Cool Devices Anniversary Edition Vol. #4 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • 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: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cool Devices

Cool Devices Anniversary Edition Vol. #4

By Chris Beveridge     May 19, 2005
Release Date: May 31, 2005

Cool Devices Anniversary Edition Vol. #4
© Critical Mass Video

What They Say
COOL DEVICES, a series that redefined adult anime in the US and became one of the best selling hentai titles ever, has returned in a brand new DIGITALLY REMASTERED 10th Anniversary Edition! Now, for the very first time, this hentai masterpiece is FINALLY AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH!

A splendidly sinful climax... All good things must come to an end eventually, but for a series that bathes in debauchery and rides the razor's edge between pain and pleasure... what could be its curtain call?

Masaki is just an average journalist hoping to find a story. But the only thing he finds is himself, robbed by a thief! Stranded, without his train ticket, things are starting to look bleak, that is... until he runs into Miyuki, the girl of his dreams... literally! Miyuki puts him up for the night at a gorgeous mansion filled with nothing but sexy women! A luscious red-headed maid, a playful blonde school-girl, and a saucy dominatrix... just a sample of the sensuous story that awaits him...

Idol-singer Rina's career is starting to look very promising, but when she hears of her father owes a large amount of money to the mob, she agrees to sign her record contract over to them to pay off the debt. Little does Rina know that she'll be signing her life and body over to them as well! At the complete mercy of her new owners, she begins to undergo a drastic change in image... from being an untouchable idol to a sleazy sex toy...

The Review!
Bringing the series to a close, the final volume provides the last two stories, one fairly average and another a highlight of the series.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its new English language dub track. As the original release was Japanese language only, Critical Mass went and dubbed the series for this tenth anniversary release. The mix is pretty standard hentai material though which is a fairly basic stereo mix that's generally center channel based. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and there's a good range of low to medium-high coming through here. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released back in 1995, the transfer for these OVA episodes are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio. Much like a lot of regular and hentai releases of that time, there are elements to it that haven't held up as well and are visible here such as some scratches, the roughness in some of the animation and a bit of aliasing. But for the most part it's a decent looking print and leap years ahead of the prior release which was basically a VHS port to DVD. The transfer is clean and free of the dirt and dust problems from what we could see and the colors look solid even if not terribly vibrant. Cross coloration is virtually non-existent and overall it's a good looking transfer considering the age and source.

Going with the artwork from the Rina Yuki storyline, we get a shot of her in her bondage outfit in full color in the foreground while a gray toned headshot of her fills the background within the purple hued logo. The covers have looked as good as they can with the materials available and they've all been framed really nicely. The back cover goes for the same style with a neon box that keeps a couple of shots from the show and some other artwork together in a nice layout while below it is the summary of the shows premise and its features. Like many other hentai releases, no insert is included in this release.

The main menu is laid out like the front cover artwork except that the menu selections are lined along the right and there's a bit of driving porn music going along to it. It's a neat looking menu though if you stare at it for too long the blue really begins to blur and merge together. Access times are nice and fast and the navigation is easy and problem free. The disc correctly read our players' language presets as well. This release earns an extra kudos for having the menu loop for over two minutes so I hand have most of the song to play.

The only included extra in this release is a manual art gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The final volume with its two episodes isn't exactly a mixed bag in terms of what we get but it is something where one is more enjoyable than the other. Both stories are decent ones to close the series out with and one of them has been memorable since the first time I saw it many years ago.

The opening tale introduces us to Masaki, a young man and journalist/reporter of sorts who is on a train ride and being subjected to strange dreams about a woman named Miyuki that he feels he must save. His luck gets worse when he wakes up and finds out that a local area earthquake has caused the tracks to be covered with a massive landslide. He does have a bit of good luck though when a young woman offers to bring him home with her until he can get back on the road and he discovers that her place actually has a number of women in it with servants as well. His time there looks to be a godsend and gets even better when he finds that several of the women are blunt in their wanting to seduce him.

Though this throws him, he ends up getting into it even as it exhausts him but then it gets stranger when the eldest woman in the household starts torturing the girls as it turns out that she's the dominatrix of the group and everything was done as a way to lure a new man there to have their way with until he's done with. This turns into an amusing light bondage piece for the most part with some of the standards of the day such as ropes and candles but nothing as hardcore as more recent shows. It's a decent piece and it ends in a very amusing way but it's not something that really stands out that much after you watch it.

The second tale is one of my more favored ones as it centers on the pop idol star Rina Yuki. She's a big act and quite popular with her looks and the way most pop idols are considered clean and almost virginal by some instances. Rina's seriously on the rise and things are looking promising for her future, as far as idols go at least. But her life gets set for a change when a group of dark looking businessmen arrive and inform her of her fathers massive debts to a mafia conglomerate. He's no longer able to pay them off but if she signs to their company, she can work off his debt in no time for him. Otherwise they'd have to just off him and leave him with a ruined name, which could affect her as well.

She didn't realize it at the time that she signed it, but she's forced to go through an image change that starts with straps being called entire outfits and having dozens of company men have their way with her. She's exposed to all kinds of new sexual things and her image undergoes a change when the photography session has her in tight vinyl that only covers her top half and she gets a chain around the neck. Her downward spiral only continues as the mafia folks continue to push this image on her while at the same time applying all sorts of sexual pressure and situations on her. Rina's a lot of fun to watch in this as she changes along the way and becomes more than anything she thought she'd be.

In Summary:
It's been fun watching through these episodes since it had been so long since I last saw them and the adult anime world has changed so dramatically over that time that a lot of these almost seem quaint by comparison. This volume brings the last two stories and ends on one of the better ones which is definitely the way to go. While Cool Devices has lost some of the shine and allure to time, it's something that will stand out for many people just from a nostalgia point of view and the stories will be remembered for many years to come. I'm glad that we've finally got a proper version available on disc with the new dub and cleaner non-burned in subtitles.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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