Maids in Dream Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, August 13, 2004
Release Date: Sunday, August 08, 2004



What They Say
Contains both DVDs 1 and 2 of Maids in Dream in one complete box set!

A young man named Akio awakes in his bed. He finds that he is now the master of a house, where six girls serve as his maids. He doesn't remember a thing about his past. When he reveals his amnesia, Suzuran, the head maid, tells him that he's here for a reason. She tells him that he'll be able to return to where he came from only when he can overcome his personal issues. The maids are there to help him resolve this, however... since Akio has no memory, he has no idea what personal issues he needs to resolve...

The Review!
What better way to heal a wounded soul than to have six maids servicing you in whatever way you need?

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. As is the case with a lot of hentai, there isn't a lot of directionality to go around in this show as it's pretty center channel based with its dialogue and vocal effects. The music and effects use the stereo channels well, but mostly for the music to give a full feeling to itself. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with either language track with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released in 2003, the full frame transfer for this show looks good when it comes to the colors but it's fallen victim to a lot of aliasing. The two episodes are very vibrant in their color scheme with lots of distinct colors, particularly the pinks and purples, which gives it a feel we haven't seen in some hentai for awhile. The downside is that there's a lot of broken lines and aliasing going on, causing the characters to almost look like they're shifting in different directions when they move or when the camera pans across them. Cross coloration is thankfully very minimal and there wasn't much problematic interlacing going on. A lot of it will come down to how much the aliasing bothers the individual.

Packaging:
Released on two discs inside the standard thin cardboard wrapper box, each of the keepcase covers provides a different image of the very attractive Suzuran, either by herself or with another maid. The back of the keepcases are simple in layout with a line of images from the show through the center while above it there's some overly descriptive summaries of the show. They continue on some releases to tell you every single action in the show including how each episode ends. 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 that wasn't used on the keepcases with a really great shot of a couple of the maids in their unmentionables just looking far too adorable. The back side provides all four summaries and a number of the photograph pictures as well.

Menu:
The menu layout is pretty simple with a basic style used that has the character artwork from the respective keepcase cover along the right while the lower left side has the selections. Underneath both, clips from the show play against the upbeat little musical piece from the show. The layout for selections is standard practice for NuTech releases and works well. Access times are nice and fast but the disc doesn't read our players present language selections.

Extras:
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)
Waking up in a place he doesn't know, a young man who takes on the name Akio (but ends up going by Master more than anything else) is in bed and surrounded by six beautiful maids. His memory is lost and he has no idea who he is. He's told by Suzuran, the head maid of this place, that he's in a place between worlds of a sort, a place where it's not exactly on Earth but rather a place where wounded souls go to heal and try to find their way back to where they belong. The maids are there to see to his needs and to help heal him in whatever way he's been wounded.

As Akio makes his way around the mansion and learns the way things operates, he gets to see each of the girls do what they do best and starts participating and helping out. Each of them are eager to help out and do whatever they can to please him, sometimes going a bit overboard. Their lives are pretty simple and Akio gets used to the strangeness of a place that has no geological location that he can reference pretty quickly. The only thing that plagues him are two types of strange dreams.

One of them is of a purple haired girl who, in normal clothes, seems to be important to him in some way but he can't put his finger on it. He has a number of dreams about her and feels a strong connection to her but can't put it into words. The other dreams involve him and the various maids, usually after one or a few of them cause trouble or makes a mistake and needs to be punished. While they seem to get off light or without punishment when it happens, he ends up dreaming about them getting a nasty sexual punishment from him for what they've done. These dreams are both good and bad for him since he figures they're not real, but some of them start seeming like they're really happening and he starts to get confused about everything that's going on.

The shows premise is simple and it takes a bit before it gets to the sex scenes, which are pretty much consensual based on how it all plays out, but the thing that will bother some people is the character designs. A lot of them look rather young and a lot of them are designed in such a way that they're similar to the artwork you see in some of those adult hentai banner ads online, where the girls look too young and their heads almost seem bigger than their bodies. Something about them just doesn't click too well. They're not unattractive or hideous, but there's something about most of them that just doesn't appeal to me. This becomes more apparent when they start getting naked and the slightly off proportions are even more visible.

In Summary:
Maids in Dream is a pretty show in a lot of ways and I can easily see the appeal of the character designs even if most of them don't do anything for me. With its basis in something of a mystery that doesn't get explored but allows for an open ended story to unfold without a lot of real characterization behind anyone. In that way, most of these characters are little more than basic hentai archetypes. With nothing scatological in sight, this is definitely something to easily recommend to newbies and first time couples as something with a bit of plot, cute characters and some decent sex.

Features
Japanaese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: C+
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: 49.98
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Maids in Dream