Bible Black Only (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007
What They Say
Saeki, Shiraki, Miss Takashiro, Doctor Kitami and Ito all had important parts to play in the deadly conspiracy to summon a demon on Walpurgis Night. But even when they weren't part of the action, they were still getting plenty of action. These are the side stories of Bible Black.
Ito introduces her boyfriend to the whole girl's swim team. Miss Takashiro has a reunion with the sex demon she accidentally summoned when she was a student. Saeki learns Kitami's "special trick" so she can show the girls of her coven some real love. And Doctor Kitami is up to her usual tricks.
.A series of short side stories, Bible Black Only looks between the stories where there is, shocking enough, more sex going on.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language adaptation. The English track is a standard stereo mix that's mostly center channel based for its dialogue but it does use the forward soundstage in a slightly wide way on a few occasions. The music and occasional sound effects flesh out the stereo channels in general but otherwise this is a fairly straightforward mix. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released to video in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Much like the original series, the source materials here are great looking which results in a very striking and vibrant show. The colors are more varied this time around with a number of outdoor and daylight scenes which look great but the dark interior rooms are just as solid and great looking. The animation is good and fluid for the most part in this show and it comes across clean and clear here with no real problems outside of some very minor aliasing in a few areas where the line work was a bit busy.
Continuing to use the various sigils and symbols in the background, the foreground goes for the gusto with three of the main women in the series here in little more than g-strings and slivers of fabric for tops. Add in that one of them has bunny ears and it all works magically well. The designs aren't terribly detailed but the characters are almost iconic at this point for fans of the show that they stand out well. The back cover has a number of shots from the show across two strips while also using a piece of promotional artwork of three of them along the top in a blue hue. The summary of the premise runs through the center and the bottom contains the technical grid which covers everything and is accurate in the language listings. No insert is included with this release.
The menu for this release is similar to most adult releases as it uses the character artwork from the back cover and sets that dead center with some flame imagery over them set to a serious bit of instrumental music. The navigation is lined along the bottom which looks a little sparse without the language submenu but it has the gallery to make it up instead. Access times are nice and fast and the layout simple and easy..
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Bible Black franchise began its releases here back in 2002 and is still going on to this day. The show has earned itself a reputation among fans and is almost what you could call a crossover title as the designs and outfits have inspired mainstream cosplayers. While the main storylines run in other series, Bible Black Only is a bit different in that it's a series of shorts that are meant to fill in the holes.
These shorts aren't meant to fill any holes in the storyline per se, but rather those of the various women who are being dominated or doing the dominating. Each of the tales runs on average just under ten minutes and have their own openings and closings. There are two "episodes" within this volume though and in each of those episodes are the short tales. The quality of each of course varies by what's actually going on but the animation itself is solid if not quite what we get in the main titles. The character designs are spot on though and while they may not have all the flash and luster of the main episodes, the things that make them attractive are very much there.
The scenes for these go from the simple to the twisted, though it's not until later in the second episode that it starts to get nasty with the whole enema aspect. Early on we get a tale with the vice principal taking one of the girls while she's getting off in the bathroom. Another is a rooftop sequence where the pointy tipped girl wearing some bunny ears gets to do a very public display. One story in the second episode has one of the girls falling prey to her desires, desires that she can't control, and it ends up leading her down a path that has her being quite abused.
If there's any real problem with these stories it's that the timing of the release is a bit awkward. It's been five years since the original series came out which puts a bit distance between that and where these fit into things. The other is that most of the episodes are very light on references, if any, not only to the main storyline but also to actual names. Hardly anyone calls anyone else by name and my memory doesn't really recall who everyone is after all this time. That ends up leaving the episodes titillating from the actual sexual presentations but it loses some of its impact due to not being able to tie it to the larger storyline.
The downside to this release is on the technical side in that the setup of the chapter marks is very awkward. With each sub-episode featuring its own opening and closing sequence, skipping ahead at the start of an opening takes you to the next episode, not to the actual content of the episode you're watching. You're only able to skip around really to the start of the various episodes. The openings and closings aren't bad, but with as many as there are here it gets to be bothersome after awhile.
In some ways I've become somewhat tired of the Bible Black franchise if only because few adult shows go on this long. If these episodes had been released closer to when the original series came out then they likely would have had more impact. At this stage, it's definitely a plus that we're finally getting it and we're getting to see some great looking designs and sex scenes. But the full impact of them are lost a bit due to the distance between the releases. Bible Black Only manages to avoid some of the problems that plagued the New Testament release which is a plus. It's also a pretty solid release in general with great looking designs and a good deal of sex. Barring the minor if bothersome technical issues and the fact that these are basically just a series of quickies, fans of the franchise will enjoy this quite a lot. It's definitely worth hauling out the original series again and then going through these.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray 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: B-
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: Bible Black