Sensitive Pornograph (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, October 21, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2005
What They Say
Seiji Yamada is a young Shonen manga artist who is a big fan of fellow artist Sono Hanasaki. When the two meet it turns out that Sono is a fan in turn, and it's a match made in heaven for the two young men...almost. Ueno is an innocent pet-sitter who is hired to take care of what turns out to be a young man on a leash. This encounter leads to a relationship much more serious than either of them had anticipated.
A pair of stories surrounding the loves and lives of a few men manages to top most of what's come out before for yaoi stories in anime form.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The release, being aimed at such a small demographic, is done without an English language adaptation though plenty of dub studios have said that they're more than game to tackle material like this. The Japanese language track is pretty much problem free here with it being a very simple stereo mix that's center channel based for its dialogue but a bit wider when it comes to the music and effects portion of the track. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released to video at the end of 2004, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. While it's not a high end glossy OVA release it's one that captures the look and feel of the authors original manga work and looks good by the materials used here. The transfer is clean and clear with no visible problems such as aliasing or cross coloration. The colors are a bit soft in general as it looks intentional but they maintain a good solid feel throughout whether it's a light color or one of the few darker moments. With just the one episode here, there isn't a lot of competition for space so this just looks really good overall.
The cover artwork for this release looks to use the original author's illustrations as it has the characters from the first story, wrapped up in some warm clothing, snuggling up together with a fairly soft and indistinct background. The designs look appealing and it'll certainly work on the target audience. The back cover goes for a bit lighter colors in the layout with more pinks and rose shades as it provides some non-explicit but very teasing pictures from the two episodes. The summary covers the basics and the listing of the discs features and technical information is well laid out and easy to find. No insert is included with this release.
The menu avoids using artwork not only from the cover but in general and uses the background design from the cover with the shows logo above the larger than normal text for the selections. With no language selection here there is less than usual but having extras gives it a bit more so that the text for the selections isn't overwhelming. Access times are nice and fast and with the languages being what they are, our presets were pretty much moot.
Unlike most adult releases there are actually a couple of extras here. One is a series of storyboards and another is a gallery of the character designs.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Back in 2003, Ashika Sakura started a new manga series called Sensitive Pornograph which was scooped up to become an OVA that arrived about a year later. The OVA takes two separate stories and gives each of them about fifteen minutes to run, in which they actually get a surprising amount done overall. What's different about this show compared to just about every other boys love show brought over so far is that it is explicit.
The opening story is one between a very feminine looking man named Sono and another man named Seiji. Both of them are manga artists, Sono an established author of older women's manga while Seiji is a rookie upstart type that's making some waves for himself. It starts off with them in bed waking up together and taking care of that morning issue before it goes back to show how the two of them met, got drunk and ended up realizing just how attracted to each other they are. It goes into some of the way that they have to deal with their relationship and work but for the most part it allows for a couple of explicit sex scenes wrapped up in a relaxed and problem free kind of romance without some of the usual kinds of things we see in these, like yakuza relations or just being freaked out by the entire concept.
The second episode is a bit more up front about things as we meet Ueno, a young college man who makes a bit of extra money by working as a pet sitter on-call. Instead of heading out with friends for the afternoon, he takes on a job of watching a rabbit for someone who will be out of town until the next day. He's given instructions on how to get into the apartment which work flawlessly but he can't seem to find the bunny. He's horrified at the thought that the bunny may be in the closet where he hears something but he's simply shocked when he opens it up and there's a very effeminate young man with lilac hair that's bound, gagged and handcuffed in there. He brings him out but the guy says little overall and just starts to seduce Ueno as he goes on about how it's something that his master is making him do. What surprises him though is that Ueno ends up getting into it and makes sure that the slave enjoys what's happening for him as well.
Visually, the show is nicely done with attractive character designs that have that certain appeal that most yaoi oriented series do. It's got the mix of the effeminate and the more regular kind of guy being involved and the animation level itself is decent. It's not a high end production but it captures the essence of what the manga was getting across and that almost dreamlike quality that a lot of the scenes are trying to promote. The scenes do get surprisingly explicit though which is something that's been more obscured in the past and done from less obvious camera angles so it makes some headway in that department as well.
Sensitive Pornograph is definitely a winner for those that are interested in this genre. Though the stories are short they don't feel as dragged out as some previous releases in other series have. They provide for a decent enough story to be covered within the timeframe and both of them are different enough that you don't feel like you're getting the same thing with each of them. With good looking character designs and animation plus the new level of explicitness this is one that yaoi fans need to check out and hope to see more of.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Storyboards,Character Design Gallery
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, 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: C+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sensitive Pornograph