Ma Ma Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Release Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
What They Say
After the death of his father, Yuichi comes to live with his stepmother, Yukiko.
NuTech goes and double dips with the Secret Anima Files well and makes Chris cry.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a very basic stereo mix with hardly any noticeable directionality to it or any kind of depth. While the mix is basic it does fit the feel of the show and everything is clean and clear during regular playback. I sampled the English track a bit and had no issues there but I cannot tell whether this is a new dub or the same one that Anime 18 used.
Originally released in both 2000 and in 2002, the transfer for this show is a good step up over what Anime 18 released previously. While the overall look of it remains consistent with that in that the colors were decent and there weren't any outright issues, the transfer here is noticeably better in that the problems we had with a lot of cross coloration is a complete non-issue here. The aliasing issues still remain from a lot of the panning in the show but it doesn't seem as pronounced.
Released on two discs inside the standard thin cardboard wrapper box, the package looks decent for what little useable artwork they must have had Each of the individual keepcases highlights the two women found in that particular episode set against a bland soft background color. The back of the keepcases are simple in layout with a batch of pictures through the middle while a surprisingly lengthy plot summary is along the top half. 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 keepcase cover. The back side provides both 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 real extra here is a brief video art gallery for the show.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Ma Ma box set is a re-release of sorts. Originally, it was released as "Mama Mia!" by Anime 18. Apparently that license was lost or was a short term one as NuTech Digital has picked up the show themselves and released it as a two-disc box set whereas the Anime 18 release was both episodes on one disc. The show itself remains unchanged and good gravy so do our thoughts on it.
Ma Ma is the latest hentai release to really give Pure Love a challenge in making me despise it, more for the animation than anything else. The animation style used for it is very reminiscent of the kind of artwork you find hentai websites advertising alongside real adult sites. This is the kind of artwork that looks very good in still images online and for occasional consumption, but really goes down the tubes when it comes to animation. Since the same amount of detail can’t be kept, they end up becoming very flat.
There’s enough sequences in here where you feel like they’re moving puppets across the screen. The first season of South Park has more smooth animation to it.
But, this is what I’ve come to expect from the Secret Anima series. With this release, we get two tales that are family based and completely unrelated. The opening episode has a young man named Yuichi who has just lost his father to an illness. His mother had died quite some years ago, so he finds himself alone. Though his father tried to avoid it, he has him move in with his previous wife and her adopted daughter. So Yuichi packs up all his belongings, including a single adult video that his father had, and moves to a new life.
His new life is definitely a different one, as his stepmother is very attractive. And as he finds out, so is his new “sister”. He’s quickly welcomed into the family and everyone is very happy to be there. The shock for Yuichi comes in the realization that the woman in the video he has is his new stepmother. And he’s been lusting after her for a week now no less. So when Mika starts coming on to him and then finds out his fetish for his new stepmother, things start turning into a real family affair, even though absolutely nobody is related. It’s a decent little episode, but the animation is just plain awful.
Which only gets worse with the second episode. This one centers around another family where the parents have an adopted son, their real son having died some time back. The family goes through a real challenge though when on a rainy night their car goes off a cliff and kills the father. This results in the mother having something of a lost memory about Yuichi ever being adopted, so she confuses him with her late husband.
Add in two generations of maids and a helpful amount of bathing scenes, and you get some fairly decent sequences. Except that the animation is even worse than the first episode. During one piece near the beginning as they walk through the gardens surrounding the house, it feels like an old 16 bit video game with the layers and movement.
Ma Ma's not that bad for the stories, as they’re pretty standard fare for hentai, but the animation just makes everything a complete turnoff. This is pretty much for completists and those who just can’t get enough in general. As for which release to get if both are available, that's a hard choice to make. The Ma Ma set has better video quality but costs more due to it being on two discs. The Anime 18 release is a single disc with not as good video quality but is cheaper. In the end, I certainly can't recommend the show unless you're truly hard up and helpless.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery
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: 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.
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ma Ma