Sex, violence and more sex mixed into a science fiction setting that was the first adult release from ADV Films back in 1993 finally makes it onto DVD.
What They Say
Guy. He's big, he's bad, and when he's aroused, he's nearly eighteen feet... tall! But if you think Guy is bad news, just keep your eye on his partner Raina, a red-headed homicidal sex bomb with only one thing on her mind: getting out of whatever nasty situation she and Guy have managed to get themselves into with her gorgeous hide intact!
When this first came out on VHS, it was before ADV Films did dubs so it wasn’t until around 1997 or so that a dub was created for the show. That dub, along with the original Japanese track, are presented here in their stereo mix encoded at 224kbps. The language options are pretty decent considering the age and they service the material well with a fair bit of directionality at times with all the action. Dialogue and the more intense dialogue are generally center channel based without much directionality, both tracks are quite good and present the show well. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 1990 and 1991, the transfer for this two part OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This AIC production was pretty solid way back in the day, especially as the company was working through its Bubblegum Crisis material, and the look of the show is something that has a lot of good detail to it and decently animated for the most part. The transfer captures this nicely, though not without some grain and noise throughout, but it’s never overwhelming. There’s some hints of cross coloration in a few scenes and some banding issues in one or two places, but by and large this is a good looking show that has the full uncut edition available. No cut edition to be found.
The cover art for Guy: Double Target is amusing to look at as it features the simple pairing of Guy and Raina, but Raina only has on a jacket and her boots along with a weapon in both her hands. And one big smile on her face. It’s plainly obvious why Guy has a smirk to his expression as he’s wearing his full black body suit and looking in her direction. The background is somewhat indistinct with a star filled nebula that lets all the attention go squarely to the character artwork. The tagline is hilarious with “The ultimate in science friction.” The back cover is straightforward with a strip of shots from the show down each of the sides while the middle has the summary of what the show is about as well as the basic production credits. The bottom has the solid technical grid which covers everything you need to know about it in a very clear and easy to read format. No inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
Mixing in some character artwork with the star filled nebula background as well as a little bit on the technical side, the menu design here is a design static image that conveys some of what the show is like in terms of its science fiction elements, more towards the first episode than the second. Both episodes are selectable from the top menu and moving about the submenus is quick and easy. There’s not much here besides the show itself and there’s not even a trailers section, just the original trailer that promoted this show. Language options are nicely done and the disc picked up our players’ presets without issue.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Guy: Double Target is a show that has a whole lot of nostalgia for me. It was one of the first adult releases commercially available what back in the early days of the fledgling anime industry in the US that I got my hands on. At the time, ADV Films released it in both cut and uncut editions, both subtitled only, for those who wanted the science fiction fun with a sexy flair and for those that wanted the more hardcore action mixed in as well. In some ways, it does feel quaint by today’s standards, but the mixture of sex and violence overall still makes this title something of a standout nearly twenty years later.
Created by Yorihisa Uchida, Guy: Double Target is a pretty shallow show in general that just wants to be about the action and sex. The show revolves around Guy and his partner Raina, two treasure hunters that span the galaxy in search of things that could potentially make them wealthy. They have an amusing relationship in that they’re obviously interested in each other in a way but there’s nothing going on there as well since they bicker a lot. Guy has the whole tough guy image going wonderfully while Raina has that tomboyish sexiness about her that makes you want to just take her. The pair isn’t exactly adversarial, but they don’t have a problem going off on one another when something goes wrong. And Guy tends to play things a bit rough, such as when he needs to convince people that he’s really cruel and he comes close to truly shooting her.
The two episodes stand alone with what they tell and the first one is the one that I felt was the strongest of the two, depending on what you want out of it. That story revolves around the pair heading to the prison planet Geo in search of Doctor Vail, a man who may have discovered a formula for immortality. They have to infiltrate the planet as prisoners in order to find him and deal with the issues that come along the way. The prison planet and its warden, a woman named Heel, use a lot of the prisoners as sexual fodder for their desires so it’s not a surprise that poor Raina ends up being caught up in some of that. Another woman that Guy knows is also there and she becomes a focus of it as well.
Where the first episode works is that it draws in some monster action that turns decidedly violent. These monsters are pretty nasty in that they’re full of teeth, twisted looking and bloody violent as they tear up the prisoners limb by limb as they devour them. The other thing that helps is that there’s a healthy dose of sex in here that’s surprisingly explicit for its age and for an early AIC adult production. There’s some good girl on girl moments here, some very rough moments with one of the bad boy prisoners taking the girls by force on command and then the warden herself having her way with a number of people. Of course, some of these naked individuals are torn asunder pretty easily which can make watching it for pleasure a bit more difficult upon repeated viewings.
The second episode is weaker in that the violence doesn’t feel as, well, invigorating and the sex has fallen off considerably as well. The pair arrive on another planet where they’re seeking the Golden Goddess that will bring them a boatload of money and wealth. Getting Raina into the most holy of holy’s places, she’s able to start investigating it while Guy works his way towards figuring out how to swipe it once they discover it. They end up stumbling onto a situation where those in power are planning to take control of the entire universe in a really grand and epic comical way and are applying pressure to everyone in order to get their way. The story comes across as overly convoluted and pointless in a way which keeps you from being all that engaged in it. Something about it, especially after the strong first episode, keeps this one from connecting in a meaningful way. It must have to do with the lack of sex and violence.
Coming from an earlier age, one before AIC really got serious about their adult material, Guy: Double Target has some really good animation that appeals to me since this is the era from which I really got into anime. The traditional animation style has that warm style that I like and the characters move in a way that doesn’t feel quite so repetitive in its motion. The designs here are somewhat basic, though there’s a lot to like about Raina and Cara from the first episodes, not so much about the warden though. Guy is done in a fairly standard tough guy mold with a fairly wiry frame and all of this fits into a somewhat pedestrian but serviceable science fiction setting.
With this release, I can finally say goodbye to a VHS tape I’ve had longer than quite a lot of other things. Guy: Double Target was an early entry into the adult anime market years ago and it holds a certain appeal because of that. But it’s also something that you don’t see too often anymore in that it mixes comedy, sex and violence in a way that’s rougher but not vile. It’s brutal at times, but it’s not the kind of brutality that really makes you recoil. The sex is rather basic but it’s fun with good character designs and plenty of variety when it gets there. Prison planet sex. There should be a whole series about that. Sadly, the second episode says “To Be Continued” but it never was and never shall be.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.