Venus 5 (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, August 28, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, July 08, 2003



What They Say
An evil empire of sex-crazed supernatural beings threatens to take over the world... and the Gold Star College Campus! A team of sexy super-heroines stand ready to defend the planet’s virtue: The Venus Five!

The Review!
College girls in sailor suits must stop those from Inma from coming to power with their newly acquired powers of Aphrodite!

Audio:
With this release finally having the Japanese track, we went right for that. It’s a good little stereo mix that’s mostly center channel based and with little in the way of directionality. Dialogue is clean and clear through it, though it doesn’t sound as sharp as some other shows we’ve listened to recently. We had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video back in 1994, Venus 5 is definitely a product of its time and it shows here. For the most part, things are decent looking. But when you settle in and actually pay attention, you’ll notice things like some subtle cross coloration going on. Some of the darker backgrounds exhibit some grain and don’t retain a solid feel to them as well. What’s most noticeable is during the mid range shots, you’ll see the lack of detail in the animation shine through here, causing areas like faces to look more blocky. The transfer does look like it’s made out better than the original release at least in color.

Packaging:
Thankfully using some different artwork, the cover here provides an animation-like shot of the Venus 5 as they make their way through the enemy world while wearing the remains of their costumes as the tentacles reach for them. It’s a little flashy and tries to look more current than it is, which it succeeds upon at first glance. The back cover provides a simple summary of the shows premise and a rundown of the basic features and technical aspects. The reverse side of the cover for this clear keepcase provides some more black and white artwork while also listing the English voice credits (the Japanese requested theirs withheld supposedly) and the usual array of production credits.

Menu:
The menu is a simple piece with some static lines and circles that overlay animation playing underneath. The standard layout for selections runs along the left. Access times are nice and fast and submenus load quickly. The menu is pretty functional and simple.

Extras:
The only extra included here is a 47 second art gallery video that’s mostly bits from the show itself that plays along to some music from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sometimes the strangest things can come back to haunt you. In my initial review back in early 1999, I made an offhand comment at the start of the review in how you could view this as Sailor Moon “like you’ve never seen it before.” It really does sum up a large portion of the shows general design, but it wasn’t exactly something I expected to be quoted about four years later on the re-release.

The original release of Venus 5 came at a time when hentai was just starting to poke itself around on the DVD format and there was the (foolish) belief that people didn’t really care about having it in Japanese, since usually hentai’s only good for one thing. Venus 5 was one of those titles and all we got was the rather bad dub for it, with women older than the characters, moaning like they’ve eaten a bad piece of fruit. Sadly, Dick Tripwire wasn’t on the scene to help with his gallons of potato salad.

Anime 18 has thankfully corrected this oversight with its release now that the original sublicense to NuTech has run out. This means a whole new generation can get exposed to College Girls in high school uniforms that trade up their costumes for thin strips of sailor suits and a thong to fight against the bad guys. The basic premise of the show is that in the land of the Inma Empire, there is a desire to bring their master Apollo back to life so they can gain his powers and rule the world as they see fit. They see it as a world where they’re completely in charge and all the architecture is made up of penis’ and vaginas.

Truly, you do just shake your head in disbelief when you watch this. Or if you’re lucky and drunk, you’re laughing yourself silly and the unconscious.

As the evil doers come to Earth so that they can perform the ritual, they make their way into the local school where the leader takes the human form of the “dean” and the other four generals take roles as new teachers. They know that Aphrodite will try to stop them by using her minion, a rangy looking cat named Buccha, to bring on board five warriors who will use her powers to fight for justice, truth and the ability to keep ones panties on. Unfortunately for Aphrodite, Buccha ends up not picking the best crowd in general and then loses his time to train them by being captured.

From there, it’s confrontations and bad sex scenes between both sides as they try to outdo the other and take them down. The two episodes run about forty-five minutes each here and present self-contained stories, but both with the same goal. It’s filled with lots of demons and non-consensual situations. The character designs are decent though obviously inspired by another show airing back then, and they make a couple of good parodies at times. But with the animation not being all that good and the lack of detail causing things to look even worse here, Venus 5 can be something of a chore to get through.

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

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.




Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: C+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Anime 18
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 96
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Venus 5