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    Sailor Moon Collection 1

    Madman Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 135 mins . G . PAL


    Serena Tsukino is your typical clueless fourteen-year-old girl. A ninth grade student at Crossroads Junior High, she’s lazy, clumsy, and her academic performance is a constant disappointment to her family. However, unbeknownst to her, she is in fact the re-incarnation of the Moon Kingdom warrior Sailor Moon. She and the other sailor scouts have been entrusted down through the ages with a perilous quest – to find the missing Moon Princess and to save the world from impending invasion! For the forces of the Negaverse, under the leadership of the evil Queen Beryl (sic) are planning to take over our dimension, and all they need is a little human energy to give them substance...

    Episode 1: A Moon Star is Born When Serena rescues a small cat that’s being abused by a gang of schoolkids, the cat (called Luna) informs Serena of her real identity, her mission, and how to transform into her kick-arse alter-ego. Initially sceptical, Serena rushes to the aid of her friend Molly, whose mother is being menaced by Negaverse minion Jadeite. With Luna’s help, Serena finally foils Jadeite’s plans with her special attack – throwing her tiara into a powerful energy Frisbee.

    Episode 2: Talk Radio Everyone is talking about a great new radio show in which love letters are read on air and a flower brooch is awarded for the day’s best. In her zeal to win, Serena takes Luna to the radio station to appeal directly to the show's enigmatic host, only to find that the show doesn't seem to exist. When she hears the broadcast again that night, Serena returns to the radio station determined to prove her point. However, it seems that the show is a pirate broadcast run by Negaverse minion Jadeite; his plot being to distribute the brooches to many a pretty young thing and use them to leech energy for the impending Negaverse invasion. And so it’s up to Sailor Moon and her energy-disc tiara to again come to the rescue.

    Episode 3: Slim City Fearing she's getting fat, Serena goes on a crash diet, but can't seem to stick to it. In desperation she tries the local health club. However, unknown to Serena, the health club is a front for Jadeite’s latest scheme to steal human energy; touting a special 'Shape up Beam Machine'. When Serena’s friends Molly and Miss Haruna appear dangerously thin after only a single treatment, Serena smells a rat and, as Sailor Moon, is determined to foil Jadeite’s evil plan.

    Episode 4: So You Want to be a Superstar? With a talent contest a la ‘Popstars’ being held to find the next international superstar, Serena and Molly plan to enter as a singing duo. However, with Serena's clumsiness and lack of singing talent, she is soon shunned by Molly in favour of another partner. Just as well really, as the contest turns out to be yet another energy-leeching scheme of Jadeite's. In the ensuing confrontation, Sailor Moon is nearly overcome; rescued in the nick of time by Tuxedo Mask. Sufficiently recovered, Sailor Moon re-enters the fray. Payback’s a bitch ain’t it?

    Episode 5: Computer School Blues Amy Anderson is the brainiest girl in Serena’s class, and has her sights set on Medical School. Hoping to con Amy into doing her homework, Serena befriends her, but too soon Amy must rush off to her college prep class. With a little digging, Luna discovers that the prep class is yet another front for Jadeite (surprised?) and with Sailor Moon in tow, he heads for the school. With many students already brainwashed by Jadeite and with Amy the next in line, Sailor Moon gives battle. Meanwhile, Luna identifies Amy as none other than sailor-scout Sailor Mercury! Instructed on how to transform and how to launch her attack, a dense fog called ‘Mercury Bubble Blast’, Sailor Mercury joins the battle and the plucky ninth-graders are soon triumphant.

    Episode 6: Time Bomb When Serena’s family comes into possession of a strange clock fashioned to look just like Luna, it has a peculiar effect on them. They and half of Tokyo seem now obsessed with racing through the day at breakneck speed! Luna and Amy discover that the clock is actually an energy transmitter, and returning to the mysterious clock store, Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, discover it’s yet another Jadeite front. With a little help from Tuxedo Mask, the girls foil Jadeite’s evil schemes yet again.

    Sailor Moon is one of those anime series’ that is devilishly addictive. I remember my wife and I racing home from Uni not so many years ago to catch it in the afternoon on telly – sad, but true. No doubt, if you loved Sailor Moon when it screened on the ABC here in Australia, then you are going to want to check out the series as it is released on DVD in our region. For those who haven’t seen it, Sailor Moon is a lot like a G-rated Clueless, with a pinch of Buffy thrown in for good measure. As you can probably discern from my synopses above, each episode provides only a small variation on a common plot - Jedite launches another plan to extract energy from the hapless earthlings and the sailor scouts intervene just in the nick of time.

    But despite the predictability, Sailor Moon’s mixture of slapstick and self-deprecating teen-comedy, and with its use of the ubiquitous (and much loved) ‘super-deformed’ style, the series represents light, entertaining viewing for the young and young at heart. Filled with strong female role models, there's no doubt that the series is primarily aimed at young girls. However, I declare it here and now enjoyable for both sexes, and all ages equally! And although Sailor Moon and her fellow sailor-scouts are forever battling the forces of the Negaverse, there’s nothing in the violence to push it over a G rating.


    In terms of the quality of its animation, Sailor Moon is typical of anime that's made cheaply for television, with many of the most common cost-cutting techniques plainly in evidence. There are many panning stills, static zooms, and the sailor-scout transformation sequences are re-used verbatim in each and every episode. But with a total of 200 episodes produced over five years by Toei Animation Studios, the series may well owe its longevity to the few pennies saved here and there. In terms of character designs, Serena and her friends are also very typical of children’s anime, with the girls displaying the big hair, big eyes and ridiculously long legs of your average anime beauty. Despite the anime stylings, the G rating is at all times strictly maintained, with neither bosom nor undergarment to be seen, and the aforementioned super-deformation breathes a wonderful charm into the characters.

    With the series first airing in 1992, these first six episodes of Sailor Moon are now ten years old, and although the series was dubbed into English by DiC in 1995, the video is certainly looking its age; littered with a constant stream of small flecks and exhibiting a discernible amount of grain. The condition of the source material aside, the image is nice and sharp for the majority of the six episodes, with a small number of shots that are soft, and one or two that appear out of focus. Of course the image is full-frame (non-anamorphic) and displays the wonderful colours typical of the genre. Madman are again on top of their game, producing an image with said colours rendered well, and the blacks deep and clear. And with these six episodes presented on a dual-layer disc (three per layer), Madman have certainly taken advantage of the extra space afforded them; there’s not a single compression-related artefact to be seen. Given the source material they had to work with, fans of Sailor Moon could not have hoped for better treatment on DVD.


    It is with sorrow that I report, region 4 anime fans, that Madman’s current release of the Sailor Moon series is only the American re-dub produced by DiC for American television – the exact same format that appeared on Australia’s ABC. Although the dub is quite reasonable (I readily admit that I enjoyed the series immensely when it aired here), I was really looking forward to finally watching the original Japanese version of the series. While the Englich voice actors employed by DiC are acceptable, the plot-lines of some episodes have been altered significantly and some episodes have even been removed altogether. And so, while American anime importers ADV are reportedly working on an uncut Japanese version of the first and second series, fans will have to be satisfied with this dub broadcast version for the time being.

    In terms of the audio transfer itself, with the original soundtrack produced for television back in 1992 this DVD release was never going to be anything special. And yet Sailor Moon provides a solid English stereo track without any dropouts or other technical anomalies that could have easily crept in. While the trusty Prologic decoder routes the dialogue clearly and distinctly from the centre, the rest of the soundtrack sits happily across the front with little or no panning or channel separation. There's no surround or subwoofer activity to get you excited, but there is that annoyingly catchy theme song to make up for it. Now if only I could get that bloody tune out of my head...


    Sorry no, there’s none at all. But with six episodes here to enjoy instead of the normal three or four to a volume, there’s little to really complain about.


    There's no doubt that your kids, and with a little luck you yourself, will enjoy Sailor Moon. Never taking itself too seriously, it's a charming and cheerful series that's devoid of anime's trademark sex and violence. Although I still await the release of the original Japanese episodes to DVD, Madman's release should sate eager fans for the time being; with both solid audio and video transfers that are true to the orginal source material.

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      And I quote...
    "Despite being only DiC’s English dub that was broadcast by the ABC, Sailor Moon remains devilishly addictive for young and old alike..."
    - Gavin Turner
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Toshiba SD-2108
    • TV:
          Panasonic TC-68P90A TAU (80cm)
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Speakers:
          B&W 602
    • Centre Speaker:
          B&W CC6 S2
    • Surrounds:
          JM Lab Cobalt SR20
    • Subwoofer:
          B&W ASW-500
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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