Blackmail Box Set -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: D

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 59.95
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Blackmail

Blackmail Box Set

By Chris Beveridge     February 18, 2002
Release Date: October 24, 2001

Blackmail Box Set
© NuTech Digital, Inc.

What They Say
Asuka Akiyama receives a confession from Ryousuke Kamimura, who happens to be the most popular male student.

Miku, sister of Asuka, Tamami Aoki, and Aya Yuuki (Misty Rain), who is Asuka's best friend, are all collaborating about the situation at school. Aya is dejected because she had strong feelings for Ryousuke before meeting Asuka. With a smile on her face, Asuka told Aya what had happened. Aya promises to support her in what turns into trouble beyond her imagination.

The tragedy of it all begins with a letter from Yumiko Miyazaki (Tabitha Stevens). Aya's letter says 'If you don't want to show this picture to Ryousuke Kamimura... you must stay away from him.' The picture of Asuka is pornographic. From this moment on, Asuka is humiliated and disgraced for a lifetime.

The Review!
Ugh. Three episodes of all non-consensual situations and shades of Shusaku in here as well. Definitely not my cup of tea.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. As with other hentai of a similar nature, the show is essentially dialogue driven and uses primarily the center channel. In this respect, things are nice and clear and undistorted. The show features a very moody soundtrack to help keep up some of the "creepy" factor to the situations. There's little in the way of directionality for shows like this, but it's a decent soundtrack.

Originally released in 2000 in Japan, this show boasts quite a nice level of production values, but mostly it's filled with the more recent computer cel shading coloring style that many Pink Pineapple shows have employed. With that kind of coloring and the freshness of the transfer, the results is a very vibrant and eye-catching show. Colors are lush, blacks remain solid and there's no cross coloration visible throughout the majority of the show. There's little I can really find wrong with this transfer.

Each of the keepcases in this three disc set features a nice image of one of the main characters with little else to distract from that. There's also the inclusion of the two voice actresses head shots, but they're thankfully out of the way in an upper corner for this release. The back cover gives a good rundown of each episode and lists the discs features and technical information clearly. The box set uses the cover from the first disc for its front while its back is a combination of all three keepcases back covers. As with all NuTech releases at this time, there is no insert in any of these keepcases.

The menus for this disc are much more similar to the more active opening ones we've seen from NuTech in the past. While animation plays through a camcorder window, smaller windows fold into the screen from the left and let the selections be made. Once these are down, moving about the menus is quick and easy and access times are nice and fast.

The usual extras are included here with one that hasn't been seen in a bit. We get two video galleries for the two voice actresses lending their talents here but one of them also gets a short video feature for her. There's also the art gallery video track as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It should be pretty obvious I don't care much for titles like this. Not only is the encounters between the characters all non-consensual, there's some truly nasty stuff going on in a few of these scenes. Yuck.

The show revolves around a small group of characters who through the fault of one, all end up being taken advantage of and warped. Previously and seen through flashbacks, Aya and Yumiko were taken advantage of in what looks to be a karaoke bar. Aya was forced to videotape it while Yumiko was used. Afterwards, the two never spoke again and ended up going separate ways.

But now Yumiko is back and she's got a few men with her to help her achieve her goals of humiliating Aya and anyone she considers a friend or even comes into contact with. This goes through varying levels of domination with Yumiko overseeing almost everything. She then uses the tapes and pictures to blackmail them into bringing someone else under her control. And on and on it goes.

While the shows content was definitely not to my liking, the animation quality is excellent and the coloring is lush, much like most recent Pink Pineapple releases. For fans of this show, you're getting a great looking release. After spending 90 minutes watching it, I don't want to spend another 90 writing about it, so I'll leave it at that.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Voice Actresses Video Galleries,Art Video Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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