his heart with some of her home-cooked food. The only problem is that Alan lives off the power of the Doom Tree and doesn't normally need to eat, so he's not too sure how to take her advances, while Anne develops a bad case of jealousy when she sees Lita making her moves.

Anne has an obsession of her own though, which Serena has to deal with when Anne weasels her way into a play Darien's arranging. After helping herself to the role of Sleeping Beauty, she's hoping that a kiss from her prince Darien will be enough to gain his affections, but Serena's not taking the challenge lying down. A trip to detention with Anne gives the two girls another excuse to annoy each other, but with the Doom Tree beginning to die, Alan and Anne are getting desperate for energy - any energy. Anne seizes her opportunity when Serena drops by their apartment to visit Alan and attempts to feed her to the Doom Tree, but the tree's reaction to the abundant energy that Serena provides leaves both sides surprised.

I was a bit surprised by the ending of this arc. The whole story came down to Alan and Anne learning about love from their time on Earth - but if love was such an alien concept to them, why where they spending so much time chasing after Serena and Darien? While there are some good moments of drama and some touching scenes here, such as when Darien regains his memories and the Moonlight Knight's identity is revealed, the conclusion to this arc felt a little bit contrived. Most of the episodes are decent enough when taken on their own, though.

The final episode on the disc begins the Negamoon arc, when a young girl claiming to be Serena appears out of nowhere and begins to insert herself into Serena's family. She's after the Emperial Silver Crystal, and she's not about to take no for an answer - but soon new enemies begin to appear, and they're after the Crystal themselves.

Little Rini is either the cutest little girl ever or the Evil Pink Spore, depending on your point of view - there are any number of websites devoted to trying to convince you one way or the other, and how you feel about her will colour your view of Sailor Moon from this point on. On her first appearance, evil is a good description, but as the story unfolds over the coming episodes her initial attitude is explained and she won't seem quite so bad.

In Summary:
While a lot of the individual episodes in the Doom Tree arc aren't too bad, the ending of the story left me underwhelmed as there just wasn't the end-of-the-world crisis that you expect from Sailor Moon. The love aspect also felt a bit controved. The Negamoon arc is set to be a much better story overall, although
a certain tolerance of short-tempered pink-haired girls will be required.

Features
English 2.0 Language

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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