Flashback Box Set - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 59.95
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Flashback

Flashback Box Set

By Chris Beveridge     June 24, 2002
Release Date: June 04, 2002


Flashback Box Set
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
The Secret, Traumatic Memories. A Lustful, Deeply Sinful Action…

Game 1
Mizuho, Noriko (Ava Vincent) and Yuri (Aurora Snow) set out on an exciting beauty spa vacation that Yuri won as a prize. Relaxing in the hot springs at the hotel of the spa, they dream about the fun and excitement that is sure to come, unaware of the vicious psychological trap that they are about to enter. When they enter a new treatment pod at the spa, they see a flash of light and a vision of their suppressed memories. Mizuho's mind is suddenly flooded with the memory of her violent gang raping at the hands of her classmates. Yuri vividly remembers the sexual abuse suffered at her friends hands…

Game 2
On the second day of their beauty spa tour, they head out to a beautiful seaside spa. While Mizuho stays behind to enjoy the beach, the two girls start their second round inside the treatment pod. While inside the pod, Yuri (Aurora Snow) vividly remembers the sexual abuse suffered at her friends hands… Meanwhile, Ayame goes to the beach to look for Mizuho. Ayame's intention: to seduce and have sex with her. After being seduced by Ayame, Mizuho seeks Noriko (Ava Vincent) for a lustful encounter! Yuri is asleep in her room when a strange light floods her room. Suddenly, she is taken to an alternate world filled with debauchery. Two masked men and a masked woman molests Yuri's body against her will! The exciting second episode of Flash Back!

Game 3
On the final day of their beauty spa tour, Mizuho, Noriko (Ava Vincent) and Yuri (Aurora Snow) are taken to a luxurious resort hotel. Noriko is told that Mizuho and Yuri has advanced to the next level of treatment, so Noriko alone enters the treatment pod. During her treatment, she is reminded of her hidden memories… the memory of her mother with two young men when she comes back home from school. While disturbed by the image of her mother and the two men, she continues to watch and starts to masturbate…
After the treatment is finished, Noriko heads to her room, only to find herself engulfed in a strange light, and taken to another reality, where she is molested by a vaguely familiar masked woman and masked man.
The story continues until the shocking ending, where the fate of the three girls are decided over the voices of the audience and the echo streaming form a microphone…

The Review!
Three women go off on a free prize trip to a relaxation therapy hotel, only to have painful memories from their past dragged up to the surface. The basic premise is, is it better to bury these memories or to actually work them through?

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. There's little beyond a basic stereo mixing here with the majority of the sound coming through the center channel. Dialogue is nice and clear and the music and ambient effects make decent use of the left/right channels. There's little here to really do much more than a basic track anyway.

Video:
A very recent show, Flashback makes use of the standard CG styled animation that’s pretty frequent in today’s shows. Colors are bright and vivid, particularly the flesh tones. Cross coloration is very minimal and the only real thing we saw was some bad aliasing during camera panning sequences.

Packaging:
Released in three keepcases inside a simple cardboard box, each volume features variations of the three girls in different outfits, or just two of them in different scenarios. The covers are for the most part pretty bright and look great. The box set itself contains different images though. The front covers look pretty good, without having the actresses on them they look less busy than usual, though the logo seems to take up a bit too much space depending on how you look at it. The back covers show off some animation shots from each show and have a good summary of each episode. Features and technical information is nicely listed as well. As with all NuTech releases to date, there is no insert included.

Menu:
A bit of animation plays in the center of a kaleidoscope styled menu with the discs selections set off to the lower left. There’s little here outside of just playing the episode, so the layout is pretty simple.. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is pretty standard for NuTech releases.

Extras:
The main anime related extra is the inclusion of a video photo gallery showing various pieces of artwork from the show. This is the same on each of the three discs.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The story of Flashback is a pretty simple one, one where the main “villain” almost seems to care for her victims.

Cute and young looking Yuri has won a prize to a beauty spa tour, which means she and two friends get a couple of days of pampering and relaxation. She takes along her friends Mizuho, who just seems grumpy in general, and Noriko. In general, they’re excited to see what kind of relaxation is ahead of them in this very advanced looking beauty spa/hotel combination.

After getting a little time to settle in, they’re introduced to the woman who will be handling their treatments. A tall redheaded woman, she introduces them all to the isolation pods where they’ll spend their time letting everything go to the wayside. Personally, you’ll never get me inside one of those things. Once inside, we see each girl drift off into peaceful relaxation.

But things don’t go as the girls planned, but as the good technician has planned. As each of them dreams inside the pods, they’re brought to their worst memories. For Mizuho, it’s when she was chased down by several boys in her class who, with the approval of her much admired friend Reiko, let them do it. Yuri goes back to a time when she was much younger and taken advantage of by presumably a family member while Noriko finds herself dealing with issues of an oversexed mother.

These pretty much follow that order, giving each episode over to one of the girls and allowing time spent with them and their memories of the past. The people at the spa have their own reasons for bringing these things to the surface, though we don’t find out until the very end. The storyline is pretty simple, and it’s really just a matter of taste as to whether you find any of interesting based on each of the girls situations and stories.

The animation for the most part is decent, but character designs become rather variable once you hit the second episode. There are a number of times when you just feel like they must have slid the cel across the screen to generate movement, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some of the most awful CG shows out there. Flashback isn’t bad, but there’s a lot better out there, especially if you’re squeamish about childhood memories.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Photo Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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