Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie Blu-ray Review [Discotek Media]

Now all we need is the second movie!


こにゃにゃちわ! I return from life’s tri­als and tribu­la­tions known as school and work. You know, some col­lege stu­dents decide to spend their hard-earned mon­ey on text­books, tuition, and oth­er junk, but I choose to use my mon­ey for far more impor­tant matters.

Like toss­ing it at my com­put­er screen and demand­ing ani­me com­pa­nies to bring me more Card­cap­tor Saku­ra.

(I’m only half-kidding.)

After going through some com­pli­ca­tions with the order, I’ve final­ly received my Blu-ray copy of Card­cap­tor Saku­ra: The Movie. I’ll do a post about the fea­ture itself lat­er (because it’s next on my rewatch-blogs), but for now, let’s take a look at the qual­i­ty of the release.



What you see above is the orig­i­nal Japan­ese cover.

Below is what we got:


Full cov­er art

It’s not bad at all — in fact, it’s a real­ly cute ani­me art­work of Saku­ra in her movie out­fit. The thing is, the Japan­ese ver­sion’s mod­ern (!) CLAMP art­work looks even bet­ter; the art is scrump­tious. Plus, it was a new treat for the 2011 Japan­ese Blu-ray remas­ter of the film. New mate­r­i­al straight from CLAMP them­selves. In com­par­i­son. the art­work we got is essen­tial­ly tak­en straight from an old film poster and lacks that nov­el­ty. Discotek/Eastern Star could have done so much more with the cov­er art.

Well, I like the cov­ers for both ver­sions regard­less. But con­sid­er­ing it’s the film’s 15th anniver­sary, it would have been cool if they gave us a reversible cov­er con­tain­ing both ver­sions of the cov­er art. (Also, I know it’s Blu-ray and all, but the pink box is much more suit­able for Saku­ra than the blue one.)

Japanese menu

Image Cred­it: さくらンボ

Mov­ing on, the Dis­cotek menu is looks some­what sim­i­lar to the Japan­ese release (pic­tured above), except Saku­ra and the menu cards are posi­tioned dif­fer­ent­ly, and the mag­ic cir­cles are unfor­tu­nate­ly removed. The back­ground on the Japan­ese menu looks way pret­ti­er, but there’s a nice “falling cher­ry blos­som petal” effect going on in Dis­cotek’s release, which gives them bonus pointst.

As expect­ed, the video (1080p res­o­lu­tion, 1.85:1 aspect ratio) looks way bet­ter than it ever did on pre­vi­ous state­side releas­es of the movie on DVD. There’s been video issues with some recent ani­me releas­es on Blu-ray — Japan­ese Blu-ray releas­es for ani­me tend to have high­er video qual­i­ty com­pared to their Eng­lish coun­ter­parts, due to licens­ing com­pa­nies being spazzes about disc spreads and the like, which low­ers the qual­i­ty in the process (I’m look­ing at you, Sen­tai Film­works). For­tu­nate­ly, we don’t have that prob­lem here, espe­cial­ly since this was orig­i­nal­ly one film on one disc. Like NISA’s Blu-ray release of the entire ani­me series (which was a per­fect release in every way except for the awful sub­ti­tles), any qual­i­ty drop com­pared to the Japan­ese release isn’t notice­able at all and it looks pret­ty much the same.

As for the audio, there are four tracks on this disc: Japan­ese DTS HD Mas­ter Audio 5.1 Sur­round Sound, Japan­ese Lin­ear PCM 2.0 Stereo, Eng­lish Dol­by Dig­i­tal 448kbps 5.1 and Eng­lish 192kbps 2.0 Stereo. Unlike the NISA release for the ani­me series, which had the mediocre-at-best Ani­max dub, we get the god awful Nel­vana Card­cap­tors dub here. I changed the audio to the Eng­lish dub for a few min­utes and my lit­tle sis­ter burst out laugh­ing at Nel­vana’s obvi­ous white­wash­ing (here, on uncut/unedited footage) and how brat­ty the char­ac­ters became in the dub — mind you, my sis­ter is 8‑years old.

Not only is Nel­vana’s Eng­lish dub bad, but unlike the Japan­ese track, there’s no loss­less audio track for this. It isn’t con­se­quen­tial, since real Card­cap­tor Saku­ra fans are prob­a­bly going to lis­ten to the Japan­ese audio any­way (with the graces of Tange Saku­ra, Hisakawa Aya, and what­not). Plus, the pres­ence of the Eng­lish dub, unlike NISA’s Blu-ray release of the series, did­n’t come at the expense of 5.1 sur­round sound. It’s good that peo­ple who don’t have the capac­i­ty to lis­ten to for­eign lan­guages did­n’t ruin things for me this time around!

Praise the Good Translation Gods


Dis­cotek’s sub­ti­tles are an accu­rate trans­la­tion of the Japan­ese dia­logue, and the Eng­lish of the trans­la­tion flows pret­ty smooth­ly. Char­ac­ters also call each oth­er by their respec­tive giv­en names and sur­names as they’re sup­posed to. For exam­ple, Saku­ra should be call­ing Syao­ran “Li” (at this point of the CCS time­line) and Meil­ing should be call­ing Saku­ra “Kinomo­to”, which Dis­cotek’s sub­ti­tles get right. Com­pare this to NISA’s rather bad trans­la­tion, where Saku­ra instead calls Syao­ran “Xiaolang” (valid pinyin spelling of his name) and Meil­ing calls Saku­ra “Saku­ra”. The for­mer caus­es a prob­lem lat­er when Saku­ra, in Japan­ese, starts call­ing Syao­ran by his giv­en name to show how spe­cial­ly close they’ve got­ten. NISA’s trans­la­tion has her start call­ing him “bestie”, which is pret­ty far off from the con­no­ta­tion that CLAMP was going for with Saku­ra’s char­ac­ter devel­op­ment. In fact, that’s pret­ty much the friend­zone in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can culture.

Dis­cotek appar­ent­ly took the trans­la­tion straight from Geneon’s old release of the movie. Geneon’s trans­la­tion of the series was fine as-is, so I have no prob­lems with that. If only NISA did the same thing with the TV series. Sor­ry NISA, I appre­ci­ate you for res­cu­ing the license and your BD release of Card­cap­tor Saku­ra is per­fect in almost every way (-I adore it- it’s one of the best releas­es to date), but your sub­ti­tles will always suck. You need to out­source bet­ter trans­la­tors, guys.

Also, the sub­ti­tles are option­al. You can turn them off while lis­ten­ing the Japan­ese audio, unlike NISA’s release for the TV series, which is a (stu­pid and use­less) mea­sure used to dis­suade Japan­ese ani­me fans from try­ing to reverse-import the cheap­er Eng­lish Blu-ray.


Mov­ing onwards to the spe­cial features:

  • Movie Trail­er 1
  • Movie Trail­er 2
  • Japan­ese Com­mer­cial Spots
  • Eng­lish Trailer

The “spe­cial fea­tures” present in this release are just the Japan­ese TV/theatrical trail­ers and the Eng­lish trail­er for the movie… which you could prob­a­bly search up YouTube. It’s not much, but most home releas­es rarely have amaz­ing spe­cial fea­tures to begin with, so it would be sil­ly to trash Dis­otek’s release based on that alone (espe­cial­ly since it was the same for the Japan­ese release as well)… though I always appre­ci­ate a cou­ple of inter­views or mak­ing-of videos if pos­si­ble. Per­son­al­ly, the Eng­lish trail­er is great enough as an extra fea­ture, because of the DRAMA

Sakooooo­ra Aval­on was­n’t look­ing for dan­ger… BUT IT WAS LOOKING FOR HEEEER


Hoo boy. I used to hate the dub, but now… well, I still hate it, but now I think it has a spe­cial place in this world. All the way over there.


srsly tho

Over­all, while it could have been bet­ter con­sid­er­ing I had to wait a whole month after the remas­tered DVD release to get the Blu-ray ver­sion, Dis­cotek’s release of the movie is pret­ty good. I mean, if you’re a gigan­tic fan of Eng­lish dubs then it’ll prob­a­bly suck for you, since the Eng­lish dub on this release is from the worse CCS dub pos­si­ble. But, to be all hon­est, I per­son­al­ly don’t care that much about Eng­lish dubs, espe­cial­ly when it comes to CCS, and I real­ly believe that chunk of the ani­me fan­dom is insignif­i­cant when it comes to Card­cap­tor Saku­ra. Yes, I’d love to see an Eng­lish dub on the lev­el of Bang Zoom’s ren­di­tion of the sec­ond movie, but that’s more of a bonus to me rather than a neces­si­ty. I’m proud to have this dis­played on my shelf, along with my Blu-ray set of the TV series by NISA.

Also, con­sid­er the fact that this only cost me around $18 (pre-ordered this on Right­Stuf dur­ing a sale, now it’s $22.46 there). The Japan­ese release of the Blu-ray usu­al­ly sells for about ¥6000, which is approx­i­mate­ly $50. Con­sid­er­ing how much of a bar­gain it is in com­par­i­son to the Japan­ese release, all the minor gripes I have about the cov­er and such are insignificant.

Now all Dis­cotek needs to do is LICENSE THE SECOND MOVIE TO COMPLETE MY BLU-RAY SET (not count­ing the spe­cials). I’m toss­ing my mon­ey at you guys. Make me proud.

6 thoughts on “Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie Blu-ray Review [Discotek Media]

  1. Nice merch, man!

    I swear, as much as you blog about Card­cap­tor Sakura…I’m ALMOST tempt­ed to watch it. I mean, I did watch a few episodes as a kid but I hard­ly remem­ber the series.

    1. @Shikon: Thanks! I’m pret­ty proud at how my CCS col­lec­tion is build­ing up.
      You should watch it! It’s become a clas­sic amongst ani­me. It’s one of those ani­me that every­one can enjoy, regard­less of age and gen­der. Music is great, ani­ma­tion is old school Mad­house-good­ness (the series remas­tered on Blu-ray espe­cial­ly, the movies still hold up well), char­ac­ter inter­ac­tion is love­ly, etc. Mas­sive amounts of cute, as well.

      Just be sure to stay away from the Nel­vana Eng­lish dub titled “Card­cap­tors”. That was cre­at­ed dur­ing a time where many dubs meant “take footage from ran­dom pop­u­lar Japan­ese car­toon, rearrange/cut to our lik­ing, and voice over what­ev­er the hell we want over it with­out look­ing at the orig­i­nal script”

  2. Thanks for the info Miko­to :3

    And i’ll put it on my to watch list, although when I actu­al­ly get around to it…who knows lol. And yeah, I’ll just watch it with subs, since I’ve kind of grav­i­tat­ed away from eng­lish dubs this year.


    My wal­let is gonna be sucked dry at this rate, but I’m glad more CCS merch is com­ing out (have you seen those new fig­ures? GOD DAMN I NEED THOSE IN MY LIFE). I hope all this means the pos­si­bil­i­ty of some kind of spe­cial project announce­ment in the near future.

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