Submission Central (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Release Date: Thursday, January 19, 2006
What They Say
Kaoru wants Kyoshiro's girlfriend, Tsumugi, for himself. He meets Kyoshiro in a chat room and they make a contract. Kyoshiro and Kaoru will take turns training Tsumugi to be a sex slave, and they'll record their progress on a website. At the deadline, all the site's visitors will vote on which one of them deserves to be Tsumugi's boyfriend.
"I nearly got lockjaw from all the hummers I used to give" and "Never give a blowjob to a guy with a studded cockring" make up a rather amusing if non-literal English language adaptation.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language adaptation. Both tracks on the disc sport a fairly basic and decent stereo mix that's hardly used outside of the music moments at the opening and closing sequences. Everything else is very minor along with the dialogue through the center channel. That said, we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track during regular use.
Originally released in 2005, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With fairly recent materials available, the transfer and overall presentation here is in good shape with lots of clean smooth colors and sharp lines. The art style used is a bit off from the standard you expect which gives it a slightly cheap feel at times but it works out well here as there are a bit more angles that are well defined. The print is free of problems and there's nothing noticeable for cross coloration or aliasing during regular playback.
Using the image of Yukino as she's stretched out and being taken advantage of while still having most of her clothes on, the front cover is a very muted piece with the light purples and gray's giving it a depressing and cold feel right from the start. The logo uses an unusual method where the second word is upside down for no real reason; and with the logo already being done in a less than stellar font it's just very awkward looking. The artwork here does give an idea of what to expect from the show itself though which isn't completely standard and you can see more of this on the back cover where various shots from the show are done in large and small sizes. The summary is fairly brief and covers only the last fifteen minutes of the show really.The production and technical information are spot on though and the layout nicely done here.
The menu layout uses the same artwork as the front cover but twists it around a bit so she's laying at more of an angle with the menu selections to the right of her. With a bit of music playing along it carries much the same feel as the front cover itself and has a simple and easy to use layout. The disc did correctly read our players' language presets and played them accordingly.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Submission Central plays to a familiar theme of a woman being dominated but if you go by the synopsis on the back cover you'd get the idea that it's something that comes up early in the show. There's plenty of online chat material going on but it's not until the last quarter of the show that the competition actually starts. Before that happens it's a tale of two women getting two very different sets of sexual encounters.
Yukino and Kyo have lived next to each other since childhood and they often talk and joke across the windows from their bedrooms. Yukino's always had a crush on the somewhat shy Kyo but before she could ever really do anything about it, he got stolen away by Tsumugi, a fiery pink haired girl who loves sex. Kyo and Tsumugi, once they get past the initial awkward stages, engage in a lot of sex in different places. Kyo gets encouraged by his friends that he knows online only to do different things to her and to tell her what he wants, which results in such fun scenes as Tsumugi relieving herself in the pool. Like any good chat room of male buddies, it's all talk about their grand sexual exploits and how they treat their women so it's just a big pack of lies.
For Yukino, she spends a good bit of time lamenting her inability to get Kyo, watching the two of them get things going or just amusing herself. Her life takes a drastic turn however when one of the guys on the chat room decides to take advantage of her and dominates her completely while threatening to show pictures to everyone in school in order to keep her silent. She keeps coming home bruised and beaten every night as he has his way with her and Kyo notices but, being the oblivious boy he is, doesn't even notice. Things then turn into a strange competition when the chat room guys decide to video tape their sexual encounters and let everyone vote on who's having the best sex.
The visuals of the show are somewhat interesting in a minimalist sort of approach and at times it gives the impression of some early Mike Mignola character designs with their angular nature. The eyes are often just lines when seen from a certain distance and there's more shadows and blockiness to the clothes and hair which gives it a unique feel among a sea of carbon copy titles out there. The animation itself is fairly well done and there isn't a lot of noticeable repeated parts and for the most part it's fairly explicit without going into too much detail such as interior shots and the like.
Where the show takes some rather curious turns is in the English language adaptation. Submission Central fell into the category of "massive rewrite" where only a few bits of the plot remain and all the remaining dialogue bears little resemblance to the original Japanese script. Watching this with subtitles turned on is almost like watching two completely different shows. The dub is a far raunchier piece whereas the Japanese, while not being a cute and innocent story, has a more romantic approach to a lot of its aspects. The opening dialogue in particular where the lead remembers her time in school is so wildly disparate with the English version talking about all the sexual encounters while the Japanese covers just the times in school itself.
The dub however does provide for some great over the top lines. When Kyo finally has sex with Tsumugi, he says "I'm like an oil rig going up and down here!" and she follows up with "Pump me until you hit crude!" It's easy to imagine the script being written during a viewing session at a convention in the hotel room with a small group of friends and a hell of a lot of alcohol.
Submission Central has some interesting points to it but it'll depend very much on which version you watch as to whether it will appeal to you. If you want a straight out comedy with lots of sex and some minor fetish stuff thrown in you'll love the dub but if you want something more serious that gets darker as it goes along than the original version is what you're looking for. It's a simple standalone release though that takes the story from start to finish and doesn't exactly leave much left over for a sequel.
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 set to 480p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: C
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: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Submission Central