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Media Blasters presents
Sailor Victory (1995)

"We are the one and only Sailor Victory!"
- Mami (Hinako Kanamaru)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: December 18, 2001

Stars: Hinako Kanamaru, Hiromi Tsuru, Aya Hisakawa
Other Stars: Yumi Touma, Junko Shimakata, Yuri Amano
Director: Katsuhiko Nishijima

Manufacturer: Cine Magnetics
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some language, brief transformation nudity)
Run Time: 00h:54m:51s
Release Date: February 27, 2001
UPC: 631595019629
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- C-D+B+ D

DVD Review

Sailor Victory is a team of five girls in sailor suits, determined to see that the city is protected, though not necessarily by its bungling police force. Mami (voiced by Hinako Kanamaru), Kiyomi (Hiromi Tsuru), Shizuka (Aya Hisakawa), Roiko (Yumi Touma) and Mika (Junko Shimakata) pilot three giant robots and a two-person helicopter against a variety of foes in this DVD release, apparently drawn from a two-episode OAV production.

Sailor Victory combines elements of the "magical girl" and "giant robot" anime genres, parodying both along the way. The requisite transformation sequences are included as the girls transform into their sailor-suited alter egos, and there's plenty of destruction at hand when the giant robots shift into offensive mode. Besides the obvious nods to Sailor Moon and Bubblegum Crisis, the series also includes elements inspired by Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds (the team's copter rises from underneath a false swimming pool) and a few jabs at the machismo of A.D. Police as the incompetent good-ol'-boy cops do their best to sabotage the efforts of the Victory girls.

There's a pleasant degree of humor here, much of it aimed at long-standing anime conventions. There are no straight-faced, serious shots of dedicated mech pilots; in fact, the team often finds itself embarrassingly unable to execute their intended dramatic entrances and exits, and young Mami is so incompetent the team is forced to create an android "twin sister" to help her execute her duties. The second-episode villain, a witch named Ms. Margarita (Yuri Amano), is designed as an exaggerated amalgam of Sailor Moon nemeses, and Roiko even wears a set of "geek glasses" as part of her day-job disguise—with the standard anime "spirals" painted right onto the glass!

I can't say that Sailor Victory is terribly original or engrossing—its considerable charm isn't quite enough to carry its standard-issue plotting, and the sharpest gags are intermittent. The girls are cute, but their interchangeable personalities aren't very well defined, and the witty banter they throw around becomes tiresome after two episodes. The mecha battles aren't handled particularly well, and the senshi elements are pretty conventional in the final analysis. It's fun while it lasts, but vanishes pretty quickly afterwards.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Sailor Victory is presented in its original made-for-video 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio, drawn from a videotape master. The analog image isn't very clean—red/blue false-color aliasing turns up often on fine patterns, and there's a lot of scan-line flicker built into the transfer. Colors are bright, and the image is certainly watchable, but source limitations combined with some MPEG-2 ringing artifacts make this a less-than-state-of-the-art anime DVD presentation.

Image Transfer Grade: D+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Media Blasters presents Sailor Victory on DVD with a solid Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio tracks in the original Japanese and dubbed English. Music is presented with strong stereo imaging, there are a few surround effects, and dialogue is clear and crisp in the center channel. Frequency range is competent, with a bit of bass activity to support the occasional earth-shaking event, and dynamic range is adequate, though there are few quiet moments in this raucous production. The original Japanese track is, as usual, the recommended one; the English dub sounds stilted and awkward compared to the hyperbolic, shrill, but thoroughly committed Japanese voice track. A solid Dolby Surround presentation, with nothing apparently lost in the translation to DVD.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Magic Knight Rayearth, Virtua Fighter, Rurouni Kenshin, Earthian
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Media Blasters' Sailor Victory DVD features 10 chapter stops (5 per episode), optional English subtitles, and trailers for several other Media Blasters titles: Magic Knight Rayearth, Virtua Fighter, Rurouni Kenshin, and Earthian. These trailers are presented in 1.33:1 format with stereo audio in English, with the exception of the Rurouini Kenshin trailer, presented in a more respectful 1.78:1 nonanamorphic letterboxed format with a Japanese soundtrack. There's a Setup menu for the main attraction that allows selection of English audio, English audio with subtitles, Japanese audio, or Japanese audio with subtitles, but nowhere is it mentioned that the only subtitles available are in English. The disc is light on extras, though not unusually so for an anime title.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Sailor Victory is fairly standard mecha-girl anime, with nods to several popular genres and charm to burn, but little in the way of originality. Media Blaster's video-mastered transfer isn't quite up to DVD standard; it's harmless enough, but there are many more entertaining anime titles out there.


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