Elfen Laid - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Elfen Laid

Elfen Laid

By Chris Beveridge     August 22, 2006
Release Date: August 02, 2006


Elfen Laid
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Theodora and Helena were the princesses of the elven nation of Burgundy. When King Uranus of Merovech invades, both elf princesses are taken captive. Theodora is a powerful warrior, but Helena's only talents are in the bedroom. To save her sister from Uranus' constant abuse, Theodora vows to lead his armies. But will she follow Uranus' orders to butcher the elven nations?

The Review!
While one Elfen princess is off to fight for her sisters safety, the other finds herself introduced to a world of human pleasures.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its English language adaptation. This mix and the Japanese mix are both pretty standard stereo mixes that are mostly center channel oriented. There isn't a lot of real directionality to it though they seem to fake it a bit during some of the fight sequences and the like but it's mostly your typical moaner style mix where dialogue and most other effects outside of music have a full feel to it. Dialogue is however clean and clear and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2005, the transfer for this two part OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer is pretty good for the most part but seems to suffer from some of the same problems a lot of Kitty titles do in the chroma noise and mild cross coloration that creeps into a lot of scenes. This isn't as prevalent as it is in some other recent shows like Kisaku Spirit as it isn't throughout the show but it is there. The video noise is actually lessened in these episodes which is really good as it provides for some very solid and vibrant colors for the most part, which with the lack of aliasing really gives the show a good feel throughout the majority of it.

Packaging:
Due to this being a checkdisc, no packaging was available for review.

Menu:
The menu layout is a simple affair this time around with one of the shots of the female elfen character being taken by the giant tentacle as her clothes fall away from her, while the background itself is just a hazy piece of purples and blacks along with a scroll that has the navigation strip on it. This show is probably re-using some of the music from another show by the original studio as the opening tune is eerily familiar. Access times are nice and fast and it's easy to navigate around. The disc also correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Another title from the Vanilla Series label of films, Elfen Laid brings something that a lot of fans just can't resist. Naked, writhing, squirming and squealing Elfen girls. These kinds of titles are unfortunately few and far between as the fantasy themed hentai genre is woefully underused in Japan these days so those who are interested in it will go for almost any title. Elfen Laid has some promise to it but it does keep to some of the current bothersome fetish trends in adult series today.

The show revolves around two Elfen princesses. Theodora is a powerful warrior who has fought well within her particular clan while her sister Helena is of the more timid variety. Theodora fights hard for her clan and her kind but also to protect the innocence of her sister. Unfortunately, their clan's nation is taken down rather easily by the forces sent out by King Uranus of Merovech as he seeks to expand his realm of influence by eradicating the Elfen people. The young king also has something of a psychological plan to it as he intends to use the capture of both princesses to his advantage. Theodora is sent out to the front lines with his troops to quash the other Elfen nations, showing that his dominance over that princess will cause them anguish and despair, but also in that if she performs well he won't touch her sister.

Uranus of course has no intention of honoring his promise and as soon as Theodora is off on the front lines, Helena finds herself in the dungeon where some of his torturers get to work on sexually abusing her and dominating her will. Uranus has little room for games in the long run as when Theodora does eventually return, he's gleeful in showing her what he's done and has Helena servicing him at almost every turn that her sister is there. He even begins to work over some of his own troops that have become more loyal to Theodora because of her courage in battle and forces Theodora into pleasuring those who he's now turned into prisoners. Round and round it goes as the human males have their way with the Elfen princesses, turning them to the point where they're little more than hollow shells that just willfully and happily accept what's happening to them.

The two episode OVA series has a pretty good set of character designs, though the two princesses look very close to each other if not for the differences in how their hair is tied and the outfits they wear, so you get to see them in a variety of situations. The animation for it is pretty good but not top range quality but something that we've come to expect from a good Vanilla Series titles. The downside for me is that there's a fair bit of blood and piss that is brought into it, as both sisters are virgins going into the show and there's this seeming need to have them piss on themselves out of fear, which the scum who work for the king seem to want to lap up as quickly as they can. While I certainly don't mind the domination aspect of all of it, seeing one of them strung up against the wall as they spurt out semen, blood and piss just is not appealing. This doesn't make up most of the scenes at least but when it does happen it just makes me cringe.

In Summary:
Elfen Laid is amusing for its title alone as it carries on the tradition of playfully renaming a show after a more popular titles. I'm not for name changes but if it's going to happen, and it usually does with adult shows, this is the way to do it. The two part story isn't bad but it could have been so much more. There is a good deal of decent Elfen princess sex going on here that will appeal to those who can't get enough of this but there may be a few elements that will make you squirm. I'm still holding out hope for there to be some sort of renaissance to the kind of adult shows that used to get made and that we get past some of this more disturbing fetish material. Either that or we'll continue to see the trend of adult producers simply going out of business as they're becoming far too specialized.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, 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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