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REVIEW: Magic Knight Rayearth Blu-Ray


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NJ_



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:02 am Reply with quote
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a collection of shorter interviews with various English dub cast members (sadly with bad audio quality)


I still wonder what Media Blasters was thinking with these since they sounded awful on their own DVDs as well, even on the remastered season 1 release in which I had to raise the volume to the max for each of them.

That aside, I'm glad Discotek was able to keep everything and get more plus since my BD set is on it's way, I'll probably go through the extras first then rewatch the show afterwards which will be fun.
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jsevakis
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Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:18 am Reply with quote
NJ_ wrote:
Quote:
a collection of shorter interviews with various English dub cast members (sadly with bad audio quality)


I still wonder what Media Blasters was thinking with these since they sounded awful on their own DVDs as well, even on the remastered season 1 release in which I had to raise the volume to the max for each of them.

We cleaned up the audio on these as best we could, but they're still in pretty rough shape. Probably quite a distance better than the original discs tho.
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maximilianjenus



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:40 am Reply with quote
the revelatoin at the end of the first season is also pretty good.
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darkchibi07



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:26 pm Reply with quote
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Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the series to newer viewers will be that it offers a gender-reversed version of the isekai titles that are so prominent these days, where the girls are getting fantasy guys instead of the other way around. And really, isn't the idea of magical girls fighting with swords and mecha at least a little intriguing?


And it was originally published in the magazine aimed for young female readers so even that's a rare combination! Why are those hard to come by nowadays (fantasy mecha notwithstanding)?
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:53 pm Reply with quote
As I rewatched the show while paying attention to the credits, I was struck by how much better it got once CLAMP's Nanase Ohkawa replaced Keiko Maruo as the head writer. Her first episode (14) already feels much more dramatic, involving and filled with stakes than any of the previous 13, and after that the show keeps the momentum going as it barrels toward the memorable conclusion to the Zagato/Emeraude arc.

The second arc is even better, although some of the complications (like Hikaru's sword temporarily losing its powers) feel like they were included just to pad it out. Even though Ohkawa wrote it, it's quite a departure from the manga, but it's still very satisfying, and Debonair and Nova are really good anime-exclusive additions to the storyline.
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:12 pm Reply with quote
Zhou-BR wrote:
As I rewatched the show while paying attention to the credits, I was struck by how much better it got once CLAMP's Nanase Ohkawa replaced Keiko Maruo as the head writer. Her first episode (14) already feels much more dramatic, involving and filled with stakes than any of the previous 13, and after that the show keeps the momentum going as it barrels toward the memorable conclusion to the Zagato/Emeraude arc.

Interesting. I did notice that the quality of the storytelling distinctly picked up around that time (I would've only given the first dozen or so episodes a C for writing), but I didn't notice that a change in writer had happened.
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Juno016



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:12 pm Reply with quote
I definitely think this series isn't for everyone. That tends to be the case for most CLAMP series (manga or anime). Personally, I'm a HUGE CLAMP fan and I consider the anime to be almost an improvement to the manga (I find them equally powerful, but the anime's additional character development using romance, while cliche, still had a positive influence on the characters in a way the manga feels bare excluding). I still have reservations, but I definitely think that if you already like the series, a purchase like this is a no-brainer. If you haven't seen the series, I recommend reading the manga first, and if you like it, then I'm pretty confident you'll enjoy the anime as well.

Really, I wouldn't really recommend getting this just to check the series out for the first time, but I'd say if you are curious, it's worth the time to check out the manga first.
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Animegomaniac



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:59 pm Reply with quote
I like it... no, I'm selling the series short; I love it. From the first moment I stuck it my BD player, I was thinking "Oh God, Cell animated anime, where have you been?" Does it have the shortcuts related to its medium? Yes, it's a TV animated series, any kind of comparison to something like Akira is really unfair... for one thing, only one of them has a plot.

Quote:
Background art has occasionally intriguing design work (the Palace of Cephiro's facade, for instance), but it's otherwise rather bland, while character design sharply favors shojo-style body proportions, sometimes taken to extremes. Yeah, Hikaru is supposed to be short, but in some shots, Lantis looks like he's almost a full meter taller, and just about everyone is portrayed as being very leggy.


So you're saying it was made by CLAMP? Or you're shocked that it was made by CLAMP because it looks like something they'd make? Because if you take out the names, you're describing Code Geass. Which used character designs from CLAMP.. no, it's CLAMP; Apart from being a crew of women writers, their art style is their second notable feature and you note that it's notable earlier in the review. You can't complain about their style after saying it's one of the shows few... really, few?.. positives.

In short, it's CLAMP. What you see is what you get... limbs and retrofitted shoujo faces. Please note my own redundancy is kind of the point

Hey, let's hear it for the rare non-sexualized female action leads... or the color scheme that belays both the content of their characters as well as their magical affinity. Fuu, Umi and Hikari... ok, their names too. Magic Knight Rayearth has a simple, direct charm to it that so many shows these days feel they don't need. Oh and I like the idea hat this is a "from another world" story that's not based on a light novel series that has a conclusion.

Sailor Moon at its best blows this show away, I can easily concede that one. However, that show's best is only one out of every ten episodes. This is better.

On the other hand, I also like Wedding Peach more than Sailor Moon. Let's see, in both series, all the girls got love interests while Sailor Moon only had Usagi and her friends as her cheerleaders. That's got to be part of it.

One last thing: For those who read the Magic Knight Rayearth manga, is it true that Hikari got spoiler[the two love interest ending rather than the anime's conclusion of the love triangle with Eagle Vision's death?]

Hawkeye, Eagle Vision, I occasionally love how literal the Japanese are with naming. But only occasionally.
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GeorgeC



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:41 pm Reply with quote
To be fair, the animation quality is supposed to improve in the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth.

From what I understand, they went with sparser backgrounds and concentrated more on the actual CHARACTER animation which is the way I think it should be approached!

As far as motionless/sparse animation goes --
that pretty much goes with TV animation. They just don't have the budget to do full-animation like a Western movie release not that we do those in the West anymore unless it's CG!

I've only ever watched an episode of two of this series. I just couldn't get into it back then. Sad to say, I have both seasons AND the OVAs for Rayearth.
I think there's only one CLAMP anime project I got through and it wa Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland.
I've seen a bit of Code Geass but I think their contribution was limited to character design if I'm not mistaken.

I might still get MKR someday if I skim my DVDs and like what I see...
I have heard the OVAs are not good as the TV series was.
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HeeroTX



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
Hikari

Red is Hikaru, I'd have chalked it up to "typo" if you hadn't done it twice. I only note it since you made such a big deal about CLAMP!
Quote:
Hawkeye, Eagle Vision, I occasionally love how literal the Japanese are with naming. But only occasionally.

Eagle Vision (like many (most?) of the men in Rayearth 2) is named after a car.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Vision
Like "Geo Metro" and (Mazda)"Lantis"
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CCTakato



Joined: 24 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:56 pm Reply with quote
MKR was one of the first non-televised anime I ever watched growing up way back in my high school days when I first started getting into collecting anime DVDs. I was a huge CLAMP fan back then and I still kind of am one and I still have my Media Blasters DVD boxsets. Sailor Moon is still my favorite magical girl anime but the big area I think MKR succeeds over Sailor Moon with is the plot twists. The ending to the first season was the first real big shocking plot twist I ever saw in an anime when I was growing up and the tragic ending had such a huge impact on me. The season one ending is still my favorite anime plot twist by far. So are the theme songs only in Japanese on the Discotek release? I'm kind of sad about it if it is because I always loved Sandy Fox's dubs of the theme songs, especially the season one opening. I'm hoping Discotek can eventually license the OVAs. I still enjoy those a lot but the video quality on the Manga DVD hasn't aged well at all. With how fantastic the video quality on the MKR set turned out, it makes it all the more disappointing Viz's remaster of Sailor Moon had as many problems as it did considering MKR and Sailor Moon came out around the same time, so the age of the show can no longer be used as a defense. With so many classic anime getting reboots and sequels including CCS, I wonder what the chances are of MKR getting an anime reboot?
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CCTakato



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:09 pm Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:
To be fair, the animation quality is supposed to improve in the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth.

From what I understand, they went with sparser backgrounds and concentrated more on the actual CHARACTER animation which is the way I think it should be approached!

As far as motionless/sparse animation goes --
that pretty much goes with TV animation. They just don't have the budget to do full-animation like a Western movie release not that we do those in the West anymore unless it's CG!

I've only ever watched an episode of two of this series. I just couldn't get into it back then. Sad to say, I have both seasons AND the OVAs for Rayearth.
I think there's only one CLAMP anime project I got through and it wa Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland.
I've seen a bit of Code Geass but I think their contribution was limited to character design if I'm not mistaken.

I might still get MKR someday if I skim my DVDs and like what I see...
I have heard the OVAs are not good as the TV series was.
I'm a big fan of MKR and I have to agree the animation is a lot better in season two. The biggest problem with season one's animation which I'm surprised the review didn't bring up is there are a lot of weird animation errors. Like in the episode where Ferio helps the Magic Knights fight against Ascot, there's a scene where Hikaru and Umi's eyes go all wonky. People love to complain about the animation in Sailor Moon but it's got nothing on MKR with how off model the designs can be at times. Inouva especially always seemed to get it the worst. The artwork is definitely one area where I think the manga is a lot better than the anime, at least for the first season. Everything looks so much nicer in season two. But aside from the animation inconsistencies, I personally love the character designs themselves. I feel like the Magic Knights' designs look much more streamlined than a lot of CLAMP's newer stuff. Theron Martin has obviously not seen Holic or Tsubasa if he thinks MKR's designs look extreme.
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zrdb



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:26 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely had to have this release, it's been many years since I watched my old MB dvds. Watching MKR a second time on bluray changed the way I fondly remember my initial impression of it. The characters seem more interesting, the art is better than it seemed, the story had me hooked. I blew through the series in 1 1/2 days. There were more extras then I had ever realized included-this set was worth every penny it cost me. Very Happy

Last edited by zrdb on Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:26 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
So you're saying it was made by CLAMP? Or you're shocked that it was made by CLAMP because it looks like something they'd make? Because if you take out the names, you're describing Code Geass. Which used character designs from CLAMP.. no, it's CLAMP; Apart from being a crew of women writers, their art style is their second notable feature and you note that it's notable earlier in the review. You can't complain about their style after saying it's one of the shows few... really, few?.. positives.

"Notable" isn't always a positive. You can stick out in a bad way, and that's what I was referring to here. CLAMP artistic style is only tolerable to me when it's somewhat diluted, like it was in CG or especially Chobits.

And for sake of clarity, my comments about the animation are relative to other TV series, not animation masterpieces. Even by TV series standards, the animation is mediocre.
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CCTakato



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:45 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:



Hey, let's hear it for the rare non-sexualized female action leads... or the color scheme that belays both the content of their characters as well as their magical affinity. Fuu, Umi and Hikari...
I esecially appreciate that unlike a lot of modern anime, the Magic Knights actually look like teenagers and not like seven year olds.






Quote:
One last thing: For those who read the Magic Knight Rayearth manga, is it true that Hikari got spoiler[the two love interest ending rather than the anime's conclusion of the love triangle with Eagle Vision's death?]
To answer your question simply, yeah that's basically what happens.
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