Vicious Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, March 28, 2002
Release Date: Friday, March 29, 2002



What They Say
Angela (Allysin Chaynes), a beautiful young woman, is trapped in a loveless existence. Hate is the only word to describe her feelings for her cold blooded father who forces himself on the family maid, Bridget (Alexis Amore). However, along with her budding adolescence, she finds lust and love in John, the butler. How far will she go to keep her love for John?

Contains the entire set in a great art box!

The Review!
The two disc release of Vicious tells a small tale of a family that’s just rather dysfunctional to the core. Depending on your point of view, this show features all consensual situations.

Audio:
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 makes good use of directionality across the forward soundstage with the lightning effects and other incidental sounds.

Video:
Much like most other recent hentai releases from NuTech, the transfer here is near spotless. Colors are vibrant without being oversaturated, line noise is fairly minimal and cross coloration doesn’t show up all that much outside of some rather tightly drawn areas. The show does feature something of a more CG looking nature in terms of its backgrounds and these sometimes don’t shine through all too well, but that’s going to be a matter of taste.

Packaging:
The artwork used for the cover packaging for this release is a bit more manga/painted style than anime cel oriented. The look is a bit softer but each of the covers does what it should; they show the main girl in stages of undress from her “society” style clothes. The back covers show a couple pieces of animation and give a good rundown of the episode contained on the disc. Features and technical information is also nice and clearly listed. The box itself uses the artwork from the first volumes cover while doing a combination of the two back covers for its back cover. As with all NuTech releases to date, there is no insert provided.

Menus:
The menus are nicely animated with a shot of the mansion sliding into view with the dark cloudy sky in the background with the thunder and lightening going. Once the main menu loads, which is very fast, moving around and accessing the submenus is nice and fast and the layout is straightforward and easy to navigate. Menu selection is a breeze and everything is very good here.

Extras:
Two sets of the voice actresses video photo galleries are included here while the actual anime-related extra is a video image gallery with stills from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Vicious, with that being the original Japanese title as well, is a rather decent little tale. The story takes place in a somewhat secluded mansion on the outskirts of some town probably around a hundred years ago or more. The mansions residents are still in some sense of recovery from six months prior when the lady of the house fell down the stairs and was killed.

Well, the daughter, Angela, is still somewhat in a state of turmoil over it. Her father isn’t quite as bad off as he’s taken to pleasuring himself with the house maid, Bridget. Bridget isn’t all that keen on it, but there’s something she fears more that keeps her succumbing to her masters wishes. To round out the house, there’s John, who does various chores throughout the house as well as taking care of the luscious gardens.

Things begin to get worse though as Angela has decided that she wants to be with John and to be taken by him as her first, since she’s convinced she’s in love with him. John really doesn’t want to go down that road, especially since his Master is someone who can be a bit over the top and violent, especially after drinking. But with Angela’s forcefulness, he finds himself unable to defend and does the deed. This leads to a whirlwind time for Angela whose mind begins to imagine much more than there is. This becomes especially problematic when John discovers what’s been happening to Bridget and tells her they must leave. For Angela, John simply cannot leave, so she starts putting new plans into motion.

The shows storyline is pretty basic, and you can tell easily where it’s going to go, but sometimes it is the journey that’s the best rather than the destination. The show does move into fairly grisly territory in the second half when Angela starts taking charge of who gets to live and who dies. The blood really does start flowing at that point. While that’s not particularly bothersome, the part I found that is is the character design for Angela. Bridget makes out ok, but Angela’s design is just too young looking for my tastes in far too many scenes. In some they do make her a bit older, but at other times it’s just not something I want to see.

But in terms of the total disc presentation, things are what we’ve come to expect from a NuTech release and we’re pretty pleased. While there’s some minor story elements we just didn’t care for, fans of this show will definitely be happy with how it turned out.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Voice Actress Photo Gallery,Anime Photo 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.



Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
MSRP: 39.95
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Vicious