Mania Grade: C-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: D
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: C+
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Adult Source Media
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 30
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: House of 100 Tongues
House of 100 Tongues
By Chris Beveridge
June 25, 2007
Release Date: June 19, 2007
House of 100 Tongues
What They Say
© Adult Source Media
The Takashiro Family, a traceable Daimyo that leads back to a historical lineage of nobility, has recently been on a shameful course, ruining the image they have had since the old days.
Nanako is the Takashiro family's only daughter. She is in a weak condition, living most of her life sleeping and passing the day hiding her lustful thoughts for Yujiro. All the while, the presence of a dark plot draws near.
A rival family has their sights set on taking away the family's assets, especially the sweet young Nanako. But Nanako isn't the only female member of the Takeshiro's willing to pay back the family's debt: her mother is also getting in on the action in a jaw-dropping display of eroticism that has the Takishiro women surrendering their bodies to the marauders.The Review!
A tale of manipulation within a wealthy family plays out in a very simplistic and formulaic manner.Audio:
Adult Source Media has included a pair of audio tracks into this release that covers both the English and Japanese. Both of these stereo mixes are done at 192 kbps and come across decently enough for what they are. Like most adult releases there really isn't a lot of meat to the mix as it carries through some basic music cues and the dialogue itself and it does it well enough. In listening to both language tracks, we didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
The transfer for this single OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. From the looks of the materials here this must have come from some poor materials or no good materials exist as there are quite a few faults to be found here. Cross coloration is rampant throughout the show but heavier in some scenes. There is a fair amount of macroblocking going on in both foregrounds and backgrounds and a decent amount of aliasing with the numerous pans and zooms that occur. Colors in general look good and vibrant when appropriate but the macroblocking is hit or miss in how it'll impact an area. This doesn't have a smooth clean look that most other recent releases from ASM do and it's rather noticeable.Packaging:
A bound and innocent looking Nanako Is the centerpiece of this cover which is otherwise dark and murky looking. Nanako stands out with plenty of flesh but also for the bright pinks and reds within her outfit. The backgrounds really don't figure into it much at all, especially depending on the lighting when you look at it, but overall it's a decent enough piece that merits a second look. The back cover is nicely designed with easy to read text for the summary that goes over the entire episode. There are a lot of shots from the show here in explicit form (the reverse side cover has them in clean form) as well as the usual breakdown of the discs features and technical information. Menu:
The menu layout is simple but nicely done overall as it takes a number of photos with white borders and places various clips throughout them. The central image above it all is the character artwork from the front cover which looks very vibrant and rich here. Navigation is simple and effective with the inclusion of the straight to sex feature and quick load times. The disc did not read our players language presets properly as it defaulted to English language dialogue but it did get the right subtitle track. Both language tracks are labeled as "other" so it's impossible for the defaults to work properly.Extras:
The only included extra is that of a photo gallery of shots from the episode.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a title like House of 100 Tongues you expect a bit more from it in terms of... well, tongues. This OVA doesn't have too much of that, at least no more than most shows do, but the play on it is from the idea of one woman being manhandled by numerous men over the course of a few days. Now that would be worthwhile " if they actually showed any of it.
The setup for the storyline is poorly done as it introduces six members of a household that's close to ruin. Once a very wealthy family with lots of financial concerns, it's fallen considerably due to the management of the current head of the household. A poor manager and even worse with money, he's not been able to even keep things steady. The only hope is their adopted son Yushiro who has some brains in his head and knows how to use them. Unfortunately his stepfather can't seem to listen to him and only seems to be able to lead them further into ruin.
Along the way we also get to meet the matriarch of the family who has little to her personality other than taking care of her semi-sickly daughter Nanako. Toss in a maid who gets off to Yushiro for a few seconds and older butler and that sums up the basic cast. Someone within this group is looking to subvert them all however and acquire the house, the finances and the businesses that they own. Part of a larger mysterious group who brings women in for playthings as demonstrated by one of them being used as a table for food, there is a setup to remove Yushiro from the picture so they can acquire things. We never learn who this is, at least not clearly, and Yushiro actually removes himself by getting involved with Nanako. Within Nanako there lurks something else that makes absolutely no sense and is actually the real culprit of the show but even those revelations don't fit well into the larger picture.
The main problem with this story, beyond it being fairly predictable and without anything to let it stand out, is that it's just really badly told. And I mean that in the sense of badly told for an adult anime series. High concept storytelling isn't exactly the norm here but there's usually a sense of basic competence to carry off these little vignettes that we get. Here it seems like it's done by committee over time with little regard to what came before them. Some of the tricks used are just awful such as the voice disguise early one or the way you can tell Nanako isn't quite Nanako. It doesn't help that the character designs are lackluster either. Nothing is bad in this area but nothing stands out as good either as it's all pretty much by the book.
The biggest sin though is that the sex is uninteresting and minimal all told. The maid gets about thirty seconds of playing with herself, there's a few women shown at first for a few seconds that are fairly pointless and this just leaves us with Nanako and her mother. The biggest sin is the lack of use of the mother who gets a short bathing scene naked and then being taken by the thugs later on. Even that is all too short and poorly done. Nanako and Yushiro get some time together and make up the only really serious scene in the episode but it just has no real emotion to it or anything to give it some oomph. There's precious little here to really get enthused about especially with the potential that they had.In Summary:
House of 100 Tongues is a straightforward show that offers little in the way of anything worth watching. It's not bad in the sense of "oh my god this is horrible" but rather in the sense that it doesn't offer anything worthwhile. Average character designs, basic animation and a poor looking transfer are all areas that the show excels in. Add in some bad storytelling with no real cohesive element to hold it all together and you really have to wonder what went into its creation. This is an easy one to avoid in general unless you're absolutely in need of something to watch.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,French Subtitles,German Subtitles,Italian Subtitles,Photo Gallery
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 480p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.