Tragic Silence (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Saturday, November 29, 2003
Release Date: Monday, July 14, 2003



What They Say
Luticia is a vampire. However, she has fallen in love with her childhood friend, a human named Shou. She is afraid that their love will not be able to overcome their differences...

Rick, a vampire from Luticia’s Clan, is murdered by a woman from Shou’s village. Rick had been having an affair with her, and the vampires are enraged to find out that Rick has been sleeping with humans instead of preying on them. Regardless, the clan starts planning to revenge the murder of their own kind. Humans are also enraged to discover thee existence of vampires in the vicinity and they are also planning to find nad destroy the vampires.

What will happen to Luticia and Shou? Will their love survive the hatred between their people?

The Review!
Take on medieval setting with a village of common folk and a castle filled with vampires and an understanding between the two and you get vampires who play dirty with their food.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show features a stereo mix that’s pretty much just dialogue outside of some music, so it’s mostly center channel based. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
With only one episode on the disc and it being a fairly recent fully digital show, the transfer here looks quite good. With a high bit rate for the single episode, cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and there was only a few very minor instances of aliasing during some panning sequences. Colors look good with lots of vibrant moments and no over saturation.

Packaging:
The cover for this is really eye-catching, outside of the usual hideous black and yellow warning bars. With the lead female crying and mostly undressed but set against a snowy backdrop, it brings some emotion to the artwork, particularly with the tagline below it. The back cover provides a number of screenshots and a summary that basically describes the entire episode. The discs features and technical information is all clearly listed. Like other recent NuTech releases, there is no insert included with this package.

Menu:
Set to a light haunting melody, the main menu keeps the focus on one of the women along the left with a light sliding over them while underneath the menus to the right you can see images from the show itself playing. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly.

Extras:
The only extra included is a brief video art gallery that’s made up of stills form the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Once again, NuTech makes it rather difficult to provide a decent review for a title since all we get is one episode in however long this series actually is, so that we’re just getting the barest hint of what the show could be all about, the characters and the setting.

Well, that usually applies to a lot of series, but for this one it means that there’s just a whole lot of sex going on here.

Taking place in what seems to be some sort of medieval town that’s set up against a castle, the humans and vampires have come to an understanding over time. The vampires can feed freely among the humans, though they aren’t allowed to kill them. In return, the villagers basically get some added protection and don’t have to worry about vampires in general. The vampires get a good fresh source of food and everyone is happy. The only rule that the vampires have to live by, other than not killing any friendly humans, is to not play with your food.

Of course, there’s a fair number that seem to not only want to play with it but have sex with it too. One of these, a dashing young looking rogue by the name of Rick, finds himself with one woman a few times before deciding that she’s not good enough for him. Seeing his rejection of feeding upon her, she takes a blade to him and kills him in one fell swoop, an action that sets the townspeople against the vampire and vice versa. Elana’s killing of Rick makes things uncomfortable for a few other vampires who are in love with their women (i.e. food) and it also puts the lead vampire in a problematic position.

So the show tends to shift between the rendevous between Elana and Rick up until she stabs him thwackkity thwack and other vampires and their significant others. A young female vampire by the name Lucitia is dealing with her childhood human friend Shou, as the two are falling very much in love and are now in a dire position due to what may happen. Three’s another pair that’s involved as well that isn’t quite as close but there’s potential for problems for them as well.

With only one episode and a lot of hardcore sex going on between middling to unattractive character designs, it’s easy to lose track of the big picture here (sex) and get caught up in why this seems so average. I get the feel that under a more balanced and higher budgeted project, Tragic Silence would be something more intriguing. Vampires always provide some new material and enough atmosphere to carry any show, but with their designs here they’re having a hard time holding their own. Or not, as the case may be.

In Summary:
Tragic Silence isn’t served well by its single episode release, as it needs to have more episodes with it to really keep your attention to it. With a minimal plot but some potential and a number of average to ugly character designs, there feels like there’s some good potential here but it’s falling short. And at $25 a whack, it’s not hard to not recommend it unless you just must have everything vampire related.

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

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.




Mania Grade: D+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 25
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tragic Silence