Daiakuji: The Xena Buster Vol. #7 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Adult Source Media
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Daiakuji: The Xena Buster

Daiakuji: The Xena Buster Vol. #7

By Chris Beveridge     March 15, 2006
Release Date: March 14, 2006


Daiakuji: The Xena Buster Vol. #7
© Adult Source Media


What They Say
It is finally here, the long awaited final Chapter of the Daiakuji Trilogy - Daiakuji #7 - "Sat-chan's Story". Because we love this Series so much and want it to go out with a bang, we made it the first english dubbed Episode of this Series and we added a 30 minute Bonus feature for your enjoyment.
See a side of Akuji you have never seen before and discover all the hidden Secrets that lie within. Then see for yourself who is innocent as our No.1 character, Sat-chan reveals her true form and tells her story.

The Review!
Daiakuji's epilogue episode brings everyone's favorite character her own story as her wedding day has arrived.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The Japanese track is a pretty straightforward stereo mix that does have some good moments of directionality, more often in the fight scenes than anywhere else, and the music does a nice job of giving a full feeling performance. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2003, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With a lot of really bold colors in large sections, there's no noticeable blocking going on and that's the major problem that this release could have had but avoids. Cross coloration and aliasing are just about non-existent and overall this is a really sweet looking transfer. While some of the earlier volumes some serious dot crawl problems, this volume looks almost pristine by comparison and really shines here like the first volume did for us. The opening and ending sequences are retained in their original Japanese text format, most likely as hentai releases don't usually have clean versions to offer up. They're not translated directly but are done following the show.

Packaging:
Using the Japanese cover artwork, Satsu's image here is one of those classic pieces as she's twisting to the side while wearing her wedding gown and has her rocket launcher in one hand while around her she's tossing the bouquet. The soft colors, detailed dress and garter along wit the expression she has is just perfect. The cover is a bit text heavy but the central image is still very prominent and looks great. The back cover has a lot of artwork and shots from the show on it, enough that it takes up about two-thirds of it. The bottom third has a small summary and a list of the discs features. There's a small technical grid along the bottom that's clear on the features and overall it's easy to see exactly what's on the disc between the two sections. There's no insert with this release but the cover is reversible. The reverse side front cover appears to be identical to the main cover but uses some different colors and border layouts while the back cover has a much different layout with new shots from the show.

Menu:
The menus from ASM continue to get better over time and the final one for the Daiakuji series is the best yet as it eliminates all the old problems and simply looks slick while still being very easy to use. The backdrop uses one of those cyberspace kind of standard backgrounds while bringing in all sorts of artwork and animation from the show on the left side as a brief bit of the very soft vocal song plays along. The right side has the navigation strip which is a bit odd in how it has what you'd consider an extra in the main menu but still have a bonus materials section. The menu is very easy to navigate and selections in the language section is easy to do though I do wish there was a listing of what it's actually set at so you can tell whether your selection actually worked. The only real down side is that the 30 second music clip is so abrupt that it almost sounds distorted when it turns over. My players presets were somewhat accurately read with this release; the subtitles picked up the English track fine as it was clearly labeled but the audio track sort of worked in that it went with the first track that was Japanese but was incorrectly labeled as English.

Extras:
The main menu has the only real extra about the show in the form of the photo gallery but the bonus materials section, which is where trailers and boxart for other shows reside, also has one of those bonus episodes that we've seen before but as is the continuing trend, it's subtitled which actually makes it somewhat watchable.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Daiakuji as a series proved to be fun and interesting in general as it mixed humor and action along with some rather deviant sex scenes. It had a pretty wide range of characters that populated it while keeping things focused around Akuji as the main lead who was trying to right things in the newly dominated female world he found himself in. After the series ended, one of the most popular characters from the show and Akuji got a special epilogue episode all of their own.

As promised during the show, young Satsu was told by Akuji's grandfather that she'd have to marry Akuji. Being the obedient type that she is, she goes through with it without any complaint, though their ceremony isn't quite the dream that she'd imagine especially since it's attacked by the Momoyoma Clan just as they're about to seal the union with a kiss. That's quickly dealt with and the remainder of the show takes its time focusing on the kind of domestic sexual issues that this new couple has to go through.

Sounds all fairly normal right? Well, in a way I'm surprised that this episode came over because of Satsu herself. Though they go through the motions of explaining things fairly early on about her here, she's definitely eighteen and has licenses to fly planes, boats, cars, trucks and even an explosives license. She's been a full fledged fighter in the resistance for some time now and her cold calm demeanor fit well with her rocket launcher style of attack. But no matter her skills, history and achievements, all anyone will see is a character who looks to be about twelve years old. That alone is more than enough to turn people off from this particular episode above the others and I certainly can't blame anyone. There's always things, particularly in adult anime, that can just easily offend and you stay away from it.

That said, this episode is surprisingly tender as it works through the problems in this new relationship which is heavily affected by her small body size and Akuji's own well endowed nature. There's an amusing scene that seems almost like a parody of an early scene from the movie Kinsey where Satsu tries to seek advice from someone who would know how to make her body work properly to accept Akuji. Only instead of a doctor it's Akuji's favorite interrogator and conversion specialist who takes women from the other side and exposes them to all sorts of pleasures that expand their bodies in new ways. Satsu needs to find the tricks that will let her manipulate herself so she can take all of Akuji and give him pleasure. It's difficult for them early on but Akuji is surprisingly gentle and only interested in making sure that both of them figure out a way to make each other happy. The culmination in a great series of moments while visiting a hot spring brings things full circle for them and if you're able to get past the body size issue, it is overall a surprisingly sweet and heartwarming story. So many couples go through issues with sex and their bodies where they can't talk to their partners that seeing this pair with a problem talk and work it through is highly positive.

An interesting difference between this volume and the primary series is that they went and made a dub for it, which works fairly well since it doesn't have many characters and is really separate from the main series itself. I'm definitely glad that they've been dubbing more of their shows and enjoyed their first releases of Maid in Heaven and Darcrows but I felt some choices for this one weren't that good. Since it's focus is on Satsu and Akuji, they're obviously the most important to have work right. The secondary characters were cute and fit their respective roles overall but the two leads really felt miscast. At the same time, I have a hard time really having an issue about it because of the nature of the episode. Akuji's voice actor isn't quite as deep or gruff as it should be, though his intent was supposed to be more sweet and understanding towards Satsu here. Even still, it lost some of that roughness that he should have regardless. Satsu's the main problem in that her voice here is far older and mature sounding than it should be. But I can understand doing this to avoid it being too young and squeaky as that would be a real problem considering her looks. In a way, dubbing this couldn't be a full win/win position but they did decently with what they had. In listening to the dub for the third time I'm admittedly warming up to it a bit more but for the most part there's just some things about this release that I don't expect to be a problem with most other shows.

In Summary:
The Daiakuji series finally comes to a true close with this epilogue special episode and it brings some good closure for Akuji and Satsu's relationship. The animation is slick, the presentation overall is solid and ASM went the extra mile to provide a dub for it which while flawed is probably as good as we'd get from anyone due to the material itself. This episode is a much harder sell in general due to the loli-con material in it but for fans of the show who love the Satsu character, you're going to love this episode and just eat it all up.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,French Subtitles,Photo 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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