Sailor Moon-Volume 11: The Ties That Bind (1992)

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Released 12-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
DVD Credits
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 130:55 (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
Matt McGuire
Michael Benghiat


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

    Another chunk of Sailor Moon goodness to watch — this is Volume 11 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.

    The episodes on this disc are:

  1. Naughty 'N' Nice - Rubeus and the four weird sisters are determined to catch Rini, and an all-out confrontation develops
  2. Prediction of Doom - Darian's behaviour is explained by the forebodings in his dreams
  3. Enemies No More - Rei and Catsy have a major showdown, with unexpected results
  4. Checkmate - Amy's big competition in a chess tournament turns out to be Birdy
  5. Sibling Rivalry - Rubeus encourages dissension between Aviary and Prisma
  6. Rubeus Evens the Score - the stakes are high — Rubeus doesn't have time for finesse, so he gets brutal

    This volume is The Ties that Bind. A sensible title, for it is referring to the the ties of friendship and love. These tie not just our heroes (ok, heroines), but also the weird sisters.

    It is amusing to see the match-up of the weird sisters and the Sailor Scouts — each scout takes on the sister whose outfit or hair matches the scout's highlight (not main) colours. We see Birdy against Mercury (pale blue); Prisma against Jupiter (dark green); Aviary against Venus (yellow and red); Catsy against Mars (purple). That can't have been accidental.

    The mystery of Rini is starting to come clear — we learn rather more about why she has come, and what she wants. We also get a clearer picture of the things motivating Rubeus.

    There are some cool twists in the storyline developing through these episodes. The results are better than you might expect.

    The final episode shows a radical change from the previous ones: there's a completely new font used for the episode title and closing credits. But much more annoying is the fact that this episode ends on a cliff-hanger, and we will have to wait until May to discover how the cliff-hanger is resolved — that's really mean! To make things worse, the back cover blurb hints at what will happen (don't read it if you hate spoilers!).

    These Sailor Moon episodes advance the major plot-line substantially, which is good after the marking time of the last volume.

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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 fairly soft — some edges have become rather blurred. Shadow detail is irrelevant to anime. There's no significant grain. There's a bit of low level noise at the start of the first episode.

    Colour is very good in the first five episodes, where there are no colour-related artefacts. The last episode is a completely different case. It is far too bright, with a lot of the colour burned out to white, or far lighter than it should be; Sailor Moon's bow looks pink rather than red, for example, and many of the pale yellows are washed out completely to white. I hope this episode is not a sign of things to come — it would be dreadful if all the episodes on the next disc looked like this.

    There are some film artefacts on this disc, many of them noticeable, such as the blotches at 3:46 and 3:50, the hairs at 39:33, 41:56, 47:52, and the white scratch at 76:08. There are some strange digital errors, too, like the series of small glitches at 102:18–102:23, and at 102:57, and the large digital error at 113:52. There's occasional minor telecine wobble.

    Aliasing is only a very minor problem, which is pleasantly surprising considering the black lines outlining the characters. There is no moire and no shimmer.

    There are no subtitles — a shame, because I'd like to see how they spelled some of the names.

    The disc is single sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL; the layer change is at 65:28, between Episodes 63 and 64 — exactly where it should be, and where it's least visible.

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

Audio

    The same soundtrack as all the other volumes is on offer here: English Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, almost mono — there is one moment around 6:00 that exhibits a stereo effect, but it sounds like an aberration.

    The dialogue is mostly clear and easy to understand, even when some of the voices are shouting (there's a lot of shouting things like "Moon Crystal Power"). There are no obvious mismatches between dialogue and mouth motion.

    The English title music is credited to Bob Summers. Episode 61 features the song She's Got the Power, by Matt McGuire and Michael Benghiat.

    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 Serena in front of Rubeus, just like the front cover) with underscore music. It offers a choice of which episode to start at, but when you select an episode it starts playing there, then continues through the remaining episodes.

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. There is nothing to pick between them, really, except that ours is PAL, and theirs is NTSC. Even the package artwork is the same. The main difference is that our episodes are numbered (apparently the R1 menus miss out on the numbering).

Summary

    The Negamoon series is reaching a climax, on a DVD that's markedly softer than the previous.

    The video quality is reasonable.

    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...)
Tuesday, March 18, 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

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