One: True Stories (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, October 21, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2005
What They Say
Kohei was an ordinary student until he met a young woman with a memory problem. In the mornings, she awakes with no memory of what she did the night before. With this, Kohei begins a series of midnight encounters with her and the other women from his class. These are the true stories of Kohei and his adventures.
Kohei's simple and sincere approach to women nets him numerous encounters that rounds out his experiences nicely in this rather friendly and story oriented OVA series.
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 2003, 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 terribly vibrant nor is it as slick as some other releases but the show simply looks really good. Colors are bright and strong and maintain a very solid feel. Sometimes some of the close up shots the edges of certain characters hair, like Sakumoto, looks a bit fuzzy and less than distinct. Aliasing is minimal and overall this is a very smooth and good looking transfer.
With this being such a friendly title in its way, having the central image of Mizuka looking cute and happy and like any mainstream cover works nicely here while the background is filtered in pink with shots of the various girls in states of pleasure. The back cover is done with a large shot of Mizuka and several shots from the show lined on each side. The summary is pretty minimal and covers only a little bit of the show while the rest of the cover is filled out with the production information and technical grid. No insert was included with this release nor a reverse side cover as the keepcase is a clear one.
The main menu uses the artwork of Mizuka from the back cover as its center piece along with the tall logo while laying the selections along the top and doing the background similar to the front covers background which looks really soft and nice here. 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 did not correctly read our players' language presets as the full English subtitle track was listed second instead of first.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Titles like One: True Stories are the kinds that I wish there were more of to help balance out some of the more hardcore titles out there. It's the kind of show where things are more romance based, though with the follow-through to the actual sex scene of course, but the characters and how they come together is just as important as the actual event. Shows like this are so close to the mainstream with how they're done that it's the equivalent of seeing a regular drama done on a pay cable station.
The central character in this three part drama is Kohei, a high school student who come across as your average decent looking guy who isn't a loser by any of the normal definitions of that. We get a bit of his back story in that he lost his parents when he was little and has lived with his aunt ever since, not that she's any kind of real character in the show. We see him early on with Mizuka, a girl he's been friends with since childhood who comes to wake him up for school every day and is generally his good friend. Naturally, she's got an attraction to him as they've gotten older but he's clueless about it since he sees her so much as that friend. This gets to her a bit as she tries to figure out how to get him to understand things, but Kohei has some learning to do first.
This comes in the form of two other women, which make up the first two episodes. The first episode introduces him to Misaki, an attractive schoolgirl who is actually blind. This presents him with an interesting challenge as he falls for her pretty quickly and the two get to talking a lot but she's skittish around people since she can't see them and being a young male, Kohei's fairly active and somewhat touchy with her. She does eventually settle down with him and they get closer and closer which leads to a lengthy tender sequence between the two of them in the classroom after hours. What's interesting with them in their intimate scene is that if you really take the realization of how it is between them by getting into the idea that she can't see a thing he's doing, it becomes a much more interesting scene.
Even though that doesn't work out, Kohei's not one to let life get him down and he finds himself becoming interesting in another schoolmate named Sakumoto who is rather cold towards people due to some of the things she's gone through in life with relationships. Kohei keeps coming across her in a small lot on his way home, often in the rain, where she's simply standing there reflecting on a past relationship and what it meant to her. His attempts to get through to her don't work and everyone tells him that while she is indeed quite hot, her personality and manner keeps everyone away. But Kohei's persistence is what pays off and he eventually breaks through to her and the two of them become much more. She has a surprising secret though that takes the relationship in a strange direction.
Everything eventually comes around to his relationship with Mizuka as the two explore what's gone between them in the past and where it could potentially lead which isn't a surprise based on how the series is laid out. Much of what's here if you take away the sex scenes is little different from any number of manga or anime stories involving real-world romances and situations. It's not that the sex adds all that much more to it but with that being part of what will happen in the story, the relationships often take more interesting turns and move beyond the "will they or won't they get together" or even say they like or love each other. Those are often the first steps to what we get here. The shows designs are quite attractive as all the girls are unique in their own way and none of them are quite like the others in personality either. The animation for it is pretty good with nice smooth moments and very vibrant colors that work well within the setting.
One: True Stories is the perfect kind of entry level or couples type of show that focuses just as much on the story and emotions of the characters as the sex, if not more so. The characters are appealing, there's some neat ideas tossed around in terms of how the intimate moments are played out and the lead character avoids the problems of being a wimp, a loser or evil. He's an average guy with decent looks who listens to the girls he's interested in and is honest with his emotions. So it's obviously fantasy but it's a nice fantasy and a very enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes. Recommended.
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: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: One: True Stories