Dragon Knight: Wheel of Time Vol. #2 (of 2) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, August 22, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, August 12, 2003

What They Say
Despite dragon attacks and shipwrecks, Kakeru and his friends continue their fight against the evil Lucifon. Along the way, they are joined by an increasing number of warriors committed to defeating Lucifon.

However, even as the group is gaining in strength and cohesiveness, Eto is finding it increasingly difficult to protect his true identity. Will he be able to maintain his secret long enough to see his quest to its completion and change the future? Or will one of the nubile, well-intentioned young ladies who have joined the fight prove his undoing?

The Review!
The concluding volume to the hentai fantasy series is again fairly lean on the sex and heavy on the story.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. That’s because Japanese women moan better. Now that that debate is out of the way, the stereo mix here is pretty decent though there’s not a lot of directionality to find in this show. Dialogue is nice and clear and mostly center channel based with music and some of the fight sequences using the stereo channels. We noted no dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Released in 1999 as Dragon Knight 4 (for the game on which it was based I believe), the transfer here looks quite good. Colors are nice and solid, nighttime blue skies hold up well and some of the scenes that are intentional soft look good without breaking up or getting pixilated. Cross coloration shows up in a few tightly drawn areas, as well as some aliasing during panning sequences, but otherwise this looks like a solid transfer.

The front cover this time goes for the up close and personal feel with a shot of Eto and Marlene within an inch or so of kissing passionately if they let themselves fall to it. There’s some nice coloring to it but it feels a bit cramped.. The back cover provides a nice backdrop of part of Eto’s costume cast aside as well as some shots from the show. There’s a good summary of what to expect and the discs features are nice and clearly laid out. The insert has a nice shot from the show that’s something of a spoiler I think while the reverse side has the chapter breakdown and a list of the shows previews set against some very simple artwork.

The main menu has a rather nice and richly colored image of Eto and Marlene closing in for what could be a really passionate kiss in a close-up as some of the instrumental music plays along. Selections are quick and easy to load and with little here outside of the show, moving about is a breeze.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first two episodes having really captured our attention by providing an interesting storyline to go along with a couple of sex scenes, we were very much looking forward to the second volume to see how it would all conclude. It seems strange to say we were looking forward to a hentai release to see how the plot turns out.

The show moves along pretty nicely from where it left off with the company stranded on an island. Marlene and Eto end up spending some time together as she tries to understand what he’s really gone through and his purpose here in the past. This also results in his telling her about her future regrets in an effort to persuade her to change her plans. This brings her to reveal to him some of her past and we learn her actual origins as one of the daughters of the King of the Underworld and her sister ended up marrying Lucifon, leaving her with some kind of crush on him.

Once the party starts off again and heads back to the mainland and the journey starts again as they try to staff up once more with more members. This also brings in a nice little sex scene with Eto, again amusingly he manages to keep on the bulk of his costume for the entire piece while the cute little woman gets completely undressed and gives herself entirely to him. The scene is nicely setup in that it again doesn’t affect the plot in any significant way but provides some nice skin.

With Eto still knowing everything that’s going to happen, the show moves along pretty quickly from event to event as he manages the party nicely will still making sure Kakeru is making a lot of the decisions. Each encounter brings something new, such as their movement into the land of the dragons where they find that Seil is actually a Dragon Knight himself and is able to become a rider and part of their world. The feel of things continues to be one of a rushed part of a movie, where you shift between various events to get closer to the climax, as opposed to the slower part of a journey where you see and feel each part of it. With the story centering around Eto re-living his life it’s natural that we get the sped up view. The slower times definitely seem to focus around his continual ability to get laid.

As the show moves into the final arc and confrontation with Lucifon, things play out in the same kind of mode but with some of the changes from how we see it all happen before, providing a fun and enjoyable ending to the show, if a bit tragic. Dragon Knight plays out very well for the course of its entire four episode run and these last two episodes are definitely solid follow-ups from the first two. If anything, there seems like less sex in these last two episodes and a heavier focus on the story and that’s nothing to complain about. I wish more hentai releases were this way since actually getting to know and like the characters enhances the actual sex scenes.

Dragon Knight is one of the better shows for couples and as an introduction to hentai. Things don’t get terribly explicit or unrealistic nor is it done in a completely in your face kind of method. With a solid fantasy plot, it’s really easy to hook people into it and get them more and more interested. Though based on a game series, this show really managed to rise above its roots and be more than most other game to anime conversions do. This is definitely worth checking out.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

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: 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: SoftCel Pictures
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 65
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Knight