Jiburiru Vol. #4 (of 4) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What They Say
Reirouge finally reveals herself and now, the journey to the final battle of Jiburiru begins. How will Naoto and Jiburiru get out of this mess? Will Jiburiru win this final battle against the army of hell? The last chapter of Jiburiru the Devil Angel finishes off with a big bang!

The Review!
Jiburiru comes to a close with an explosive bang before it does it with a softer, gentler, loving bang.

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. Thankfully absent from this volume is the JapanAnime bug that was in the lower right corner of the transfer for the second volume. With that removed, things are much better here now.

Using the original Japanese artwork, the last cover is a great little piece that lets Loveriel take the whole cover as she's shackled at both her hands and her feet and is laying on the concrete floor while fully dressed but giving just enough of a hint of a look to really look innocent and scared. The back cover is a big improvement over the initial releases as well with much easier to see clips from the show, an easier to read summary over one of the larger pictures and a clean and simple technical grid with the basics, though it doesn't list the audio features at all which could lead some to assume it has English when it doesn't. .

The main menu is a decent simple piece that has a slightly zoomed in version of the front 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)
With the fourth and final volume of this particular series, Jiburiru comes to a close as the one who commands Asmodeous finally appears and takes an active role in bringing down Rika. The episode has a fairly odd feel to it since a lot of it seems to take place outside of reality in a sense and some of the way the scenes play out almost feels somewhat surreal but in the end it's a decent finale to the show and wraps up some of the minor plot material that's here.

Rika and Naoto are doing what they best and that's just constantly going at it. This is youth to the extreme… either that or I mis-spent my own youth in a vastly different way. Rika's still got her problems in not wanting to do this constantly but they're less pronounced now while Naoto is continuing to just work her over while hiding the fact that he made out with Reina. As their session moves along it's suddenly interrupted as Meimi shows up in her Mistymei outfit and issues a challenge on behalf of her leader, Reirouge. The deal is to meet that evening and to have it out once and for all to settle things. Amusingly, Rika and Naoto don't stop at all during this and continue to screw which only pisses off Meimi even more since she's still got it bad for him.

When they arrive for the challenge they're surprised to find Reina there in the throes of passion with another man (which makes Naoto say some almost incriminating phrases) but as she finishes up it's revealed that she's actually Reirouge, the General of Hell that's come to eliminate Jiburiru and make it safe for all of demon kind to flood the planet. She lashes out with the tentacles and Rika finds herself entangled in them and being abused while Naoto is moved into a position where Reirouge can now have her way with him which only taunts Rika even more. Getting her to transform so they can do proper battle is the goal and this will certainly goad her into it.

The final battle as each side goes at it and some cheap shots along the way from Loveriel and Asmo as well as poor Mistymei being shunted to the side essentially leaves us with something that tries to be a bit more epic than it is as we get the whole goal of Reirouge with her needs in Jiburiru but it's all pretty pointless because you know how things will end up as Jiburiru unleashes a new undiscovered power. Can you guess it? Aww, that's right, it's love! Jiburiru's been down for the count before and taken a beating and she does it all again here but there's always a way to save the day. It's a cute balance to things and it works well within the context of the show but they don't linger on it long before moving on to the next sex scene which is much more enjoyable.

A lot of how this feels in terms of the storyline is that they really weren't sure how they were going to end it and then as the fourth episode was going into pre-production they were told it was going to be the last one. It doesn't feel rushed per se but it feels like things were moved up and some areas plucked out of thin air in order to bring it to a resolution. The way half the cast seemingly is tossed to the side in order to bring Reirouge in seemed weird as well as the way a lot of this just had a near surreal feel to it in that the settings weren't based anywhere but just bland colored or rainbow colored backgrounds. But at least the sex was good.

In Summary:
The Jiburiru series has been pretty fun overall with good character designs, an interesting and fun twist on a standard story and overall good looking sex scenes with very little in terms of repeated animation for them. The final volume feels weaker in general but it does bring things to a resolution for the characters and the storyline itself. While this isn't one of the best shows I've seen, it definitely caught my interest early on with the neat twist in the reason why the leads had to have sex and the attractive character designs. There is definitely room left open for more and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Slideshow

Review Equipment
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: C+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: JapanAnime
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Jiburiru