The Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs Complete Collection is a six-disc DVD box set that contains all fifty-two episodes of the series. In addition to this, special features appear on discs one, two, and four of the set.
The first disc contains two special features. The first is labeled as "Commercials." This contains four commercials for a Saber Rider fan club and each commercial runs for about thirty seconds each. Also, the only two characters featured in these commercials are Saber Rider and Colt. All four commercials play back-to-back in one feature. The other extra is labeled as "Photo Gallery." This feature runs for seven minutes and ten seconds, and it features line art, production art, books, and promotional materials for Saber Rider. This is done as a slideshow; however, the viewer has no control over when the pictures change. The song "I Computer" by RadioRadio is used as the background music; however, this song has no direct connection to the Saber Rider property. The slideshow opens and closes with an ad for the song.
On the second disc, it lists that the special features are theme songs and bios. What you get are bios for Ramrod, Saber Rider, Colt, Fireball, and April; the bios have one of the character's themes playing in the background as you read the bio text. Ramrod's bio is one minute in length, Saber Rider's bio is fifty-six seconds in length, Colt's bio is one minute and two seconds in length, Fireball's bio is forty-one seconds in length, and April's bio is one minute and six seconds in length.
The fourth disc contains two extras. The first is labeled as "Sei Juishi Bismarck Clips." I was expecting this extra to feature some clips from the original series. However, what you actually get is the original opening from Bismarck, one short scene of Bismarck's transformation sequence and a battle, and then the original ending from Bismarck. There are no subtitles provided on this feature. The other extra is an audio interview with Dale Schacker, the man who composed the music for Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. The interview itself is audio only, and is accompanied by stills from the show, production art, and pictures of promotional materials. The interview runs for almost thirteen minutes in length.
I have a couple of complaints when it comes to the set as a whole. First, the volume levels are not consistent across each disc. The opening bump at the beginning of each disc is mastered really loud, then the volume gets very soft when the menu comes up, and then the audio level changes again when an episode actually starts. Fortunately, the audio levels do remain consistent within the episodes themselves. I had to constantly change the volume levels whenever I put one of these discs into my player, and this became annoying rather quickly.
Also, the first two discs were authored very differently from the remaining four in the set. On the first two discs, you can't skip over the logos at the beginning of the disc, there are no chapter marks within episodes (which means you either have to watch the beginning and the ending credits in addition to the entire episode, or you have to fast forward through them), and the commercial break bumps are not included. However, on discs three through six, you can skip over the opening logos, there are chapter marks within each episode on those discs, and the commercial break bumps are included. It really gives the impression that the first two discs of the set were authored by different people than the remaining four.
Between the audio mastering issues, the inconsitsent DVD authoring, and the relative lack of special features, it would be very hard for me to recommend this set to casual fans or to people who are unfamiliar with Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. However, since this is the only DVD pressing that exists for the property, I have to recommend it to Saber Rider fans who want to own the series on DVD.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD set that I purchased.
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About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman (ljaesch)
I'm a freelance writer whocovers anime and manga on her blog, Lesley's Musings... on Anime & Manga. I also have a music blog called AeschTunes that I post at every once in a while. … more
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The Original Outer Space Western Anime is back! From the creators of Voltron come Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs! Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs was a 1980's animated space western following a similar theme of The Galaxy Rangers and Bravestarr. Originally a 1984 Japanese anime series known as Star Musketeer Bismarck created by Studio Pierrot. The series is set in the future, where the Star Sheriffs are duly-deputized special operatives of Cavalry Command, Earth's space-going law enforcement arm and defense patrol organization out in space, and along the New Frontier. Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs main assignment is to protect the Galaxy from the growing threat of the Outriders. With the help of April Eagle and RAMROD (voiced by Peter Cullen who voiced Optimus Prime in the 80s cartoon series Transformers), a battleship that can transform into a giant robot. When RAMROD undergoes the "Challenge Phase" transformation it calls out its rallying cry in a heavy Western drawl, "Head 'em up, move 'em out. Power stride and ready to ride!" Other than their wits, their courage, and their standard issue equipment, such as their blaster pistols, and RAMROD's array of electronics, they have no superpowers, just each other. When they do battle with the Outriders, it's a futuristic version of the code of the Old West. Volume Two consist of episodes 18-33 from the hit TV series, as well as never before seen extras and production art. Don t miss the chance to add an ...