Moonlight Lady Vol. #1 (of 3) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003
What They Say
Suzuna is training hard to become a priestess, and is brought to the home of her future husband by Tomome, his faithful servant. She finds the mansion under a strange spell, releasing the sexual desires of everyone inside!
There�s something alluring about the moon and its ability to enhance things into an erotic nature. Moonlight Lady definitely tries to take advantage of that.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a pretty good stereo mix with some nice directional moments but not a terribly busy one. Dialogue was clean and clear throughout and we had no problems during playback with dropouts or distortions. We listened to the English track later on and noted no issues with that either.
Originally released to video back in 2001, Moonlight Lady is a very solid looking show from Pink Pineapple, which means a lot of very vibrant colors and depth to them. The two episodes here come across beautifully for the most part and manage to avoid any serious aliasing issues. There is a fair bit of cross coloration however throughout both episodes, mostly showing up during mid range shots of the characters but also in a handful of other scenes.
When it comes to hentai releases, you generally either get great covers or awful covers. Moonlight Lady sneaks in here with a great cover, using the spherical moon images to bring in some gorgeous artwork. Though I don�t think the lead character of Suzuna is all that attractive in the show, she�s a definite eye-catcher here on the cover in a more detailed design. The back cover provides some shots from the show itself mixed into a collage next to a brief summary of the shows premise. There�s the basic production information for both sides and the usual solid grid of information about the technical specs. The insert uses part of the front covers artwork as a backdrop to the chapter listings on one side while the reverse is just box art advertisements. Curiously, Media Blasters has once again used a clear keepcase but nothing on the reverse side of it, providing an odd feel to it.
The main menu uses a mixture of pieces from the front cover to provide a nice looking static menu here, one that�s even free of sound playing during it. With only the show itself and some trailers on the disc, the menu is pretty barren for selections but fast to access and quick to load submenus.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to hentai, I always come back to being more interested when titles come from certain Japanese publishers. While it�s not always a sign of excellence, it generally means that there�s something with better than average production values, some form of actual story and great looking character designs.
With Moonlight Lady being the latest Pink Pineapple series to come over, it was definitely a series I was interested to see. This particular volume brings the first two episodes of the series over and does not end conclusively here, teasing with the to be continued line at the end of the second episode. What we get here is the opening sequences to what looks to be a fun little story steeped in some ritual mystery.
The show focuses on a young woman named Suzuna, the current generation of a family line who is training to be a priestess. Her generation has been anticipated for some time as it�s currently the time where a special event, the Expectant Moon Ceremony, will be performed. What this ritual is about is not mentioned, but there�s some interesting things that appear to be required beforehand. These things include having some of the female household servants take advantage of her and then pretend it didn�t happen as well as telling her that her chosen husband has arrived and working with him to take away her virginity.
As we�re introduced to Suzuna and start learning of the ceremony, these events start happening slowly to her, such as her maid and apparent friend Tomomi coming into the bath and stripping both of them down for an adventure. We also learn of a mysterious dream that Suzuna keeps having about a human shaped figure that pleasures her, something that�s represented interesting visually, and something that she finds herself very much interested in. Add in the husband to be, an actress who seems continually lost in the area of the temple and what appears to be a very scheming mother and you have a lot of forces working against Suzuna. We simply don�t know the why behind it.
Moonlight Lady is fairly light on the story since a lot of it is a tease of what�s to come, but the actual adult sequences are very well done. The character designs are good for the most part, though Suzuna doesn�t do too much for me, mostly due to the personality given to her. Tomomi provides some good sequences in her maid outfit, as does one of the others. The show has a very clean and vibrant look to it, which is quite visually pleasing. Watching a regular series from the 80�s and then shifting to this was almost like a culture shock.
The two episodes here do provide enough to pique the interest in seeing more though, which is a good hook to be sure. This is a series I�d put in the intermediate range for hentai fans, as there�s some elements some may object to and more explicit than a lot of the material that�s good for couples/introductory fans. Those looking for an attractive and vibrant show should look no further than this one.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
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: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Moonlight Lady