Three junior high school girls hear a voice pleading for them to save Cephiro, a magical world where belief is power. It is Princess Emeraude, the Pillar, whose will maintains the peace. When the peace is threatened, she u... more »ses her last bit of strength to summon forth the three girls destined to become Magic Knights and save her world.« less
Reginald M. Lumagui | San Jose, CA USA | 07/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, I went and bought this dvd series out of curiosity and a recommendation from a friend. He said the mechs do magic which piqued my interest. Anyways, first off, I'd say this series is best described as Sailormoon meets Escaflowne meets Fushigi Yugi. It's like Sailormoon in that the three girls in the anime wear mostly that sailor-type uniform and do magic. It's like Escaflowne in that they are taken into another world that blends a bit of machinery and primitive culture. It's like Fushigi Yugi in the fact that alot of humorous elements in the series use the "superdeformed" image of characters to show some cuteness and laughs. It's a pretty good light hearted series at first and turns a bit serious at the end. Not quite as emotionally involving as Evangelion or Escaflowne, but it still has some good emotional moments. The art style is similar to El-Hazard in my opinion so it might not be the cup of tea of some individuals. The same can be said of the super-deformed part. If you found this aspect annoying in Fushigi Yugi, you might definitely find Rayearth annoying. On another note, people say this dvd is the first season which it is, but the series does end. Meaning, you are not left with a cliffhanger and pulling you hair out at the end of the series such as in Fushigi. So, if you are worried that you'll have to wait to see the current story arc of the first season end, have no freats because the set stands on its own. My only reason for giving this series a 4 star rating is in the fac that there were quite a bit of glitches in the extras. I couldn't get the Omake endings or Alternate Endings to work properly. When choosing options, the cursor takes forever to switch to another selection. And when the show starts, I couldn't switch the default language, English, to the Japanese track straight from the start of the show. I had to go back out into the menu and do it manually from the set-up screen. However, there were no problems with the show itself except for one or two pixellated scences which I noticed. Still, its a good series to add to any anime collection."
Enjoyable for any age
Marnix van den Berg | Beusichem, Holland | 04/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Magic Knight Rayearth isn't a pure 'magical girls in sailor customes' anime, nor a 'parody on magical girls in sailor customes' anime either.Instead it finely balances between these two things, which not many anime try (or succeed in if they do try). What I mean is, the main characters (Hikaru, Fuu and Umi) aren't completely convinced the world they've been transported to (to save the world etc..) is real and yet the anime isn't reduced to a string of silly jokes about it, or a 'serious' anime about good vs evil.The animation is average, the story reasonable (well, if I want to be objective, I happen to _like_ heroic fantasy, good vs evil, heros triumph over bad-guys etc..). If you want to know more about the story, search the Web for 'rayearth' or 'cephiro' (Google is good for that), because I won't elaborate on it.The packaging is nice, a thin cardboard box with the 5 dvds in keepcases in it. The box is more of a wrapper itself, yet with nice print and raised golden areas/scrolls and such. A small thing, but better than a plain paper wrapping, I say :)I only had one problem with the dvd (could be my software dvd decoder) on my pc. The Japanese language + english subtitles somehow was displayed as Japanese with japanese subtitles (?), but as soon as I realized that that was actually japanese with english subtitles it wasn't a point. After that I actually skipped to the dvd menu (which I usually don't on my PC) and found it was correctly written there, must've been either my player or some internal name messup on the dvd.Anyway, if you use a normal player you won't have any problems. One thing I found annoying was that the chapters aren't organized logically (at least not very), which makes navigating outside hte menus (i.e. with a dvd player on a pc, I know I keep repeating myself) a bit nasty, which actually made me use the dvd's menus for once, which are nice and shiny, if a little slow on my setup.Concluding, if you can see past the sugary theme (it's girls anime after all) and like me, like Clamp's style this is good value for your money (8 and a half hours!).Else I recommend you either pick up a copy of the manga first (Mixx Manga has an edition, but rather badly translated) or rent/borrow a tape of one of the episodes.Enjoy,"
Innocent fantasy adventure story
Steven Myers | SF Bay Area | 10/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set--the only way to get the show on DVD--contains the whole first season of Magic Knight Rayearth on 5 DVDs. For those worried about cliffhangers, have no fear: the first season is a complete story.Rayearth deliberately resembles a Japanese console role-playing game (like you would play on a Playstation). Three girls are drawn into a fantasy world and set with the task of saving it; as they progress, they (in role-playing game terms) go up in levels and gain new powers. Also like many role-playing games, the story often focuses on little morals such as the value of friendship and the like. This may be somewhat too saccharine for some; on the other hand, there are many bloody battles (unlike many shows, especially when edited for US tv, these girls bleed when they fight). The end, without spoiling anything, becomes quite grim in tone.Assuming you don't mind a little saccharine in your anime, there is nothing to complain about here. The artwork is gorgeous, as it is derived from CLAMP's original comic (also available in English and recommended). The score is fabulous (I bought an import CD to get it), and the English language dub is well-acted and voiced. If there is any little nitpick, it is that the vocal tracks were also dubbed, and there is one point in the title song where the singer can't quite match the high note of the Japanese singer. But, if that's the worst thing I can think of, that is some evidence that this is a great show."
Atypical shojo with an amazing ending
Churri | 12/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Admittedly, I've tried to bump this series off the pedestal of No. 1 in my rankings with anime like Utena and Cowboy Bebop. It's still my favorite. I like RPG-style stories, and MKR is just that. The characters are very well-developed, including the "villians". Many people claim the plot meanders. I disagree. The pace does start out slow, but as Cephiro is placed in increasing danger, you can feel the pace change.The characters may seem Sailor Moon (hackcough) like at first, but the three protagonists are much more courageous andstrong willed, not to mention that they're able to inflict serious damage with a sword. The last volume is undoubtedly the best-I highly doubt if anyone saw the twist at the ending. If you're like me, you'll cry.The music isn't excpetional, but it does its job, and the ending number is actually good, something of a rarity in anime, I've found."
tyeh | Los Angeles, California USA | 06/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's called the "Memorial Collection" because it's a DVD Boxset including the first half of the series. They fixed the annoying "-ster" suffix that was applied to the names in the sub VHS version. That's a big plus to me ("Fuu-ster" is rather annoying and not quite an accurate translation of the -chan suffix used in Japanese)."