Pretty Guardian

Sailor Moon


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The first live action Sailor Moon DVD's out and what a pleasant surprise it is!

Cover: The cover for this first volume is pretty good with a rather nicely composited front cover featuring the five main Sailor Soldiers and the series logo with e cool pink DVD logo at the top. The back cover features images from each episode as well as the usual series description and DVD stats.

The Menus: As soon as the DVD loaded I was surprisingly impressed! Most Japanese DVDs in the kids action drama genre normally feature cheaply made static menus with very little else. What we get here is a beautifully animated menu that starts with several magical ribbons swirling around the screen ala Sailor Moon's transformation and animated stars sprinkling out of the background. These stars are on an animated loop so if you let the menu sit for about 30 seconds the stars will burst out of the screen again. Very well done.

The menus are fast loading and easy to navigate. The chapter select for each episode is nicely done with several chapters per episode and nice promotional photos for each episode used to decorate the respective menu.

The Special Features: The only special feature on the disk is a 10 minute kind of talk show featuring Chisaki Hama (Sailor Mercury) and Miyuu Sawai (Sailor Moon) reflecting on the first four episodes. Despite it's length it covers a lot of ground including the how the five main girls all get along, what it was like to film certain scenes as well as their immediate impressions on certain scenes as they watch them on screen.

One of the highlights of this little show is the uncut shoot of the karaoke bit featured in the opening credits. We get split screen action here as all five girls sing the theme song and get spun around for the length of the song. There are also several deleted scenes from the train that were cut from the opening credits featuring girls asking for Minako's autograph, Makoto helping a woman with her furoshiki and Ami helping an English speaking tourist find his way in Tokyo as the four other girls cheer her on.

It's a very entertaining watch and the fact that each following DVD will have it's own 10 minute behind the scenes bit means that by the end of the series we're going to end up with a very comprehensive look at the making of the show.

The Episodes: While these first four episode are full of probably too much corn for any sane person, they are fun and introduce us to several main characters including Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars and the mysterious Sailor V as well as Tuxedo Mask and several baddies.

Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 and Act 4 are necessary viewings as they pretty much set up the entire series but are far from the complexity and drama the show exhibits in the later half of the season. The actresses that portray Usagi and Ami still don't seem to feel comfortable in front of the camera by the end of this disk. Neither does the actor who does Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask) for that matter. However the actresses behind Queen Beryl and Rei (the perfectly cast and natural Keiko Kitagawa) shine in every scene they're in. Luna is also a welcome addition to the cast of characters as the same voice actress that did her in the Japanese anime series returns to the role here.

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