Rei Rei (2010 Edition) (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Ever hopefully of returning to the moon even as it moves further and further away, Kaguya does what she can to heal the wounds of love on Earth.
What They Say
Kaguya is a mysterious entity with the power and inclination to shake things up in the sex lives of those she deems worth changing. Any who are caught in her schemes are never the same again, in more ways that one. The bizarre and the insane collide as she and her trollish associate go out and show their unsuspecting targets that justice has an offbeat sense of humor even if she's blind. And if you're lucky, maybe justice will give you a little peak under her robes, too!
Rei Rei retains the dual language presentation we had seen on the previous edition which means a pair of tracks encoded at 192kbps. The stereo audio tracks here are basic mixes that sounds decent if unexceptional. The English track is essentially the same as it uses the dub that ADV created back in the 90's and much like the Japanese track it has something of a slightly muffled and flat level to it. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we noticed no dropouts or other distortions during regular playback.
Originally released back in 1993, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. For the most part, the transfer looks good, though the show has a lot of intentionally soft areas, giving it a less than stellar looking presentation. There are a few nicks and scratches throughout, but nothing that's horribly bothersome. Colors look good, with a few vibrant moments here and there. Cross coloration is very minimal as well as aliasing.
Returning to its roots with the tentacle nature from the second episode of the series, Rei Rei gets nicely updated here with a new background that adds a touch more mysticism to it. Primarily though, the character artwork of Kaguya on the cover has always looked good and this version is very clean and looks very modern as well which is very appealing. The logo is a bit awkward in its design but it’s not one you can do a whole heck of a lot with in general. The back cover uses the tentacles to amusing effect as they tie toether various shots from the show all of which is set against a yellow background. There’s a couple blocks of text that covers the summary and a cute tagline while the right side has some very appealing artwork of Kaguya in a different position with the tentacles rising around her. The bottom has most of the standard bits with the production information and an accurate technical grid that’s fairly easy to read. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu layout reworks materials from the front very well as the blue background has a good level of pop here and the mystical sigils add a nice element to it overall. The primary draw is the character artwork though and as good as it looks on the cover, it looks even sharper and more vibrant here which hides its age very well. Access times are nice and fast and moving about is problem free. The disc also correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly..
The few extras that were on the Critical Mass edition are nowhere to be found here, so no artwork galleries or storyboards carried over.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Rei Rei is one of the lighter hentai shows that were coming out in the early 90's that had a good comedic spin to all the action and generally didn't get anywhere near as explicit as they are today. To some extent, they're almost softcore in how they feel, but definitely more than you get from regular anime shows.
Rei Rei also seems to be part of a larger cultural theme, as the lead character of Kaguya lives in-between the moon and Earth and deals with human sorrow. As the sorrow grows, the moon gets further and further away. But with each incident she handles and causes the grief to end, she brings it back ever so slightly. Whether this is related in any way to the previous instances of Princess Kaguya legends in other series I've seen, I'm not sure, since there doesn't seem to be a common bond beyond the name.
Kaguya, having decided that it's time to visit Earth again, returns to her birthplace of Japan to look for those in sorrow and pain that she can help. She strikes gold pretty quickly when she finds Tanaka, a young man whose pining hard for Ikuko. He's all set to take her out for her birthday, but she shoots him down hard and cold, almost brutal really, and goes off to another date for her birthday. While Tanaka is distraught, we follow Kaguya and Ikuko to see where she goes.
Her destination is surprisingly that of a doctor, one she's apparently known for some time. Manami, it turns out, has been the one that has schooled Ikuko in the ways of love since she was younger and has kept her on as a plaything of sorts. While Ikuko continues to be deeply in love with Manami, to the point of forsaking all men, Manami on the other hand is tired of Ikuko and how she continually interferes with her life and her work. So she's used this opportunity to come up with a way of getting rid of Ikuko once and for all.
Her plan goes into motion, and with Kaguya showing Tanaka the secrets behind it as we see Ikuko end up dying from an (planned) allergic reaction, we get to see the extent to which Tanaka will go to prove his love for Ikuko and deal with Manami and her boyfriend. Tanaka does go quite far and I was definitely laughing at the situations he ended up in, as well as how much he enjoyed it.
The second episode brings us into contact with a young man whose having women trouble himself, so much so that he can barely handle the sight of a naked woman before pretty much exploding. In one amusing sequence, Kaguya brings him into her bosom and he gets the best expression on his face. And then promptly dies. It follows a fairly similar path in that Kaguya does her best to help him while dealing with finding a disturbance that’s out there only to discover that the two are essentially related. The fun with this episode is the videogame aspect as we see a hentai-ish Mario Brothers come to light as Kaguya’s manservant must brave the levels to save Kaguya, the princess of the game before she gets done in by the tentacles.
These episodes are cute and fluffy in the end, providing a decent mix of comedy and light sex. More comedy ensues if you listen to the dub track, particularly the great "death gurgle of Ikuko when she eats the wrong food in the first episode. Rei Rei is a simple and amusing little show and is definitely good for those who like the kind of shows that were made for hentai back in the early 90's. It's unfortunate that few hentai these days are made in this kind of way. There’s something charming and fun about this kind of show even when it goes into the darker side of the story with murder and betrayal. This is now the third home for this title after first being at Softcel and then Critical Mass and I’m glad to see that after seventeen years there’s still a sliver of a market for this title.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2