Dvine Luv (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Luis Cruz
Review Date: Saturday, August 16, 2003
Release Date: Thursday, May 22, 2003



What They Say
Hyde with his sidekick Sakura are treasure hunters. They are staying in a small village while they look for their treasure, the legacy of the Old World! The treasure lies inside a cave and Hyde finds a lot of action during his search, fighting off monsters and saving a beautiful mysterious treasure hunter. One day during his search Hyde comes across a sealed door. An amulet that a dying man gave him unexpectedly opens the door. He enters and finds a naked girl encased in ice. Suddenly the amulet frees the girl from the ice and she falls into Hyde's arms. Who is this mystery girl? What does she know about the legacy of the Old World? Find out theses questions and more as Hyde continues his search for the Old World.

The Review!
Swords, sorcery, and sex are on tap in Pink Pineapple’s Dvine Love. Once again, Pink Pineapple proves that you can have a plot with your hentai and provides me with the one of the best hentai viewing sessions to date.

Audio:
For my primary viewing session, I listened to the Japanese audio and gave the English audio a spot check. Both tracks contained no noticeable problems providing a good audio experience. The music was light and pleasant and fit the show very well. The English voice actors did a decent job as well but did sound a bit flat and lifeless in places.

Video:
This title received a great transfer; colors are bright, and there are no noticeable defects. Subtitles were appropriately sized to be readable without detracting from the action.

Produced in 2001, this series could easily hold its own against many mainstream titles. The animation was sharp and fluid though the backgrounds tended to not be overly detailed. In terms of production quality, this is the sharpest hentai title I have seen in quite some time.

Packaging:
Four discs are bundled in a thin, flimsy cardboard box. The various women from the show grace all of the box’s sides; in a surprising move, the spines form a picture of Dr. Shizuki rather than the Youra, show’s damsel in distress. The back of the box is the typical boilerplate of screenshots, a synopsis for each disc, staff credits, and disc specs.

The discs themselves feature cover art as well. Each cover is set against a white background. The back covers expand the synopses placed on the box but retains the overall design used on the back cover of the box. Volume one has a collage of Teres, Sakura, Youra, and Dr. Shizuki. A collage of Priol, Mia, and Sakura graces volume two. Mia and Teres are your covergirls for volume three, and Teres and Youra finish out the series on volume four.

There were no inserts packaged with any of the discs. There were also a few glaring typos in the synopses, but the packaging looked very nice overall.

The only other item to mention is that the discs are all DVD-10s; one side contains the disc content while the other contains trailers for other NuTech titles. So, you get no artwork on the disc itself.

Menu:
The menus for each disc are very simple but look great. Using the same motif on the front covers, the menus feature a white background with the discs cover art featured on the main menu. Each menu features a clip from the show playing in the background. The clips do not change from disc to disc however. Music plays in the background for each menu. There were no transition delays, and the menus were straightforward and simple to use.

Extras:
The only real extra on the content side of the disc is a slideshow of images while music loops in the background. Each disc has a different slideshow averaging at least a minute in length.

Your only other useful extra is on the opposite side of the disc; flipping the disc over allows you to view trailers for what appears to be every title in NuTech’s catalog. The initial presentation has only small images of the front cover for each release; this makes it difficult to make out what title you are actually going to select.

Once you have selected a title, you are brought to a menu that outlines the show, gives you the option of viewing a brief clip from it, and allows you to navigate through the titles. The initial viewing menu either needed larger thumbnails or the title written out below each thumbnail.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hyde is a travelling treasure hunter who has recently arrived in Arville with his childhood friend Sakura. Near Arville is a cave reputed to be the largest ruin of the ancient world. On his first journey in the cave, Hyde came across a dying man who pressed into Hyde’s hand a mysterious amulet. A week later, Hyde approaches a closed door causing the amulet to glow. The door opens and reveals a chamber that transports Hyde to a cave of ice. Suspended in an ice crystal is a nude, tattooed woman; the crystal glows once again and frees the girl from the crystal. She touches the crystal and slumps unconscious into Hyde’s arms.

The girl is named Youra and has no memory of who she is or what she was doing in the cave. Hyde returns to his treasure hunting in the cave and contracts a nasty curse. Fortunately, the town priestess Manaty cures him. In payment, Hyde watches over her as she tries to exorcise a spirit from a jewel. After a successful exorcism, Manaty decides that it is time to exorcise her lust, and Hyde cheerfully lends more than a hand.

From there, Hyde returns to his room at the inn and receives a visit from Dr. Shizuki. After Hyde assures her that his motives towards Youra are not purely fueled by greed, Hyde gives the good doctor a long overdue dose of hot loving. So ends Cave 1: Amulet.

Cave 2: Elixir finds Hyde hanging out with Mia in her family’s garden. Mia and her maid Priol were the ones that found Hyde unconscious and took him to Manaty. Mia is a sickly woman and can only be cured by a magic elixir. Hyde promises Priol that he will find the elixir; he soon learns that a witch named Serafias knows how to make the elixir. However, the elixir comes at a price; Hyde must retrieve the cane she lost in the cave. After finding the cane, he stumbles across a battle between a wizard named Slain and a party of treasure hunters led by their female commander Teres. Hyde wants to help but is restrained by Ghuran, a thief that is not quite what he appears to be.

Hyde presents the cane to Serafias, but she is out of one ingredient… the lust juice of a virgin. This gives Hyde the perfect opportunity to enjoy a romp in the linen room with Priol. After securing the potion, he arrives back at the inn and finds Sakura alone in her room crying. She saw Teres in the doctor’s office and is worried that Hyde might suffer the same fate. They confess and then consummate their love for each other as we reach the climax of this volume.

Cave 3: Storm-Bringer shows us the results of the elixir on Mia. She is cured from her disease but is now constantly horny. Needing very little encouragement from Priol, Hyde satiates Mia’s lust ridding her of the elixir’s side effect. The rest of the volume focuses on Youra; Teres has taken her to the cave as bait to draw out Slain. Slain killed Teres’ companions at another ruin site, and she is out for revenge. All she manages to do is get both of them captured forcing Hyde to attempt an exchange – the amulet for their lives.

Slain takes possession of the amulet and informs Hyde and Ghuran, who just happens to be a warrior from the royal capital rather than a thief, that the amulet and Youra are the key to opening a gate to the ancient world’s greatest secret. The gate opens, and Slain walks through. Hyde must rush after Teres who is injured but attempting to follow Slain while Ghuran takes Youra back to the doctor. The volume ends as Teres cries on Hyde’s shoulder.

The final installment, Cave 4: Legacy opens with Teres doing a number of things on other portions of Hyde’s anatomy. She wants Hyde to make love to her so she can forget her problems. After their tryst, Hyde returns to town to find Youra missing once again. Back into the cave we go… Slain has died while awakening Castor, a fifty foot giant that destroyed the ancient world. Youra’s spectral voice from above tells Hyde to use Slain’s sword Storm-Bringer to kill Castor while she holds him at bay.

Hyde does so but at a terrible price; Youra must leave him to hold the "Power of the Spirit" in check as she and Castor are of the same, non-human race. We then flip to a dream or flashback sequence that has Youra enjoying Hyde’s sexual prowess. We return to the cave as Youra disappears leaving a heartbroken Hyde behind. After the final credits roll, we see Hyde being chased by Sakura through the town after she caught him spreading his love around… a bittersweet ending.

The plot of this series is a bit thin and serves to move us from one sexual encounter to the next; however, it is a decent and engaging plot. There is a decent amount of comedy in the show though it will not provoke more than a chuckle at times. Given the sword and sorcery nature of the series, there could have been more action sequences and battles. Aside from Slain, there was no sense of danger for the characters as they ventured into the cave.

One complaint with this release is the lack of coherency between the packaging and the subtitles. The names are spelled different on the package and for three of the four episodes. Inexplicably, the fourth episode suddenly spells all the names properly and matches what is written on the box. It is a minor problem, but this sort of quality control failure just should not happen.

But, the content makes up for this. The sex was straightforward, not terribly explicit, and at times very tender; it felt very much like an animated "couples" film. In some respects, you could consider this series "Slayers with sex" though the focus was more on the sex. But, the plot was written well enough that it could easily be turned into a twenty plus episode series by having more character and plot development. Overall, this was one of the best hentai titles I have watched to date and can heartily recommend it to all.

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

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable.



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: D+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
MSRP: 79.99
Running time: 120
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dvine Luv