Sailor Moon S - Heart Collection III DVD Review
Review By: Matthew Belanger. First written
06.14.01. Last modified 01.29.03
DVD Region: 1 - United States of America and Canada
Video: Open matte 1.33:1
Audio: Japanese Track - Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, English Track - Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo, Menus - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Released By: Pioneer Entertainment (USA) Inc.
Episode 103: "Yattekita chicchana bishoujo senshi"
Episode 104: "Tomodachi wo motomette! Chibimoon no
Episode 105: "Power ga hoshii! Mako-chan no mayaoi
Episode 106: "Unmei no kizuna! Uranus no tooi hi"
Episode 107: "Geijutsu ha ai no bakhuhatsu!
Chibi-usa no hatsukoi"
Episode 108: "Usagi no dance he waltz ni notte"
Extras: Sailor Gallery featuring Sailor Chibi Moon, Non-textless First Opening
A) Intel Pentium III 533 MHz PC with 128 MB RAM, WinDVD 3.0, Pioneer 10x
DVD-ROM Drive, TTX 1556 15" Digital Monitor on Voodoo3 2000 AGP video card,
Labtec LCS-2514 4.1 Surround Sound speaker system on CREATIVE Sound Blaster Live!
Value sound card
B) JVC XV-D2000 DVD Player, Sony Dolby Digital AC3-Ready STR-DE425 FM Stereo
/ FM-AM Receiver, 5 Sony surround sound speakers, 27" GE Television
Packaging ... B
Menus ... B
Audio ... B+
Video ... A
Titling ... B
Extra ... B
Content ... A-
Here I am again, visiting the third in Pioneer's series of SMS discs, not altogether
thrilled, nor exactly repulsed. This is a good release, it'd just be better if
Pioneer would fire the person who keeps making the small stupid mistakes in the
AAH! MY EYES! *falls down dead* Okay, so it's not that bad, I was just never one for
taking-in so much pink all at once. The front cover to this disc (to the right) shows
Sailorchibimoon in all her shades-of-pink glory (all 456 shades, no less ;), which,
depending on the person, is either really cute or really revolting (I'm more the
latter). I'm giving up on hope that Pioneer will put some sort of order into what
images they make as the main covers so that the covers with the red and gold foiling
make some sort of logical sense, but that's just just not going to happen :) The
back of the main cover has even more pink, yay... but smack-dab in the middle is
JUPITER-CHAN, YAY!!! </bias>. Other pretty and nicely edited pictures are
shown as well, and the description at the top remains true to the real romanized
name spellings, etc. Pink-lovers, go to town!
Looking at the reverse cover (to the left)... OHMIGOD! The cousin scouts
are about to kiss, ewww! (;p) Sort of risky on Pioneer's part, but I'm
still glad they included it, it just wouldn't be right without Uranus-san
and Neptune-chan. I'm not happy, however, with their
coloruing job. If you stare closely at Neptune's hair colour, and then down closely
at her fuku colour, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Whoever made the
reverse cover gave Uranus her navy blue properly, but Neptune... green? Green?
Jupiter-sama is green. Where did green come from? Even Neptune's opposite background
swirl is green... this isn't right at all, Neptune-chan should sue! >:X
So, instead of just complaining, I decided to recolour the image myself, so that it
looks perdy and fine and all professiminal :D (shown at the right). If
anyone out there with a really expensive and wonderful laser printer would like a
larger version of my recoloured cover to print off for themself (to replace the
weird DVD cover), e-mail me and we
may be able to work out a deal (I'm very desperate to replace mine but I don't
have access a wonderful, expensive, laser printer o.o). Oh well, I can hope :D
Anyway, the back of the reverse cover (above) shows Haruka reaching out for her
newly-appeared Planet henshin stick (it seems the image was taken from Pioneer's
source material, the edges are soft and the colours rather bland), and below it
stands Sailorchibimoon in her "oshioki yo!" pose. Once again, pink-lovers rejoice ^^;
The insert sheet (to the left) is single-sided and shows the same Sailorjupiter
picture that is on the back of the first cover (from ep 105... her ponytail is
looking rather slim, I think her hair is falling out @_@), with episode titles,
chapter stops, and the NA logo in the top-left corner. Chapter 11 still
mistakenly lists Prologue as "Prolong" as the last disc's insert sheet did...
so, yeah, a good example of why spell check is never enough.
Since Pioneer botched-up Neptune's colour royally (and doesn't know how to proofread),
the packaging doesn't get as good of a mark as it could have received. Very,
very preventable :X (People at Pioneer, just WATCH THE SHOW...)
The menus are okay as far as menus go, but they could have been more creative. The
DVD opens up in the middle of Chibiusa's henshin when she is turned around and her
main fuku appears on her. She twirls upward and around so that her face is infront
of the screen, hearts put the last remaining accessories on her, her eyes open,
and before she can twirl back to strike her pose, the animation stops (pictured to
the right) and the access buttons display on the right side of the screen, a
tilted heart with a heavy glare across it is on the left of the screen with Chibiusa
repeatedly transforming inside of it (the glare is there to hide her nudity, and
the animation in the heart plays very choppily so that less frames show her being
naked), and the NA logo is shown on the top-left corner of the screen. Once again
visible are flying semitransparent stars.
Accessing the Setup menu starts the beginning of Chibiusa's henshin with
her compact blinking, the screen turning pink, and heart cut-outs popping out of
the screen from left-to-right, leaving two borders that raise and lower away to
reveal a close-up of Chibiusa's face. All of the setup options (pictured right)
The same exact thing happens when Scene Access is selected as in the Setup
menu, but instead everything stops after the heart cut-outs fly off the screen
and all the scene access options appear (shown right and down).
When Extra Stuff is clicked on, all of the options from the Main menu's
screen disappear and Chibimoon finishes executing her henshin animation. All of
the extra selections then appear onscreen (shown right and far down), but what
exactly is "Featuring Sailor Chibi-Usa's"? o_O
The menus' audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, with the only drawback
being all of the audio is the same as that from the last disc (Jupiter menus),
and even worse, only one of the tracks from the last disc's menus is used for all
3 menu transitions here (the last disc's had 2 different ones to break the
monotonousness). I figured Pioneer would try to make different sounds for each
of the senshi, but unfortunately I was wrong. The only sound effect used from the
anime is what plays during Moon's "Moon Spiral Heart Attack" during the Main
menu's opening animations.
The menus serve their purpose, but seem to have been made quickly
(illustrated by the heart on the Main menu showing Moon's Cosmic compact at the
end, and the lack of proofreading [again] in the Extra Stuff menu). Had Pioneer
created new music and sound effects to go with the sugaryness of Chibimoon, the
menus could have been really cute, but the sound effects here that fit Jupiter
don't really fit Chibimoon. The only good thing about the menus is their speed.
The audio on the disc is clean and easy to listen to, but once again, doesn't sound
100% perfect, and in this release the Japanese audio appears to have more problems
with high-pitched speaking than previous releases did. The Japanese and English
audio tracks are encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and 2.0 Stereo respectively for
the episodes themselves, so there is no directionality or fantastic effects to be
in awe of (only the NA Theme on the English audio track is in stereo; voices, music,
and sound effects are in mono). For fans of the original Sailormoon, however, there
is some comfort in knowing that Pioneer couldn't possibly downgrade the audio from
stereo to mono like they did with the movie releases, since the TV episodes were
created in mono originally (;_;). Out of the two tracks on the disc, the Japanese
wins over the English again, as the music, sound effects, and speech levels
consistently mix well together, creating nice audio, and a low bass sound for a
subwoofer to make use of during those mysterious, darkened, eerie moments. The
English track isn't the same story, however, as for many episodes the music is
still way too low, the speech a little too loud, and the sound effects somewhere
in between, but then again some episodes are nicely done for a change. The audio
is given an okay mark, since there isn't really any way for Pioneer to make
improvements on the source material.
The Sailormoon anime, throughout its 5 seasons, has had different art styles which
triumph over each other during different moments. The visuals in S are well-presented
on this disc, but could have been slightly better. There was no rainbowing evident,
but even with the disc being dual layered to fit all 6 episodes on one side,
artifacting was sometimes noticeable, probably moreso on digital visual equipment.
On the bright side, colours are presented well, and compared with master fansubs,
they are fuller and livelier, with brightness and contrast appropriately set
(Note: this isn't illustrated in the comparison picture below).
One good plus about the disc is that there is more information on the left and
right sides of the screen than the Japanese laserdiscs have, and some parts are
even zoomed OUT to make more information on all sides, such as all of episode
108, shown below (only the coloured part on the right is what the laserdisc has,
the part in black and white is what was missing and is included on the DVD).
This is Pioneer's first Sailor Moon TV release using the laserdisc masters for
all of the episodes, and with the great look, let's hope they continue to do
their future releases this way.
As I've reported before, the last S opening is used for all of the episodes instead
of the second opening. This is probably due to the unavailability of a textless
second opening, and only the third could be used so that the English credits could
be put onto it.
Sailormoon has never looked this good in North America, and with the extra information
on the sides and the zooming out, perhaps it hasn't been able to look this great in
Japan. I would have given the video a better grade if Pioneer had made the disc
dual-sided instead of dual-layered to make the artifacting less apparent, if not
non-existent, but then again, people would have been upset if they had gone that
The quality of the translation subtitles on the DVD appears to be accurate and better
than the subtitles on my VKLL fansubs of SMS. Many new things that were questionable
on the VKLL tapes suddenly make sense on the DVD now, and Pioneer even included
honourifics a lot of the time (e.g. "Mamo-chan"). There is some odd spelling though,
such as "daimohn"
(daimon), "Eugeal" (Eudial), and the daimons' names especially.
The letters for the subtitling are easy to read, bubbly and yellow with black outlining.
Pioneer embedded word translations onto the video for some of the large background
wording and signs, among other things, and did it mostly in a non-threatening manner.
It actually looks GOOD. Some people would argue that Pioneer should have just left
the translating for the subtitling to do, but it probably needed to be done this
way for those watching with the English audio track on and the subtitles off. I wish
that Pioneer had translated some other important things as well though, such as
Eudial's report in episode 103, etc.
Anyway, annoying text includes the ending credits, which was set up so that animation
is occuring on the left side of the screen with space left on the right side for the
credits to be put. Pioneer ignored this and put the English credits smack-dab in the
centre of the screen spanning from left to right. Unlike the previous discs Pioneer
made, this time around they haven't been as colourful and creative with their
The crediting text put on the opening, however, looks pretty good, and I have no
complaints there at all. Titling would have been given a A+ if Pioneer had just
used the correct spelling of names, hadn't destroyed the ending credits animation,
been as unique with fonts and colours as before, and translated everything on
screen worthy of being translated.
A heap of extras should not be expected from this DVD release, since Pioneer has to
span them across however many DVDs they plan to release for S and SuperS to occupy.
What is on here, though, is interesting, and until now used to be rare. The "Sailor
Gallery" talks about Sailor Chibi Moon|Chibi-Usa/Rini, with no new information that
I haven't seen before (with the exception of Luna-P having been built by
Sailormercury of the future, never heard that one before). There are also 7 pictures
of Chibiusa/Chibimoon, 4 of which are against a white background and I have never
seen before, and the last 3 which are taken from the episodes on this disc.
Also in the extras is the first S opening complete with Japanese credits, with
regular audio this time. It's too bad the audio sounds somewhat garbled and the
picture is a bit grainy, but it's nice to see the very first opening with the
extended parts where each of the 4 Inner Senshi performs her attack. From the
extras you can also choose to view the DVD credits, if you're interested in that.
There weren't very many extras this time around, but Pioneer at least put
something on the disc.
I suppose you could call these episodes "filler" if you want to, or the meat of
the burger (or is that the same thing?), but we do meet (and reacquaint with)
new characters, like Eudial and Chibiusa. Eudial ROCKS! Everytime I watch the
episodes with her in them I root for her to win! And Chibiusa, well... yeah,
she's cute, just not when surrounded by 456 shades of pink :P There are a lot of
good memorable moments in these episodes, at least. The next-episode previews
weren't included on the DVD (of course), they were entertaining and usually quite
funny, so they will be missed. It's been speculated that they were probably
never dubbed, and that Pioneer didn't want to insert silence onto the English
audio track during those parts on the DVD, but they could have just thrown the
previews into the Extra Stuff section with only the Japanese audio track and
had no problems. Hopefully in the future Pioneer will run out of new extras as
they make new DVDs, and decide to include the previews on them at that time.
So, to summarize, this is a great disc when you get 6 entire episodes on it,
along with the uncut English dub (for those who care) as well as a few fun
extras. And who can resist staring at the cover? (Oh wait, that doesn't apply to
this review ^^;) You know you want the DVD, so go out and get it!
Back to Sailormoon DVD Reviews
Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon S © 1994 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. © 2001
Naoko Takeuchi / Kodansha / Toei Animation.
Package design by © 2001 Pioneer Entertainment (USA) Inc.
DVD produced by Pioneer Entertainment.
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