EL - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • 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: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 19.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: EL

EL

By Chris Beveridge     March 29, 2007
Release Date: May 01, 2007


EL
© Kitty Media


What They Say
The survivors of a global atomic war live in a city dedicated to the survival of the human race. El Miles is part of a group in charge of enforcing the law. While the male members sexually torture suspected female members of the Black Widows, El must protect a young and pretty pop singer who is openly trying to seduce her. But it could be that El's reality is simply one big illusion...

The Review!
When an agent is assigned to protect a beautiful singer, things turn both violent and sexual in this two episode adventure.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. EL is like most other adult releases in that the show has a pretty basic stereo mix with most everything being center channel dominated. The only real exception is the music, but even that is pretty much just filling up the entire forward soundstage with no real directionality. In listening to both tracks during the course of the show, we didn't note any dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2000 and 2001, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. At the time of the first release, the bold colors and transfer overall looked great as it was an early digitally animated title. In the years since then, the entire game has been upped quite a bit in the adult realm which has the materials here looking good but not quite so strong as it once did. The two episodes look good throughout though there are more visible elements such as background noise and some light cross coloration around various edges. Colors in general maintain a solid feel and there aren't any serious issues with it but it has lost some of the luster as newer shows have outperformed it.

Packaging:
The cover art for this release has a bright attractive design to it as it takes the lead character and has her in a pose with her gun that could be done on any number of other shows. El's design is an attractive one with the red hair and bright colors around her though it is surprising to see an adult release with so little real skin showing. This could pass easily for a regular release. The back cover on the other hand makes it clear what it really is with some very sexy character artwork and shots from the show. The summary covers the basic premise while pushing the connection to Words Worth while the rest of the cover has the production information and technical grid.

Menu:
The menu design is par for the course as it takes the character artwork from the cover and lines it along one side while the other has a blue strip with the navigation running down it. Add in the logo, some auditorium sounding vocal music and a few cries of pleasure and you have a decent if uninspiring menu. Access times are nice and fast and with nothing on the disc but the show and a few trailers it's easy to get around on. The disc did not read our players' defaults and instead went with English language with sign/song subtitles.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Originally released by NuTech Entertainment as a two disc set back in 2002, Kitty Media has brought the show back intro distribution with this new single volume release. Kitty's been able to drop the price on this below their normal level of $30 to just $20. This brings the release at about 50% off of the original two disc set version, though you could find it cheaply online depending on where you looked. With it being priced like it is, I figured that they had been able to use the existing dub. But to my surprise, they've had a new dub produced by the folks at Swirl instead.

The story of El is a pretty interesting one. The show takes place in 2030 after a nuclear war has destroyed most life on Earth. What appears to be the remaining outpost of humanity is the Megaro City, a sizeable and high-tech city where everyone lives in hopes of restoring humanity across the world again some day.

The city is set up in an interesting way. The police, or something close to resembling them, are known as the Sniper Control. There are also such places as the Hospital Control, Social Report Control and others similarly named. The folks at Social Report are the ones who keep track of everything in the city, often utilizing high-tech floating "eyes" that see all and transmit back to them. The city is definitely advanced looking, especially considering that it's post WW3, but the way it plays it works nice.

The show eventually settles on telling the tale of El, a red haired beauty who's a Sniper. She's the kind who takes her job seriously but doesn't abuse it. The entire section is rather alive with excitement as one of their better members had returned the night before with someone who is a Black Widow. Black Widows are people who are working for Mr. Gimmick, someone whose identity is mysterious and has just as mysterious goals for the city. Gimmick's operatives often don't even realize what happens as he uses the cities technology against them by using the "eyes" to place someone under his control.

This doesn't stop the Sniper folks from torturing the young woman who was duped into work for Gimmick. Across the two episodes, we have two torture segments, which are the only parts of the show that I just flat out didn't care for. Most of the show ends up dealing with El and a woman who she ends up being a bodyguard for, Parsley, the beautiful blue haired pop idol. And naturally, the two end up falling for each other and providing some fun sequences together.

What's really surprising about this show is just how well the writers pulled off the surprise ending. In fact, I'm impressed at just how well they managed to wrap up any kind of story as well as they did in just the two episodes. The shows internal continuity works well, but if there's anything that proves to be a downside is that there are too many characters in general and most don't get fleshed out that well. But the primary characters manage to come across nicely and their story is the one that really counts in the end.

In Summary:
El isn't going to rock the world, but it's a really slick little two-parter that tells an interesting story and provides some gorgeous visuals at times. You just may want to skim the torture scenes. Kitty's re-release of this title is pretty solid all around and it's certainly a better thing to have both episodes on one disc. Though the show doesn't hold up visually quite as well as when we first saw it, it's still an attractive show with a fun storyline to it. My only wish for this release was that they had managed to preserve the original dub somehow as it was one of the ones that was done by the hot starlets of yesterday in the adult industry.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI set to 480p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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