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Pioneer Entertainment presents
(A Little Snow Fairy) Sugar #2: Friends and Dreams (2002)

"This has taken a strange turn, hasn't it?"
- Wind Fairy Pepper (Kaori Mizuhashi)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: October 23, 2003

Stars: Tomoko Kawakami, Masumi Asano, Tomo Saeki, Kaori Mizuhashi, Michele Ruff, Jennifer Sekiguchi, Jane Alan, Jim Taggert
Other Stars: Kotono Mitsuishi, Chinami Nisimura, Fumihiko Tachiki, Ian Hawk, Hope Grandflower, Reba West, Lara Curci
Director: Shinichiro Kimura

Manufacturer: Deluxe/CA
MPAA Rating: G for (Sugar and spice and everything nice)
Run Time: 01h:36m:37s
Release Date: June 03, 2003
UPC: 013023203198
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AAA C

DVD Review

If you've ever wondered why the wind blows, the sun shines, or the snow falls, it's all because of season fairies, who secretly work their magic behind the scenes. One doesn't get to be a full-fledged season fairy by default, it is a position that must be earned through an apprenticeship, which is exactly what a fairy-to-be named Sugar has been sent to the human world to do when she is discovered by Saga, a rather ordinary human girl&38212ordinary at least until now. After rescuing Sugar and introducing her to waffles, Sugar decides to set up camp at Saga's house, which is more than a minor inconvenience, especially when two of the young fairy's friends show up and the mischief starts. They are on a mission to find "twinkles," but just what these are isn't spelled out for them, and their attempts at gleaning the information from the working season fairies hasn't been very successful. So far their search has met with poor results.

With the arrival of Elder, they figure they might have a bit more luck, but this grand master hasn't shown up to help the fairies in training, he is actually out to woo Ginger, a novice Rain Fairy who works in Sugar's town, but his attempts aren't meeting with much success, since before he can actually scrape up the nerve to say what he wants to, Ginger has flitted off somewhere else.

On a more serious side, Sugar's welcome at Saga's home is ended abruptly, when the little fairy makes a serious blunder which hurts Saga's feelings. Out on her own, Sugar runs into a pair of misfit fairies, who are up to no good, while her friends Salt and Pepper can only look on.

The show does a good job of mixing the search for twinkles with solid character development, building the cast to keep things interesting, but without overdoing it. The characters are all extremely cute, which may be too much for some viewers, but I find the story refreshing in its innocent playfulness, as this is a series targeted to kids. The mix between fairies and Saga's human friends works quite well, in particular Saga's self-proclaimed rival, Greta, who is always trying to one up the oblivious Saga. The whole premise of dealing with invisible fairies is pretty amusing, as Saga has to try not to look like an idiot while holding conversations with creatures no one else can see. Since getting the first volume, this is one series I quite look forward to, as it is great for a light hearted adventure, with plenty of fairy hijinx. Can you say "Waffo?"

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Sugar is presented in a beautiful 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer. Colors are rendered nicely, and blacks are solid. There is a little bit of aliasing during pans, but other than that this is a wonderful looking disc.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is provided in both original Japanese and English stereo surround. The first pressing of this disc had the Japanese audio mastered in mono, which has since been corrected. Even in mono, the audio has a nice mix to it, with the biggest difference being music and atmosphere cues which have more subtle directionality. Dialogue is clear and easy to discern. Aside from the mono issue, there were no technical abnormalities noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Sherlock Hound, Adventures of Mini Goddess, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Cardcaptor Sakura - The Movie
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Textless and Japanese openings
  2. Character profiles
Extras Review: Extras include the textless opening, the original Japanese opening, plus character profiles featuring Greta, Elder, Ginger and Regina.

Previews for Sherlock Hound, Adventures of Mini Goddess, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie form the trailer reel.

Lucky buyers will also get a limited edition postcard as a pack-in.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Pioneer sends the kawaii-o-meter off the scale again with another four episodes in the second installment of A Little Snow Fairy Sugar. While its cuteness factor may be a little too sweet for some, to me it has just the right spice.

 


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