F-Force - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: F-Force

F-Force

By Chris Beveridge     July 29, 2004
Release Date: June 10, 2003


F-Force
© Anime 18


What They Say
The gorgeous, supernaturally powered Alicia has been kidnapped by demons, enslaved for their unspeakably perverted pleasures. Her only hope for survival: A team of busty barbarians known as the F-Force!

The Review!
Set in a fantasy type world, the lead male and his posse of ? female warriors stand against a plot to submerge an entire continent.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo based mix didn't challenge our setup much as most of the dialogue comes across as center channel based. Some of the sound effects and the music made more use of the left and right channels but overall this is a straightforward full sounding mix without too much in the way of directionality. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no issues with distortions or dropouts during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2001, the three OVAs are presented on this disc in their original full frame format and with their original Japanese credits. Making fair use of some of the digital technology of the time, the main issue that this transfer deals with is cross coloration. Heavily visible in the hair of the female characters, particularly the red and pink colored ones, it's fairly distracting throughout all three episodes. It shows up in a few other places along the way and in a number of mid range character shots as well as some minor aliasing. Colors in general look good and they maintain a solid look as do the backgrounds. The cross coloration proved to be the most bothersome aspect of this transfer and will vary depending on your setup.

Packaging:
Featuring a mix of good and evil on the cover, I'm hard pressed to discount the appeal of a nearly naked woman in white stockings. Mixing in another of the female cast and two of the villains, one of them a bare-chested male to appeal to the women, it's a mix of darks and vibrant colors set against a comic book logo (and name change) that's just plain silly. The layout plays like some of the old pulp comics, with the "Vicious Vixens!" and "Carnal Creatures!" taglines. The back cover only provides one shot from the show that isn't all that representative. The style on the back continues to be pulpish with the fonts and style but does list everything clearly, though they could really use a technical grid to make things easier to find. The reverse side of the cover provides a nice shot of one of the girls in black and white while listing the chapter listings for all three episodes and a bilingual cast list. Who knew Veronica Lake did porn? Or was still alive?

Menu:
The menu is one of the more simple layouts for an Anime 18 release with half the window showing a few clips from the show set to a fast paced instrumental piece and the other half holding the selections. Access times are nice and fast and the simple menu means easy navigation. The disc didn't read our players preset language selections however, losing some points with us.

Extras:
Anime 18 continues to be one of the few companies that provides some extras with their hentai offerings. The only one that really gets much use here is the outtakes section which provides some extra amusement. Rounding things out are some art galleries for character sketches, general artwork and some storyboards.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At the time this had been watched, I had seen something like seven hours worth of hentai shows in the previous day or two. Over the course of that time there had been a wide variety of shows in style and content. F-Force, a fantasy setting show, plays things safe and in the middle of the road by trying to appeal to the general audiences and targeting a number of things that people like. In doing so, it ends up appealing to few since it gets too crowded and the characters don't get enough time.

The premise of the show has us following ace adventurer Ash. He hires himself out wherever needed and fights the evils and monsters of the world. He's currently heading for the remote village of Tylling, a place close to the edge of the continent. On his way there, he ends up helping a damsel in distress after her guards are killed by some big nasty looking monsters. He swoops in and slices one in half, causing about a million gallons of blood to flow upwards. At first I thought, this is going to be one of those kinds of shows. Then I realized just how accurate all the blood was. With all the tentacles that come out of these monsters, what keeps those tentacles going other than blood? The only inaccurate part is that the legs should crumple as all the blood flows from it.

Anyway? monster biology 101 notwithstanding, Ash helps the attractive pink haired cutie in the short skirt back to the village where he learns that she's the chief's daughter. As it turns out, Alicia is the last young woman left in the village as the monsters from Demon Mountain have been coming down and stealing away with them all lately and now they're after her. As the chief goes on, he describes a potentially related issue in which a continent not far off from where this one ends disappeared not long ago after some nasty ultra-demons managed to build some pillars of light around it and essentially sunk it deep under the ocean. He's concerned that something similar is afoot here as a villager came across a pillar in the mountain.

Since this turns into something bigger than Ash planned, and he has to do something cause he can't be a popular adventurer underwater, he brings in the rest of his team, a group of unique powerful women who somehow continually manage to end up naked or providing panty shots for Ash. You get ones like the cowgirl, the native american, the Chinese outfit girl, the sailor scout, the schoolgirl uniform, etc. They're not really characters, they're stereotypes that are animated with painted on personalities. Since there's so many of them and so few episodes, there's not enough character meat to really find them interesting enough outside of one or two of them. But with their outfits, it really takes you out of the setting.

So all of them set off to deal with the issue and it's a problem that only gets bigger as it goes along until they have to deal with even bigger demons. F-Force isn't a bad show, but it's almost painfully mediocre and just too full of too many things to work well. If it had stayed without adding in the "force" part and just kept it down to Ash and one or two others it would have worked better. There's a fair amount of comedy mixed into the show, some that works some that doesn't. For example, the first boss demon and his assistant are panty collectors. When the team is up against the wall, the assistant goes and takes them off of everyone, including Ash. He at least conveniently gets a black square over his privates.

A lot of unintentional comedy comes out of the dub. Oh does it ever. The bulk of this comedy comes from the Elliege character. She's the one that looks like a cowboy, likes gambling and drinking bear and has a pair of six-shooters. Since there's not much in the way of noticeable accents in the Japanese, I'm always curious what they come up with in the dub since they're able to be a bit more, well, authentic. I did not expect to hear a Jersey accent coming from her. And not just any Jersey accent, but a Soprano's profanity layered accent. Every sentence is an effin sentence. It's almost poetically beautiful. You could build haiku from her dialogue.

In Summary:
F-Force's main fault is that it's too generic and doesn't provide enough of a focus since there's just too much cast to it. The Japanese version provides some minor comedy throughout, some halfway decent sex scenes and not much else. The English version provides more comedy just from Elliege's character and the way her lines are laced and the actual accent used. You almost wonder if she's not really acting but just being herself it flows so naturally. F-Force is what you rent to watch with a lot of friends in English while drunk and free of sharp objects.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Audio Outtakes,Character Sketches

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, 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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