Mania Grade: D-
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- Audio Rating: C
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: C-
- Age Rating: 17 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 105
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Devil Hunter Yohko Collection
Devil Hunter Yohko Collection 1
By Justin A. Swartz
February 07, 2003
Release Date: May 14, 2002
Would you like fan service with your biggie-sized combo?
Since Yohko was made in the early 90's, we're getting a simple stereo mix and nothing more. I think I counted one spot of directionality when I was watching the dub of episode two, but that was all. There was some cracking in the original edition of the first episode, and there was a click and a dropout back-to-back in episode three. From a company who was taking such good care of their first release, I figured they would have worked on the sound a little more, but that's just me.
The same issue is in place for video as there is for audio: age. While I really couldn't see any water spots and the like, and there wasn't the slightest peek of compression lines, the video itself tends to go from light to dark and back again in a few spots, but that's due to the age of the material. There are spots of extreme brightness in episode three and there were spots of washed out colors in episodes one and three. Out of the three, episode two stands out as the one that didn't have these issues..
I like the front cover a lot, with the black against the lightning bolt from Yohko's sword, along with Yohko's pose. The cover exudes action and a little leg, and that works out fine for me. The back cover is really busy and has the most inaccurate description of this show I've ever read, along with a pointless tag line about "your puberty was never like this." Ugh. The spine has a fan service shot of Yohko and the front of her dress ripped open, showing off some cleavage. Double ugh, this is the spine we're talking about. It stood out so bad from the rest of my collection that I just jammed it on a bottom shelf by itself so that it didn't interrupt the flow.
The commentary track is fairly interesting, if Matt Greenfield does tend to talk through half of it without interruption. His two cohorts, whose names I have forgotten and don't care to look up, were mostly silent throughout the commentary due to Greenfield and it really detracted from the effectiveness of what could have been a great feature. Also included are the original trailers for Yohko, a music video put together with a song that isn't even in the show (but is used incessantly in the trailers and on the menus), a collection of artwork that was far too small to be seen with the naked eye, and the standard six-pack of ADV trailers, which included one for Excel Saga that made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Maybe twenty years old is just too old for that kind of stuff. I also can't get that darned Steel Angel Kurumi theme song out of my head.
Content (probably has spoilers):
When I heard that Devil Hunter Yohko was regarded as a kind of 'new classic,' I became interested in the title, since I have long been a fan of old Anime such as Voltes V, Casshan, and 8 Man. While my tastes have diversified somewhat, I still hold the current shows to the same standard of storytelling and originality that the classics contained. I've figured out now that this is my mistake, because Yohko is far from being a classic in anyone's book.
It should also be noted that I have been a fan of shows that are simply 'fun' and contain some nice parody jokes and at least something resembling a plot. Several shows fall into this category, but Yohko isn't one of them. Another thing I don't go for is loads of fan service. I don't mind leg at all, and I can handle some flashing if it's all in good fun, but Yohko is just plain out of my league.
To start with, Devil Hunter Yohko is the story of Yohko Mano, a sixteen year-old girl with the dopiest hair style known to man and the strangest friends an Anime girl could have wanted (or not wanted). Things start happening to her that are quite strange, and they do indeed involve an attempted tentacle rape, seduction by her male friend who is possessed by the horniest demon I've ever seen (this is the most disturbing thing I've ever seen in Anime or otherwise), and the fact that her friend likes to throw up her skirt. Through all of this Yohko finds out that she is the 108th Devil Hunter, her grandmother being the 107th. Her mother was skipped because a Devil Hunter has to keep their virginity in order to use their powers, and well, her mother just didn't wait long enough to find that out.
Over the course of three episodes here, Yohko fights demons, loses her clothes, and has more tentacles grab her. We also had another Devil Hunter, Azusa, who at first seemed like an innocent and pure girl, but also fell to the need for fan service. I have never seen such wasteful time spent on fan service in my entire life, and I really want the time spent watching this piece of cleverly disguised hentai back, because that's all this is. I think I might have smiled once through the whole thing, because the rest of it just wasn't funny. Like I said, maybe I'm just too old for this stuff, and that might just be a good thing.
The English dub features the first roles for ADV regulars Amanda Winn-Lee, Jason Lee, Tiffany Grant, and Tristan MacAvery. What does this mean? Nothing, because they had no talent then and they only recently acquired it. A good idea would have been to go back and re-dub this for the special edition DVD, so that people wouldn't be subjected to the lack of direction and talent of this. Also noteworthy is that ADV liked the word 'bitchin' an awful lot back then, because the dub characters say it every other sentence.
As if additional swearing wasn't enough, we also have Amanda playing Yohko like Sailor Moon, and Tiffany playing her best friend Chi like a total boyfriend-less dork.
The subtitled version is the superior this time around, but that still doesn't change the show. If you find perverted panty shots, jiggle, and ripped uniforms funny or arousing, then be my guest and watch this all you like. If you like to see that with a girl who barely fights back and I guess is supposed to be how Japanese men what their women to be (i.e. flighty, sexy, and jiggly), then you can definitely watch this all you want. I've never had such distaste for a show since my first viewing of Evangelion, especially with the treatment of women, who technically aren't even of that age yet. To me at least, this show is nothing but trash, and that's exactly where it's going. Classic? I think not.
Admiral 19" Color TV, Panasonic DVDRV32K, White-Westinghouse 3-CD Shelf System