Plot: What’s it about?
As she is pretty much the key to the future of Terra II, it is not good that Lorelei has been kidnapped. In truth, it is terrible news and no one takes it harder than Otaru, who vows to rescue her no matter what that takes. This is a most noble task, but also an immense one, as a solo rescue mission will be a most tall order indeed. As if things weren’t bad enough, Garlant rises from the ashes to begin a new reign of terror and soon enough, it looks as if even Faust has picked up his nefarious ways once again. In other words, things have went from bad to downright miserable and of course, the Saber Dolls have to put it all back to normal. But even they’re at all loss about where to start with this mess, which is no surprise, since all hell has broken loose, to be blunt. But Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry are soon on the case and they’re pretty sure they can knock out the baddies, especially with a new mystery partner by their side. But will even that be enough, given the state of sheer evil that has overtaken the situation?
As a viewer of the entire Saber Marionette series, I know it has some flaws, but I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed each of the installments. The original series was fun, but didn’t click with a lot of viewers and the Again series won some new fans over, but this J to X series seems to be the best Saber Marionette material yet. As I mentioned, I have liked the entire run of the episodes and I knew I’d like J to X, but it has impressed me more than expected. The tone remains light and humorous, but the stories seem better this time around, as do the animation and other visuals. This third volume of episodes brings four more good ones, all of which proved to be enjoyable and consistent, just as we should expect. You probably won’t be dazzled by the storylines or character work, but this is supposed to be a fun, light series and in that respect, it succeeds. But if you need more complex plots and richer characters, then Saber Marionette probably won’t be for you, even though it is a ton of fun. I recommend this series to fans of brisk, fun anime and of course, Saber Marionette fans won’t want to miss out on another terrific series.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. I was pleased with the visual effort here, though some minor color errors surface at times. These never disrupt the show’s visuals however, but you can notice them if you look for them, so I wanted to mentioned them somehow in this review. On the whole, the colors come across in vivid and bold fashion, with no real troubles, which is terrific news. I saw no flaws with the black levels either, as the blacks look excellent and no murkiness is present. The prints used also show no real defects, leaving me to score these episodes on the high end of the scale.
Audio: How does it sound?
As is common with Pioneer’s anime releases, this disc has both Japanese & English language tracks and as usual, the Japanese option proved to be superior. The dialogue is clean and remains crisp throughout, with no inconsistencies to note. The music is terrific in this series, so I am glad it sounds rich and well placed here, without a doubt. The sound effects are solid here, with some nice right & left directional use, but don’t put your expectations too high. This disc also includes optional English subtitles, in case you’ll need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes an interview with Tsukasa Kotobuki, who worked on the character designs for the series. The interview runs a short five minutes or so, but is still more than worth a look for fans.