Heat for All Seasons (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, September 29, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2002



What They Say
Masato is a college student studying and aspiring novelist, but with all the beautiful women in his life, it's hard to get studying done. Between the tough Rie, the cute Miku, the faithful Kanna and his high school sweetheart, Chihiro, there aren't enough seasons in the year.

The Review!
Heat for All Seasons is what we can term is couple-friendly hentai, or at least the kind of hentai that doesn�t have someone screaming tentacles at you. With it being firmly placed in the real world and dealing with all consensual situations, it�s a nice fun romp through young relationships and first loves.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Though a fairly recent show, it doesn�t get beyond a serviceable stereo track. Dialogue is clear and distortion free, and we noticed no dropouts or other issues on either track. There�s little in the way of real directionality, but there�s little use for it either.

Video:
Overall, this is a really nice looking transfer. While it doesn�t have the overly CG feel of some of the most recent shows, it�s definitely a smooth looking show that features some good animation and color design. As such, there�s little trouble here beyond some background blues, such as the night sky or the water, shifting around a bit. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and aliasing is very minimal.

Packaging:
Showcasing its best attributes, the front cover is a bright and shiny piece that has the various women f the series in various outfits. It�s very colorful and looks great, definitely an eye-catching piece of work. The back cover keeps the light feel with the slightly cloudy sky background and the bright colors all over it. There�s a brief summary of the show and the usual production information and technical specs for the disc. The insert features a softer version of the front cover and lists the chapters while the reverse side is just adverts.

Menu:
A simple static piece without even any music playing, the main menu lets you jump to the disc setup or select one of the three episodes (hint: summer is first). It�s a very basic layout but I�ve come to expect little when it comes to menus for hentai shows. Access times are nice and fast at least.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Heat for All Seasons is a show that takes its cues from its title, as each of the three OVA�s in the show correspond to a different season, to some extent. Actually, it�s all very loosely held together by that theme, but hey, it shows some creativity.

The show is featured around Masato, a somewhat shy and introverted (dub: college) (sub: high school) student. Masato and his friend Oka have both recently started working during the summer at a local restaurant in Namiekaze City. This brings up the usual restaurant kind of hijinks, where we have Oka going after the very attractive waitress named Chieri. He�s the strong confident one, so he knows right off that he wants to and will score with her.

Masato on the other hand ends up having a very different and much more complicated situation. While he�s outside sweeping one day, a woman named Chihiro comes up to him and tries to figure out where she knows him. After a brief exchange, the two realize that they went to junior high school together, up until Masato moved away suddenly from Tokyo to Namiekaze, due to his fathers� job. Masato can�t get over how hot she is, but gets deflated when what appears to be her boyfriend shows up. Even the manager can�t help but thwart him, by telling him that the boy is the rich son of a local politician.

Circumstances lead to an encounter a few days later where Masato gets to take advantage of a situation, though pushed ahead by Oka, where he spends an evening outside catching up with Chihiro. The two become close rather quickly, and things lead where one would expect. It�s the first time for both of them, so it�s done awkwardly but still well enough. Well, depending on what language you�re listening to it in.

Having listened to the dub while having the subtitles on, you can easily tell how �spiced up� the English dub is, with lots more swearing and bluntness. While that may appeal to some, it�ll make you wonder why I found the story to be somewhat tender and more couples friendly or a good introduction to hentai. The subtitled version is much more romantic at times and less coarse.

One of the more amusing segments to these episodes is Masato�s imagination. He constantly visualizes himself with various women he meets (only to really get with them later), but the situations are presented in an interesting way. While they�re done with a black background and just the focus on the people, the situations almost seem to be tender as opposed to the slam bam thank you ma�am kind you�d guess would go through most mens minds. These daydreams also lead to some amusing moments in his interaction with other people.

The show goes in various directions through the three episodes, though with Masato and Chihiro�s relationship at the center. Both end up becoming involved at various levels with other people, but it�s mostly Masato and Oka getting around. Amusingly, Oka does get to score with Chieri but it comes back to haunt him. She�s something of a nymphomaniac and wants constant sex from him, to the point where he�s no longer interested in sex at all.

Heat for All Seasons features a lot of very attractive character designs, good encounters between the characters and a pretty simple first-loves going wrong kind of plot that makes up your basic romance novel material. It�s not as funny as Welcome to Pia Carrot, but there are plenty of similarities. After all, it features a line that when Masato is dreaming of Chihiro and looks between her legs, he goes, �I�ve never seen this without a mosaic before.� Definitely a good single disc recommendation, especially when you consider that it was previously released dub only on three tapes for $25 each.

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.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
MSRP: 29.95
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Heat For All Seasons