Behind Closed Doors -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

By Chris Beveridge     July 31, 2004
Release Date: April 06, 2004

Behind Closed Doors
© Anime 18

What They Say
When the Master's Away, The Sex Kittens Play!

Somewhere, there is a forbidden mansion, a house of unspeakable erotic pleasures. Behind each door, a beautiful woman lies in wait for a man's touch. But these voluptuous vixens have an appetite for pain and punishment that compels even the strongest to beg for mercy! What man can withstand the unbearable pleasure, and rule the harem as his own?

The Review!
What happens when a couple gets caught up in a mansion full of toys, both living and non-living, and their normal limits break down?

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show is pretty quiet during the actual episodes outside of some very minor background music and some of the, um, bodily sounds that are made, so most of the dialogue is through the center channel, giving it a standard full feeling. There isn't a lot of directionality to this but overall both language tracks come across fine and we had no problems with distortions or dropouts during regular playback.

Originally released in 2001, the three OVAs for this show have a fairly decent looking transfer here but it's not the cleanest it could be. The main issue with it is that there's some definite edge cross coloration going on, sometimes very minute but enough that when you look at the characters, the edges of their designs are shimmering. It's distracting in scenes where the characters are at a mid range since a lot of their design begins to shimmer. It's not constant but it's there throughout the three episodes and is distracting, especially if you're using a large setup.

Going with a traditional maid style piece of artwork, though it's just the headpiece that's really here, the main character used looks decent in the simple black flowery lace pieces set against the darkened mansion interior. There's not much to the cover with its heavy use of blacks and shadow, but that sort of gives a hint of what to expect. The back cover hits you up with some nice looking character artwork and the usual rundown of the summary and disc features. The reverse cover of the clear keepcase has a nice looking piece of character artwork that spreads across both panels but still leaves plenty of room for the chapter listings, bilingual cast lists and the usual mixture of production information.

The main menu is an amusing piece that has a background of two tall windows and a set of double doors in the middle where the doors keep opening and closing, each time playing different clips inside of it until it all loops around again. Even the menu selection icon is cute as it's in the form of a doorknob. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is simple but cutely done with an easy to navigate style. The disc didn't read out players preset language information though and defaulted to just English language dialogue. Strangely, you couldn't select English subtitles if it defaults to that track as it's locked to off, but if you selected Japanese with subtitles, you can change the audio track.

The only included extra is a brief video art gallery with pieces from the show set to some instrumental music

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Going back into the fun world of torture and domination, Behind Closed Doors is three episodes worth of it that starts off simply and continues to work its way up to nastier and nastier stuff while adding to the cast as well.

The show kicks off well enough as we're introduced to a young couple in love named Kenichi and Yoshino. They're an attractive enough couple that are quite good at pleasing each other in bed and seem to be living a happy life. Things start to take a different turn however when Kenichi seemingly wins a prize in a Canabi contest in which they send him a CD to use in his car that will provide directions on where to get the prize. Taking the trip there, they end up out in the countryside very late at night where their destination turns out to be a very large mansion. As it turns out, the master of the house is out at the moment but the maid invites them to stay overnight so as to deal with the prize in the morning. Kenichi is leery of this but Yoshino has always wanted to stay in such a place.

Even the short time that they're there, the two begin to change but Kenichi sees it in Yoshino more clearly as she's becoming a bit dirtier and more wanton. When they meet the mistress of the house the next day, she invites them to spend some time there and to stay as long as they like and that they'll deal with the prize soon enough. Kenichi is again unsure of this but Yoshino is eager to explore the mansion. As they make their way through, they meet up with some other people who live there, such as the mistresses daughter, a nurse with a patient she's looking after, a dancer and so forth. They also come across a small library room with nothing but sexual dominance books, something which excites Yoshino but she tries to keep it a secret. Kenichi finds out though and wonders what's really going on.

Before they know it, the two of them are separated due to a brief spat and Kenichi finds himself quickly bedding just about every woman he comes across. Each of them gets progressively nastier as they go along. There's a break in it though when the mistress calls him up and he sees that she's "captured" Yoshino and has her tied up in bondage gear and is parading her around like a dog. When he eventually gets down to the dungeon in the lower levels of the house where they've taken her, he finds her strapped up to the wall waiting for him to help. But at this point he snaps completely and the darker nature takes over and he starts using all the gear on her and she becomes quite willing to all of it, beginning the downward spiral the two of them follow for the remainder of the show.

Shifting between various characters and situations, the scenes move from fairly decent if somewhat bondage oriented to something nastier as they get into hot wax, baseball bats and some other physical elements. The further along it went, the less and less interest it held as the characters, even willingly half the time, were subjected to this. On the plus side, the character designs for the most part are quite good looking and some of them have some really nice attention to detail with their outfits and look in general. They're able to take some of the more basic scenes and make them rather enjoyable but not enough so that when it got really nasty that it'd hold my interest. Other than the problem with the edges of the character animation looking fuzzy, they make out pretty well.

In Summary:
While it starts out well enough, Behind Closed Doors goes and offers what it promises with some fairly nasty bondage and domination oriented sequences. The show held little appeal as it went on and the nastier moments started being parlayed about and the situations got worse and worse. For fans of such things, this is a fairly decent disc and while it has some minor image issues, it won't bother most people as they'll be liking the show. When you don't care for it, you're taken out of the moment and tend to notice more things about it which made this even more noticeable for us.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung P341 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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