Desperate Carnal Housewives Vol. #1 (of 2) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, January 23, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2006
What They Say
Three housewives are required to attend a parent conferencing because their children were causing trouble in school. At the school, they are welcomed by two male employees who tell them that the school is closed. The men lead them to an old abandoned school and punish them in place of their children! Will giving the parents an obedience lesson really affect their children’s behavior? Will the parents learn from it? Or will they…
Using a real school as a front, a new secret School of Housewives is created in order to have some really twisted fun with.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Since there's no dub available, something that would get these shows into a wider market, what we get here is a simple and straightforward stereo mix that's mostly center channel based anyway for the dialogue and sex effects while the minimal music and a couple of action effects make up the usage on the stereo channels. Dialogue is however nice and clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2005, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With it being such a recent release the materials on hand are in very good shape with lots of clean looking animation, bright colors and solid looking designs. For the most part, the transfer here is well authored with colors looking right and no visible aliasing or cross coloration. Some of the colors don't maintain a solid feel though and some areas are much more noticeable than others. The final scene in the van for instance features some very noticeable blocking in the characters faces.
The layout and design for this cover is done in a very simple manner but it showcases all the women so it does accomplish one of its goals. With a strip of character art along the top just below the series name, you get to see who'll be in the show and then one of them in a full shot below that. This is the same thing on the reverse side cover though on that the full image you can see her panties as the shirt doesn't cover her entirely. The back cover provides a collage of images from the show and another full length shot of one of the women wrapped around the short basic story summary. The discs features are all clearly listed along the bottom. The overall design is definitely unusual compared to most other releases but even with as much open space as there is on the front it gets most things just right.
The menu layout is similar to the front cover without the same character artwork. It does the split style with the burgundy background and black strip but it uses the reverse side character artwork for the main draw and lines the selections on the opposite side of that. It's a decent looking menu but like the cover it works but feels really minimal in a way. Access times are nice and fast and while the audio language wasn't an issue the subtitles did get picked up properly via the player presets.
The only extra on the disc is a slide show gallery of images from the show. The packaging does indicate that there is a PSP movie inside but I've got zero clue or experience in how to extract that or how it'd look on the PSP as I can't bring myself to actually watch anything on that small of a screen.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Desperate Carnal Housewives is the latest series to kick off from JapanAnime and it's one that's pretty recent as well with the first Japanese volume coming out in 2005. The show is amusing in that it's the kind of series where you can watch it and think, even though it's not something that you can imagine really happening, you can imagine that if it did it would definitely be possible in Japan.
The crux of the story is that three young mothers have arrived at their children's elite school because they've been notified about problems with their children. One of them is prim and proper in a kimono, another is a flashy type who shows off a lot of skin and the third is in between. They're all hot in their own way and each play up their archetypes well. Thrown into the mix when they arrive at the school is that there's a young teacher there who was asked to come by the principal but the school is locked shut so she can't get in. Everything changes though when a small bus arrives and two male employee's of the school who are playing relations to the principal tell them that they had to make a location change at the last minute and that they're there to take them to the other school. The young teacher comes along and all three women leave their vehicles there and go in the bus.
Naturally, you know how it goes from here. The two men take the four women to the "secret school" which is actually a full on school designed for little kids. It's even got the tiny bathroom stalls with the cute animals painted on the stall doors and all that. Once they all arrive there, the men inform them that there are problems with their kids and that it's typically the parent's fault when this kind of stuff happens so they want the parents to go through the routine of the kids which will then have the parents react, hopefully in the same way the kids do so that the parent understands what's happening. So in order to be really ready for this, the women are all given adult sized yet too small versions of the kids uniforms which is just priceless. While they're off changing though, one of the guys takes down the teacher who came along and dominates her completely by deflowering her and ensuring that she's basically under their thrall.
From there, each of the mothers are put through the paces as they're given things to do that the kids do and they of course fail along the way. One of them does a skip rope session and she falls and says she can't do it anymore, which leads to the jump rope being changed to a whip and she gets taken care of nicely. Another mother has her clothes removed partially and gets all in denial, again like her child, which leads to her running off to the bathroom where we learn more nasty things about her. The most amusing though had to be the one mother who found herself being placed halfway through one of those kids houses with her legs spread wide. Behind her, he puts a rocking horse that then rocks forward to tease her just enough before it rocks away and then back. Who thinks of that? It goes a bit conventional after that with her being laid out on the roof of the house but I know I can't go back to my own kid's classroom now without some of this in my head.
The character designs for the show are fairly attractive though there isn't anything that's outright top to bottom sexy but that works in the shows favor since it's going for a real world approach. I was amused at first by the young teacher since I thought she was like a high school student. Instead she's just the right type of aged character to deal with young kids so it fit well but also made her stand out from the rest of them rather well. The men themselves are pretty standard fare and you can almost get that Shusaku feeling from them in how they operate. That's the closest I can associate this series with so far and I expect it to play out similar to that but with parents instead of kids.
While it's doing an amusing send up of a popular TV show with its name, Desperate Carnal Housewives is a surprisingly fun little piece that's just a bit softer than most other shows out there visually which gives it a good feeling. The location and designs are well done while the premise is humorous but works well considering how many times we've seen it done in the past but with the kids going through the wringer. The slight change of pace with the parents getting dealt with gives it a few more areas to play with and it looks like this show will do that. While not a stand out piece it's a good bit of fun and had us laughing and cringing several times.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Slideshow
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: B-
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: JapanAnime
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Desperate Carnal Housewives