Fruits Cup Vol. #1 (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, September 29, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2005
What They Say
Riku Ohmi can fool every girl some of the time, he can fool some girls all of the time, and he can fool all the girls into his bed at the same time. Riku was asked to help with the girl's swim team's summer training when he finds some dirty videos of the girls Yoshino, Nagisa, and Matsuri. Not content to stick with the videos, he uses them as leverage to score some real action.
A new caretaker for the swim dormitory finds that the previous one was quite the deviant as he discovers his own inner deviant.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix that's used is fairly standard for an adult title with most of the dialogue being center channel based. The music and some of the sound effects do use the left and right channels though and provide a good warm full feeling but the bulk of the dialogue doesn't have much of a real sense of depth or placement. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released to video in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer for the show looks great throughout and really brings out the colors of the show. It's not as vibrant or "digitally slick" as some other releases but the show simply looks really good. Colors are bright and strong and maintain a very solid feel. The only time it was a minor issue was during some of the grayscale camera flashbacks when the animated grain and the solid colors would cause some minor blocking. Aliasing is minimal and overall this is a very smooth and good looking transfer.
Honesty in advertising is the hallmark of this cover as it showcases one of the girls from behind and underneath while she's wearing her school swimsuit and the water is dripping off of her. It's the kind of illustration style that just really brings the whole thing to life and when seen in person just sort of captivates your attention. The back cover is done with a large shot of the island from the show that's fairly gloomy. There are a few pictures showing shots from the show itself scattered around and a simple premise paragraph. The remainder of the cover is filled out with the production information and the ever solid technical grid. No insert was included with this release nor a reverse side cover as the keepcase is a clear one.
The main menu basically expands on what the front cover is by getting rid of a few shadows or streams of light and having another indistinct background all around. A bit of music is set to it from the shows vocal track and the menu overall is decent and not one you mind lingering on too much. Access times are nice and fast and the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played properly.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ever since I saw the cover art for this release I've been wondering just what it would be about other than swimsuits. I'll give them credit in that they're up front about what the fetish for the show is about but with no real full designs available other than the really slick illustration you can't be sure what you're getting into. Thankfully, though short, Fruits Cup is actually a good bit of fun and the kind of title that has some replay value to it.
The premise of the show is straightforward in that we're introduced to Riku, a young man who has just recently taken on the assignment of being the caretaker of a dormitory on one of the southern islands. He gained the job after a friend of his was hit by a car, apparently some sort of work related issue that's really nothing more than a dark bookend to the story, and Riku helped him to the hospital afterwards which basically saved his life. In reward for this, Riku's given a sizeable chunk of money but also this opportunity to spend a few weeks out in the really nice island atmosphere and just take care of a dormitory house.
The dormitory is actually pretty luxurious and Riku has a fair bit of work to keep it up to date but what he finds in the video room is most surprising as it appears the previous caretaker had spent a good deal of his time engaging in videotaping the girls who came to stay here and then having as much sex as possible with them. Riku's fascinated by it but he keeps it a secret from the newly arrived Seika swim team that's come to practice before the big event in a few weeks time. The three swim team members and their leader and advisor are all excited to be there, so much so that they're almost all changed into swimsuits the minute they're there.
Each of the girls has there own little thing going on of course. Yoshino's a happy go lucky girl but she's unsure of herself since she's still a virgin, which gets Matsuri's interested in her when the two are together and she decides to initiate a bit of action with her. Matsuri's got her own quirk as she's madly in love with her step brother and fantasizes about him. Shiori's got the hots for the team leader and the feelings are returned so the two of them engage in a lot of fun. Riku manages to capture all of this on video one by one and uses each new situation in order to bring them under his control. Using them as blackmail pieces, he's able to bring Yoshino first and then slowly brings the rest of them in. There's even amusing scene where he keeps going on about putting all the footage on DVD and starts chanting DVD.
Riku basically gives in to his inner deviant as this goes on and becomes something different than what we first saw of him when he arrived. To some extent it's certainly understandable the thoughts that goes through his head as he watches all of this unfold before him and have all that opportunity there. In terms of the actual scenes, they're all rather good, from the masturbation sequences which try to be sweet but are punctuated by cruelty to the full on sex scenes as Riku dominates all of them. Everyone gets a couple of scenes and in different styles, from being mostly undressed to wearing their swimsuits with certain sections open. The character designs for the show are pretty good as well. They aren't exactly small bodied in the super deformed sense, but they're a bit smaller than average designs but not quite childlike or pushing some weird Lolita style. While one or two may be bland, it's the kind of show that will have at least one or two designs that will appeal to everyone.
Fruits Cup just barely makes the forty-five minute mark which is a bit unusual for most adult anime releases these days that tend to be closer to thirty minutes each if not twenty-five per episode. But even with that, there are a lot of good scenes throughout the show with attractive characters. The paper thin plot is all that's really needed to carry it all together though they do drape it with a few hints of something larger going on as well. While not exactly a couples show since it features all non-consensual scenes, this is something that could be more towards newer folks as well as those who are more familiar to the scene.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fruits Cup