Jiburiru Vol. #1 (of 4) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, July 29, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2005
What They Say
One hot summer day, Naoto Kamino reveals his true feelings to Manabe Rika. Then, out of nowhere, a young lad(?) by the name of Asumo(who refers himself as the devil) descends upon and attempts to kid...
When the demons are afoot on Earth, it's up to the angels to save the day, though sometime by proxy.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. It's the only language track included here as once again there's no dub for a new adult release. The track is a fairly standard stereo mix with a bit of directionality across the two channels that sounds decent if not terribly immersive. Dialogue is mostly center channel based but it comes across clean and clear and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2003, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. As with some of the better produced series out there, the source material here looks good with lots of bright vivid colors and some decent animation that doesn't show too many shortcuts. There is a small level of fuzziness to it however which is noticeable around the edges of the characters and particularly their hair. It doesn't come across as cross coloration though and it may not be as noticeable depending on your viewing distance. The colors generally look good and solid though there are some areas where you can see the color gradients, especially during the first minute or two of the show with the flashing red light.
Using the original Japanese artwork, we get a really slick looking detailed piece of Rika transformed and with her sexy outfit in disarray as the tentacles and slime is all over her. For a tentacle cover, it looks really good and well illustrated. I don't like how they list the discs features along the bottom since it just isn't necessary. The back cover has a large shot of Rika again being held apart by the tentacles while photos from the show range around her. The summary is amusingly bad in how it's laid out, almost as if they don't understand how to write in English. In fact, nowhere on the release does it list what languages are available on the release which is a big miss.
The main menu is a decent simple piece that has a slightly zoomed in version of the back cover as its static background. The top half puts the series name while the basic navigation is down along the bottom, the whole thing set to a brief loop of instrumental music from the show. They do combine the extras and setup menu though which I don't care for at all. Access times are nice and fast and with no English language dub on here the player presets are somewhat moot.
The only included extra here is an image gallery done in slideshow format.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first volume in a new series from JapanAnime, the release ends up suffering from much the same problems that we noted over in Sex Warrior Pudding's Final Chapter release. While there are some visual problems with that level of fuzziness – as well as the seeming overexposure/brightness issue that's showing up in a lot of series these days – the subtitles once again look like they were done by someone whose never seen a subtitle track before. Honestly, I have to say that if I was responsible for this release and sat down and watched the show with subtitles, I'd be embarrassed to have my name associated with it at all. The extra spaces, improper punctuation usage and the overall layout of them is just terrible. The dialogue is at least easy to understand and doesn't border into Engrish territory but they're still close to that level.
Jiburiru is the latest release here that works the transformation angle storyline and it's actually quite a lot of fun, especially for a tentacle series. We're introduced to childhood friends Rika and Naoto just as Naoto reveals his deep feelings for Rika. As this happens, they're watched by another girl who seems to remain nameless who wants Naoto to herself so she's incredibly jealous. Even worse, their profession of feelings is watched and mocked by Asumo, a demon whose come to Earth to find Rika due to what she can do and to stop her before she can do it. Asumo goes to take them both out but is thwarted when the angel Loveriel shows up and causes things to just turn to complete chaos, thereby de-powering each side until they can fight again another day.
Asumo takes the voyeur girl and ends up causing her to transform into a dominating type with a maid outfit and a number of tentacles. She heads off into the parks to hassle those young lovers there, making them feel the sting of her tentacles. While this is going on, Loveriel explains to Rika that she has the ability to transform into Jiburiru if she wears Loveriel's halo. Jiburiru is apparently the Demon Angel and has the ability to use various powers because of it. But to use those powers, she has to be powered up by Amore, which naturally means she needs to get banged before she can take down the bad guys. What's amusing is that Loveriel reads off the list of attacks Rika can pull off when she's transformed, but she has to store those up by doing variouse sexual positions – positions where Naoto or whoever she sleeps with has to climax with. Do that to her breasts and she can use the Angel version of a particular attack. Anal sex leads to the Demon version of the same attack. There's a number of these and the list just scares Rika completely, especially since she just lost her virginity to Naoto a few minutes earlier.
Events do lead to a showdown between sides though and Rika's transformation into Jiburiru is brief but cute and it looks good. There's a lot of comedy mixed into the episode overall so it's a very light tentacle kind of show but it has its mean streak stuff too at times such as one of the ending scenes. I do get the feeling that I've seen similar to this show before but it was still a lot of fun to watch and good to see a non-serious tentacle piece. The artwork is pretty decent and the designs are somewhat average for the most part but the tentacle girl with glasses is probably the most attractive until Rika transforms. This doesn't look like a top-tier kind of title but it's decently done and enjoyable..
Jiburiru suffers from some technical problems and while the subtitles are frustrating, it's watchable and the show is very much a lot of fun. The mixture of a light comedy with the tentacle action as well as the demon and devil angle provides for a good basic storyline to work from and includes a fun little transformation bonus to all of it. With only one episode and no dub however, this is one of those releases that's a hard sell to not only the casual fan but also the hardcore fan since the belief is that if we're paying that much for one episode, it needs to be of pristine quality across the board.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Slideshow
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 RP-82 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: All Region DVD
Released By: JapanAnime
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2