Mania Grade: C+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Critical Mass Video
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: G-Taste
G-Taste: A Taste of Honey
By Chris Beveridge
May 31, 2007
Release Date: May 29, 2007
What They Say
Moe is a gorgeous, fun-loving office assistant who's so sensitive that even the tiniest touch to her sweet spot turns her on! She tries not to let it interfere with her work day, but when her female manager wants to give her some "after hours" instruction, well... What's a girl to do?
Then, meet Nana Morimura. She's the newest maid in a gigantic mansion full of beautiful women, who all serve a mysterious, masked Baron. When the girls do a good job, they're rewarded. But when they disobey, they're treated to a whole host of exquisite, erotic tortures! Will Nana be able to escape? Or will she become addicted to this strange new pleasure?The Review!Audio:
Unlike the previous release, this one gets a nice upgrade in providing a new English language track in addition to the Japanese language track. Both of them are standard stereo mixes which don't have a lot to really shine with but they get the job done nicely. There isn't much if anything in terms of directionality and placement here but it's such a light dialogue piece overall that it doesn't matter much anyway. In listening to both language tracks we didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
Originally released starting in 1999, the three OVAs are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio. The opening episode is the one that will look arguably the weakest, mostly because it's done with such a soft lens that it lacks what is normally associated with anime. The second and third episodes feature a sharper image overall, but not by a whole lot. Colors throughout all three episodes are excellent, black levels retain nicely and there's no visible cross coloration. A few areas had some aliasing show up, such as up and down pan sequences, but otherwise this looks very good.Packaging:
Differing from the SoftCel release, the cover art for this volume looks better by a significant amount. Featuring an attractive shot of Mai in some simple black and white underwear, it stands out strongly against the soft background which isn't clear at first that it's a close-up of her panties from a different angle. With a very limited color palette the entire thing does come across as a bit stark but it's such a change from the original release that it stands out very well. The character design is certainly appealing and the layout overall almost has a feeling of elegance to it. The back cover features a good deal more color as it has an illustration of Moe in her office lady outfit while there are a few shots from the show just underneath her. The summary covers the basics and the discs features are clearly listed. The back cover has a fair bit of empty space to it but it doesn't come across weak because of it. The technical grid as usual provides all the solid information I've come to expect in an easy to read format. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.Menu:
The main menu uses the same artwork from the cover but it's more apparent that the background is a close-up of her panties due to a change in the foreground character animation. Some bouncy music is tied to it though it's fairly short before it starts looping again. The menu navigation strip is done in a similar font to the rest of the materials which gives it a good feel that's also quick and easy to use. Access times are nice and fast and the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.Extras:
There's a good amount of extras here, far more than most hentai titles receive. Each of the girls has a promotional piece, which talks about their episode release and then on the popularity of the show and its related items. The character sketches section is wonderful as it provides some great artwork and a translation of what was said about it. The most surprising extra is the Mai pencil test section, which is a twenty two minute extra that is essentially a rough cut of one of the episodes.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For years my only real knowledge of G-Taste was admiring the high quality figurines that have been made. Based off of a very popular manga that was published by Kodansha, G-Taste graduated to the anime level back in 1999 with an OVA series. SoftCel picked them up a few years back and released them in subtitle-only form which expanded my understanding of the franchise. These three episodes are definitely interesting, especially on a hentai level. At that time I had no idea what to expect going into it.
The opening episode is a standalone piece, and we're introduced to a young woman named Moe Yagisawa. Moe's an office lady who's usually a bit late for work, doesn't like her looks but is generally a good person. She also got herself a very uncommon fetish, and that's a lust for railings and poles. Almost anytime she sees one or gets in the right mood, she just wants to straddle that pole for all its worth. Part of the fetish is nearly getting caught over it, such as when she lets her breasts straddle the subway pole by the seat. Part of the allure is the chance of being caught, so she knows she's being seen and wonders who sees her.
The one day we follow her about her office, she gets into all sorts of trouble with co-workers and with her clothes. From spilling coffee to messing up the copier and finally to having her skirt zipper fail twice and ripping her pantyhose. She tries to deal with it, but those around her are secretly laughing at her and making things worse, or so she thinks as she tries to come to grips with the world and its adult ways. But there's always that relief of a pole somewhere, so she manages by.
The first episode isn't explicit at all. It's almost hard to qualify as soft-core, since there's barely any nudity. The next two episodes are a bit better, as the two part storyline has the girls going at things a bit more, but still just the girls.
The two part set of episodes are a bit more traditional in the hentai arena, as we follow Nana Morimura into her life as a maid in a large mansion. Her arrival is a scheduled job and she gets to be shown around the place by Rika, apparently the senior maid there. Rika gives her the quick once over, noting that even she hasn't seen all of the 100+ rooms in the Lord Baron's mansion. But she also neglects to tell her some of the rules, and it's not long before Nana gets herself in trouble by going into a room she doesn't belong. Nor does she pay much mind to the fact that the room is filled with monitors showing every spare inch in the house.
So not only does Rika get punished for not teaching Nana properly, but Nana has to take some punishment and dish it out to Rika, which causes an interesting erotic situation as she forces Rika to get off by straddling Nana's shoe tips. And from there, it only gets a bit weirder as Rika and Nana start to get along very well after hours, and we start to get a feel for the Baron's plans as more girls are brought in for some apparent masquerade showcase.In Summary:
Even after all these years, G-Taste is a show I'm not quite sure what I think of. I really like the character designs and outfits that they all had, but it almost feels like there's even less plot than normal for a hentai show. The characters are well drawn and the settings are good, but it just feels weird somehow, something that I can't quite pin down. Critical Mass has done a good job in keeping this title in circulation but also in expanding its audience by providing a dub for it. With it being a bit more dialogue heavy and with some non-explicit situations there's a bit more room to play with things and it comes across well here. Unless you need a dub however there isn't all that much different here from the previous release other than some far better looking cover artwork and overall design. New fans will be better suited to picking this one up than the previous edition if it's still floating around out there.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery, Original U.S. Trailer, Character Profiles, Pencil Test Animations, Trailers.
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P 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.