Saint Tail Vol. #5 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 175
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Saint Tail

Saint Tail Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     June 01, 2002
Release Date: May 14, 2002

Saint Tail Vol. #5

What They Say
Includes Episodes 16-22. Episode 16 - Steal the Chinese Iron Chef! "Tsujimoto Cherry Tree" is the most popular restaurant in town. Mrs. Sato wishes to eat the chef's famous Chinese porridge just once before she leaves. Who could resist such a request? Episode 17 - The Heart Thief on St. Valentine's Day?? She likes him. He doesn't't know. A notebook filled with love poems in the wrong hands. Episode 18 - Danger, Do Not Touch! Super Electric Trap "The Steel Weathercock" has been stolen. Episode 19 - A Comet Approaches! The Earth's Final Night?? The splendid Graham's Comet approaches in the night sky, but the town choir is unable to get into the observatory to see it! Episode 20 - Get Back the Phantom Bird Egg! Yutaka's father found the legendary egg of the Apua Bird. While his father was away, Professor Hyuga borrowed the egg, but it was a fake! Episode 21 - Steal the Memorable Harmonica! Miyuki wants to win the music contest tonight but somehow it was swapped with a fake one. With the clock ticking away, Miyuki must get back her special harmonica or she'll lose the competition! Episode 22 - The U.F.O. Appears!? A Town in Panic! The crowd of Seika-shi were in panic when they saw a shining object in the sky!

The Review!
The Saint Tail release goes through some significant changes with this volume, but a small number of people won’t notice. In fact, that small number may be excited.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language. And with this release, it’s the only language track available, as TOKYOPOP has had to drop the English track (and it’s high expense). The audio track sounds much like previous volumes with a basic stereo mix that’s mostly center channel based. I’ve still not had any issues with it or the hiss that others have heard, but with a background level of tinnitus running through my ears, I’m not surprised.

The transfer for this volume looks much like the last couple, even with the addition of two more episodes bringing it to seven. There’s still the level of grain we’ve seen in past episodes and cross coloration continues to be around the same as well. Colors are good if soft and there’s little in the way of macroblocking.

This volume features a nice shot of Saint Tail leaping across the cityscape with images of Asuka Jr. and Seira behind her. The color theme from previous volumes is continued here with the blue nighttime sky background. The back cover provides a few animation shots and a couple of lines explaining the shows concept. Episode numbers and titles are listed here as well as the discs features. No real insert was included, just an advertisement flyer.

The Nightjar menus make another appearance using the same style as previous ones, with some simple but nice layered movement and a couple of very nice clean bright character shots. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is straightforward.

The only extras included here, and I’m never expecting much on a disc with seven episodes, is a gallery of credits for the Japanese cast. These are the kinds of credits I like, showing pictures of the Japanese actors and their bios and some of their other credits. Good stuff that should be on more discs.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the seven episodes here, we’re moved quickly to the middle point of the series, and it’s at this point that I have finally figured out that the series intentions are pretty much set, and it’s not aspiring to be more than a simple show with likable characters that deal with different situations in much the same way.

While the allure of anime for me has always been set stories that go somewhere over time, the episodic nature of Saint Tail has kept me from enjoying it as much as I do other shows, since I keep looking for the hook that’s going to move things forward. Knowing no that there’s no real hook, I find myself enjoying these episodes a lot more. This volume provided a good deal of fun.

One episode deals with a sculptor artist who made a massive Steel Weathercock that launched him to fame. He never sold it, since it was his critical first piece and served as his inspiration for other pieces. But it ended up being stolen and eventually wound up on top of a high rise in the city. Unable to get it back from the owner of the building, he finds himself in the church where Seira learns of his problems, and Saint Tail sets off to deal with it.

What I wondered through the whole episode was, just how is she going to move such a massively heavy thing as that, especially for her size. When she has it lift off with the balloons, I could only laugh, imagining just how strong they must be to lift that and carry it across the sky. But overall, it was a good episode, especially since the building owner and his henchmen were actively trying to take down Saint Tail at the same time.

Another amusing episode focused on the model that’s in their class, Tohru. Tohru’s desired by most of the girls, and you know he’s the model type since when we meet him, you get the glinting teeth. Always accurate! His involvement in the life of Saint Tail is amusing, as he borrows a classmates English notes, but she’s so flustered (and in love with him) that she ends up giving him her journal instead, where she talks about how she feels about him.

What makes things amusing is that when Meimi leaves the card informing Asuka Jr. that she’s going to steal the notebook from Tohru, an accident happens and rearranges the whole thing, indicating that she’s going to steal his heart. Asuka Jr. starts figuring out how to protect him while Tohru has decided he can’t wait for his heart to be stolen and proceeds to get all decked out in his clothes and ready for her appearance. It’s a very humor filled episode with lots of things not going as people expect and kept me very entertained.

With the lack of the English dub, I’m sure a number of people will abandon this series. It’s unfortunately because it is enjoyable. But between the choice of canceling it outright and finishing it in just its original language, I have to take the one that brings the remainder of the show out. For those that stick with Saint Tail, here’s to the larger episode count and the speedy release by years end.

Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Cast 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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