Women At Work (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, March 01, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What They Say
Akiyoshi's life fell apart when he was turned down by the sweet, passive girl he liked. Trying to start over, he gets a job on a construction crew. The women on the crew waste no time in bullying him into sex act after sex act, exhausting him day after day. Akiyoshi is on a whirlwind ride as woman after woman aggressively pursues him, but has he fallen into heaven or hell?

The Review!
So wrong yet so right...

Women at Work covers the basics by providing two stereo mixes at 192 kbps encoding. The Japanese and English tracks both come across the same here, which while not top of the line or having any real depth to them, convey the material as well as likely originally intended. There isn't a lot to the show outside of a few sound effects and dialogue so placement, depth and overall directionality doesn't mean a lot. Both tracks sound good and we didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released in 2005, the transfer for this two episode OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. While not a high budget show it looks to have had a decent one as there isn't a lot of issues here. Some of the backgrounds come across poorly at times with some line noise and aliasing during panning sequences but outside of that it's fairly minimal. Some colors don't maintain a very solid feel at times but that's about the extent of it. Kitty does as they usually do in retaining the original opening and closing sequences (which really makes me want to know the original title for this) followed by a complete translation of credits after the second episode.

Likely going for the novelty approach, the front cover is one that's either going to be a hard or easy sell depending on the person. Featuring Minako, the buff construction worker, she's set against a standard construction background while a pair of more attractive characters are running around along the bottom. The logo fits perfectly with its signage and overall it's a very clean and good looking cover. Minako's going to be a hard sell for a lot of people but the novelty factor alone may help. The back cover is pure minimalism as it has just a few shots from the show an additional character artwork. The background goes for simple grays and a paper that contains a summary of the premise. The production information is very minimal though the technical grid is solid. No insert or reversible cover is included here.

The menu is surprisingly subdued, keeping the content pretty hidden, as it features Minako from the cover along with the logo set against the steel gray background. Selections are lined along the right with no real twist to them and there's a bit of almost uplifting corporate music to it. There isn't anything all that engaging here but it does fit the material fairly well. Access times are nice and fast and with nothing else on the disc but trailers it's quick and easy to get around.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With any title there's always an element of not being sure what to expect but this is all the more likely when it comes to adult anime. Even though it may look obvious from the cover, what's inside may be radically different. And even then that's not counting what the actual sex scenes themselves will be like. You can have cute and sweet characters on the cover but the show itself will have them doing some of the sickest things possible.

Women at Work plays a big card by showing us a woman on the front that fits the image of a bodybuilder. She's got some femininity to her but doesn't fit into the cookie cutter mold that a lot of these shows present. Women at Work wants to have it both ways though as she isn't the only character and the rest clearly fit into the more conventional molds. The show introduces us to Akiyoshi, a young man who has confessed his feelings of love to a woman. The only problem is that upon telling her, she tells him that he's cute and a nice guy but is basically a wimp. This sets Akiyoshi into a bit of a spiral where he doesn't know quite what to do in order to fix this perception.

All of that changes when the wind blows a paper in his face that informs him about a construction company looking for new workers. Through the ad he believes that not only can he make money, but also build up the kind of body that he wants. It's a complete win/win situation for him. The only problem is that he isn't all that physical of a guy and may not make it through the interview process. Of course, the construction site he goes to for this is filled with a lot of women, though a fair number of men as well. The interview process has him seeing if he's got the stamina for such a job which surprises him due to the amount of sex involved. From there he's introduced to the other works which includes some surprising women.

The one that scares him is Minako, a buff looking woman complete with a bandage on her nose. She's the hard working full figured type that epitomizes a manly woman. She's got a great sense of humor and taunts plenty of the guys. There's also the office assistant who is primarily there to handle lunches, coffee and other light office duties but also to apparently sex up the staff. The strangest woman that works there is the daughter of a wealthy businessman. She's the typical cold Japanese beauty who happens to have monogrammed construction outfits and equipment. She even has a private bath next to the main company bath. Also thrown into the mix is another woman who looks like Noa Izumi and is keeping her femininity a secret by pretending to be a man. Even Akiyoshi doesn't realize this and believes he's fallen into the world of boys-love when she gives him a blowjob to keep her secret. A secret he hasn't figured out.

Akiyoshi's time on the job is comical as he finds himself having to perform sexual services more than anything else. Be it hiring manager or the office assistant, he never expected to have to go out into the field to deal with someone. In an amusing side story, he's sent to negotiate with a woman who has complaints about the construction going on outside her window. She's an adult manga artist who works nights and sleeps days but can't sleep with all the work. She the deal she's made with the company is that they send a young man over daily to sex her up until she's exhausted so she can sleep soundly.

Akiyoshi makes his way through pretty much all of the female cast here except for his initial girlfriend that we never see again. That may be in some never to be made episode three. What we do get here though is surprisingly funny and light. There isn't and bad material in terms of the actual sex though some folks might cringe a bit with Minako depending on their tastes. What's most amusing about her sex scenes is that they use some great sound effects with her of the giant drums and manly sounds. It's an interesting change from all the typical beauties and cookie cutter designs to see someone like her featured so prominently. They do mollify those not too interested in her though by presenting a lot of other women " with massive breasts no less " so it's not all about Minako.

In Summary:
Women at Work was a title I can't say I was eager to see based on the cover art. It turned out to be a rather amusing and surprisingly erotic title that balances itself well. The little eye-catches are priceless, Minako's sound effects hilarious and Akiyoshi's situation highly amusing. The sex scenes manage to take the comedy and bring it into them while still keeping it erotic. Be it the mangaka who likes it rough or the fake boys-love sequences, this one just has a lot going for it. If it had more episodes I'd be pretty eager to see them to see how else they mess with poor Akiyoshi. Women at Work was quite the surprise and a good one at that.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> 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: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Women At Work