Saint Tail Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Saint Tail

Saint Tail Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     January 28, 2002
Release Date: January 22, 2002


Saint Tail Vol. #3
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
Contains:
Danger! Beware of Lost Objects!
A famous pitcher's glove is missing... but the game must go on!

Contest Hall In Confusion!
Big trouble when Saint Tail's arch enemy teams up with Meimi's arch enemy!

You... Confessed??
Tragedy strikes when Family heirlooms fall into the wrong hands.

The Big Scoop!
An uproar at the school festival!

The Review!
While Saint Tail continues her various activities, the net trying to catch her definitely gets tighter as Takamiya's pursuit of her knows no bounds.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The shows soundtrack continues to be a bit lower than normal but not to a point of being problematic. I've seen various people have issues with it and background hiss on earlier volumes, but apparently I'm more deaf than I thought I was as I can't really discern any problems with it.

Video:
The transfer here is about on par with the reworking we saw with the second volume, so things are definitely improved here but there's only so far you can go with the source material. The material is good but it looks pretty bland with the coloring of the show and just the general look of the show. Half the time this feels like a series from the 80's instead of 1996.

Packaging:
The girlish nature of the show shines through here with a cute image of Meimi holding a broom against pastels and various flowers, as well as the Spring Love disc title and the tagline of "She'll steal your heart!" along the bottom. Some guys are going to need to be really comfortable with themselves to pick this up in a store. The back cover provides a background on the shows premise and then lists the four episodes contained within with their numbers and titles. Features are nice and clearly listed. The insert provides another shot of the cover while the reverse side shows some boxart for other previously released titles.

Menus:
The menu here is much like the second volume in providing some subtle bits of animation playing with the images used of Meimi and Seira. I'm a sucker for menus that look like this and really like how it came out with its simplicity in design and its ease of use. Moving about in the menus is quick and access times are nice and fast. This is what your basic menu designs should be like.

Extras:
There's a couple of good extras here, with a couple minutes of dub outtakes with some amusing moments in them. There's also several pages worth of conceptual line art included.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the show goes forward mostly with its formula approach, there's some good stuff going on that takes the attention away from that to refocus elsewhere.

Meimi does continue admirably in working with Seira about helping people who are having problems. Such as the baseball pitcher who had his glove stolen by a little girl getting an autograph from him or the guy whose relatives are scamming him out of his inheritance of a precious jewel. These follow the usual rules of a magical girl show in having them come to Seira and telling their tale and then having Saint Tail investigate and complete the mission while baffling Asuka Jr.

The difference in these episodes is that the relatively new classmate Takamiya is hot on Saint Tails case as well, and she's not as... well, oblivious as Asuka Jr. She picks up on several of the obvious clues, such as coming across tickets to a baseball game that Saint Tail must have dropped and tying it together with the fact that Meimi is crying over losing her baseball tickets. Add in things like Meimi's excellence at gymnastics and other little hints, Takamiya decides to use it to her advantage to get what she wants.

And what she wants is Asuka Jr. She's using Saint Tail as her way to impress him and to finally end his obsession with her. When she's firmly convinced that Meimi is Saint Tail, she makes a bet with him that the two are indeed the same. If she wins and proves it, he has to date her. If she loses and the two are not the same, then she has to give up pursuing Meimi entirely and to leave her alone. The perfect opportunity comes up when Meimi is used as a model for a junior design day for wedding dresses. Takamiya uses this to catch her since one of the wedding dress designs was stolen. There's some amusing moments here, particularly with Seira as she gets involved in the caper.

Another rather fun episode involves a school festival where everyone is getting dressed up. This is tied with another tradition among students to take the locks from the lockers of people they like and to put them up on the chain link fence along the top of the school. Some pictures are taken that shouldn't have been, so Meimi is brought in to recover the film. This lets her be more public in what she's doing as it seems like every other girl in the school is dressing up as Saint Tail.

The show moves along nicely for the most part without much really changing. The chase by Takamiya was pretty well done and helped move things forward a bit in at least getting Asuka Jr. and Meimi moving towards each other again. There's nothing really groundbreaking here, but it's a fun nice little show that makes you smile along with it.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Dub Outtakes,Art Gallery

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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