Dark Chapel Vol. #1 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: C

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: JapanAnime
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dark Chapel

Dark Chapel Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     January 25, 2008
Release Date: March 20, 2007

Dark Chapel Vol. #1
© JapanAnime

What They Say
Sister Rosaria is working at the village's local church. Everything has been peaceful and many days of happiness have passed. That is, until one day when a new priest and sister arrive... and her happiness is suddenly shattered. The two are imposters; villains on the run for theft and murder. But that isn't the only problem: the man is a former priest who sexually assaulted Sister Rosaria many times.

Now, the village's peace is in her hands; if she doesn't obey "Father Edward's" demands as in the past, he has sworn to kill every single one of the villagers...

The Review!
Next on Fox… Nuns who poop.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. It's the only language track included here as once again there's no dub for JapanAnime's adult releases. The track is a pretty good as it's a solid PCM stereo mix at 1.5 mbps which means that it's louder and a bit richer depending on your setup. Dialogue is mostly center channel based but it comes across clean and clear and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released in 2006, the transfer for this OVA release is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. As with some of the better produced series out there, the source material here looks good with lots of bright vivid colors and some decent animation that doesn't show too many shortcuts. The colors generally look good and solid though there are some areas where you can see the color gradient but it is a fairly small issue all told and most likely not noticeable on most setups. This is essentially a problem free transfer for the most part with very good looking animation.

Released in a clear keepcase, the cover artwork for Dark Chapel is certainly up front and appealing. Sister Rosaria is on her knees and looking underneath her so we get to see not only her nuns outfit but also the chains that keep her in place and the ball gag. The backdrop of the interior of the church certainly makes it clear what's going on and it's pure truth in advertising here. They do make note of the shows origins in the game world, but I wonder how much impact that really has considering hardly anything really gets released here. The back cover is a rather dark piece with a couple of shots from the show that are free of nudity and don't do a good job of showing off the character designs. What we're left with is a few set pieces and a summary that runs through the basics of what the episode is about. Production credits round out the remainder of the cover along with the solid technical grid. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.

The menu design for the show is fairly decent as it uses a piece of character artwork featuring Edward and Liz in their stolen outfits against a background in which various sexual acts from the show are shown through a yellow filter. The navigation along the right is straightforward and everything works smoothly and problem free. JapanAnime's menus continue to be some of the best in terms of flowing between each of the submenus as they fade in and out really well. Access times are nice and fast considering the fading aspect and due to the limited audio and subtitle options, the defaults are all there really is here.

JapanAnime has included an iPod and PSP version of the show for those who want to grab it off of their personal computer. They also provide in the extras section a way to skip all the fluff in the show and go straight to all the sex.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dark Chapel took some time to finally release from when JapanAnime first solicited it as it was announced in the summer of 2006 for December of 2006. It didn't actually arrive until the end of Winter 2007 though and even then it wasn't exactly something that showed up with any sort of fanfare. It tended to slip through the minds of many simply because of the delay and the second volume went to a less than helpful "To Be Announced" date so we might not even see the end of the show. Having finally found a place that had it in stock, we snapped it up and sat down to some heavenly goodness. Then the poop came flying out.

With just one episode, there's not a lot to really go on about here but the premise starts up well enough. We're introduced to a couple of cutthroat jewel thieves named Edward and Liz who have just pulled off quite the heist. With a small briefcase of jewels in hand, they need to lay low for awhile to let things die down a bit. As luck, or planning, would have it, they're near a small village where the only Sister who works in the church is someone that Edward knew years ago. Rosaria doesn't seem to recognize him completely at first, but that's because along the way Edward and Liz killed a priest and sister that were coming to Observe Rosaria for a bit and took their clothes.

Once inside and things become clearer, it's all downhill for Sister Rosaria from there. Edward has some longstanding issues with her from the past and he intends to make good on them by having her sign a contract that indicates that her ass is his. While Edward takes care of Rosaria, Liz gets a bit jealous and intends to have some fun of her own even as they try to lay low. How many farmhands can handle a ready and willing hot young nun? Quite a few as it turns out and they get to kneel down before her for quite awhile. Where the show turns nasty is in the relationship between Edward and Rosaria. It's certainly a dominant/submissive one and one that involves lots of anal play, but they decided that they need to have the poo flying all over the place as well. That's a dealbreaker for some and it certainly was for me here. It's saving grace was that the poo didn't fly too far. It wasn't rocket powered, just jet powered and went a few feet. It did go wide though…

The visual look of the show, poo aside, is pretty good as it features adult looking characters and generally properly proportioned designs. The two main women look good and very different from each other while Edward doesn't have a truly creepy look to it. He's got a bit of menace which is to be expected, but you can see why women would be interested in him and not run in abject horror like some other male leads. The animation quality is solid throughout with a good sense of fluid motion in some of the more active moments and overall it's a very good production. It doesn't scream high end quality, but it's not a piece of shovelware either that you have a hard time watching. Genuine effort was put into it and the results are on the screen.

In Summary:
Dark Chapel is a show that doesn't speak to some of my interests which certainly hurts it in terms of its content grading, but it is overall a very solid production. With uncompressed audio, good looking animation and plenty of rough and tumble sex among adults, it's almost a strange show in comparison to what usually comes out. It plays up a couple of fetishes nicely and the nunsploitation crowd will surely be very happy with this release. With the second volume missing in action though, it's pretty incomplete but it doesn't actually hurt anything with what's going on here. If you need some nun love or more poop in your anime viewing experiences, this one will take care of you nicely.

Japanese 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.


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