A beautifully packaged, wonderful series
Steven Myers | SF Bay Area | 06/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This box set contains 29 episodes on 7 DVDs, which comprise the second (and last) season of Magic Knight Rayearth. The packaging is beautiful: a heavy box which opens in the front with artwork of the magic knights on the front and sides. This is by far the best box put out by an American anime company, and it puts the season 1 box to shame. Absent some spelling errors on the individual DVDs, the packaging is simply top notch.As for the show, it is a fair bit different than the first season. An underlying current in the first season was that the show was something of a parody of Japanese RPGs (role-playing games). Here, the situation is more serious; somewhat unexpectedly, the show has more humor as well. The magic knights, three 14-year old girls from Tokyo, are summoned again to the world of Cephiro by an unknown force and find it crumbling. Cephiro is ruled by a pillar, one person whose will rules all; in the previous season, Cephiro lost its pillar, and it is now crumbling into nothingness. To make matters worse, three other worlds are invading it and a dark enemy has appeared from within. The show does start a little slow, and there are some saccharine moments--but those are to be expected if you saw the first season. On the other hand there's no concerns about nudity (although there is an innocent exchange reflecting a girl's anxiety about her chest) or language or graphic violence, so it's a fairly safe title for kids to see. Note that there is fighting, death, and occasional blood, so this is not a show for those who want to avoid all violence. If you've seen the first season and liked it, you'll like this: at once darker and funnier, with characters you came to like."
Major changes from the manga, good nonetheless
Steven Myers | 07/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"***Warning: contains spoilers!***
If you have watched season one of MKR, and most of you probably have, the second series has some major deviations from the manga (while the first season pretty much followed the manga). Overall, this season is darker and somewhat more violent than the first season, and the relationships between characters are examined more closely. Ok, now since I properly warned you in the beginning of this review that I am going to reveal important plot points, don't be angry or bitter if you feel all this spoils your precious MKR2 watching experience.
First of all, new characters were added, namely the villian characters of Nova and Lady Debonair. I thought these were interesting additions because of how these villians were created. Nova was inadvertantly created by Hikaru just before she left Cephiro after killing Zagato and Emeraude in the first season. Her intense negative emotions about killing Zagato and Emeraude created Nova. I thought bringing this character was an effective way to force Hikaru to deal with the conflict inside of her. Lady Debonair was created in a similar manner, although she was created by the fear and uncertainty of the people of Cephiro. Lady Debonair's character gave the different "factions" (Cephiro, Autozam, Chizeta, Fahren) an ultimate evil to unite against. Isn't that what we like to see, a showdown between the forces of good and evil?
While I thought the two aforementioned characters brought some interesting aspects to the series, I thought that it could seem a bit "cluttered" at times, jumping back and forth between what was going on with Nova and Debonair and Chizeta and Fahren and Autozam. The way they kept going back to Alcione was especially annoying to me, but I guess she provided a way for Debonair to invade Cephiro's castle. And Debonair's laughing was VERY annoying...
The second major change was the ..The third major change is the absence of any important function of Mokona. True, in the first season he guided Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu while they became Magic Knights. But in the second season he is reduced to just being cute and jumping around and saying his standard variations of the word "puu." ... In the anime however the role of The Creator is never mentioned and the Magic Knights summoned themselves to Cephiro. It was interesting to find out in the manga that Mokona had created Cephiro in response to humans on Earth. Unfortunately, all this was left out of the anime.
Also, as a stated in the intro, this season of MKR is darker and more violent. There are more battles and more blood ... But the battles and actions sequences were exciting.
The relationships between various characters are more pronounced in the anime than in the manga, it seems that everyone is in love with everyone else. ...Overall, I liked MKR2, despite the major changes. There were changes I thought were improvements but there were changes that I thought were steps backwards, but I love MKR and still loved the anime and thought it was wonderful. Decide for yourself if you can overlook the major changes. Happy watching!!!"
Second Season Magic Knight Box Set
usagi200 | my own little interdimensional corner | 09/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The second season of Rayearth is really a must see if you liked the first season. As other reviewers have stated, it's considerably more serious then the first season, but it most certainly has its lighthearted moments.
There are a few downsides, of course...for example, Hikaru becomes the sole main character. In the manga, the relationship between the three Knights is much more balanced, with each girl getting about equal screen time. The animation in the show can get a bit off at times, but that's what happens with all anime at one point or another.
Honestly, I would reccommend the manga above the anime at any point in the Rayearth series. The manga art is breathtaking, the plot more intriguing, the story is faster-paced with fewer 'filler' episodes....and NO NOVA! And there was much feasting and rejoicing!
Of course...with the anime, you get Ogata Megumi as Eagle's Japanese voice actress (Yes, he's played by a girl, you got a problem with that?!). So that more then makes up for Eagle's fate. (IwillnotspoilIwillnotspoilIwillnotspoil...)
Overall, buy this if you're a Rayearth fan. But buy the manga first."
Great, though different from the manga
Lorna Webster | 07/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I recently watched this and really enjoyed it for all the reasons much more eloquent writers have stated below.One point to note is that it is quite a bit different from the second "season" of Magic Knight Rayearth manga. Hikaru questions herself more (and is empowered less by her own loves and beliefs), but there is a lot more romance. Things just barely hinted at in the manga take striking form in the anime. The ending is also a bit different.Is this bad? Not at all. I enjoyed the manga and I enjoy the anime, and they're two separate things. Nothing wrong with comparing them, but it's important to keep in mind that to just make the manga exactly as is into an anime would be, well, not that exciting. I mean, once you've read the manga, why watch the exact same thing? ;) Just don't go into the anime thinking it will be exactly the same.Still, there is some satisfaction to the romance angle that the anime explores. The manga is quite short and so didn't touch upon that all too much.As a note for younger viewers, there's only brief nudity (in the opening sequences) but no swearing, sex, etc. At least, none that stood out in my mind.So in closing, if you sort of enjoyed the first season of Rayearth, or thought it needed "more," well, I think you'll LOVE the second season. The first was just "okay" in my mind. The second is one I'll watch again, and enjoyed it completely."