Harvest Night Box Set - Mania.com

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  • 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: 39.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Harvest Night

Harvest Night Box Set

By Chris Beveridge     August 10, 2004
Release Date: August 04, 2004

Harvest Night Box Set
© NuTech Digital, Inc.

What They Say
In the forbidden zone where violence and sexuality storm, a party begins...

The Review!
Rival gangs tough it out with each other in a dark dank city slum where just about anything goes.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The mix for it is standard fare for hentai so there wasn't much surprising about it. Dialogue is good and clean and generally center channel based. There's some use of the stereo channels for music and some of the moaning and grunting as they get creative once in awhile, but otherwise it's the usual routine. We didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

The full frame transfer for these two OVAs looks good in general but isn't without some minor issues. In a number of scenes there looks to be some edge cross coloration trying to expand, so along things like the edges of fingers you can see some very tight rainbow imagery going on. The other is that there's this really weird rolling sensation that shows up during various panning sequences. It almost makes it look like there's a minor warping of the show as it progresses across a particular pan. It doesn't happen each time but when it does it's fairly noticeable. Colors throughout the show are good and the darker colors maintain a solid feel to them. Aliasing and macroblocking are pretty much non-existent in general.

Released on two discs inside the standard thin cardboard wrapper box, the various covers give a good feel for the characters inside. Each of the keepcase covers feature a shot of Honoka and a friend in different states of undress. The back of the keepcases are simple in layout with a line of images from the show along the right and several detailed paragraphs of description next to them. The usual round of production information and the bloated features listing NuTech employs to give the illusion of things being there is along the bottom. As is standard with NuTech releases, no inserts are included in these releases. The thin cardboard box, which is little more than a wrapper really, uses artwork that wasn't used on the keepcase, showing one of the women from the show in the bondage scene she gets to enjoy. The back side provides all four summaries and a number of the photograph pictures as well.

The menu layout is pretty simple with a faux letterbox style used that has the character artwork from the respective keepcase cover along the right while the left side has the selections. Underneath both, though only really visible underneath the selections, clips from the show play against the chanting style musical piece from the show. The layout for selections is standard practice for NuTech releases and works well. Access times are nice and fast but the disc doesn't read our players present language selections.

The only included extra on each volume is a series of stills from that particular episode in a video gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Going into Harvest Night, it was a complete unknown quantity but the title suggests something, I don't know, farmland/occultish maybe? Not here. Harvest Night deals with a dank dirty city slum where the inhabitants feel trapped and unable to leave, some with an almost innate fear of crossing a particular bridge out of there. The show focuses around one of two rival gangs of youths who go up against each other on a regular basis.

The gang we follow is lead by a real tough guy named Masato. In fact, if it wasn't for him, the rest of them would probably get their asses handed to them on a regular basis if fights were done that simply. Fights here usually lead to death or more. As each of the gangs has a few women in them, there are obvious spoils to the fights and the women usually end up being playthings for the guys and girls of the other side until they're mentally incapable of doing anything for themselves. During one of the early scuffles that Masato's side wins, they bring back the woman from the group who was high and mighty about her side and proceed to bloat her belly up and then have their way with her. Disgusting stuff in my book.

Masato's group has some changes going on within it though and these are exacerbated by the arrival of a childhood friend named Ryoko. Ryoko is the picture perfect of a young woman with glasses and zero clue of how the world works and she simply strolls into this area. As it turns out, the young gray haired vixen that's coughing up blood next to Masato is actually his sister and she was good friends with Ryoko when they were younger so they're kept fairly well together during all of this. The schism that works into things is now that his sister is seemingly even sicker than before, Masato is looking for some way to deal with it and is starting to turn his eyes away from the gang. This leads to a few others, namely Shinji and Lisa, to try and figure out how to handle things.

Things go so badly for them that when they get ambushed by a rival gang, not only do the women get violently raped, they're even getting their fingernails cut off. The entire act goes so badly that it unhinges Shinji to some extent so that he ends up taking revenge out on Masato instead of the gang that actually perpetrated the act. The plot, which is not only paper thin but written on bad paper with awful ink, is just stupid. There really isn't a plot but rather acts of random violence mixed with mediocre and uninteresting sex scenes. While some of the character designs are good, such as Honoka and Emi, most fall into a bland category. And that's just the women. The male characters are generally scummy looking as well.

In Summary:
Harvest Night manages to fail on most counts that could make it an enjoyable show and then manages to go from mediocre to disturbing with the inclusion of some acts of violence. In some ways, it goes beyond what a lot of the scatological material does. While there are some good character designs for some of them, there is little in this two episode show to merit a viewing, never mind a purchase. Definitely not recommended.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan DVD player upconverted to 720p, 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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