Vanilla Series: Bondage 101 (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Sunday, May 14, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2006



What They Say
Class is in session once again, but it looks like they'll be teaching something new this year: Bondage 101! From Producers Shiyuuta Biwajima and Chikara Niki (BONDAGE MANSION / WICKED LESSONS / PERVERSE INVESTIGATIONS), this year Professor Shizuma will be educating three beautiful young women in the science of sex and submission!

To all observers, Ryuei College looks like a clean-cut, ivy-league school... but in reality, the school is hiding its true purpose: to produce perfect female sex slaves.

Enter Kyoichi Shizuma. After being fired from his last job for molesting the students, Kyoichi has been hired as a professor at Ryuei College and given a single task: turn three of the school's top female students into willing, luscious, and obedient sex slaves.

When Kyoichi enthusiastically begins his new job, he discovers that his new students are going to be a handful. Yumiko, a gorgeous girl with glasses, knows all about the true nature of the college. She seems like the perfect, willing slave " but is she really? Then there's the submissive and easily influenced Asuna. Beautiful as she may be, she never seems to be able to think for herself. But Kyoichi's biggest problem is with the fiery and defiant freshman Tomo. When Tomo discovers the true nature of the school's "education program", she's determined to fight to her last breath. Kyoichi may have thought this was going to be his dream job, but he's about to discover that it's anything but easy!

The Review!
Newly installed as a professor at Ryuei College, Shizuma is brought on board only to find out that he's wanted for his skills as a teacher of sex slaves.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix is pretty much the standard you get from an adult show with a minimal full feeling usually just in the music while the dialogue and what few other sound effects there are find themselves being mostly center channel driven. It's not a bad track but it's not something that leaps out at you either. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2003, the transfer for this two OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The materials here are quite good overall and are essentially the same kind we've seen for most of the Vanilla Series releases. There's some visible dot crawl throughout a number of scenes though that's a bit distracting at times, showing up along some hairlines or around other areas. Beyond that it looks pretty solid though with clean clear colors that don't show much in the way of macroblocking or gradient issues.

Packaging:
Similar to a number of shots shown early on in the show, the front cover has some gorgeous illustrations of three of the girls in bondage which looks great but certainly isn't what the show looks like but rather what the original game probably looked like if there is one. The designs here are very detailed in the characters and their uniforms and with the amount of black around them it has a very striking feel. The back cover is nicely laid out with a good lengthy summary of the premise taking up the right side while the left has a collage of images and the school coat of arms with detailed artwork in the various sections of the girls. The discs technical information and features are fairly easy to figure out though things that should be more upfront like running time are too small. No insert is included with this release.

Menu:
The layout of the main menu is cute but teasing as it has the four main women along the bottom in their uniforms hiking up their skirts but that's just offscreen. The rest of the menu has the title along the top and a red box throughout the center with the menu selections while a brief bit of instrumental music plays along. It's nicely detailed in the artwork but somewhat bland overall. Access times are nice and fast and the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
The only included extra is a slideshow of images from the two episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bondage 101 takes the familiar foundation of a college where those in power use the school in order to run something of a sex slave trade where choice girls are brought in and trained to be the perfect slaves. We've seen this theme in the Vanilla Series before but each of them tend to work through different aspects of the concept. Bondage 101 is more focused on the man some call their Master here and unlike a lot of previous Master's, he's not one of the male student's and he doesn't come across as an entirely bad guy in general.

We're introduced to Professor Shizuma at the Ryuei College where he's been blackmailed by the Vice Dean after being brought on board as a temporary teacher to work as a teacher for the sex slave girls that they have. Shizuma was fired from his last job as a teacher due to an S&M incident with one of his students so he's got little choice when it comes to the offer made. Shizuma's guided by Professor Kusugi, an attractive woman who is beholden to the Vice Dean herself and she sets his first goal to deal with the student body president Yumiko. Yumiko is the stereotypical shy type with glasses who is usually in these positions but she's got the problem of no matter how sensitive she is to being sexually dealt with, she can't climax. She becomes the barometer by which Shizuma's performance is watched.

Yumiko isn't the only girl he's assigned to deal with and he finds himself going through a couple of attractive young women who deal with him differently once he starts in. His methods are pretty blunt, such as with one of them where he puts a sedative in their meal and then takes advantage of them in their dorm room later, while others are more pliant from the start. Shizuma's got a bit of a cruel streak in him at times but it's fairly muted compared to a lot of other shows where the male lead is almost cackling while he does his work. Not all of his subjects stay as willing as Yumiko or Asuna and he has to deal with Tomo who tries to run away. This puts his position as a teacher at the college in jeopardy which forces him to really up his methods.

The sex scenes for the show are pretty par for the course in this type of fetish but it's surprisingly mild in how it deals with certain aspects of it. There are several scenes where enema's are given to the girls or other scatological related material and all of that is done as normal but the end results of it, which I keep in the "ew that's disturbing" category, are done offscreen which is surprising. These are usually the money shots in other shows but here it's left to just a bit of after effect. A lot of the other scenes tend to be fairly straightforward domination scenes or very pliant slaves doing what they have/want to do so there isn't anything too surprisingly in what goes on here.

The character designs for the show are pretty good though there's a sequence of scenes early on where they show quick shots of illustrations that likely came from the video game or visual novel source. These sort of up the standards of what it should look like but the actual animation designs are pretty good with enough diversity among them that nothing leaves you wondering which girl you were just watching. Some of them are close to basic stereotypes but they're helped out by some good looking uniform designs. The dub for the show is pretty faithful to the original Japanese script which is a plus as there's only changes made for lip flap or timing. The performances are decent as well but there isn't anything that's exceptional or really stands out among the various girls.

In Summary:
Bondage 101 is a pretty competent entry in a crowded field for this kind of storyline. The material itself doesn't do anything terribly new or fresh but the characters are well animated, the sex well done and it's light in the end on the scatological side which was a surprise. Fans of this genre may not care for that aspect though but for those that want to dabble in it without the ew factor this may be a good choice. While the show didn't thrill me with some of its material it's one that has some good moments to it but not something I'd find myself returning to check out all that often.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 LAnguage,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Toshiba HD-A1 Progressive Scan HD DVD player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, 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: B-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Critical Mass Video
MSRP: 24.99
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Vanilla Series Collection