Inmu Complete (LiteBox) - Mania.com



DVD Review

Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Inmu

Inmu Complete (LiteBox)

Inmu Complete (LiteBox) DVD Review

By Chris Beveridge     January 22, 2010
Release Date: January 05, 2010


Inmu Complete (LiteBox)
© Kitty Media

Several short stories across two discs bring about various aspects of lust and their supernatural connections.

What They Say
Sometimes the things we fear most are what we truly want. Enter the world of Inmu and come face to face with your darkest fears and your wildest dreams. Each episode tells a different tale.

The Review!
Audio:
Kitty Media has kept the original English language dub done by NuTech Entertainment several years ago alongside the original Japanese language mix, both of which are encoded at a basic 192kbps. The show doesn't exactly merit a lot since it's just a dialogue piece outside of a few action sounds here and there when things get a little busy. The stereo mix doesn't contain much of anything with directionality to it but it works well enough through the forward soundstage that you don't really feel like you're missing anything. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2001 and 2001, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The show was originally done in the US as a four discs but this one thankfully corrects that by putting two episodes each on two discs, though I do wish Kitty had consolidated the releases further onto one disc. This release is identical to the previous editions released by Kitty as it’s simply a repackaging. The transfer is relatively the same as the NuTech editions in that it's a pretty decent looking show overall with little in the way of problems. Unlike a lot of other Pink Pineapple produced shows from this period, this one is done in such a way that it's not overly CG looking with bright vivid colors, instead going for a more subtle palette. Cross coloration is pretty non-existent and only a few instances of some minor aliasing going on.

Packaging:
Inmu Complete use the same character artwork as their single disc version of Inmu itself with two of the women strung up, not revealing anything explicity, against a red drape style background though there’s one less headshot in there in comparison to the old NuTech release. There’s plenty to be  learned from the cover art in what the show is going to be about and the character designs are appealing without going too far in any strange direction. The color schemes work well too as it draws you in with the warmth of the background but the bright vividness of the characters. The back cover draws the red background to it, though a fair bit darker overall, while providing a small series of shots from the show and a bit of text with the summary of the premise. Nothing about specific events in here since it’s all short stories, but they set the mood well enough. Interestingly, there isn’t any serious push to identify that this is the two previous editions in one set, though they do have a small tab mentioning it’s a two disc set. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu design uses the same themes as the silkscreening on the discs which was what the original DVD covers had, but it comes across as a bit more vibrant and lively here. With a small bit of harp like instrumental music to it, the artwork looks clearer here with a bit more light hitting it so that the skin tones are more vibrant. The layout is fairly standard with just the static artwork on the right while navigation is lined down along the left side. The logo along the top mirrors that of the front cover and overall it's functional and easy to use. As is standard though, the use of the slates as the first English labeled subtitle track means that player presets are half useless.

Extras:
The main anime related extra is the inclusion of a video photo gallery showing various pieces of artwork from the show. There's also the inclusion of the voice actress video interview and video photo gallery. All of this is for the first disc only as Inmu 2 has no extras.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Inmu was one of the earlier shows that NuTech Entertainment had picked up and used adult actors to do the voiceovers for. Back then, each episode was released on its own disc and had the pictures of the voice actors plastered on them as well, though that certainly did get them extra attention in the adult stores which helped since more hentai was making its way into those locations back at the start of the decade. After all the problems NuTech Entertainment had, the title finally made it back out into the market as Kitty Media snapped them up, put each of the “seasons” on their own discs and released them. Now, those discs are in one complete package with all four main episodes that make up multiple stories in each.

Each episode is split in half and tells two brief stories, and they all have a common thread. The common thread being a half naked woman in a mask who continually asks people if they can see their backs. This is some kind of odd code that gets these people to try to and get their desires to come true, regardless of the risk.

The first one deals with college girl Yumi who feels that she's being constantly watched after she gets molested on the train. She eventually finds her way to a counseling place along the route to school where she meets the masked woman who tells her that she must face her fear and that there's something more to it. Yumi ends up falling deeper into her problem in a rather interesting way, but in the end the program is simply too short.

The second half of the episode is something of an amusing revenge episode, where a fashion designer uses her social status to continually put down one of her employees. She eventually humiliates him past the point of reason and she decides to fire him. The masked woman shows up as a fortune teller and gives her something of a warning, but she pays little attention and finds herself being kidnapped by her ex-employee. He begins to use creative ways to embarrass and humiliate her in public like she did to him.

The second full episode features stories of about the same caliber, with a very tentacle related one in a school with an older female classmate and her adoration of one of the younger female members on the swim team. The one that has some real creepiness though is the last one with a woman whose fascinated by dolls in just about every way. It's a strange little tale as ones that involve dolls in anime usually are. Inmu's not a bad set of stories, but they fall a bit flat and their length works against them rather than for them. Unless you just want to get right to the good stuff, which they do produce in spades.

Inmu 2 brings back the Mysterious Witch character who manipulates peoples' lives to her own mysterious end goals, most of which seem to involve her acquiring people into her own realm. With each episode being two short stories, there's not much empathy to be made with the cast, but they usually do a good job of establishing the setting and the mood.

The opening story has an interesting tale of its own, with a couple that's having some trouble. She's not ready to give herself to him yet, and she finds out he's been hanging out at a massage parlor lately. The Witch shows up outside there when she goes to check it out, only to learn that the masseuse he sees looks like her identical twin, just slightly different. Instead of becoming jealous, she gets turned on by the situation. She intends to find out more, but there's a downside to meeting someone who may be your exact double. The second story in the first episode is a bit weaker as it has a voyeur who becomes possessed by Lust and he ends up crossing the line - spiritually even - and takes advantage of a young woman who is also a nurse. The character designs in this one aren't all that appealing and it gets a little too gooey for my tastes.

Another story involves a man who acquires some magical cards, some Shadow Cards, where it can bring the women in them alive as well as bringing real women into the cards. There's a whole world behind the cards, and the man who ends up with them uses them to bring one of his objects of desire there to be under his control. This is and the fourth stories are some of the best looking episodes on the disc in terms of character designs and attractive looking women. The Fourth Night story involves a woman who takes advantage of her stepson with the "everyone else is doing it too" line and has her way with him even though he resists. Turnabout is fair play as it goes forward and he ends up becoming the dominant one, but it's the quality of the character designs that wins here. The stepmother is just plain gorgeous and has some of the most alluring eyes I've seen in an adult show in quite some time. The sex scenes with the stepson work well as she starts off with the kind of experience that shows through in her movements and that just kicks it all up a notched.

In Summary:
Inmu has always been a bit of an odd duck when it comes to the adult shows. It’s like it’s straddling between two different worlds in terms of the stories it wants to tell. Supernatural horror was slowly going to the wayside back when this was created in favor of the more personal and violent stories, so they have a real threat to them here while still using the tentacles. The method of telling two tales per episode is a big positive in my book though as they give the viewer some good vignettes to watch with just enough story to personalize it instead of just having random tentacle action. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In the end, it’s taken quite a few years to get Inmu all in one package and at a very low price and I’m glad to see it finally finding a proper full release, even if it’s one that I only like a small portion of overall with Inmu 2.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

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.

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