Class Reunion Again Box Set - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 49.98
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Class Reunion Again

Class Reunion Again Box Set

By Chris Beveridge     July 28, 2004
Release Date: July 02, 2004



What They Say
Contains both DVDs 1 and 2 of Class Reunion Again in one DVD Box Set!

All the ex-members of the tennis club at Sakura Junior High gather together at the class reunion party on New Year's Eve. They're in their twenties now, and Mizuno is excited to finally get to once again see her long-time, secret love, Tatsuya.

During the reunion, a ski-trip is planned - and they all will be staying at Mizuno's mother's lodge. Unfortunately, in the midst of their stay, Mizuno's mother is stricken ill - leaving the responsibility to take care of things up to Mizuno. It seems as if things are ruined... that is until Tatsuya lends a helping hand...

The Review!
A pair of what-if tales that start off the same and diverge heavily, Class Reunion is definitely a throwback to the earlier days of hentai shows.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The mix for it is standard fare for hentai so there wasn't much surprising about it. Dialogue is good and clean and generally center channel based. There's some use of the stereo channels for music and some of the moaning and grunting as they get creative once in awhile, but otherwise it's the usual routine. We didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video back in 2001, the two OVAs here look quite good. The shows colors are from a rich vibrant palette that's well used here and manages to avoid problematic things like cross coloration or aliasing. Some of the character animation in a few scenes almost feels like a slightly low resolution version of what should be there, notably in the Ayu disc, but overall these are decent looking transfers. The episodes are basically problem free and while not as sharp and clear as some of the more recent productions we've seen, they both look good.

Packaging:
Released on two discs inside the standard thin cardboard wrapper box, the release overall looks good and feels like the actual show animation. Each of the individual keepcases highlights the girl who is the center of attention for that episode and makes them look really good in their environments. The back of the keepcases are simple in layout with a batch of pictures along the left while the episode summary gives away every single plot point there is, including the endings. The usual round of production information and the bloated features listing NuTech employs to give the illusion of things being there is along the bottom. As is standard with NuTech releases, no inserts are included in these releases. The thin cardboard box, which is little more than a wrapper really, uses artwork not used on the individual keepcases and features a shot of Ayu in her short plaid skirt against a sunset background. The back side provides both summaries and a number of the photograph pictures as well.

Menu:
The menu layout uses some parts of the character artwork from their respective covers and has some obscured animation clips of the sex scenes playing in the background to part of the opening vocal song. The layout is standard material for these releases with no surprises at all. The access times are nice and fast and as usual our player preset languages are ignored.

Extras:
The only included extra on each volume is a series of stills from that particular episode in a video gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Class Reunion Again, presumably a sequel series or the animation to a sequel game, is an interesting show considering the mix of properties that NuTech's been releasing. The series is surprisingly tame not only for them but just in general and if it wasn't for the single sex scene in each episode, it'd be your average slice of life episode from any sort of series you can imagine.

What makes this one a little bit different is that the beginning premise of each volume is the same. Several years after their moving on from junior high school, the members of the tennis club have all gotten back together for an anniversary party and celebration. There's some amusing moments as old flames and feelings are stirred and everyone is getting to know everyone again. This goes on for a bit and plans are made for everyone to head up to the mountains at a later date to stay at a resort that's in the family of one of the members.

It's from here that things diverge. The first episode focuses on the young woman named Mizuho whose parents run the resort. The show shifts up to the resort and the fun that everyone has until things go badly for Mizuho and her mother falls ill. Mizuho helps out around the resort and is helped by her former classmate Tatsuya, whom she has an enormous crush on but can't bring herself to say anything. Tatsuya feels the same way but is equally shy about the entire thing. The two follow a slow and awkward courtship of sorts that leads to something you could call hentai.

The second episode, which focuses on a different girl in the club named Ayu, starts off at the same party. The shift occurs in that we have events happening prior to the resort trip and Ayu ends up dealing with a former childhood friend named Mamoru who indicates that he has feelings for her. Ayu is confused by this especially since she's in love with Tatsuya, someone who she feels just can't understand what she's trying to see. Diverging from the first episode, Tatsuya now ends up focusing his energies on Ayu and a whole different stream flows from there. Their courtship goes completely different than the one we saw in the first volume and it's interesting to see both the differences and the similarities.

The two episodes basically showcase two different possibilities based on the same starting point that are created by different decisions, which really shows its origins in the gaming world. It's not a bad way to do things and it works well with the two characters here. What's interesting is that the show is just so completely tame in general that even when you get to the sex scenes it doesn't really feel like they're getting all that much going on. The scenes are well done and with both girls being virgins there's some elements that are played up due to that, but what the show really feels like is something that will appeal to those who really aren't interested in hentai but would almost consider this just a really racy episode. The sex is plenty explicit, but it's so basic and simple, almost instructional, that it serves really well for an introduction to more story oriented adult animation.

In what's becoming a standard complaint about NuTech's hentai titles though, I have to say that I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with their releases as they continue to cut corners. While the shows presentation and actual content is fantastic, their treatment of the subtitle track is just getting worse and worse. While the track is about 90% accurate to the original script and the English dub is being faithful while adding more vulgarities to it, the fact that the subtitle track is being timed to the English dub is making it difficult to watch these shows. Segments of nothing being said but there being subtitles are become as common as segments where there's talking but nothing subtitled. The bulk of the story gets through but when you hit these areas it takes you completely out of the show. It's extremely annoying as is the increasing number of misspellings that are cropping up.

In Summary:
Class Reunion Again presents some possible scenarios based on the decisions the characters make and follows them through. It's a very tame show and feels very much aimed at those who are hoping for a bit of romance and emotion in their hentai as opposed to straight out sex, sex and more sex. It's a great introduction to hentai for couples or for those who have wondered what to try and want to see something that would be hard to find offensive.

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

Review Equipment
Dell W2300 23" LCD HDTV, Panasonic DMR-E20 Progressive Scan DVD Recorder connected via Monster component cables and using the TV speakers.

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