Based upon the manga by: Naoko Takeuchi
Directed by: Kunihiko Ikuhara
- Original Japanese openings, version 1 and 2
- Karaoke opening & ending
- Sing-along ending, version 1
- Art gallery
- All thirty-nine uncut episodes of this season
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Villain hats that are very silly indeed
- Young love
- Nightmare clowns
Released by: Geneon/Pioneer
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Get it and like it.
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This season of Sailor Moon has one of the greatest anime villains ever: Queen Nehelenia of the Dark Moon, along with her creepy Dark Circus. The ending, without giving anything away, really does the arch-villain proud, making her a multi-layered character with real motivations and personality traits, while at the same time giving Serena & Company the chance to develop their characters and show why they were chosen to be the protectors of the Earth, especially when Serena/Usagi/Sailor Moon has to deal with her future daughter. There’s much more narrative tension and drama in this season, especially toward the end, than non-fans of the series might expect, but there’s no way to prove that this show has teeth than to ask people to watch it for themselves. This season is much like last season, in that Chibi and Serena still don’t really get along, there are always innocent bystanders who need rescuing, which always teaches Serena a bit about what the villain is up to, etc. But that’s not the point–Sailor Moon is great because the characters, situations, villains, and artwork are just cool, fun, lush, and lovely, and there really is some character growth going on.
The features vary depending upon which disc you have in your DVD player, but they all have full DVD credits, plus one of the extra I listed above. Of course, no fan will ever be satisfied with any number of special features, but outtakes, interviews with the cast and crew, and so forth are always desirable and would have been appreciated here.
The audio and video quality are for the most part rather sound, though there are a few examples of graininess here and there. Overall though, there is nothing to complain about, as the show looks much better than it did on TV and as good as just about any anime of its era, if not better. As an aside, if you think Chibi’s English voice is annoying, don’t even try her Japanese counterpart. Your ear-drums will burst and bleed. Stick with the English and just think how smooth and cool Helios is.
I would like to say a word about the disc’s physical presentation, as well. The discs themselves are translucent, giving the graphics and character images painted onto the discs a rather stained-glass-like appearance. Pretty. Also, the cases are the new slim-line skinny cases, taking up much less precious shelf-space, while still providing security for your discs. More of this, please.
Sailor Moon fans know they need to pick up this set; it is one of the most popular seasons of the show ever and has lots of butt-kicking action. However, if you don’t consider yourself a fan of the pretty sailors, then do yourself a favor and pick this up anyway. You’ve probably heard how silly many of the villains dress and how very, very, VERY annoying Rini is, and it’s all true. But you also need to hear that the other characters are very cool, and even Chibi-Moon doesn’t suck all the time. It’s not only a classic of the anime genre, it really is, in this uncut form, more full of action, cool fights, and adventure than you assume, based upon what you might have seen on American TV. It’s not nearly as giggly and silly as you’ve been led to believe, and I just bet you’ll love it.