Magical Kanan Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Release Date: Sunday, April 11, 2004
What They Say
Contains all 4 DVDs of Magical Kanan in one DVD Boxset!
Natsuki comes to the human world by order of Queen Tsuyuha of the Magical Kingdom of "Ever Green" to recover the mutagenic "Seeds" that were stolen. The Seeds possess humans & turn them into demons through their desires. Natsuki, injured on his journey, is saved by Chihaya. After Chihaya learns of the situation, she resolves to cooperate with Natsuki in his duty & become a magical warrior!
Kanan goes back to the old school style of hentai a bit by providing not only plot but magical girls and tentacles as well as cute mascots all in one package.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The mix for it is standard fare for hentai so there wasn't much surprising about it. Dialogue is good and clean and generally center channel based. There's some use of the stereo channels for music and some of the moaning and grunting as they get creative once in awhile, but otherwise it's the usual routine. We didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released to video back in 2003, the four OVAs here look pretty good. The style of the show feels more traditionally animated than the digital works, even though we know its not, but it gives it something of a bit more character to it. There's a fair bit of grain throughout a lot of it and even some of the blue backgrounds don't look as solid as they should. Cross coloration is very minimal throughout the show though but we do get some aliasing going on and some visible interlacing in some of the vertical panning sequences. Colors are good looking with some very vibrant areas mixed into an otherwise almost soft looking palette.
Released on four discs inside the standard thin cardboard wrapper box, the package really pushes the magical girl aspect hard and to its advantage. Each of the covers feature a shot of Chihaya in her regular school clothes, her work uniform or her magical girl outfit as well as a secondary cast member. The back of the keepcases are simple in layout with two batches of pictures that surround the brief paragraph summaries that are in the middle of the cover. The usual round of production information and the bloated features listing NuTech employs to give the illusion of things being there is along the bottom. As is standard with NuTech releases, no inserts are included in these releases. The thin cardboard box, which is little more than a wrapper really, uses artwork from the first volume in the set and has some of the best looking character designs of Chihaya and Sayaka together. The back side provides all four summaries and a number of the photograph pictures as well.
The menu layout uses some parts of the character artwork from their respective covers and has some obscured animation clips of the sex scenes playing in the background to part of an instrumental piece from the show. The layout is standard material for these releases with no surprises at all. The access times are nice and fast and as usual our player preset languages are ignored.
The only included extra on each volume is a series of stills from that particular episode in a video gallery.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Most shows these days that seem to make their way over are limited to usually two or three episodes at most and often just one episode. Magical Kanan not only got itself four episodes but it got a two episode follow up series to it. The power of magical girls is definitely strong, especially when you add in tentacle monsters.
The premise of the show is similar enough to a number of shows in the genre. Some years prior, an evil was let loose upon the city of Meihou and it was set to cause quite a lot of trouble. Born from a Seed that came from the magical land of Ever Green, a warrior from there was sent down to fight against it along with the aid of a human that gained powers through knowing him. While they could not defeat the evil, they managed to seal it away and kept it under wraps. But now all these years later, the evil is moving afoot in Meihou again and the Queen of Ever Green has decided to send down two of her warriors to deal with it before it can cause problems, especially now that other Seeds have gone missing from Ever Green.
One of the warriors takes the form of Natsuki, a young man who looks good in a school uniform. He ends up through circumstance dealing with a young woman named Chihaya with whom he feels a strong magical bond with. Natsuki ends up transforming between two modes in dealing with her and others; one is his human form the other is a pink egg-shaped bunny mascot form. Whenever Natsuki and Chihaya kiss, the magical energy between the two of them causes her to transform into a magical girl and activates her powers more fully. Whenever the two of them get sexual in general, it powers up Natsuki so that he has more of his magical abilities to command while on Earth.
So with help from Natsuki, Chihaya takes on the role of a magical girl and deals with the problems that crop up due to the missing Seeds turning up and creating all sorts of plant-like humanoid creatures that cause trouble, rape innocent girls and in general cause mischief. Natsuki's friend from Ever Green that he descended with ended up meeting up with a girl himself, though he almost killed her in his arrival and had to use his powers to save her, thereby bringing her into the conflict. Sayaka isn't mentally equipped to deal with a lot of this though and shifts between being helpful to Chihaya to trying to kill her as she falls under the Seeds influences. The relationship between the pair of four is something that changes throughout the show and there are some interesting bits behind their appearances and powers that come to light.
The character designs for the show are pretty standard material that mixes both the hentai world designs and the magical world designs nicely. Chihaya looks and feels the part right down to her poochie covered panties. Having her work in a restaurant that her mother owns lets her get into a different kind of costume every once in awhile that lets it spread its appeal into another genre. With the show also having the feel of a traditionally animated show and not feeling like a digital show, it harkens back to some of the older and more lighthearted shows. There's a good bit of humor in here, usually focusing Natsuki fooling around with other women cause he loves sex while Chihaya won't give it up for him all that much. Add in the plant/tentacle scenes and this feels like a lot of the shows that used to come out in the mid to late nineties before they all went towards much creepier territory.
In what's becoming a standard complaint about NuTech's hentai titles though, I have to say that I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with their releases as they continue to cut corners. While the shows presentation and actual content is fantastic, their treatment of the subtitle track is just getting worse and worse. While the track is about 90% accurate to the original script and the English dub is being faithful while adding more vulgarities to it, the fact that the subtitle track is being timed to the English dub is making it difficult to watch these shows. Segments of nothing being said but there being subtitles are become as common as segments where there's talking but nothing subtitled. The bulk of the story gets through but when you hit these areas it takes you completely out of the show. It's extremely annoying as is the increasing number of misspellings that are cropping up.
Magical Kanan is a fun light-hearted sexual romp with magical girls and the problems that they have to face with enemies, mascots and parents who don't tell their kids the truth. With four episodes there is a lot of time given over to the comedy and to an actual plot that moves things along. Add in some rather good sex scenes and plenty of naked bodies throughout and this has the makings of a fun show that will please some of the older hentai fans who haven't cared much for today's offerings while still having enough material that the current wave of fans might find something appealing to it.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery
Dell W2300 23" LCD HDTV, Panasonic DMR-E20 Progressive Scan DVD Recorder connected via Monster component cables and using the TV speakers.
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
Running time: 120
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Magical Kanan