Dragon Knight - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: C-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: SoftCel Pictures
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Knight

Dragon Knight

By Chris Beveridge     November 23, 2002
Release Date: January 14, 2003

Dragon Knight
© SoftCel Pictures

What They Say
What do an enchanted sword, a dozen beautiful girls and an instant camera all have in common? It's cold steel and hot babes as a morally impaired young hero must rescue multiple damsels in distress imprisoned in an enchanted castle by an army of demons, pausing only for a quick click of his trusty camera's shutter as the young lasses struggle to cover their lithesome charms.

The Review!
Dragon Knight, an offshoot of sorts of the popular RPG series from several years ago, should not be confused with the similarly named Dragon Knights manga series. And while this is a Softcel release, it’s probably going to be one of their tamest releases.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Being as old as it is, the track is a pretty basic stereo mix with the majority of dialogue though the center channels while the music and sound effects make most of the materials through the stereo channels. Dialogue is clear and clean throughout and we noticed no dropouts or distortions.

Originally released in 1991, the show’s survived pretty well since then. The materials here look as good as one would expect and are thankfully free of my main nemesis, cross coloration. There’s a bit of aliasing throughout and you can see some nicks and scratches in a few areas. Some of the darker sequences look a little less than solid and colors sometimes brighten suddenly, but that’s more an aspect of the original animation itself.

The front cover provides a decent mix of artwork from the show, as we have a couple of the girls hanging from their ropes through the middle and off to the side we have the backside of our hero fighting one of the villains while the main villain is along the top. The back cover provides more shots of the women from the show and has a lengthy description of the shows premise and plot.The features are clearly listed, though the runtime is rather off, listing forty five minutes when its only thirty. Not even adding up the extras gets it close to that runtime. The insert provides another look at the cover artwork while the reverse side has several pictures and the discs chapter stops.

The main menu is a static piece of animation of the girl with red hair from the cover being the centerpiece while selections are ringed around her. Selections are quick and easy to access and load times are solid as there’s not transition sequences or anything else to slow it down.

The main extra included here is a four minute video gallery showcasing all kinds of artwork and designs for the show. There’s some interesting pieces throughout, though it’s a bit dull going through as there isn’t any background music or anything with it. Also included is the original US trailer made for the show way back when.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fantasy hentai is few and far between, which to me is something of a mystery. Dragon Knight, at least this first episode, doesn’t even qualify as hentai to be honest. It’s really just ecchi, as the most it has is naked women. Unless I blinked during a scene, there’s no actual sex taking place during any of these encounters. Considering that it’s based off of a popular RPG of years gone by, I can’t say I’m too surprised that it’s not all that explicit.

I hear that they really changed that in the second installment, which isn’t included on this volume. The reason I hear for that is that the second episode is owned by a different company in Japan, and the licenses won’t allow competing companies shows on the same disc. Considering I don’t complain (much) about the single episode NuTech and Kitty releases, I won’t complain too much here, but will note that at least those two companies, when releasing single episode hentai shows, generally price them five to ten dollars cheaper. That’s the real main fault with this release.

Dragon Knight introduces us to Takeru, a happy go lucky adventurer and swordsman whose just looking for his next meal. He’s stumbled into an empty town and decides to check out the local castle. Finding nobody home, he starts stuffing his face, only to find out that there really are people there, and they’re all women. As he learns from their queen, some demons have invaded recently and have stolen the six jewels from a statue that help the area prosper and grow. All the warriors they’ve sent to get back the jewels have ended up being captured and never to return.

To make up for his crime of stealing food, a young woman named Luna suggests that Takeru is the person mentioned in their prophecies about a man who will come one day to free them from all of this. So the queen tells him to get the jewels, free the warriors and return life to the region and he can have anything he wants. So with the help of Luna to guide the way, Takeru goes off to the castle to deal with the big uglies, free the naked women and save the day. It’s all pretty basic and it’s just one episode, so there’s not a lot of surprises.

The show is very light in tone, with Takeru himself being a mix of a goof and just plain idiot but skilled with a sword. The women are attractive, but half the time they’re naked but they’re not really showing anything. It’s the “hide the nipple” game with their long hair most of the time. This really can’t be called hentai, but more of an extreme ecchi of a role playing game gone anime. It’s amusing in parts, but its short running time really works against it, unless you’re just looking for a quick fix or have fond memories of the game that you want to warp.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Dragon Knight trailer,Production portfolio

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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