Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: C
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Anime 18
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 55
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Dream Hazard / Pianist
By Chris Beveridge
February 14, 2003
Release Date: February 11, 2003
What They Say
© Anime 18
Erotic virtual reality offers Kaori the cure for her shyness, but a mysterious programming bug traps her in a fantasy world beyond her wildest dreams!
A famous pianist seeks solace in the arms of a busty android with a heart of gold. Her skills in love are superhuman, and she’s his biggest fan! The Review!
Anime 18 goes the double feature route bringing two very different shows from the same series together on one release as we get introduced to the “Secret Anima Series”.Audio:
Since I still can’t deal with hentai in English, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Dialogue throughout is nice and clear though hardly exceptional. This is a basic stereo mix with most of the dialogue through the center channel while the music and some of the sound effects use the stereo channels. We didn’t notice any dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
These two shows are only a few years old, but they harken back to the more traditional age of hentai shows in their look and feel as opposed the glossier shows. The transfer here however does look quite good with hardly anything to really take issue with. Cross coloration creeps up in one or two areas briefly and there’s some slight aliasing during a panning sequence here and there, but otherwise the transfer provides solid if somewhat muted colors and a very presentable image. Packaging:
While there are two separate shows on the disc, the second show gets most of the cover since it’s taken up by the lead characters massive mammaries. Thankfully, they don’t come across quite so huge in the show itself. The first show gets a sidebar on the front cover, so they do both show up here. This looks all right, but I still find myself very fond of how Media Blasters does their dual/triple-show releases with their covers. The back cover provides a number of screenshots from each show and a small paragraph of description for each of them as well. The discs features and technical specs are all clearly listed as well. The reverse side of the cover is the standard black and white piece that gives all the technical credits for both shows and the English adaptation as well as the chapter stops. No voice credits for either language are provided.Menu:
The menu is nicely laid out in block sections with animations from each of the shows changing throughout them to the music from the first one. As with most CPM menus, it goes right into the show if you don’t select anything within the first round or two of the menu playing. Access times to submenus are nice and fast and the layout is nice and functional.Extras:
There’s usually little for extras when it comes to hentai, so it’s not a surprise that there’s only an art gallery here that runs briefly with cel and original artwork. The only other thing that some may consider an extra is the dub trailer for the release.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this dual show release, you get two fairly average pieces of science fiction oriented hentai, though one of them offers up much more in the story department than the other. Both come from something called the Secret Anima Series, another line of hentai that looks to be making its way over here as the high-profile companies have their libraries acquired.
The first show, Dream Hazard, is a simple tale that follows a young woman named Kaori. Kaori’s very much in love with a fellow classmate. She knows she can’t quite get him since he’s the most popular boy in school, but she longs for him. So on her ride home, she comes across an advertisement about making dreams a reality and eventually finds herself at the store offering such dreams. Yes, it’s Total Recall hentai, as Kaori enters the somewhat sleazy establishment to find that they’re almost waiting for her.
After a quick change into a very skintight suit, she’s brought into an isolation pod where they put in the basics of her wish. She wants to have a nice simple date with him and just maybe a kiss at the end. She ends up getting this, plus a whole lot more as the program starts erroring out like crazy and doesn’t send the errors anywhere but at the person in the pod. While Kaori’s date goes fine to start with, the scenes and images continue to shift to where he’s overly dominant and has his way with her, humiliating her in a variety of costumes and situations. But for each humiliation it shifts back to a normal part of the date. They’ll shift from her bound up in leather strips to the two of them sharing a drink at an amusement park.
And that’s what makes up the bulk of the show, one random scene to the next with her begging them to stop the program the entire way. Well, until she actually gets out of the pod and then she thanks them. There’s nothing that you could really call a plot here, so it’s just a basic near-domination hodgepodge of imagery.
The second show, The Pianist, fairs out somewhat better in that there’s something of a plot and it’s fairly interesting. The episode focus on a young man named Seiji who was once quite the skilled pianist, but injured his hand in an accident a few years prior. During the time he spent at the hospital, he fell in love with one of the nurses and wanted to keep the relationship with her going after he left. Thankfully, she was a robot so he was able to order a similar model and continue things on from there. So now we have Yuna taking care of him in all his needs while his hand recovers at home.
Yuna’s the nice attentive girl in just about every way, giving her master what he needs and caring for him. He’s playing the piano, but can’t hit certain things. Seiji’s also something of a good one in the world, as he treats her with respect and pretty much just like a human, whereas a lot of people simply don’t like or respect them. In fact, due to the way the world is with the human population dying off, nearly two-thirds of Tokyo are filled with robots to help with the menial chores and labors.
Seiji decides to take it upon himself to teach Yuna the piano, and it’s something that she manages to master well and to provide certain nuances to it that gives it a very warm feel. But when he tries to get her to debut with it, he’s met with cold resistance from all the people who don’t want to hear a robot recording or playing live. On the other half of the show, we get Yuna and Seiji going at it like bunnies, but also showing how he cares for her and how he treats her. It’s really a simple romance in the end set against a science fiction backdrop with lots of sex going on.
If there was one thing I absolutely did not like with this episode is that the dub decided to mechanize Yuna's voice whereas it was natural in the Japanese. It gave the show a feel that was not intended.
As a total, the Dream Hazard episode brings down the discs rewatchability, but the Pianist episode is rather good and provides a serious piece of hentai that deals with more than just the lead character getting lucky. They’re not the best hentai out there, but it wasn’t a bad way to kill an hour or so late at night.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.