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DVD Review

Mania Grade: D

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Demon Beast Invasion

Demon Beast Invasion: Paradise

Demon Beast Invasion: Paradise DVD Review

By Chris Beveridge     March 17, 2010
Release Date: February 02, 2010


Demon Beast Invasion: Paradise
© Critical Mass Video

The old Beast gets around as it heads to China and then to space before it goes back to the sea of Japan.

What They Say
Something evil slithers through the Hong Kong underworld, seeking warm flesh and new victims. Many have already succumbed to its perverse charms. But the Demon Beast hungers for more than just blood. It wants a human woman to possess - body and soul.

Contains episodes 5-6.

The Review!
Audio:
Demon Beast Invasion retains the original audio tracks found on the Anime 18 release which were always amusing as they were two stereo mixes encoded at 448kbps, which was most likely an accidental setting. Having less compression is a good thing but these two tracks don't make out any better for it unlike some other series might. Demon Beast Invasion is a fairly straightforward stereo show in that it's entirely center channel based to give it a full feeling. That serves the material well with a clean sound and nothing to note with directionality but it lets the dialogue flow well and there aren't any noticeable problems with dropouts, hiss or distortions.

Video:
Originally released in 1994, the transfer for the two OVA episodes here are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer is identical to the Anime 18 release from 2002 so there isn't any improvements to be found from more recent compression technologies or potentially better source materials. Not that Demon Beast Invasion was ever going to be a great looking title as it has a slight budget approach to it with its animation, but the rendering here is decent all things considered outside of the noise and some of the blocking to be found in the darker blues of the night time sequences. In general it makes out better than some releases from this time period as there isn't any seriously noticeable cross coloration and line noise is pretty minimal as well. Colors generally hold up well and there aren't any serious flaws to be found with it.

Packaging:
The third installment of Demon Beast Invasion has probably the worst cover of the batch and that's saying a lot. This one uses the imagery from the second episode with the demon beast in the background and Kayo being abused in the foreground. The material is a shot from the show itself that's horribly out of focus and overblown that's very unappealing. This is an old title with limited materials more than likely so the soft look of the characters isn't a surprise, but the combination of it with the background and the black case doesn't work well to make it feel even a little contemporary. The back cover keeps it simple with the black background used there, though the stars only show along the bottom. The top half has some associated credits and a decent summary of the premise before it shows off a few shots from the show and of one of the big demons. The technical grid is solid and the production credits cover the basics. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The main menu uses the same kind of star filled background to give it a bigger sense of self while the foreground piece has a good group shot of several of the characters from the series, albeit with their clothing at different stages of undress. The navigation layout is standard for Anime 18 at the time which was to have a lot of choices as well as auto-starting the show if you don't select anything within a short enough window of time. The layout works well enough for navigation and is generally problem free, though it felt like it was lagging once or twice in moving from menu to menu. Like other Anime 18 releases from this early release period of DVD history, the disc did not read our players' language presets.

Extras:
None, outside of a brief pointless Meet the Characters segment and the anime artform piece which really isn't an extra.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the second volume, we all thought that the Demon Beast was done for and never to be seen again. What our error was is that the last episode on that disc wasn't entitled Final Battle. Unless it's Final Battle, there's more story to tell. And it's here that Critical Mass fails as they titled this one 'Paradise' instead of Final Battle like they did with the original Anime 18 release. Thankfully, episode six calls it the final battle so we know we're finally at the end.

After the results of the previous battle in volume two, Japan became sealed to the Demon Beast, which meant that he couldn't get to Kayo. But his evil has now rained down on Hong Kong and the search for its mother continues anew. It quickly takes over the river bandits and the triads in its goal of world domination and then sets up the trap to get Muneto and Kayo to come to Hong Kong. And what better way than as a prize for being the one millionth customer to a carnival park.

So our two leads book off to Hong Kong to see the exotic land and have lots of mad nookie. Of course, since its an elaborate trap to bring Kayo here, the possessed folks come running in with guns a blazing and capture Kayo and the other girl that Muneto ends up saving during one of his walkabouts in the city. One of the IMO agents, "G7", arrives on the scene as well after tracking down the triad and pirates and lends his firepower to the fight to save Kayo and the world.

I'm afraid I gotta spoil something though. They do kill the Beast, but the episode wasn't titled Final Battle. So he gets to come back in the next and last episode, entitled Final Battle.

Final Battle sees our intrepid heroes on a school trip to some island paradise where they... well, just seem to hang out. That is until one of the students turns up dead with his wang not properly attached to him. After hearing the tale of a island monster from centuries ago, Muneto fears that the Demon Beast may be involved somehow but believes him dead (cast members are not supplied with episode titles, so go easy on him). Kayo hears the calling of "mother" and fears the Beast as well.

In an amusing twist, it's the Beast and it's not. After his death, his soul and particles circled the planet until some of it caught on a meteorite and plummeted to the earth where it plunged into the sea. Thanks to El Nino, enough of the particles collected for his soul to properly reform in a being similar to the legend of this island. And so the Demon Beast takes a new form and lives.

Having just reread that, I can't help but laugh and say that if you've enjoyed the Demon Beast series in the first two volumes, this one doesn't go much further over the top but does bring things to a conclusion. After all, there is a Final Battle. For a demon hentai, this one's not terribly bad in that it does have something some people may call a story. But there's far better hentai out there to be sure.

In Summary:
The Demon Beast invasion trilogy certainly has its amusing moments and it's one of those early tentacle titles that set the stage for many others. It's very dated now with animation that's almost comical at times, particularly for the first episode here where the characters sometimes come across as very off model. The show is really stretching for story at this point, well, it's stretched beyond the realm of reason but we are talking about demon beasts from space that were originally from Earth. When you start involving the Khmer Rouge, shifting the scene to Hong Kong and then going for a school trip that brings in an old legend, it's all pretty much played out. Not that there was ever a high point for the Invasion, but this was certainly a low point to end on.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Meet the Characters

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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