Sailor Moon-Volume 9: The Return of the Doom Tree (1995)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Jan-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 130:56 (Case: 135)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (65:28) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Junichi Sato
Studio
Distributor
Toei Animation
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Bob Summers


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

This is Volume 9 of Sailor Moon on DVD. If you've not seen Sailor Moon before, then you should definitely start with my review of Sailor Moon-Volume 1: A Heroine is Chosen.

If you have watched the first eight volumes, feel free to read the rest of this synopsis. If you haven't, then I recommend you skip to the discussion of the transfer.

The episodes on this disc are:

  1. Food Fetish - Lita thinks Alan might be the Moonlight Knight, so she tries to share her lunch with him
  2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - All the girls are fighting to play Snow White in the play Darian is organising
  3. Detention Doldrums - Serena and Anne get detention together, and start to understand one another
  4. Secret Garden - what kind of plant does Alan have in his bedroom?
  5. Treed - Serena and the Scouts confront the Doom Tree in its own space/time
  6. Serena Times Two - who is the mysterious little girl with pink hair hanging around Serena?

The subtitle of this volume is The Return of the Doom Tree, which is a strange title, because the Doom Tree never went away. The first five episodes on this disc conclude the Doom Tree arc (it's only thirteen episodes: two on Volume Seven, six on Volume Eight, and five here). The last episode starts the next arc, introducing some interesting new bad guys, and a mysterious pink-haired little girl.

The conclusion to the Doom Tree plot arc is a bit of a surprise I liked it, and we finally discover the secret behind The Moonlight Knight (thank goodness!).

Jupiter is the last one to get her new attack (the others got theirs in the previous volume), but it's an impressive one when she gets it. In Mirror, Mirror on the Wall we get extended introductions from the scouts very cute, as a once-off.

The morals at the end of the episodes are interesting: not being picky about trying new foods, don't cheat or steal (even in little ways), lots of better things to do than detention, look after the environment and your neighbourhood, giving is as good as receiving, and don't fall into the jealousy trap. These are some excellent Sailor Moon episodes. Recommended.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio, as is appropriate for a TV series that was made in Japan in 1992 (the 1995 copyright is for the English adaptation).

This disc plays all the episodes in sequence. You can select an episode from the menu, but it will play from there to the end of the disc. All the timestamps mentioned in this section are cumulative from the start.

The picture is quite soft, like the previous volume, but it is mostly fairly clear have a look at 41:34, though, for an example of a picture that's far too soft. Shadow detail is irrelevant to anime. There's no significant grain and no low level noise.

Colour is bright and fully-saturated. There are no colour-related artefacts, but there's one strange part (around 80:14) where Serena's hair is quite distinctly orange instead of the usual yellow.

There are somewhat fewer tiny film artefacts than on past discs. There are fewer larger ones too: a hair at 6:07, some fuzz at 13:19, and some fluff at 126:55. The only repeated film artefact is some visible splices, at 78:39, 116:30, 122:32, 122:33, and 122:34.

There's quite a bit of telecine wobble, but it is rather less than in Volume 8, and not particularly objectionable.

There's a lot of minor aliasing, with dot crawl on many of the black lines outlining the characters, but no moire and no shimmer.

The breaks where commercials were inserted are still a bit too long, running at least 2 seconds of black screen they are normally edited down to much shorter than this.

There is one two-band MPEG error at 58:58, and a scattering of tiny MPEG errors at 119:28. There's a half frame interlaced at 21:49 I think it is the DIC logo frame. It's only visible to an obsessive with frame-by-frame stepping (why are you looking at me like that?).

This disc is quite watchable, even with these flaws.

There are no subtitles.

The disc is single sided and RSDL-formatted; the layer change is at 65:28, between Episodes 51 and 52 just where it should be.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

This disc offers the same soundtrack as all the other volumes: English Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, mono. There are no audio artefacts on this disc.

The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no obvious mismatches between dialogue and mouth motion.

The English title music is credited to Bob Summers.

Your surrounds and subwoofer get no signal at all from this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is lightly animated (a moving background behind a picture of Alan and Anne in poses similar to the front cover) with music. It offers a choice of which episode to start at, but when you select an episode it starts playing there, continuing through the remaining episodes. Once again there's a hidden entry on the menu, but it just leads to a still shot of the DVD Credits.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The R1 and R4 versions of this disc offer the same features. Nothing to pick between them, really, except that ours is PAL, and theirs is NTSC. Even the package artwork is the same.

Summary

The conclusion to the Doom Tree plot arc, and the first episode of the next one. Definitely better than Volume 8, but not quite as good as the other volumes.

The video quality is fair, but not good.

The audio quality is adequate.

There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Friday, January 24, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE