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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Custom Slave

Custom Slave

By Chris Beveridge     January 05, 2003
Release Date: December 17, 2002


Custom Slave
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
Arisugawa Academy is an all-girl school well known for its high standards with the upper class. However, there is a dark side to this educational facility. The chairman of the academy, Hiroali Takahashi, is a member of a secret organization whose prime objective is to cater to the desires of governmental officials.

The Review!
A standalone OVA that’s more a setup for future volumes, Custom Slave once again revisits some traditional hentai ground.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Though this is a fairly recent release, the show is a pretty basic stereo mix with most everything being center channel dominated. The only real exception is the music, but even that is pretty much just filling up the entire forward soundstage with no real directionality. But in the end, it's a decent sounding track with no dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released on 2001, the transfer here looks very sharp and the colors are great. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and there’s only a few areas of very minor aliasing.

Packaging:
The front cover here goes for the simple with a shot of Sayako in front of her academy, though the image isn’t all that representative of what she looks like in the show itself. The back cover provides a few animation shots and a small summary of what to expect. The discs basic production and technical information is included here as well. As with all NuTech releases, there is no insert included.

Menu:
The menu layout here is an in-theme one, though unintentionally amusing in some ways, as it takes some still cel images and manipulates them to do things, such as one character fondling another, all while a CG set of candles swings from the ceiling casting odd shadows. Movement to the submenus is nice and fast and overall access times are solid.

Extras:
The only extra is a brief art gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Custom Slave, coming in at just under 30 minutes, was a surprisingly decent little show, something I hadn’t expected after the past couple of disappointments. The show centers around Arisugawa Academy, a privately owned place where the all female student population strive to achieve physically and mentally to prepare for the world at large. It also serves as a front for the group of men who own it, as they have the chairman of the academy work to create slaves that can be sold into political/business networks, thereby keeping them in power.

The new chairman, having sworn loyalty to the old men, has been working hard on his couple of girls, getting them to convert over to hot willing slave status. Most of the time, we’re focused on Sayako, his main project. His training of her is covered in various sequences, the kind you expect when it comes to domination of personality and will. What makes Sayako particularly special for the chairman is that she’s the daughter of a politician, one that very much loves his daughter, but is being bent to only obey the chairman’s will. He’s setting the stage to try and grab some power himself.

With no real resolution to the episode, it definitely feels more like the first episode of a small series, or the introduction point to a game. The OVA definitely isn’t bad, as the character designs are decent to good, the animation doesn’t look horrid and the transfer is solid. It’s just lacking that something special to make it a serious recommendation. But for those looking to kill some time, it’s an easy rental recommendation.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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