Vanilla Series: Hooligan (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2004



What They Say
Five girls. One guy. Seven Holy Dildos.

It all started when our hero, Yukito, was trying to score with his favorite blonde bombshell, Olga. Things were just heating up when one of her science experiments exploded, and it screwed up all of time and space. Now, only one thing can save the world: the Seven Holy Dildos!

Now it's up to Yukito to find and collect each of Seven Holy Dildos from the beautiful maidens who posses them! To win these seven sabers, Yukito must face off against their lusty owners in a sensual skirmish, where sex is the name of the game ? and the winner is the one who can keep going the longest! He'll be battling it out with the lovely shrine sisters Yuka and Yuki...the foxy ninja Victoria...the sweet and spicy Hiromi...so many women, so little time! It's a tough job, but it's up to Yukito to get his freak on and save the universe!

The Review!
Over the top comedy hentai is few and far between – especially good ones – and Hooligan definitely fits into that category with ease.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language dubbed format. Both tracks feature a pretty straightforward stereo mix where the bulk of audio is dialogue or, um, "vocal sounds" that are relatively kept to the center channel. The music and occasionally some of the sound effects are used wide and come across well. Dialogue is clean and clear on both language tracks and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2003, the two episode OVA series Hooligan is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Being of such a recent vintage and coming from a relatively solid line of animation, the transfer here is very clean and simply vibrant. There's a bit of aliasing throughout the print with some of the character movements, more visible during the first few scenes than elsewhere, but otherwise this is a really good looking problem free transfer. The transfer is missing a few minutes worth of animation however from a sequence with a very underage character but that's a personal call for people to make on whether it bothers them or not.

Packaging:
Going with a shot of Victoria taking a shower and having a very full head of shampoo hair, we get a really good look at her body with soap bubbles covering all the wrong spots. The cover's pretty cute with the look of the sultry women that has a very goofy looking logo just below her. The back cover provides a good collage of character shots from the show that show off the style and feel of the program. There are even a couple of good paragraphs given over to the shows premise and the basic features and technical information. No insert was included in our copy of the release, not that it needed one anyway.

Menu:
The menu adopts the style of the front cover with a bit of rearrangement by doing a close-up on Victoria's face and removing the soap bubbles from her breasts. Set to the end song, the bouncy beat plays along and the menu selections are quick to access and load. Due to the English subtitle track being listed as JPN, it selected the sign/song track as the default but it got the audio track right.

Extras:
The only extra included here is a brief set of dub outtakes from the show which are fairly amusing and an art gallery slideshow. The usual array of English produced extras, such as the trailers, are here as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Over the course of roughly twenty years or so of watching hentai shows, I've found that I usually enjoy the kinds of shows that are more comedic in style or the ones that are really good relationship type stories. Those have both fallen off in recent years for more hardcore kinds of shows as things change in Japan and what's erotic continues to evolve. The anime market allows for more freedom to be sure and they certainly take advantage of it.

While I wish there were more serious relationship type shows out there, I'm pretty glad for the relative obscurity of the over the top comedy types. If you have too many of them, they tend to lose their impact as you get hit with them pretty quickly. When they're uncommon, each ones tends to stand out a bit more than they should and you end up enjoying it more than you would otherwise. Hooligan definitely fits into that category and it had me laughing out loud more often than I wish it did.

Let's be up front: it's very light on plot. I won't say that's the norm for hentai since that's inaccurate with a lot of shows out there these days. The premise is really simple. We're introduced to a young horny guy named Yukito who is just after women with wild abandon. When he goes to visit Olga, a research scientist with massive tits, he accidentally ends up backing into her Solar Ray System that she has in her infirmary office and causes it to turn on. Ok, this is probably based on a game so I'm missing a lot related to it, but the gist of things is that the world has been completely screwed up in time and space. It's all gone to hell in a hand basket.

Yukito now finds himself under the tutelage of a small white rabbit/rat named Isao at a shrine he's familiar with. Isao informs him that he has to fix the world and bring it all back to normal and the only way to do that is to find the Seven Holy Dildo's. Whoever has all of those is able to rule the universe and make things right. Yukito's already got on, which is basically a dildo on a sword hilt, but he has to find six more. The only way to get them is to challenge one on one someone who has a Holy Dildo in sexual combat, the winner gets to keep the Holy Dildo. Typically, one concedes in the battle when they can't handle it anymore or all their energy is drained.

Suffice to say, Yukito fits the bill as one of the horniest guys out there. Not lecherous, horny.

It doesn't take long before Yukito ends up going through a chain of women who have Holy Dildo's, such as easily gaining them from a pair of priestess sisters who don't have it in them to fight back. He also goes a round with a girl he's got the hots for named Hiromi who also has one. The real competition though is a pair of women who work for the Emperor and are trying to capture all the Holy Dildo's for her. So he's got competition on a number of levels and he's expected to really go to town on a heck of a lot of women.

Each of the people who has a Holy Dildo also masters a special power. Victoria, one of the women working for the Emperor, can turn invisible. So she has a hilarious scene where she turns invisible and starts going down on Yukito but he can't see where she is to do anything. But the viewer gets to see her since it'd suck more if we didn't see her sucking him. There's even a bit of text across the screen from the director asking you to pretend she's invisible. Yukito's power is amusing as he's able to do a ninja multiplication technique which leads to him creating multiple bodies of himself and having fun with one of the women.

Hiromi's Holy Dildo turns into a suckerfish which she promptly glomps onto his penis. Comical enough in itself, but we get to see what's going on inside as his penis takes on personality (and eyes) and starts talking about how great the suckerfish feels. Later on, there's a great black and white scene where Yukito's penis is talking and trying to convince Hiromi's vagina that he really does love her and he doesn't say that to all the vagina's he wants to be a part of. There's so many little jokes and bits like this through as well as an animation style where the characters go simple and white (like in Azumanga or Kare Kano) that it's just over the top in what it does.

One of the best moments that had me laughing hard is when Yukito is mastering his attacks on Hiromi and he begins to use a Fist of the North Star style attack, complete with the "yayayayayaya" sounds but just using his fingers. So many shows get small but subtle parodies throughout here that it's fun to just try and keep up with them. And the characters themselves are just plain funny at times. When Yukito is going down on Olga, he starts making all sorts of insane lapping sounds and it apparently turns her on even more instead of presumably taking her out of the moment because it's just so out there.

This one has some good replay value.

In Summary:
Done in the vein of a number of mainstream parody/comedy shows of recent years, Hooligan nails a lot of the humor just right with a sexual bent but also does a good job of incorporating a lot of high profile series into its realm. The sex isn't exactly a turn-on since it's mostly done for comedy but it works well within the context of the show, such as giving a scene big epic music to give it an even more dangerous feel, but then another scene will go strictly for the comedy gold. This show was something I had no clue what to expect going into it and the first few minutes are fairly confusing but once it hits its stride, it doesn't stop for the rest of the show. I'm no fan of shows being cut, but since this one falls into the cut or never be released category, I'm glad it got released. The underage girl's lost scene doesn't impact the show and was smooth enough to keep the flow. And she certainly wasn't one I wanted to see get nailed either.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Dub Outtakes

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Critical Mass Video
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 52
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Vanilla Series Collection