Heritage From Father Vol. #1 (of 3) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Sunday, May 08, 2005
Release Date: Friday, August 13, 2004



What They Say
Due to father's death, Xian was called back to castle. Being the chairman of the greatest conglomerate in Japan, father has made Xian as his heir. Just for some reason he became to dislike his own father, and left for starting his owe career.

"Forbidden Past" is the only thing going to happen in Japen.

Felttotally out of interest toward the heritage. One unexpected incident occurred in the castles that night.

Who was the murder and what for? The horror is coming...

The Review!
Returning to the home he'd left behind ages ago, the lead character must take care of the closure of his fathers life and businesses.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese which is also the only language available on this release. The stereo mix is fairly typical of most adult anime releases in that while it is in stereo it's either got a full sound to it that doesn't have much distinction or that it feels very center channel based which is mostly for the dialogue. The Japanese track here sounds good if unexceptional since there isn't all that much to it out of the ordinary. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2004, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This is one great looking transfer that looks essentially flawless all the way through. It's free of some of the usual digital problems like color gradient being visible and the saturation is just right. Colors look great here with a lot of depth to them. Add in that it's free of cross coloration and the lack of dot crawl exhibited on another AV Box release and you get a really great looking transfer here.

Packaging:
Using the Japanese artwork with two of the maids that get some screen time in this volume, they're sprawled out on the floor wearing very little and exposing parts of themselves along the way. The style of the artwork is appealing and the designs look good. What looks to be the original logo is used as well. The back cover mixes a few strips of shots from the show with some taglines about it and then provides a summary of the story and the shows production staff and then all the technical information for it.

Menu:
The menu layout comes in two sections for this release; the first lets you choose which language you want for your subtitles and then provides a menu in that language for you. The secondary menu is a standard piece that's nicely done with the background being a blue hazy piece with blood splattered about and the original logo done in layers set to some music from the series. The menu selections are layered on top of the water piece and are nice and solid and easy to navigate. With only one language here and the previous menu setting the subtitles, access times are nice and fast and presets matter little at this point.

Extras:
The only included extras are a series of character sketches and an art gallery with scenes from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having come at this series in a somewhat backward manner by having seen the third and final episode already and then going back to the first one, it's also made worse by the completely awful job that AV Box has done with the subtitles here. It may have been cleaned up quite a bit by the time the third volume rolled around but this opening volume to the series borders on being worse than a lot of the old Hong Kong bootlegs that were translated multiple times by non-English speaking people.

The biggest problem I have with the subtitles is that they're localized in both languages. Instead of the Japanese names being used, the Chinese subtitle track localizes it to names there and the English track localizes it to names there. And even then half the time the names make no sense so it's a real botch job on that. Add in that the subtitles lack a lot of punctuation, sentences run on, capitalization is a joke and often times in the first half the script makes absolutely no sense and you're really better off watching it raw. I felt like I was tripping back some fifteen to twenty years ago in watching this.

Not that the show is all that great to begin with. The plot at first centers around a young man we'll simply call the Master. He's sought out by a young woman who is a secretary of sorts and is working to ensure the finalization of a will. The Master's father has died and he owned many estates and businesses and she's intent on making sure that he as the heir comes back to the house and settles the affairs. His agreement to this, since he does not want to have anything to do with what his life was like with his father before which is tied to his mothers death, is that she serve as his secretary for this and handle the bulk of the financial matters. If so, he'll return to the house. Cue decent sex scene and move on.

Returning to the house, the Master is generally just bothered by the way his father lived, from having numerous maids around that he presumes were solely for servicing him sexually to the old butler that he has some deep seated issues with. His anger is evident as he makes his small proclamations and then keeps to himself as he watches how things play out, from seeing various maids getting it on together to dealing with one maid who believes that if she kills him she'll save all their jobs. Her reward for the icepick attempt is a full on rape scene with him.

Heritage from Father has some decent character designs throughout it but the sex scenes themselves generally feel weak and rushed and often off-model. Sometimes even off of what a human looks like depending on how you believe certain kinds of shading works. There's enough decent material to it but when you consider the package as a whole it doesn't help that it's not the best looking thing to come down the road in awhile.

In Summary:
Heritage from Father felt like it played out a bit better by the third episode and I can't remember that the technical problems were as bad as they were here with the subtitles. Regardless, this is a very weak start to a series with minimal sex scenes and not terribly good looking ones at that either. This really feels like a cheap end of the pool release from Green Bunny and everything about it just screams shovelware. The transfer itself is at least decent so watching it raw is probably the only way to really go here.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Chinese Subtitles,Character Sketches,Art 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: D
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AV Box
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Heritage From Father