|Reviews & Columns
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
Kaleido Star Vol. 5 - Masquerade
The penultimate volume of Kaleido Star sees our heroines in a jam. With Yuri taking over Kaleido Stage Sora, Mia, and Anna find themselves unemployed, and without a place to live. The would be curcus stars aren't about to give up that easily though, but starting a circus from scratch isn't as easy as it seems.
As the volume starts off, Sora gets some unexpected news from home. The parents who adopted her are expecting a baby, and Sora is worried that they won't have time to think about her with a new addition to the family. When her parents show up in the States though, things take an unexpected turn as her mother goes into labor two months early.
Things start moving (no pun intended) as the girls find an apartment. They are able to rent an affordable place, but they are having trouble steady employment. After a few aborted attempts, the girls get a job performing in a marine park. But when their show gets canceled on the day of the performance, Sora decides that the show must go on.
Things are working out well at the marine park. As the girl's act starts attracting larger and larger audiences, attendance at Yuri's Kaleido Stage dwindles. Yuri isn't about to take this laying down though.
It seems as the girls are back to square one. They don't have a job, and they still need rent money. As a way to get more exposure, they enter an international competition, but with Yuri as a judge, do they have any chance?
Though the first episode was filler, the plot progressed nicely in the rest of the volume. The return of some characters that haven't been seen in quite a while was a nice surprise that added to the discs appeal, but the grown relationship between Sora and Layla is the centerpiece to this volume. Layla's aloof attitude and unquestioning willingness to obey her father are put up against her the loyalty she feels toward her fellow performers. Things start building up to the climax at the end of the next volume. It looks like the last episodes are going to be pretty exciting.
Yuri's character has metamorphosed nicely in this series. He's gone from a sympathetic star to the villain of the piece in quite logical, yet surprising steps. The lengths he goes to shut down Sora's group is wonderfully evil of him. He's a fun guy to hate.
This is a simple but fun series. It has a lot of energy and the plucky girls that populate the show are hard not to like. While there are no deep messages besides "try your best," it's still a show worth checking out.
This DVD has a 2.0 Japanese soundtrack and a 5.1 English dub. The sound quality was very good in both tracks. The voices were clear and there wasn't any hiss or distortion. The English dub was more full and rich, being a 5.1 mix, but I enjoyed the Japanese dub a little bit more. I really disliked a couple of the voices on the English audio track. The actress who voices Sora in the English version has chosen an annoying voice for her. She sounds like a three year old, with a very high-pitched cutesy voice, and it gets old fairly quickly. The dorm leader Sarah's voice had a fake British accent that sounds incredibly inane. The other actors do a good job, but I still prefer the original language track.
I was very happy with the way this show looked. Being a recent show, the full frame picture was very good. The colors were bright and full, and the lines were tight. There was some light aliasing but this was minor it wasn't distracting. This is a nice looking show.
The DVD comes with a clean opening and closing, and a four-minute reel of production sketches. There are also a series of trailers for other ADV shows.
Included in the case is a small standee of Rosette.
If you've kept up this the show so far, you'll surely enjoy this volume. The story is moving along well and things really start to speed up near the end of this volume, getting ready for the conclusion with the next release. A fun and enjoyable show. Highly Recommended.