Daiakuji: The Xena Buster Vol. #5 (of 7) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Release Date: Friday, April 22, 2005



What They Say
In the 5th installment of our series we learn that Ihabella has kidnapped Yume taking control of Eden in an attempt to capture Shenel and Judy. To test out her latest experiment she subjects them to sexual torture. Pricilla makes a daring escape and rushes to Akuji gumi, describing Ihabella's evil plan to use Yume as a sexual vessel for other women so that they may reproduce without the need for men. The ultimate plan is to wipe out all men from the earth. Akuji gumi and his gang attempt to rescue our captives in all all out battle!

The Review!
With Ihabarra's plans fully revealed, Akuji and company hit the streets and go to make sure that they never come to fruition..

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. This is also the only language available on this release as no English language version was made for it. The Japanese track is a pretty straightforward stereo mix that does have some good moments of directionality, more often in the fight scenes than anywhere else, and the music does a nice job of giving a full feeling performance. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2003, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With a lot of really bold colors in large sections, there's no noticeable blocking going on and that's the major problem that this release could have had but avoids. Cross coloration and aliasing are just about non-existent and overall this is a really sweet looking transfer. While some of the earlier volumes some serious dot crawl problems, this volume looks almost pristine by comparison and really shines here like the first volume did for us. The opening and ending sequences are retained in their original Japanese text format, most likely as hentai releases don't usually have clean versions to offer up. They're not translated directly but are done following the show.

Packaging:
Newly introduced Pricilla takes the cover this time the same as the Japanese cover as she turns with her gun while against a white background. The detailed illustration looks good with only a few colors to it and sets the change in direction for the group Akuji faces now. The back cover has a lot of artwork and shots from the show on it, enough that it takes up about two-thirds of it. The bottom third has a small summary and a list of the discs features. There's a small technical grid along the bottom that's clear on the features and overall it's easy to see exactly what's on the disc between the two sections. There's no insert with this release but the cover is reversible. The reverse side is the same image for the front cover but the back cover has a different series of screenshots used for it while everything else remains the same.

Menu:
The main menu uses a Akuji taking Pricilla shown from the side set against an abstract wash of murky colors for the background and with the menu selections running down the left side. The strong instrumental music plays along to the static imagery and loops for a pretty lengthy amount of time instead of the usual short loop, letting you really get the full song. The layout is decent and there isn't too much here overall. As there was no language choice, the show defaulted easily to our preference for subtitles and we had no problems navigating here. A few mistakes snuck into the menus this time. The language selection menu has the right artwork but it lists it as episode 3 instead of 5. The extras section lists the disc as Zero Sum Game instead of Daiakuji 5 as well.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series gets closer to its actual climax, the plot kicks in pretty heavily with what the Ouime are really after now and sets the stage for the final battle. In a way it really comes out of nowhere since we're only now seeing the forces under Ihabarra's control but this is an adult series so the real focus of course is on sex and more sex, even if there is an actual plot attached to all of it.

Ihabarra's plans all revolve around Yume and her ability as the resident dick-girl to be able to properly procreate now. With her being the only real success story in the batch, it's critical to prove that it can happen and she sets things in motion with Yume and one of the women under her command upon return to the massive compound they operate out of it. This results in some hot and heavy lesbian action that's broadcast throughout the complex apparently and it simply turns on every single woman there and incites mass naked lesbian events all over. Even better, it appears that Ihabarra has tested things out on herself or she's always been a dick-girl and she takes one of the higher commanders to task sexually as well in an effort to prove that the sperm from her and Yume will work as she intends.

Pricilla doesn't like what she's seeing so she manages to escape out of the compound and comes to warn Akuji over it since he's a particular target and the two had met before (show in a new flashback sequence) though Akuji of course had forgotten about her. Their reunion is of course done in the way Akuji only knows how but it does provide for some rather good scenes for Pricilla while they figure out exactly how to proceed with things. Motoko finds herself incredibly jealous of this and we see just how far back that jealousy goes as we see when Akuji first left for the war effort. Pricilla's character doesn't get too much depth to her as most of that goes towards Motoko this time but she makes out for the better with Akuji and having some good sex scenes.

The person with the worst luck in this show that's still alive has to be Kikuko though as she finds herself being kidnapped again. Initially she's approached by the pair of girls that works for Ihabarra with the green and blue hair as initiates who want to learn more from a true master about sex. This initially looks like it's going to be a really hot three way lesbian scene with really attractive characters but they instead use it to bring Kikuko back to the headquarters where she's bound up, electrocuted and roughed over a lot. She's simply got the worst luck here in this series.

In Summary:
Though the plot sort of shifts out of nowhere it was expected since this is the fifth of six regular volumes of the show so they had to advance the story somewhere. The premise is actually neat in that Ihabarra wants to eliminate all men from the world, something you won't see in a regular series I'll hazard, and has just about accomplished the means to allow women to reproduce with each other. This means a rigorous test phase so lots of sex is required but the guys of the world won't stand for this while they still can and the women who are in thrall to them have to have their say as well. This sets up nicely for a big sexual battle royale I'm guessing the next volume will be.

Features
Japanese2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Photo Gallery

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: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Adult Source Media
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Daiakuji: The Xena Buster