Professor Pain (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, February 06, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When a teacher loses his sister due to a group of students who abused her, he concocts a plan for revenge that involves dehumanizing his class.

What They Say
Professor Ohse always seemed a bit strange, but no one guessed he was a deranged sadist. Building a homemade bomb, he now holds the entire campus hostage. As the police and spectators watch helplessly outside the school gates, the students are forced to enact the professor's twisted desires for terror, torture, and degradation. And while nothing seems to be able to defuse the explosive situation, hope comes in the shape of a brave faculty member.

The Review!
Audio:
The bilingual presentation for this release mirrors what the Anime 18 label put out years ago with a decent sounding pair of stereo tracks encoded at 192kbps. There’s nothing but dialogue here for the most part and the couple of explosions basically fill the forward soundstage but they don’t overwhelm it, which should be expected of a show of this vintage and genre. Both language tracks are well presented but there’s nothing really noteworthy about them beyond the fact that they get the job done. Both tracks are clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 1998, the transfer for this two part OVA series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Or at least, so says the packaging as it looks like Kitty Media has miss flagged the video here as it comes across as 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen instead. This happened with a couple of episodes of Beast King Golion from Media Blasters and it appears to have hit the same way here. The transfer beyond this obviously big flaw is fairly decent with lots of strong colors that are well maintained. A few backgrounds showcase some noise at times, such as the green hallways or some of the darker scenes, and there’s some cross coloration to be found as well. But it’s hard to discern how much is from the source and what’s caused by the show being flagged improperly. Anamorphic hentai from 1998 wasn’t something I expected to see...

Packaging:
With a title like Professor Pain, it’s obvious that you have to go for something rather direct for the cover artwork. The front cover has a very edged look for the logo while the artwork has a pair of the girls done up with bindings and stripped, one of them hanging on a cross. With a dark and ominous background, it works pretty well to let you know exactly what you’re in for. The back cover works this over as well with chains serving as borders to the artwork and layout with a number of shots from the show that look nasty. The summary covers the very basic plot of the show well enough while the remainder is given over the production credits and technical grid. The technical grid is accurate in listing that this show should be 1.33:1 (but isn’t) but they also omit the audio tracks and a subtitle track. The audio section is actually empty! And the slates subtitle track isn’t listed at all. Kitty Media is usually one of the best for their technical grids, but this one fails in so many ways it’s very surprising.

Menu:
The menu design utilizes the same artwork as the cover but spread out a little bit more and looking a bit more vibrant. The colors are definitely stronger here and it has a very evil feel to it with the instrumental music that loops. Submenu navigation is very simple though it looks bad since it’s done at an angle and the selection piece is a far too garish colored lightning bolt. Access times are nice and fast and language navigation is simple though busier than it needs to be. The disc didn’t read our players’ language presets and defaulted to English language with sign/song subtitles.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Originally released by Anime 18 from Central Park Media back in 2003, Kitty Media has acquired this two part OVA to give it a new life. It’s easy to understand why as it’s a completed product and they just had to put it through a quick new encode, toss some basic credits at the end and run it through their subtitle font. The downside is that the bad side of the original is here as the school is again referred to as a university and any spelling mistakes from the original make it through as well. Even worse though is that the content is not improved in the slightest as this is still a disturbing and ugly show on a number of levels.

Professor Pain is a story that takes things to one level of extreme, the kind of show where there’s pretty much nothing consensual going on here.  The OVA opens quickly with the local “college” literally exploding, an event we see just after there’s something of a catfight in one of the classes due to one of the girls breasts being way to perky. Once those explosions hit though, everyone stops what they’re doing and begins to panic. They then think they’re in the clear when their teacher shows up, but he’s not quite his normal self as he informs them that in his case is another bomb and that he’s ready to set them off.

As we learn, he’s reached his limits in how the students are behaving and he’s going to teach them a real world lesson. After getting some less than willing but motivated male students to serve as his assistants, he starts by informing them that they’re going to learn some interesting lessons. The first is to take one of the female students and start with basic anatomy lessons, which then turn into a “how girls pee” lesson. And then how they engage in oral activities.

And then they go on to deal with other students, either publicly humiliating them, such as tying one up in ropes and swinging her outside the window or having a general class orgy begin. Of course, with all the explosions the question does come to mind, where’s the police? Well, they and the news media are outside trying to figure out what to do, since they were tipped off by the professor to begin with and given instructions. So to further humiliate the students, much of what’s done is broadcast on both the TV and the internet, untouched and without mosaics.

As the episodes continue, there’s plenty of moments like this as well as the blossoming of a romance between two characters. We do learn of the reasons behind the professors’ mad plan, which serves to provide an excuse of sorts for what he’s doing. It’s all quite silly when you get right down to it. With these kinds of situations having no appeal to us, it wasn’t quite a pain to get through but it certainly didn’t achieve its goal of titillating us..

In Summary:
Professor Pain wasn’t a show I was eager to revisit, but I’ve had varying levels of success in revisiting some shows recently with new editions that I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. It’s still a pretty disturbing show with its share of violence and humiliation that’s done in a way that simply isn’t appealing. When characters are sent into near comas based on what happens to them and are being blown up left and right, there’s not much that most people can find gratifying in there. It doesn’t work as a humor piece either since it tries to take itself seriously and doesn’t play it for laughs. This is one of those shows that’s aimed at a very specific subgenre that hasn’t appealed to me for a long time and even now, some eleven years after its original release, still feels pretty creepy.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
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.



Mania Grade: D-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: D
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 and Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
MSRP: 24.99
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Professor Pain