"Though I've previously dubbed Fumoffu this honor, after revisiting Kaleido Star I have to declare resolutely that Kaleido Star is the DVD title that moves me the most. From the first episode to the last, the title beckons my attention every moment, giving me the most rewarding viewing experience I've ever known thus far, and dare I say may ever come to know.
My highest praise goes to the wonderfully talented production staff. Junichi Sato is a great anime visionary having given us classics like Sailor Moon, Magic User's Club, Sargeant Frog, and Princess Tutu. And Kaleido Star in my view is his crowning achievement. I would never have imagined that a cirque du soleil backdrop would be so fascinating, but Sato's unique take on a shounen formula following the plight and destiny of a lovable goofy heroine brings much life and adventure to a dubious and risky plot. Mina Kubota's gorgeous romantic soundtrack that seems to borrow from Tchaikovsky, Borodin, and Prokofiev is among the most engaging collection of music I've heard for the genre. And Gonzo's solid animation and attractive character designs make it all the visual splendor that it is.
And the Japanese cast assembles some of my favorites, Aya Hisakawa, Takehito Koyasu, and Fumiko Orikasa. And of course, the brightly shining Ryou Hirohashi infuses the right kind of depth and emotion into the Kaleido Star that I could not conceive being done better by anyone else.
If I may capitulate an overview, we begin with a bright, ambitious, and head strong Japanese girl Sora coming to the US, arriving at a fictitious Los Angeles county town named Cape Merry to audition for and join the circus troupe of Kaleido Stage. With circumstances leading to her unpunctual arrival, the current diva overseeing the audition dismisses her. Believing she's lost the one opportunity, she's somehow managed to maneuver a stage debut...by causing minor injury to a trampoline performer in a hilarious attempt to save her from a falling object. LOL! Having had a previous encounter with the circus owner, he assigns Sora to substitute. As we move forward, Sora faces and overcomes challenge after challenge, making friends of other talented troupe members, touching the hearts of broken people, making others around her shine, forging a partnership that culminates in an intense competion to determine who shines brightest as the True Kaleido Star. And when two bright stars collide, it is most certain that one is destined to fade under the brightness of the other. The acrobatics and high-flying action are fantastic and marvelously done, drawing out a similar type of viewer excitement expected of high-quality fighting anime, only without the violence. With a powerful orchestral score filled with strong themes and harmonic movements, and fine acting on the part of the Japanese cast, watching Kaleido Star is a thoroughly engaging experience that mixes a proper balance between style and substance.
There are some areas in which the title falls short, and I found these mostly to be mere animation inconsistencies in the characters' attire. Sora and Mia at different episodes perform some acrobatics, beginning them with shoes and ending them w/out. A variety in costumes would also have been welcome. But these are minor quibbles in light of Sora's character development and the depiction of her challenges and how she overcomes them. Where Naruto, DBZ, and countless other shounen titles have failed to even mildly amuse me, Kaleido Star moves the core of my being and satisfies me like no other. I highly recommend this title for those interested in a tried and true formula with a twist. And this thin-pack set is a precious steal."
AWESOME, MUST BUY DVD!
P. Baltz | 09/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, this is the story of a girl joins a circus and does a bunch of acrobatic stunts. Sounds boring right? Well it's not. I've watched many anime series lately with more interesting premises, and none of them were anywhere near as good as kaleido star. The makers of this show have somehow found a way to turn an ordinary premise into a beautiful, interesting, exciting adventure that starts out great and only gets better with every episode. KS is funny, cute, and and fully enjoyable. I strongly recommend this DVD set for anyone who loves to smile and laugh.
My only warning is that the box and DVD cases in this particular set are a bit flimsy, and the extras are lacking. If you really want those things then buy the individual DVD's. If you just want the show at a great price, then get this set as it's an excellent deal."
Excellent, affordable and outstanding
Alejandro Charcape | Bronx, NY USA | 02/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After making the order for Kaleido Star: Amazing Collection, I expected kind of a bigger box than what I received: this box set is fair small, so I can save it easily as if it were a book. It is worthy to mention that the box is simple but fair, besides the fact that what matters is the content, so this box set is worth the price, as it carries all 26 episodes of Kaleido Star first season: it makes this product just excellent and affordable. If we talk about the Kaleido Star series itself, then I can summarize it in a phrase: "All the world is a stage!". This is proven as the story shows how the main character, Japanese 16-year-old girl Sora Naegino passes through many challenges in order to become a Kaleido Star (in other words, the star of Kaleido Stage, just in case it is not so explicit). Not only does Sora face problems within the Kaleido Stage environment itself; she also experiences struggles with her family (her "parents" were opposed to the idea of becoming a Kaleido Star) and her own life out the stage (when she needs to find apartment, as Yuri Killian owned Kaleido Stage as signal of revenge). But the way Sora faces these problems is admirable: she always does her best in everything, pushing herself so hard that she gets hurt in most cases, physically and psychologically, and taking all the chances she can in order to make successful progress. This way, anybody realizes that Sora Naegino is definitely the heart of the Kaleido Star story, as it is her challenge to become a Kaleido Star. Excellent animation quality and customes, in addition to a very strong phylosophical background makes Kaleido Star: Amazing Collection a must have... ...therefore, you must have this one no matter what!"
K. Francois | 01/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I adore the item! The animation is beautifully drawn, the music always supports the mood, and the storyline is incredibly touching. Even without violence, this tops many of the anime I've previously watched.
If anyone is looking for a show that is family friendly and manages to be incredibly light while still managing to touch on deep morals and, most especially, the importance of persistance and the dedication to do your best when everything is looking down, I suggest giving KaleidoStar a view."
Elizabeth M. Martin | 08/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am waiting for Sep. 4 for the 2nd season to hit the shelves. At first, I didn't think I would like it. But, I did! All the characters were likable (most of them). And I think the plot line is different than most animes. I mean, stunts on trapezes? That's AWESOME! Effects are great, stunts are cool, a few hints of romance, and packaging is amazing"