downloads & media
Sailor Moon DVD
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Vol.3
The third Region 2 Japanese Sailor Moon DVD continues the growth of the Sailor Team and first season of this classic anime.
The front cover features a very well drawn image of Sailor Mars against a white backdrop. The Japanese logo for the series is placed on the bottom while the words "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon" are displayed in a circular design behind the main character. Overall it's designed very well and looks great. The rear cover is rather jammed but this is rather normal with Japanese releases. Basic info on each episode is listed as well as the usual DVD stats.
The DVD menu loads very fast and is super easy to navigate (even if you can't read Japanese) but there is one rather big flaw, the main menu is really badly designed. With all of the still images of Sailor Moon available I have no idea why they decided to crop an image from the opening credits. Not only is the choice of image rather random but it's also edited extremely unprofessionally. It almost looks as if the "designer" had never used Photoshop before and simply used the feather tool to crop the image in 2 minutes.
From my experience Japanese DVDs usually have much blander designs than their Western counterparts but the creation of this menu just looks lazy which is rather shocking considering what a high profile anime series this is.
The Chapter Select menu looks a bit better though with some nice (though at times random) music playing and small touches such as the different flower borders that adds to it's value. It is a little jarring though how different the main and chapter menus are in style.
Kudos to the production team though for cutting the episode up into so many parts. Hard core fans who want to watch certain scenes will definitely enjoy this feature.
The Special Features
Unfortunately as is keeping with Japanese DVD releases the special features are pretty bare-bones. We do though get creditless versions (strangely called "Non-Super") of the first opening and closing credits which most fans will appreciate as well as 15 second teasers for each episode.
The episodes are what these DVDs are about and Moonies will be very pleased with what we have here. All the episodes have been digitally re-mastered and the image quality is the best it's ever been (Check out my screencap comparison here to see just how big the difference is). The sound while still in it's original Mono has also been cleaned up considerably and sounds great. All the episodes are in their original uncut Japanese audio form and while there are no subtitle options for English speakers, most Sailor Moon fans shouldn't have too much of an issue understanding the plot. The episodes themselves are a really good selection. The first one finishes off the first arc with the defeat of Jadeite while the second quickly moves the season into it's next phase with the introduction of Nephrite.
The final two episodes don't really move the plot forward so much but definitely finish off the disk on a positive high with the famous photography and popular "possessed dolly" episodes. Both are very well animated and while they may be classed as "filler" by many are well worth a watch and definitely stand up on repeat viewings.
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