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ADV Films presents
Sailor Moon (DiC) #9: The Return of the Doom Tree (1995)

"Don't be such a drama queen."
- Alan (Vince Corazza)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: December 23, 2002

Stars: Terri Hawkes, Jill Frappier, Karen Bernstein, Susan Roman, Katie Griffin, Stephanie Morganstern, Ron Rubin
Other Stars: Colin O'Meara, Mary Long, Roland Parliament, Nadine Rabinovitch, Toby Proctor, Tracey Moore, Julie Lemieux, Terri Hawkes, Tracey Hoyt, Vince Corazza, Sabrina Grdevich
Director: Junichi Sato

MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 02h:10m:42s
Release Date: October 15, 2002
UPC: 702727020520
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- BBA- D+

DVD Review

The ninth disc in the English version of Sailor Moon marks another transitional installment. Anne and Alan continue to cause problems for the Sailor Scouts as they attempt to find the life sustaining energy they need for the Doom Tree. The first four episodes each feature a new Cardian monster, and a new tactic for depleting the humans of their strength. The final episode introduces some new characters, who will be the adversaries for the second arc in the Sailor Moon "R" series. Compared to the first season, the pacing is picked up quite a bit, but with few exceptions, the formula is pretty standard fare. Serena is still trying to figure out who the mysterious Moonlight Knight is, and also hoping Darien will regain his memory of what brought them together in the first place. Anne continues to be a thorn in her side, however, sparking jealousy with her flirtations. Jealousy also abounds between our two villains, whose posing as brother and sister while imitating humans causes friction over their true feelings for each other.

Food is the subject of the opener. Serena forgets her lunch, which sends her home delirious. Meanwhile, after daydreaming about a romance with Moonlight Knight, Lita tries to entice Alan with her home cooking, which riles Anne to no end. When she returns to exact some revenge, Sailor Jupiter has to summon a new power to fight back.

Next, when the Scouts help Darien out with his production of Snow White, the girls are infighting over who gets to play the lead. Inspired by the fairy tale, Anne decides to use the idea to capture Darien's heart, and puts her magic touch to the casting, kicking Serena's jealousy into high gear, but Alan's Cardian wants to steal the show.

In the third episode, Serena and Anne both get detentions, and the competition for Darien heats up again. When Alan conjures a new Cardian, he gets more than he bargained for, as the monster is completely out of control. When Anne steals some of Serena's energy, does she have the strength to fight off the latest threat?

Episodes four and five form a two-parter. The Doom Tree is in rough shape, so Anne and Alan are desperate for energy, and even the latest Cardian isn't helping. When they fail to show up at school, Serena enlists to help the pair, still unaware of their true identities. While Alan is happy to see her, Anne is less than enthusiastic, but when Serena stumbles onto their secret, the Scouts have to rescue her and Darien from the horrible Doom Tree, without getting caught themselves.

The final installment opens the next chapter in the Sailor Moon story, with the arrival of a new band of villains, and a young girl who is a dead ringer for Serena—and is after the Imperium Silver Crystal! When the girl shows up at their house, Serena's family informs the Sailor Scout that she is cousin Rini, but Serena has no memory of her.

This disc ups the action substantially, as the first of season two's story arcs comes to a close. There is a lot of backstory exposed, and quite a bit of romance and drama. The introduction of Rini makes for some new fun, and a familiar figure returns.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: If you've been watching the series so far, there is not much new to report. Colors maintain their semi-pastel appearance, and print defects, while present, are minimal. There is some minor rainbowing, and a bit of jitter in the outlines in places. Overall this looks pretty good.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Stereo English audio continues to be strong, with a full sound, and surprising amount of bottom end. Dialogue is clear and concise, and no technical deficiencies were noticed. This isn't overly mind-blowing, but does its intended job.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Princess Nine,Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water: The Motion Picture, Sakura Wars OVA II,Dai-Guard, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku,Martian Successor Nadesico
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Trailers for Princess Nine, Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water: The Motion Picture, Sakura Wars OVA II, Dai-Guard, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku andMartian Successor Nadesico are the only extras.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

The English version of Sailor Moon moves briskly as it moves into the second phase of the "R" storyline. The Sailor Scouts continue to battle the Negaverse, summoning courage and strength from within and their friendships. The romance heats up a bit as a new load of trouble moves in. They'll show you!


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