Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Kitty Media
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 40
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Another Lady Innocent
Another Lady Innocent
By Chris Beveridge
December 20, 2005
Release Date: December 13, 2005
Another Lady Innocent
What They Say
© Kitty Media
Brought to you by Satoshi Urushihara, the king of sexy anime. His animations "Plastic Little" and "Legend of Lemnear" and his comic "Chirality" were all runaway hits in the U.S! His "Growlanser" video game was released in the U.S. December 2004 for PS2, winning multiple awards from IGN. During the Civil War, the powerful landowner Carson had beautiful daughter with an innocent heart, Faye. As Faye enjoys an intense sexual relationship with her friend John and her servant girl Sophia, the end of her innocent days draws near. The mysterious Lord Mark has set his eyes on her and will stop at nothing to get her.The Review!
Set in the American Civil War, Another Lady Innocent is filled with anything but.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language adaptation. The audio for both tracks is the standard stereo mix which is essentially very simple as other than some light instrumental music at various points it's only got dialogue throughout. The dialogue itself comes across clearly through the center channel mostly and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during playback on either language track.Video:
Originally released to video in 2004, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With just the one episode here there's plenty of space for a good looking transfer to be encoded and it just looks fantastic. There is so much detail in the character designs and animation that is held up well here. Like similar shows by this creative team, the colors have an interesting mixture of softness for hair but also do some really good mixtures for skin tone that gives it a neat feel and romanticized look. That's one way that the show looks in general and the transfer captures it nicely. We had no issues with how this looks at all from start to finish.Packaging:
The front cover for this release is almost a bit teasing in what it shows. It's got a great image to start with of the two lead female characters, who do get together in the show, in a tight embrace in a barn as their clothes lay around them. Their designs are highly attractive, the colors beautiful and the detail just right. Where it's a bit teasing and almost tricky is that the bow in Fey's hair almost looks like elf ears on first glance which may catch some people looking at it that normally wouldn't. Sadly, no elfen material in here but I just adore this cover from start to finish. The back cover goes for a minimal approach with a handful of screenshots from the show along the top and a summary below it (that uses different versions of names from the subtitles; Fey is Faye here) which isn't exactly the best summary because it also includes information from the audio drama that doesn't make it into the show. As usual, Kitty does a solid job of listing the discs features and technical information along the bottom. The only issue I have with it is the inclusion of the runtime from the extras as the overall run time since it's really just a twenty-five minute episode and something like seventeen minutes worth of extras. No insert or dual sided cover is included with this release.Menu:
The menu layout for this is nicely done overall with a nod given to the style of the time as the right side has the logo and a block for the discs navigation that's got some nice style to it. The background itself is a dark red which along the left side has in black an illustration of the two women in different poses from the cover. It's an interesting filter since it's not a straight clean one but one with some shaded dark red lines through it that makes it a bit murky but I so adore the character designs that I can't help but like it. Our players' language presets were partially followed as it picked up on the Japanese language without an issue but the first English subtitle track that's listed is the sign/song track and not the full subtitle track.Extras:
Extras with adult releases are rare but we get some rather good ones here. First is a video piece that takes the viewer on a tour of Urushihara's studio and has him doing some quick sketches and the like while showcasing bits from the show itself. You can also see just how many cigarettes he goes through… While I've got plenty of his art books and printed material, it's not often you see a video interview piece and he's an interesting one to listen to. This runs about thirteen minute in length. There's another piece of Historical Background about the American Civil War that's done in pencil roughs and parchment styled paper that goes over the economy of the time and the social situation as well which runs about two minutes. Also running about the same amount of time is some background about the original audio drama that this is all based on, Lady Innocent, and the changes that it underwent to become this. Add in the original trailer and a textless closing and you get more than a lot of mainstream releases have these days.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Originally titled Front Innocent, Another Lady Innocent is the latest release that has the signature style of Satoshi Urushihara. He's done a fair amount of soft core shows over the years and several hardcore ones like this but he's managed to dabble well into the mainstream world as well with anime series like Sakura Diaries Plastic Little. Urushihara's artwork and character designs were some of the ones that influenced my tastes heavily when I started getting more serious about learning about the people behind the shows and manga and one of a very few that I actually spend money on in terms of art books. So getting a new anime release from him is something that's certainly a cause for celebration.
Based on the audio drama Lady Innocent, Urushihara takes us back to the American Civil War where we see in a few flashback clips the relationship between three young people. The center is young Fey, daughter of the manor household who left some time ago in order to undergo schooling at an aunts house some distance away. She had grown up with her older brother John and a servant girl named Sophia and they all treated each other as equals and friends. When Fey left, she asked that Sophia take care of John as she would and that they'd all be back together again some day. Sophia did indeed take care of John and the two engaged in plenty of sex during that time. But now that Fey has returned, there's a slight awkwardness about them before they realize that they all like having sex and being intimate with each other, whether it be in secret in the barn or just the two women together in Fey's bed late on a moonlit night.
The setting in which this all takes place has the big expansive mansions of the south but they're not highly detailed or ornate inside. The focus is given over more to the numerous maids which work throughout them and the main mansion where they seem to have amusing uniforms that have no upper fronts, letting the bosom fly free, while also having no bottom at all so both sides are exposed. The women are fully aware of what they're there for – even though the lord of the manor seems to be surprised at times – and they pleasure the men completely at seemingly every chance. There's an amusing moment where the lord is sitting in a chair in one of these big rooms and the maid is riding him and his daughter comes running in after not seeing him for so long. She barely even notices the maids existence and hugs him while he gets all flustered. Even worse, his wife then walks in and tells him that his daughter simply must get used to the way the world works. If only.
Another Lady Innocent simply has no real plot other than the return of Fey to the household and to the intimate embrace of Sophia and John. All three of them have dialogue throughout the show but it's so inconsequential and meaningless in the end. As mentioned above, there seems to be more to the plot than what we get here based on the summary but that comes more from an overall background associated with the audio drama. What we do get in this single episode though is twenty-five minutes of gorgeous Urushihara character designs having very romanticized sexual encounters. I love these designs, their detail, the colors used and how the animation looks so fluid. He does succumb to occasionally using a couple of very brief repeated scenes but other than that it's simply material that I really enjoy. The best way to look at this, and it's the mood that I think is strongly evoked, is that it is all terribly romantic and not intended to be anything more than what it is. In Summary:
Urushihara simply doesn't do enough or have enough of his material licensed over here and at times it drives me nuts. So when we do get something new of his I'm all over it. Another Lady Innocent certainly isn't a high water mark in his career nor something that will spark off a wave of creativity based on it, but damn it's an attractive and straightforward piece that just gets right down to the sex, presents it in a very attractive and "clean" way and runs with it. The disc has plenty of extras with it and a solid packaging all around. Very enjoyable and something that's definitely good for couples and people just checking out the genre as well as those looking for something a bit simpler and romantic after waves of hardcore material.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Video Interview,Historical Background,About the Drama CD,Original Trailer,Textless Closing
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.