F3: Frantic, Frustrated and Female - Mania.com

DVD Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: F3 - Frantic, Frustrated and Female

F3: Frantic, Frustrated and Female

F3: Frantic, Frustrated and Female DVD Review

By Not Yet Assigned     February 22, 2010
Release Date: March 02, 2010

F3: Frantic, Frustrated and Female
© Kitty Media

Now at its third home, F3 brings out the silly hentai comedies we rarely see once again for more fans to discover.

What They Say
Most definitely a fine example of the fairer sex, Hiroe Ogawa's only flaw is that she can't have an orgasm, and not for lack of trying. Desperate to know how it feels and to share that feeling with her boyfriend, no possibility is off limits. With some help from some friends and family, not to mention a mad scientist and an evil demon, she's able to get closer to her goal, if only for a bit and under a very specific condition. Join Hiroe and company in their misadventures for one of the most misunderstood and unreachable prizes in the world.

The Review!

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its Japanese language adaptation. Having enjoyed it in Japanese originally and then checking out the new dub that Critical Mass created, I found myself wanting to go back to the original so I could experience it again. The two tracks are essentially similar in that it's a simple stereo mix encoded at 192kbps that's mostly a full soundstage piece that doesn't have much in the way of noticeable directionality. It is in good shape though as it's clean and clear throughout without any noticeable dropouts or distortions. The Japanese language track was in good shape as well from what we sampled. 
Originally released in 1994, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer for this show looks good for the most part, with solid colors that have a few vibrant spots and no real bleeding to it. Cross coloration is almost non existent but there is some aliasing in a few panning sequences here and there. It's not a bad transfer by any means, but it is showing its age and the general budget keeps it from looking like a stellar show. Beyond looking a bit sharper and cleaner than the VHS version and a bit more solid altogether than the Softcel version, this is looks good for what it is and mirrors the Critical Mass version.
Using the same artwork as previous releases but with a bright yellow and orange background and overall layout that works far better, F3 looks a lot more appealing and less dark than it did before. The older designs with their style sets it apart from many other shows today and I think actually helps it to stand out a bit more. The back cover is a bit busier with the female symbols floating around which have shots from the show within them as well as some good animation moments of Hiroe along the top left as well. The summary is shorter than past ones but still captures the overall feeling of the series. The remainder is fairly standard in that it has a bit of production information and a good breakdown in the technical grid of what to expect, though there is no listing of the bonus dub track that’s here..
Using the same artwork from the cover and the same design elements but rearranged a bit to be more pleasing, the main menu is a simple static piece that has the bouncy ending theme music playing along in a good loop. It's a bright and colorful menu without being too far gone and the navigation is laid out easily enough and is problem free. Access times are nice and fast and we had no problems with language setup on our system.
Though not found in a separate section, the original first episode dub is included in this release. The extras that were found on the Critical Mass edition are not however, as the art gallery and dub outtakes were not likely part of the license and belong to Critical Mass. 
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
F3, or Frantic, Frustrated and Female, is one of the earlier Pink Pineapple/AIC collaborations that focused more on the comedy side of things than anything else. While just about every hentai show these days is very explicit, a show like F3 doesn't go into as much detail and plays by the laws for the most part. While there's plenty of sex to go around in these shows, it's the comical aspect of the situation that makes it such a classic.
And it is indeed a classic. The three episodes play out as pure comedy gold, as it follows the exploits of Hiroe, a young woman who simply cannot climax. No matter what she does or tries, she can't do it by herself or with any kind of toy. Even with the Wave Motion vibrator (which her sister points out is the latest model). During one instance where Hiroe is trying to get her body to achieve its proper state, her sister catches her and decides to help out. Hours later, Mayaka is completely undone by Hiroe hasn't had her shining moment yet.
She ends up leading Hiroe off to such varying places as a fortune teller to try and figure out what's wrong to a mad scientist who plays like a second rate Barbarella villain. What eventually does the trick is hypnosis, but with very amusing side effects to the entire situation. And that's all within just part of the first episode!
What makes things work so well in here is the absolute lack of regard for normal rules in storytelling by the creators. When we get to the second episode, Mayaka and Hiroe become housemates instead of sisters and their mother becomes a landlady/substitute mother. These changes occur throughout the episodes and relationships continually change, often with Monty Pythonesque insistence about it.
So much of the humor in these episodes is visual and hard to explain, as well as spoiling much of what makes it fun. My very first viewing experience with this show was with a checkdisc version during Otakon 2002 with a small group of friends and it went over extremely well in that situation. In watching it just with my wife, it still went over very well with lots of out loud laughing, even after repeated viewings. Now watching it again many years later with other people, it still makes me laugh and makes me lament that there aren't more shows like this. F3 is a rare hentai treat in that it's not terribly explicit, over the top in humor and well animated. There's definitely a reason it's considered a classic.
In Summary:
There are very few adult anime shows that merit much replay and the few that are tend to be comedies. F3 is one that ranks among the top of those in replay value and one that you simply want to shake people with and share among them, especially if they like weird reality bending comedies such as Excel Saga or Abenobashi. The Kitty Media release of this title is solid overall as it takes the Critical Mass version sans a few extras and it keeps a great title in print that may have otherwise disappeared into history. F3 is the kind of title that you can share with friends easily without feeling like they're going to stick a porn stigma on you. It's a great sex comedy.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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