Cosplay Cafe - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N.A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cosplay Cafe

Cosplay Cafe

By Chris Beveridge     May 10, 2007
Release Date: June 26, 2007


Cosplay Cafe
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Tomoya Asahina has been left in charge of a failing cafe. To revitalize his business, he has his team of busty waitresses switch out their usual uniforms for cosplay costumes! Tomoya also has a crush on one of them: the demure Maho. But Tomoya doesn't have much experience with sex, so all the other waitresses get together to give Tomoya some lessons in the art of love!

The Review!
When Tomoya helps out in a café he finds himself subjected to horny wives as he pursues a potential love.

Audio:
Media Blasters has presented this release in a bilingual format encoded at a simple 192 kbps. While we listened to this primarily in Japanese we did listen to it again in English as well. The original mixing as well as the English mix are both very weak with a heavy center channel focus that really lacks anything decent to it. It's a good track in that it's clean and without problems but it just feels very week in how it was designed. The English mix sounds a touch better in terms of voices and their overall presence but that's not saying all that much. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2004, the transfer for this two episode OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The source materials for this series look like they're in decent shape but the overall product feels as if it's lacking in some way. There is a good deal of noise in the backgrounds of a lot of scenes and many of the colors have a hard time staying stable when there's a large field of them. Backgrounds in particular suffer with the style used to color them as they show a lot of shifting. The colors in general are from a very soft palette with hardly and vibrancy which doesn't help either. Another factor that doesn't help is that the show looks to be shot intentionally soft as there's almost a hazy look about some scenes where you'd swear it was likely a flashback sequence.

Packaging:
Due to this being a checkdisc, no packaging was included.

Menu:
Using some basic character artwork from the series and an overall bland background menu along with a spot of instrumental music, the menu design is essentially par for the course for adult releases. It looks decent enough and sets the mood fairly well for what to expect but it's your basic effort. Access times are nice and fast and with nothing on the disc but the show and some trailers it's easy to navigate. The disc did correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a title like Cosplay Café, well, I was certainly interested to see what it would be all about. While the title is accurate in a sense it's one that's very minimal. The two episodes have a small bit of actual cosplay involved in it and very little of it is really tied to anything of a sexual nature. Anyone expecting lots of costumes and sex at the same time is likely to be fairly disappointed.

The series revolves around a young man named Tomoya who is now working at Noel, a slightly upscale café that gets solid business. He's working there because the manager/owner intervened when Tomoya was about to be involved in a car accident. The manager ended up in the hospital to recover and Tomoya felt the only thing he could do would be to fill in for him. The manager is never seen again and the focus is squarely on Tomoya as he serves bad tea and runs off the customers. Noel still does fairly good business though as the women who work there are all wearing short revealing outfits and are generally teases.

Out of all the women who work there, only one of them is single. The rest are all married women who leave as soon as their shift is over. Thankfully the one young young young girl barely gets any screen time outside of chastising Tomoya once in awhile. The single woman, Akiho, is actually a wife who lost her husband a year or so earlier. She's a bit of a shy woman who is uncomfortable with some of the short outfits they wear and generally isn't anywhere near as outgoing as the rest of them. She does get plenty of tips though since she's attractive and desirable with what she does wear. Tomoya is rather interested in her but doesn't believe he can compete with her dead husband.

This gives the other girls, horny wives whose husbands never seem to be around, carte blanche to tease him about it. It goes beyond that in a tea house room as well as their desires bring them to just ganging up on him. It's actually a rather good scene as the ditzy girl, Seia, can't help herself and that just gets Ryoka and Kanae into the mood where they can't help themselves either. Tomoya's your typical male lead though in he can't really get into it all that much, though he does, and he pines after Akiho the whole time. Unfortunately for him, Akiho is the kind of girl who doesn't know what she wants, doesn't know how to communicate well and just wants to feel some kind of pleasure to get past issues she has. Tomoya has a tough road to hoe with her and can't even be sure that she wants him to.

The animation quality of the show is slightly below average and it doesn't have terribly appealing character designs. Akiho feels like a weird throwback of ten to fifteen years ago and the rest just feel like standard models without anything to really differentiate them. Between the lackluster animation and the color palette used that doesn't help accentuate them at all, it's a fairly dull venture. That said, there are some good scenes to be had though. The first scene in the tea house with Tomoya and three of the waitresses was decent as they introduced his "bazooka". The later scene with Akiho in a stewardess outfit works pretty well too though the lead-up to it is just plain weird. The costumes in general are pretty weak otherwise as Akiho is the only one that really wears anything of note and that's only a couple of simple pieces.

In Summary:
Cosplay Café is the kind of concept that could cover a lot of ground but sadly doesn't. In fact, I've seen a lot of live action Japanese cosplay porn that pulls it off a heck of a lot better than this. That's what Kitty needs to venture into next! Cosplay Café overall is a slightly below average production across the board that doesn't manage to capture what it could. The designs are weak, the animation is barely okay and the concept is poorly implemented. The few bright areas to it stand out all the more because of what's around it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray 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.

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