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DVD Review

Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Beast City

Beast City

Beast City DVD Review

By Chris Beveridge     January 21, 2010
Release Date: January 05, 2010


Beast City
© Critical Mass Video

When the ancestral homeland is destroyed, the remaining vampires set out to dole out destruction upon the demon beasts that continue to roam the lands.

What They Say

The lust and depravity of modern man has lured the Demon King to the surface world. His monstrous minions roam the streets, sniffing out nubile victims and devilish delights. But their debauchery is short-lived - the Vampire Queen awakens to slay her natural enemies. With a bloodlust that rivals her deadly, preternatural powers, she will hunt them down. In a city of steel and science, an ancient feud is about to reignite!

Contains "Vampire Madonna" and "The Awakening of the Beast."

The Review!
Audio:

 

This release retains the original bilingual presentation of the 2002 Anime 18 release in that we get a pair of stereo mixes for English and Japanese language audiences that are encoded at 192kbps. The show doesn’t have all that much to offer in terms of depth or even directionality with only a few mild areas where there’s some decent placement to take note of. In general it’s a fairly standard adult release from the mid 90’s that uses the stereo channels to little effect other than creating a full sound to it. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout even if it doesn’t stand out much.

Video:

Originally released in 1996 and 1997, the transfer for these two OVA episodes are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio. This release is an identical pressing to what the Anime 18 label of Central Park Media released back in 2002, so there are no differences in encoding at all. Back when we first viewed it on a very different setup, we thought the show looked pretty decent but suffers from what a lot of CPM's hentai releases do, which is mostly a soft feel to it that generates a decent amount of jaggies during panning sequences and some noticeable macroblocking in backgrounds and skylines. This still essentially stands true today, though various players will smooth and adjust for some of this. Colors are decent and aren't oversaturated, but look a fair bit dull, especially in scenes that look too soft. The second episode has a larger number of scenes that look grainy also a fair bit dirtier in terms of nicks and scratches.

Packaging:

Beast City uses a different cover than the 2002 edition as we get the attractive female in skimpy slightly bondage style material standing in front of the moon. Seia certainly looks good here as she has that darkly mysterious look and with the faint image of the city behind her with lightning crackling, it has an imposing look as well. Toss the rose into her mouth and call it a day. The new logo is decent as well though it doesn’t tie too much to the actual show itself. The back cover brings in a couple of shots from the show of the vampiric characters set against a black background, leaving us with a lot of dead space that’s amusingly appropriate, while the rest is given over to the text. The summary gives a decent rundown of what to expect as well as what episodes it contains and what features are found on the disc for extras. The technical grid is solid as it lays out everything with a few copyrights that point towards who actually worked on this thing. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menus:

The menus are what you typically got from Anime 18 with the only annoying thing being that the audio doesn't start up when the menu starts up, but has a brief delay. This caused us to turn up the volume thinking it was too low only to be blown away once it kicked in. The menus are typical of what you get with some animation from the show playing and the menu selections designed in a style that fits with the show. Access times are nice and fast and things are laid out as you'd want them.

Extras:

There are a few extras included here beyond the meet the characters and the anime artform “extras” in that you get an image gallery and a few of the storyboards to animation segments that run a few minutes each.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Beast City, originally title Sex Demon Metropolis with the subtitle of Vampire Madonna, is a two part piece of hentai that in the end is entirely forgettable. The show takes place in the year labeled "201X" in a slightly twisted looking future city. The show features as its lead character Mina, a "Draculon" which is the fancy way of saying vampire, who along with her two sisters fight bad demons that show up in the city while filling their own need for blood. The girls are good in that they don't turn anyone, but rather suck blood from their victims in their sleep after they've aroused them sufficiently. The victim doesn't wake up during this process though, which is admittedly something different from the norm.

On the other side of this is a bad demon who dresses snazzy and has a group of women tied up in ropes to make up his seating arrangements. The story focuses on this character, Karma, who gives various underlings some demon ability to extract endorphins from people, since that's what he feeds on. Endorphins of course show up in high quantities in the human brain during sex, which is just ever so convenient. There's a bit more to his plot in general, but it's pretty weak all things considered.

The usual things show up throughout the two episodes, with demons chasing down girls and attacking them, some rope based domination, general lesbian scenes and other standards people come to expect in their hentai. Beast City unfortunately just offers no real hook in keeping the viewer interested. In fact, it took us three viewings of the first episode to finally progress to the second one, since we kept drifting off during the first

In Summary:

Beast City is definitely a product of its time and seeing it again after all these years alongside other title from the early to mid 90’s has been interesting. Beast City left me underwhelmed all those years ago, and it doesn’t change my opinion much during this go round, but it’s not as dull as I had originally viewed it to be. There’s a good diversity to the cast, some amusing bits of humor mixed in revolving around the sisters Aine and Anne of Mina’s and the overall idea of revenge against demons for what they did works out nicely. What hampers it is the episodic nature of it that keeps you from really feeling it as a full work. When you get a second episode, it again has that tacked-on feeling where they decided to make it because the first one did well and they scrounged for an idea to work with. It’s not a bad show, but it’s one that usually gets lost among the others from this time period with bigger names.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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