Top positive review
Beautiful in every aspect.
on July 15, 2003
If you look around the case/box/what-have-you before viewing the DVD, you'll find yourself nearly bombarded by quotes of praise from magazines and, if I'm not mistaken, anime critics. What they say can be summed up as follows: Watch it. It's good.
Not related to the MKR series and, as properly stated on the back cover, BASED on the manga by CLAMP, the story follows Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu on one of the days before their graduation from junior high school. The girls had once made a wish under a cherry tree in which, according to legend, there lived a fairy who granted wishes. This fairy is Mokona, and ones it (the dub has made it a sort of point, both here and in MKR, that Mokona is a he) descends from the branches, the wish -- referred to as Hikaru's wish -- begins to come true.
Unlike MKR, there are no pauses for humor because there is no time for it. Cephiro's Spirit Beast Tamers arrive on Earth for the "divine test", a concept that's rather hard to grasp. (But the desire to learn what everything is is just one of the hooks of this gripping story.) Drama soars high, and with a soundtrack like the one here, you can't NOT be captivated. The mecha battles are stunning. The animation is spectacular, much better than in MKR and MKR 2. This OAV/OVA/what-have-you is incredible, and I simply must state once more how amazing the animation is. The colors, the music, characters, the light, the story -- they all weave into one epic tale. It's breathtaking.
I watched the dub first (with the subtitles), having liked the MKR dub so much. I don't speak Japanese, but the dub script and the subtitles hardly contradict each other. The dub voice artists aren't the ones from MKR/MKR 2 (sadly, since now Ascot sounds a little un-cute and it's much harder to tell the girls apart), but it's tolerable. I enjoyed it. However, the complaints I have pertain to the English dub.
Why Alcyone was given a possessed-type double voice is beyond me, since is NOT present in the original Japanese track. Also, I find it annoying that the dub voice actors (and, quite possibly, the directors) seem to think it utterly necessary that ALL mouth movements MUST be filled in with a vocal. Dub!Fuu's, "Ah, Sinos!" makes me cringe. We understand that in order to yell something you must *breathe in*. And be prepared for name changes. Umi is now "Umi Ryuzaku" and Fuu becomes "Fu (one u) Hooji" (yes, WHO-gee). Hikaru, whose last name used to be pronounced "Shi-DOU" is now pronounced "SHI-dou". (Note: If you look at the "Cephiro Chronicles" bit, everything is spelled correctly. Ironic, yes?)
Those were minor points that don't really cut into the story. It may or may not make you cry, but, if nothing else, you WILL be impressed. Highly recommended!