The series comes to a close with a fair amount of sex, revenge and bridal outfits.
What They Say:
In this scandalous final installment of Mistreated Bride…Mitsuko and Sumie are both now having an affair with Kouji, Sumie’s Step-son. But they aren’t the only ones in the family filled with lust for him. Kaoru, Kouji’s step-brother, has revealed that he is really a she, a secret that no one knew except Sumie. However, this family’s dark secret does not end here…
What We Say:
Mistreated Bride makes out pretty well for what it is as it has a solid lossless PCM track for the stereo mix that’s included. Only the Japanese language track is present at a solid 1.5mbps encoding and it has a good rich sound to it, even if it is a pretty standard adult mix. Dialogue is very clean and clear throughout and certain scenes do provide a fair bit more impact than a standard 192kbps encoding. While it won’t stand out hugely, it’s something that’s a bit more noticeable if you’ve got the setup to take advantage of it.
Originally released to video in 2007, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The materials for this show are very similar to most other releases from JapanAnime in that it's a very clean looking print that's free of the usual troubles such as cross coloration and aliasing. There's a touch of blocking going on in a few scenes, notably when there’s a lot of gradients in the background, and that gets rather distracting. The show isn't quite up to some other recent releases in terms of fluid animation quality but it comes across well with its fairly pale and shadowed settings that use a real world color palette. The character animation is where things look the best in general and holds up well across the episode.
The cover art for the final volume is one of the better ones of the series as it features Mitsuko in her bridal gown as her hand reaches between her legs as she enjoys the sensations. The character design continues to be appealing, even with the overly large chest, as the white innocence of it all is contrasted with the sexuality of it. The back cover provides a few shots from the show that are clean and without any real nudity while providing a summary of the premise in between them. The bottom is filled out with the basic legal jargon and the technical grid. Amusingly, they include the Dolby Digital logo even though there really isn’t any to be found within the main program itself.
The menu design uses the main artwork from the front cover but avoids going with the faux letterbox feeling that they used in the previous volumes. The background is different from the front cover as well as it features the old man behind the bars while the navigation lined along the bottom of it as a bit of mild instrumental music plays to it. Access times are nice and fast and the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The final installment of the Mistreated Bride series brings everything to conclusion in a way that is pretty much as expected. The twisted nature of the storyline to date took on a new turn in the previous episode when it was revealed that Kouji’s brother Kaoru is actually his little sister. And she’s got the hots for her older brother since she’s seen how he takes care of their mother and pleasures her. It’s little surprise that she’s completely interested in all of this and wants her first time to be with him. And Kouji is male enough that he’s game for it, at first at least.
The make-up of the household has changed recently and Kaoru isn’t the only difference, albeit one that only Kouji and their mother know about right now. The return of Mitsuko’s husband, Ichirou, brings a bit of an edge to the show as he looks like the conniving type with a big plan for everything. Growing up in that house, knowing what his father is like, it’s little surprise that even as clean cut as he looks, there’s something far more sinister underneath. What is surprising is that it’s really not exploited, but rather implied for the future as to how the Takayanagi family will change after the events of this volume.
The sex for this volume is decent, though only one sequence really merits any serious attention. Kaoru and Kouji’s first scene together is naturally awkward and that was actually appreciated, since she’s unsure of herself and he’s still stunned by the revelation that his wimpy little brother is actually his sister. Sumie gets a very brief scene where she’s tied up and hung from the ceiling but that just leads to the elder Takayanagi having his way with Kaoru. That left me less than interested since it delved into some scatological material which admittedly makes sense in the situation. His reaction to it made me cringe, which I’m sure was part of the point. The scene that works the best, even with goofy looking Kouji at the center of it, is when Kaoru is properly womanized and she along with Sumie and Mitsuko all adore Kouji in the way that every male fantasy goes. It’s not really heavily animated, more a series of short stills with mild movement to it, but it ends the series on a rather good note and it gives me three women with purple hair fawning over a guy.
Mistreated Bride wasn’t one of the better series that JapanAnime put out but it’s reached its conclusion and closed out most of what it set out to do. It had plenty of creepy moments, mostly revolving around the old man, but it also had some good material early on. At best, it felt like it was meandering a bit but part of that was related to the terribly slow and awkward release schedule. Fans of the show will be glad to see the conclusion at long last and to have one more series to not think or wonder about. Hopefully JapanAnime will eventually put it into a bundle and make it easier for people to find considering how long it’s been coming out. Mistreated Bride has some good moments to it, but they’re equaled by the bad moments. In the end, like most adult anime, it comes down to what attracts you to these kinds of shows and whether it’ll titillate or eviscerate your mind.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer