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on July 28, 2003
I found out about this series from a shrine to one of the main characters, Lime, entitled 'Defective'. The show looked cute, and so I bought the first volume of nine episodes. It started off slow, but ended very well.
This volume is much the same. The first episode, while entertaining and possessing some truly memorable moments, gives way to the second, leaving the responsibility of closing up the Invasion of Gartlant plot thread. However, the second episode turns out be total garbage freeing our heroes from a cliffhanger with a childish deux ex machina, contradicting the previous episode and offering a plot device quickly rendered useless, and then solving the major dilemma of the mini-story with one big tasteless potty joke. I almost stopped watching right then and there in disgust; and the third episode didn't sway me from this...while good enough, it contained a brief nude bit (although seen from the back, so you don't see anything really hugely objectionable) that normally would have been acceptable, but after the previous episode came off as being in rather poor taste.
Fortunately, it picked up from there. The fourth episode was rather touching, if somewhat cliche, as Otaru gets swept up in his newfound fame and leaves his old friends behind before realizing the mistake he's made, and the fifth is *hilarious*, in which there is a Marionette Judging contest for the new year in which Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry compete for Otaru's attentions...not knowing the other entries are the Sabor Dolls, who have been sent with much the same goal! It's a completely ridiculous and hilarious episode, in which the Saber Dolls are forced to act hilariously unlike their usual, mercenary selves. The sixth is a wonderful, serious episode in which the Saber Marionettes struggle between their programmed devotion to Otaru in comparison to the morals they have learned in the past months, and the seventh is touching...not for what it says about the Show's Guest Star, a pet squirrel, but for what is says about Lime.
And the final episode of this volume is just, to put it simply, amazingly, awesomely perfectly AWESOME and beautiful and touching and wonderful and...and...well, just spectacular.
All in all, I recommend this disc highly...the horrible second episode and the somewhat lackluster third try to bring it down, but the episodes following make up for it.
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on June 4, 2001
On this DVD you can find episodes 10 to 17 of Saber Marionette J. Saber Marionette consists of Saber Marionette J (TV series, 25 episodes), Saber Marionette J Again (OVA, or direct-to-video release, 6 episodes) and Saber Marionette J to X (TV series, 25 episodes plus one "special" episode, not aired on Japanese TV but instead released as an OVA).
The first few episodes in this DVD will show you how the adventures in Gartlant turned out. The middle episodes allow for some fun to be had, and some character development for Lime, Cherry, Bloodberry and Otaru. In episodes 15, 16 and 17, Saber Marionette J starts the turn from funny, light comedy, to serious, heavy-hitting drama. But not an "overdone" drama, there are always funny moments, especially with Hanagata.
What I've always like the most of Saber Marionette J, and what makes it my all-time favorite (followed only, and very closely, by Saber Marionette J to X... and J Again but not as close) are the "serious", dramatic episodes. I'm a very emotional person, and there is nothing I've seen on any other anime series as beautiful and tear inducing as the last episodes of Saber Marionette J. Most of those episodes will be on DVD Collection 3, but on Collection 2, the change can be felt. You'll get to understand some of the characters a great deal more... After you've seen some of these episodes, go back to Collection 1, and watch carefully... I bet you'll see some things you hadn't noticed before...
As for nudity, as with Saber Marionette in general, there is almost none. Well... there's only one moment when you'll get to see Otaru naked, but from the back, but it's a VERY funny moment, and it's not done in an "improper" way. Oh... and you'll see Bloodberry with not that much clothes on, for about 10 seconds, but again, is not done in an "offending" way, and is all in good fun. The "rating" for Saber Marionette is "13 and Up", I believe, but I myself would show it to anyone... Parts of the plot may be hard to understand for the very little ones, but I'm sure they'll like everything else.
As for the DVD, the quality is great. The picture quality is crystal-clear. Contrary to what happened with Collection 1, I've yet to hear of problems with DVD players failing to play the discs correctly. My brother tried it on his Playstation 2, and he told me it worked OK. I've had no problems whatsoever on my computer's DVD player.
This time around, you'll get as an extra a music video of Cherry. The music used for the video is the ending song "I'll be there". Like with Lime's video, turn-on the subtitles and pump up the volume!!! The video is very nicely done.
If by strange circumstances, you still don't have Collection 1, I'll tell you that the Saber Marionette DVD is trilingual and the voice acting in general is very nicely done. The languages are Japanese, English and Spanish. I've listened to all of the audio tracks and like them all. My favorite is the Spanish track. If you understand Spanish, let me tell you that Saber Marionette's Spanish dub is one of the best Spanish dubs I've ever heard. Totally cool. However, all audio tracks are well done.
If you already own Saber Marionette J DVD Collection 1, you probably will buy this one. I've seen all of the episodes already, and you won't regret getting Collection 2. If you don't already have Collection 1... Why not? Saber Marionette J is a great anime!!!
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on July 29, 2001
The first set of DVD's for this series was hilarious, but the second DVD seems to go for a more theological and emotional aspect. the first DVD in this set is quiet amusing, but by the time the second disc starts, it's obvious some heavy stuff is coming our way.
First DVD: The battle to destroy Gartlant's super computer ends, in a shocking way. On the way home, our hero's (plus Hanagota) find an old hot spring, and spend a day relaxing. When he gets home, Otaru is treated as a celebrity for his actions agaisnt Faust.
Second DVD: A much more mature feel to it. Though the first episdoe is funny, with the Marrionette's participating in a beauty contest (Faust's dolls also compete)the other three episodes have a much deeper feel to them, showing a more human side to all the Marrionette's especially Lime.
A good in between DVD. Having seen the whole SMJ series, I would definiteyl say it is a good filler between the first and third DVD sets.
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on March 8, 2001
The 2nd volume of Saber Marionette J contains 2 DVDs like those seen in the Outlaw Star DVDs. I like these collections rather than buying 6 or 8 DVDs for the number of episodes that some series have.
Saber Marionette J is a 25 episode series. It is followed by an OAV titled, Saber Marionette J Again (Containing 6 episodes). Then the series is followed by Saber Marionette J-X, another TV series.
A basic summary of the events of this DVD are that it continues from where the first one left off (obviously). They have a mission to infiltrate Gartlant. Just more adventures of the Otaru Mamiya and his trio of Marionette Dolls. You get more attached to the characters as the series goes on.
Saber Marionette J holds a strong story which continues until the end of the series. Stick with it and keep buying the DVDs :)
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on February 16, 2001
Saber Marionette is a light-hearted story about a guy and his adventures with his marionettes, or robot-like women. The plot is pretty original, and it's very funny. In this second DVD collection, The graphics are great. All anime should been made on DVD. It's a very colorfull series, that some say reminds them of Tenchi Muyo, but I feel it's much better. The characters are O'so lovable, and the series never gets old. If your looking for something a little less main-stream, this is definitly worth checking out.
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on November 5, 2001
I have watched a great deal of anime and of all the shows I have seen I have to say this is a truely great anime. You won't be disappointed, that is if you like anime at all.
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