Bride of Darkness - 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: 29.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Bride of Darkness

Bride of Darkness

By Chris Beveridge     July 05, 2002
Release Date: February 26, 2002


Bride of Darkness
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Sanshiro is only a servent's child, but he loves the daughter of his Master, Momoyo. All he can do is watch Momoyo from a hole in the cealing and count down the days until her fiancee, Yoichiro, returns from England to take her away forever.

When the fianc�e does return, however, he brings not only separation for the poor Sanshiro, but also a curse of lust and sadism down upon the entire household! Sanshiro can only watch as a plague of lasciviousness infects Momoyo's sister, the maid, and all those who come in contact with Yoichiro. But is can this lust be natural, or does it hold the taint of evil? By the time Sanshiro finds out, there will already be death and possession, with the promise of a demon�s awakening to come!

The Review!
While not exactly rare, this particular hentai that features mostly consensual situations, takes place during the early 1900�s in the Taisho period of 1912 to 1926. That�s right, it�s a historical hentai!

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Though a fairly recently release, the show maintains a solid stereo soundtrack that doesn�t send anything to the rear speakers at all. Directionality is actually quite good across the forward soundstage though with some nice placement that adds a good bit of eeriness in a few places where it�s need. We also listened to the English track while writing the review and didn�t notice any distortions or dropouts.

Video:
This show is something of an oddity. It�s presented in a non-anamorphic 1.85:1 aspect ratio and its backgrounds use an odd style of coloring to give the walls and furniture a feeling of texture and age to it that you get in some live action films, where you just feel that it�s old. The character animation itself is fresh and very much what you�d expect the people at Pink Pineapple to be using in 1999 with good solid colors. At most, there�s some slight grain during some of the nighttime outdoor scenes, but otherwise this is a great looking transfer of such oddly presented material.

Packaging:
Though there�s a lot of black on the front cover, the imagery it uses for the characters is quite nice and gives you a small idea of what to expect in terms of moodiness. The back cover gives a rundown of the show in a decent summary while also providing a couple of screenshots and some basic production and technical information.

Menus:
With nothing on the disc but the show and a few trailers, you�ve got a basic menu here with straightforward selections. Access times are nice and fast and moving around is a breeze.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the two episode OVA hentai series, you can never really be sure of what you�re getting. Is it enough to tell the story it wants to tell, or does it try and tell too much and feel rushed? Or did they end up leaving out big chunks of it and having it incomplete.

Bride of Darkness manages to pull off not only an interesting story in the two episodes but also some good encounters between the characters that don�t feel overly forced. The story focuses on a small group of characters who live and interact at a mansion in Japan. The lead male is Sanshiro, the son of a servant of the house (whom we never see). Sanshiro is madly in love with the Master�s daughter, the beautiful Momoyo. The two get along well enough, but she considers him a friend and he continues to paint nudes of her without her knowing. Things get even worse for Sanshiro when Momoyo�s arranged marriage to Yoichiro, an up and coming power from a conglomerate during this transitional phase of the country, becomes even more of a reality as he�s arrived finally from some time spent in England.

And like any good old mansion, it�s got its secrets. We see how Momoyo�s father, whose long lost his wife, plays with one of the maids. We also find that Yoichiro has something of an S&M relationship with Momoyo�s older divorced sister whose come back to live there. There�s some amusing banter between the two, which Sanshiro hears about as he skulks about in the attics and looks through the peepholes. Of course, he also spends some time watching Momoyo but finds himself feeling really guilt about it.

But while all of this plays out fairly normally, Sanshiro finds himself becoming increasingly hit with powerful headaches, some that seem to knock him out entirely. It�s not long from here that we get introduced to Konago, a white haired and pale skinned girl who tells Sanshiro that she feels an evil presence coming from Yoichiro and that he must help her. She reveals an interesting ability or two, especially the one of flight. It�s here that we learn that something evil has moved into the relationships and begins to manipulate people to its own ends.

While the show is overall pretty average, its design and style have definitely helped boost up the overall content grade for it. There�s just a great deal of attention paid to the look of the show that really pays off here and making it looks different from the usual shows we get. It really does feel like a historical show that�s gone down the hentai path by accident. The character designs for the women are great, particularly Momoyo. The show keeps up a nice brisk pace without going to fast or losing its focus. It tells a solid enjoyable tale for the hour it runs and kept us entertained both with the plot and with the naughty bits.

This DVD release is also notable in that previously it was only available dubbed across two volumes for $25 each. Both episodes are now here and the Japanese track with subtitles is present for $30. It�d probably sell somewhat better knocking ten bucks off the price since it�s so short, but I enjoyed this one enough that I really don�t mind. A good hentai surprise for us.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

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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