Bible Black: New Testament Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 60/60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Bible Black

Bible Black: New Testament Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     August 23, 2006
Release Date: August 08, 2006


Bible Black: New Testament Vol. #2
© Kitty Media


What They Say
The first two episodes, released in English only, are available here subtitled with Japanese language.

Imari has found the virginal woman she needs to transfer her power again. She indulges in the sexual ceremony with her using the Lance of Longinus. Meanwhile, Kitami and the Nun, Takashiro, engage in an escalating battle of black magic.

The Review!
As the original characters move throughout their new places in life and find that events from that past are being repeated, the darkness grows even stronger among those willing to give themselves over to it.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language adaptation. Unlike the first volume in which only an English language was provided, this volume is done in bilingual format which is very much a plus. They've also gone the extra mile in presenting the original two episodes that were dub only on this volume with Japanese language and subtitles.. The English track is a standard stereo mix that's mostly center channel based for its dialogue but it does use the forward soundstage in a slightly wide way on a few occasions. The music and occasional sound effects flesh out the stereo channels in general but otherwise this is a fairly straightforward mix. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Much like the original series, the source materials here are great looking which results in a very striking and vibrant show. The colors are more varied this time around with a number of outdoor and daylight scenes which look great but the dark interior rooms are just as solid and great looking. The animation is good and fluid for the most part in this show and it comes across clean and clear here with no real problems outside of some very minor aliasing in a few areas where the line work was a bit busy. Please see the content review for some interesting specifics about the video used in the third episode of this series on this volume.

Packaging:
A bit of a classic pose but one that works beautifully nonetheless, we get a line-up of mostly willing women in their various outfits and uniforms against the magical symbols in the background with a light and purple hue to it, giving it a real sense of power. The artwork is no slouch as the designs are wonderfully detailed and distinctive. The back cover provides a great illustration of two of Imari in a state of undress while below them is a good series of images from the show. The summary of the premise runs down along the right and the bottom contains the technical grid which covers everything and is accurate in the language listings. No insert is included with this release.

Menu:
The menu for this release is similar to most adult releases as it uses the character artwork from the back cover and sets that dead center with some flames and demon imagery behind them set to a upbeat bit of instrumental music. The navigation is lined along the bottom which looks a little sparse without the language submenu but it has the gallery to make it up instead. Access times are nice and fast and the layout simple and easy..

Extras:
None..

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The second set of episodes in the New Testament series slowly moves the plot forward, I think, as it has Imari making her moves against those who want to take her down by using just about anyone she comes into contact with. But not before she gets to have a bit of fun with some of them and completely humiliate and destroy others.

The more I watch the New Testament series though, the more confused or less interested I become. While the original was fairly tight in its plotting as it told its tale, New Testament feels like it's more just going through the motions and that there's little happening beyond a good deal of sex, some of which is done with the intent to kill. The size of the cast itself isn't all that much of a problem but trying to remember who is who and who was who in the past compared to their present day look and job as they go about trying to investigate what's going on just feels like its forced in some ways. There just doesn't feel like there's a cohesive plot yet, which may be something not too bad for this set of episodes, since it's focusing more on messing with the various characters and letting them have a good deal of sex.

The one character that seems destined to be fairly screwed over is young Aki as he tries his best to do a good job in his investigation of all of these murders and mysteries. It's hard to say whether he's getting closer or not but something must be up as the police are no longer really backing him in his pursuit, to the point where he believes that he's just being used so he turns in his badge and quits the force. While the upper organization may not be wanting him to finish things, at least his superior understands that there's something that must be solved and here Aki needs some backing so he sets Aki on a course that gives him what he needs, which also seems to include his getting lucky for once as Imari as Kitarmi deflowers him.

The New Testament releases here in the US haven't had the best of luck, though I can't fault the folks at Kitty for it as they seem to be doing their best to serve the fans right. As we learned after the first volume's release, there were fears about reverse importation that caused the Japanese licensor, Milky, to not want that language available outside of their own country. Thankfully, due to fan outcry and presumably lower sales of what's a top tier seller in the adult anime world, Milky relented and this volume has the first two episodes of the series presented in Japanese language with subtitles. No dub is with it though which isn't much of a problem since a dub-only version exists. These two episodes are placed as a submenu from the main new episodes and it utilizes the menus from the first volume and is very well setup.

If it was just that, then this release would be solid and would for the most part restore faith among those fans of this series that everything would be all right. Unfortunately, something seems to have happened and the circumstances as to why are unknown as of this writing. The first episode on this disc, episode three, is not a final version episode but rather an unfinished episode. This is plainly obvious in watching it as there are areas where text is missing, animation is choppy and details are missing that should be there. In one example, when a male character is reading the nurses badge, he reads it and then says her name. The badge is blank. There's another scene with a woman whose top is pulled away and you see her breasts jiggling. They're jiggling at half rate and this shows up a couple of other times in different places throughout the episode. There's also a bunch of side by side comparisons that someone posted online with the Japanese release and you can see it there. But my main point is that it's patently obvious in just watching the episode that there's something wrong, especially in comparison with the fourth episode. Kitty is aware of the problem and investigating it but these things take time.

In Summary:
As problematic as the materials are for this release and as solid as it is in fixing the audio problem from the last volume by giving us essentially four episodes here, the content itself is really starting to let me down. I enjoyed the first series a lot and seeing their return in the previous volume in different walks of life was interesting enough but these episodes seem to be more like everyone is spinning their wheels until something more exciting happens. There's some decent sex scenes to be found here, though the ones in the third episode have an obvious unfinished feel, but even there the interest level has dropped. I'm curious as to where the show is going but this volume doesn't really seem to indicate anything new in that area and has left me hanging.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Episode 1-2 in Japanese Language as Extra

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player via DVI, 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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