Vanilla Series: Sex Ward (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 14, 2005
Release Date: Friday, February 25, 2005
What They Say
SEX WARD is a saucy new addition to the Vanilla Series! Shiyuuta Biwajima and Chikara Nikki (SPOTLIGHT, MEIKING, CAMPUS) are the masterminds behind this story of a shy nurse who’ll do anything (or anyone) to make up for her mistakes!
These nurses love to make patients feel good...
Meet the lovely nurses of Ishikawa General Hospital! There's Yuriko, the tall, dark and seductive head nurse; Naho, the cute and playful girl with a sexy streak...and then there's Satsuki. Quiet and shy, Satsuki only wants to make a good impression, but she keeps screwing everything up. When she accidentally gives an aching patient the wrong medication, he cons her into releasing his pain with a healthy dose of hot and heavy sex – but by the end, it's Satsuki that's moaning in pleasure!
Now, Satsuki will make sure that all of her mistakes are remedied with a little sexual therapy. But is she taking things too far? And what would her co-workers say if they knew...?
Young nurses bent out of shape over love find themselves bent over beds by doctors and patients alike.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series contains a pretty standard stereo mix for an adult series which is that the dialogue generally has a very full or center channel based feeling to it while the music and some of the sound effects make use of the stereo channels. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2003, the two OVA episodes of this series are presented here in their original full frame aspect ratio. Being so recent and going with a number of fairly standard colors for an adult hospital related series, the transfer really looks good here. The backgrounds with their soft blues and greens maintain a solid feel throughout while the flesh tones and pink uniforms of the characters are striking in the foreground. The transfer has a bit of grain to it but not much that's really noticeable but is generally free of problems such as cross coloration or aliasing. This is a good looking transfer throughout and very pleasing visually.
The front cover has a very attractive shot of the lead character in a state of undress from her uniform and revealing lots of skin and pieces of her underwear against a mostly dark black background. This really highlights the flesh colors and the pinks and makes it very striking looking. The back cover is nicely in-theme with an appearance of a medical clipboard that has a number of shots from the show tagged along the side with paper clips. The summary covers the basics and the discs basic features. As is standard with releases in this series, there isn't any insert included.
The main menu is a simple static piece that uses the artwork from the cover but shifted over a bit so that the selections can line down along the left side of it set to a bit of music. The menu's navigation is simply and easy to use with quick access times. With little on the disc beyond the show and a few related pieces, it doesn't have much depth to it. The disc did not read our players' language presets correctly since the subtitle track for Japanese audio is listed as Japanese instead of English.
The only extra included here is a brief slideshow of shots from the show.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With as nasty as the entire nursing adult genre has become over the last few years, a couple of more normal ones still manage to squeak out, probably to appease old timers like me waving our canes and demanding our porn to be like the good old days. Sex Ward, in its two episodes, hits up against some of the material that's still popular now but for the most part almost feels a bit like a throwback to, well, like five years ago.
The storyline is pretty simple as we're introduced to young Satsuki, a woman who is going to start her first day as a (probationary) nurse as the Ishikawa General Hospital. Alongside another new nurse named Naho, the two are expected to do much of the grunt work and put in 110% to prove their worthy of becoming real nurses. Satsuki's first day there already starts off with a scare when, late as she is for the first meeting, she gets pulled aside by a male patient who chastises her for running in the halls. He then proceeds to move the conversation towards a way in which he can expose himself and insist that since she caused it she has to fix it. Satsuki is actually saved at the last minute by one the star doctor of the hospital, Dr. Waka. He sets things right with just a few words and tones and sends Satsuki on her way though not without a particular glance of approval going towards her.
Seeing him as her savior, it's not surprising that she starts to have some affection for him but she's surprised that Naho is going after him as well. His reputation is that he never dates anyone in the hospital and doesn't go out drinking with anyone either, so the rumor goes that he's engaged to Dr. Midori and the two are just waiting for things to happen when he becomes the director of the hospital. The relationships that are going on in the hospital are actually pretty minor and only the head nurse, an attractive slightly older woman named Yuriko, keeps herself to the director and continually services him of her own free will and torments him a fair bit for looking at the younger girls.
With the new girls, their relationship starts to become strained after Naho actually manages to convince Waka to go out for the evening and he gets some alcohol in him, which changes his personality completely. Instead of the slightly timid but assertive doctor, he becomes a throbbing muscled man who needs sex right now. Naho's plan to take him to a love hotel goes well in a way as he ends up taking her for five hours straight and being as nasty as he can be with her. So Naho is all pleased at her conquest the next morning but can't figure out why Waka doesn't seem to remember any of it and insists that she stop going after him. This just sets some minor confusion into the hospital as people start acting weird or interested in what's going on and it leads to more sexual situations and misunderstandings.
What's surprising about this show is how free it is of the nasty stuff that's out there these days. Outside of two enemas which are actually done really clean and not all that graphic, these are pretty standard but attractive sex scenes between good looking characters in various states of undress. It plays up all the hospital stuff really well without going into the extreme and combined with good looking animation and character designs it's able to really hit things off. Some of the scenes are done rather interesting, such as the last lesbian scene or the way Dr. Waka goes wild when drunk and getting some, but overall this is really straightforward clean adult entertainment.
Sex Ward was surprisingly enjoyable in a time when hospital related adult anime tends to skew towards the far extreme with its fetishes. It's designs are simple but effective and attractive, the plot is basic but carries everything through and the sex varies from decent to pretty damn hot and overall this is a good hour of very mainstream hentai that offers a little bit of something for just about everyone. This is probably good for those just getting into hentai or those wanting to see a bit more or share it around.
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: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Critical Mass Video
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Vanilla Series Collection