Dragon Pink (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, July 31, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2006
What They Say
Elves and sex kittens and monsters - OH MY!
When slave girl Pink puts on the Cursed Panties of Torajima, she finds herself literally transformed into a sex kitten! Add in a sultry elven sorceress who gets her powers from a very unexpected energy source and a mighty warrior who's big in every way imaginable, and you have all the ingredients necessary for fantastic fantasy fun!
Join the most motley group of heroes to ever escape from a role playing game as they encounter dragons, serpents, hell-tigers, witches and monster magicians, all of whom intend to rub a certain pussycat the wrong way! The fur will fly as Pink and her friends claw their way out of danger, only to end up in even worse trouble than before!
Need anything beyond the word "catgirls" be said about this release to get its fans drooling?
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its new English language adaptation. Similar to other rescued SoftCel titles, there was no dub with this in its original release but it's gotten one here and it will hopefully reach a wider audience now since it's such a simple but cute and fun show. The mix for it is essentially the same as the Japanese track which is a full sounding center channel mix that doesn't have much in terms of directionality to it. It does sound good though and it gets everything across well, be it the action scenes or the, uh, action scenes. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback in either version.
Originally released to video in 1994, the transfer for this three part OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer for this show is like a number of adult shows from this period in that the print looks good but it's showing some of its problems such as the dirt and scratches and the way the paint was layered in some of the backgrounds. Colors for the most part hold up well but there's a lack of vibrancy to them even in the best looking ones. It does have a fairly standard fantasy world color palette to it but combined with its age there's a certain softness and lack of detail to a number of scenes. This is all nit-picking for the most part though since the transfer looks decent and at the level you'd expect of something from this particular vintage and origin. It won't amaze anyone but it gets the job done nicely and mostly problem free.
Even though the same character artwork for Pink is used here as in the original, the layout and design of this release doesn't match what came before even with it adding in Pierce to the picture. The dark background doesn't add anything to the overall look and while Pierce is certainly attractive enough, the more natural look of the original background just works so much better. It's not a bad cover but it just doesn't leap out at me in the same way and grab you. The back cover is heavy on the blacks as well as it provides a few shots from the show along with a pair of paragraphs that cover the summary. The discs features and technical information continue to be easy to find and figure out, though admittedly my copy came with the black ink along the bottom half causing a double image. As is standard, no insert was included with this release.
With the show playing up the video game aspect, it's not a surprise to see it reflected in the menu as well which has the navigation section on the left look like a black and white video game menu screen. The rest of the menu is pretty bland with a mild pink background and some good looking character artwork on the right half (artwork that made up the cover from the SoftCel release in fact) and there's a bit of bouncy music playing along but it's pretty average otherwise. Between the cover and the menu this is one of the few releases that hasn't felt like a step up from what came before. Access times are nice and fast but the disc didn't correctly read our players' language presets first and defaulted to English with sign/song subtitles.
The extras are similar to the previous release in that there are a couple of sections of galleries that were originally part of just one gallery, but we also get a brief (like 30 seconds or less) series of dub outtakes. These are blink and you'll miss it kind of extras but for a show of this vintage and being of an adult nature, there isn't an expectation for a lot either. I would have liked to have had more outtakes though.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to fantasy shows, they're few and far between and even less so when it comes to the adult anime realm, which is really unfortunate since there's so many obvious fetishes to work up and use. Dragon Pink plays up the video game aspect of it as well with cute notes coming up throughout the show as it deals with catgirls, elves and other standard fantasy lore. Back in the day, Dragon Pink was one of my earlier hentai purchases. That was when each episode was on its own volume, and I never got past the first one. I found it cute, but my catgirl fetish hadn't quite kicked in yet. But now it's many years later and I get to revisit a much higher quality version of the show to see what I missed.
Thankfully, the show has aged fairly well. While I made the comment above about it being more ecchi than anything else, that's not entirely accurate. There's still plenty of sex going on through these episodes, and there's some mildly explicit stuff, it's just not as outright detailed as the stuff you get today is. It also gets much more explicit as the episodes progress. Depending on how you�ve viewed adult materials over the course of your lifetime, this will mean it's either nostalgic or annoying. For me, it's nostalgic.
Dragon Pink is an amusing fantasy tale that originated as a manga but plays as if it's a video game. During the opening and eye-catch sequences, it prompts to save to continue or quite the game outright, and during the episode various things will happen to cause the little box to come up with that will talk about hit points, magic spells and the like. It's definitely old-school RPG video game feel. The story itself centers around a group of adventurers who travel around to basically make money. The group is made up of a typical set of characters, but with the usual hentai twists. Pink is the catgirl slave of Santa, Santa being the strong warrior of the group. He's not above using Pink to get the bounty, such as when he ties her up (Japanese style) and hangs her in the woods, waiting for a particular critter to come have its way with her, and then capturing it.
To complement these two, there's Bobo the very big and even stronger warrior who wields the axe and then there's Pierce, the elven magic user of the group who wears a very western-feeling super-hero outfit. Suffice to say, the women are showing off their cleavage all over the place. Pierce is amusing in that she tends to get her abilities boosted up when she has sex, and that seems to be one of Bobo's main uses with the group. Each episode is nicely self-contained as the group goes off to do one adventure or another. And, contrary to the title, I spotted no dragons.
One of the things that keeps Dragon Pink as something a bit more of a standout compared to a lot of hentai that comes out these days is the old formula of having a story to go with the sex. You can easily see them marketing this show without the sex as a simple RPG/comedy OVA series. That gives the show some extra depth and a bit more to the characters as well. Dragon Pink was a pleasant show to spend a late night with, providing both plenty of good hentai sequences and some fun little fantasy adventure moments.
Another of the rescued SoftCel titles, Critical Mass has done a bang-up job of taking the previous release and equaling it in a number of ways but also building upon it by adding the new dub and fleshing it out the release overall. This is another title that I waited a number of years to own initially on DVD and then watched it disappear from the shelves. Seeing it come back and getting the new dub will hopefully expand its fans and bring new folks into the fun of catgirl slaves and using slingshots to take down fairy girls.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Dub Outtakes,Art Galleries
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray 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: B-
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
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Pink