It's A Family Affair Vol. #1 (of 2) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2006
What They Say
"Boy, why do my sisters all have to have great bodies and big breasts? I don't know whether to call this heaven or hell; I mean, they are my sisters. I want to touch them, squeeze them, suck on them... Hmmm, maybe I should at least give it a try. After all, we aren't related by blood..."
Little more than a series of vignettes, the show still manages to please with its variety and designs.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix is essentially what you'd expect from the show as it handles dialogue well and the few music pieces and ambient sound effects are well placed. There isn't all that much in a real sense of directionality but it works for the content at hand. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we did not have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2005, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The materials for this release are in very good shape and overall it's a good clean and very pleasing piece of work. It manages to avoid some of the softness that seems to be (intentionally) plaguing other shows that have been out recently while not going overboard with being too vibrant. Colors look good and maintain a solid feel while cross coloration and aliasing is for the most part a non-issue. The single episode that's on here looks good across the board.
In an attempt to appeal to as many people as possible, the front cover provides a bevy of beauties from which to be enticed by " though not all of them have actual scenes in the show. With a simple but nicely colorful background, all the girls are able to look good here while wearing different undergarments. The artwork and design is simply very eye-catching. The back cover continues the bright colors by using a mixture of greens to lay things out with along with a dash of pink. The summary is a bit brief and doesn't really say much of anything and it even covers up some of the shots from the show that are provided. A good chunk of space is given over to the production information (white on lime green!) while the technical grid along the bottom conveys the rest. Overall it's an appealing looking but a few areas just seem to be off. No insert is included nor is the cover reversible.
JapanAnime continues to have some of the smoothest menu transitions out there though the menus are fairly basic otherwise. The layout for the menu starts off with a brief roll call of some of the girls before it settles into the static menu that has all ten of them lined up in regular clothes. The background uses the artwork from the cover but obscures it a bit, teasing with a bit of flesh here and there. Similar to the cover, it's just a good looking piece if you like any of the characters from it. The menu selections are quick and easy to use and the transitional animation for them gives the entire menu process a bit of a smooth feeling. Access times are nice and fast and due to there being only one language, our player presets were a non-issue.
Unlike previous JapanAnime releases, there is no "all sex" feature through here nor the PSP/iPod option.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Every now and then a show comes along that simply isn't trying to sell itself as something more than it is. A show that just wants to give you a good bit of sex without any real plot, but just enough to make you feel like you're watching something better. A show that wants you to like the characters and adds a bit of eroticism because of who they are.
It's A Family Affair is using the harem premise but is a bit more honest about its intentions. From the cover artwork, you can see the bevy of beauties that reside within. The title also makes it a bit suggestive as well, but the women are quick to say that none of them are related by blood during the opening scene of pans across the hot spring. This group of women, who consider themselves a family for whatever reason that's never given, also have a brother named Keisuke. Keisuke isn't exactly a problem but he's definitely the horny side of the "family." We don't know how long they've all been together, but Keisuke is a state now where he apparently feels comfortable sexing each of them up.
Over the course of the episode, we get about five sex scenes where Keisuke is involved with one of the sisters and things get heated. There isn't any real transition between them but it isn't necessary since we're just here for the loosely plotted sex scenes. With a wide cast of characters and types, there's definitely something to appeal to most tastes. Keisuke initially gets involved with Ringo, a teasing sister who gets him involved with her breasts. This is quickly followed up by another sister named Biwa who plays the role of the samurai girl in the show. She gets a similar scene, but Kotona provides some rather good eroticism when Keisuke takes her on the morning train. The one that was the most fun was watching Mikan getting toyed with while still serving orders in her uniform at the Mosmos Burger restaurant. But we also get the motherly type with with Mokono as she apparently likes spending time around the house in just her apron.
The look and design of the show is pretty solid and it leaves you wanting more. With half of the women on the cover being dealt with here, we get a good sample of the character designs in action. Each of the women follows what you could call basic archetypes but there's some creativity in there as well that helps to separate them up a bit. The animation quality is also something that's rather good and at times surprisingly good considering some of the things that Milky has put out in the last year or two. Though there is a bit of repetitive animation in some of the scenes, they're often short and quick.
With no "high concept" or a real hook beyond a series of sexual vignettes, this is the kind of show that would otherwise probably bother me or just come across as uninteresting. To my surprise, it manages to be quite a good bit of fun and very good to look at. The variety in the cast is a significant plus but also the overall animation quality and the quality of the sex scenes. Though brief, it means less of the slow build moments and more of the intensity that works so well. With some of these happening in public places, it makes sense for the encounters to be brief and intense. This is nicely captured in the show for the most part.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
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: 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: JapanAnime
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: It's A Family Affair