Romance is in the Flash of the Sword Vol. #5 (of 6) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Saturday, December 30, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2006



What They Say
Special Massage at The House Of Adventurers !!!

When Keith happens across Spika, he notices another beautiful woman shadowing her. Is it a ghost?

Determined to solve the mystery, Keith follows Spika to some haunted ruins, where a masseuse works on her naked body, touching and exciting her sexual desires. As he watches, strange smoke from incense drifts over, knocking him unconscious. The next thing he knows, he's having heated sex with the masseuse. With Keith's unflinching desire to help, Ellise regains her physical body and consummates her sexual desires.

Will Keith Slay the creature and save Ellise?

Hot Sex and Hot Secrets are about to be exposed!!!

The Review!
Please Note: Content-specific portions of this review are also published in our DVD review of this series as originally released by NuTech Digital.

Mild. Elf. Sex. Will that sell it like the traditional hot elf sex claims do?

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. The show has a very simple stereo mix with the bulk of dialogue being center channel based. Even the music didn't feel like it was making much use of the stereo channels. Directionality across the forward soundstage is pretty bare but it all sounded decent enough all things considered. We had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2001, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ration. The transfer for this series is decent but has a few noticeable problems throughout. There's some noticeable cross coloration throughout the episode, generally centering on characters hair and faces, but there's also some noticeable areas of chroma noise, usually in the reds, that's fairly distracting. Colors in general look good and don't exhibit much in the way of breakup or macroblocking.

Packaging:
The cover art for this release utilizes some decent material from the show with two of the characters from this episode that hits up a few other fetishes. While I'm not sure there's a green haired girl fetish club beyond myself, we do get the cute waitress with glasses one and both look good here. The logo font is a bit awkward to read which doesn't help an already awkward sounding title. Similar to other releases in the AnimErotica line-up, that label is across the top. The back cover has the label across the top as well while below it is a decent summary of the episode and a number of pictures with nudity from the episode. The bottom portion is the standard design for Adult Source Media covers with the technical information and disc features laid out in a fairly easy to read manner. The cover is reversible is the same on the front side while the back cover is laid out the same but doesn't feature any shots of nudity.

Menu:
The menu design is simple but effective as it has clips from the show playing in a red filtered background that take up the entire screen. Overlaid on that is a circle that has some good character artwork from the promotional materials while the navigation strip is along the right side. Add in a bit of upbeat instrumental music from the show and you have a decent menu. Similar to other ASM releases, it's very easy to navigate and they have some good access times to them. The disc also correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly which is always a plus.

Extras:
The only included extra on each volume is a series of stills from that particular episode in a video gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The re-release of this title via the AnimErotica label from Adult Source Media takes the work that NuTech did and builds upon it a bit. Coming out at a cheaper price " one that I wish more single episode adult releases would " with some new cover artwork, it also gets a slight bump up by including French and German subtitles. The original language tracks and translations look to be here as well.

Maybe it's just the familiarity with the show by now or maybe it actually got a bit more interesting, but the final half of the series has stories that work a bit better and some sex scenes that are a bit more detailed and enjoyable. The scenes are still overall too few and too short, but there's a bit better animation to them this time around.

And it's got naked elves.

Did I mention naked elves?

As Keith continues to try and make his way back to Lady Elfarcia to return her precious jewel, he ends up coming across an old girl friend named Misty. Well, she ends up squatting next to him while he's staring at an attractive elfin maiden who is fondling a unicorn. Misty intends to take down the unicorn so she can keep using regenerated horns to earn money and more while the elf is trying to get the unicorn help save her village. Keith simply wants to have his way with the girl, but since she's obviously a virgin as unicorns don't like you once you get as horny as they do, his plans aren't able to go into action easily. Especially when another group has decided to kidnap the elf and her unicorn so that they can enter her in a race and they can collect bigtime.

Since the elf is a virgin, there's no sex. Initially. Maybe. Sometimes it's just fun to fool with those who have elf fetishes.

Keith ends up in trouble again later on when he comes across another old friend, Spika the barmaid. She's a bit off though and he can see two women in her place, Spika herself and some green haired naked beauty. As it turns out, Spika's being possessed by a woman who died before actually getting any herself as her gay husband tortured her over jealousy issues. To make up for her lack of post-grave nookie, she comes back and possesses hot young women and has them take as many lovers as possible. While she can possess them, she can't actually get the feelings she needs to break the curse on her. Keith turns in an Oscar worthy performance here when he hears her story and offers to be the one to sex her up and break the curse.

The series rounds itself out with some decent elfin sex and a few other scenes mixed in. The quality of these scenes has gone up over the first half but it doesn't quite reach the level it should. They just feel too short. Part of this is the adherence to providing a plot and making the sex secondary. They must have forgot what kind of title they were working on. The brief sex scenes and some of the abrupt endings to some of them over the course of the six episodes has definitely hurt the enjoyment level of this. At least as it went on the character designs got more detailed and more interesting.

And it had hot naked elves. Maybe.

In Summary:
This new release of the title is definitely a good thing for those who have never bought before. A fuller set of translation options, some better artwork and a cheaper price make it all very appealing. It won't interest those who own it already though for the most part. The show overall serves as a good beginning point for hentai virgins to get their exposure to the genre, especially if they're fantasy fans. It's not offensive, there's an actual plot running through this and the characters are fairly enjoyable. For the more experienced crowd, this could almost be a chore to get through as you wait for a streamlined plot that doesn't appear to get on with things so you can get to some hardcore action. Elf fetishists on the other hand? or both hands if you go by some of Elfarcia's scenes.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Photo Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 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: C-
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: Adult Source Media
MSRP: 14.95
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Romance is in the Flash of the Sword