Best of Kitty Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: D+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 34.95
  • Running time: 105
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Best of Kitty

Best of Kitty Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     June 29, 2002
Release Date: April 30, 2002


Best of Kitty Vol. #2
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Three of Kitty Media's hottest titles are now all available on one DVD!

Balthus
The innocent Tia is captured by a perverted factory owner, so he can punish her for her part in a worker's rebellion.

The Legend of Reyon
Tells the story of Clan Brastica, led by the seductive Queen Flair and opposed by Baron Jeek and the beautiful Lady Nelise.

Wake up Aria
Features a young woman heading to Golden Breast Island in search of a musical education. Little does she know, this school's lessons are meant to hypnotize Aria and her sexy classmates.

The Review!
Best of Kitty Vol. #2 presents three different shows Media Blasters released previously on VHS but would be hard pressed to sell as individual discs today due to the running time of these essentially one-shot shows. For fans of truly bad hentai, look no further than this volume.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the three shows we noticed no issues with the audio in terms of dropouts or distortions. During the Balthus show, it seemed like the English audio went way up during a few sequences but it�s hard to tell if it�s by design or an actual problem. All the Japanese language versions are basic stereo mixes with hardly an directionality.

Video:
The old saying applies here with crap in and crap out. These OVA�s are far from stellar quality, especially the first one. The animation in these are very bad and the transfers don�t help with them being grainy. There�s several instances of breakup during some busier scenes and backgrounds have a hard time maintaining a solid look. Cross coloration shows up in a number of areas as well. To add another nail to it, the first show doesn�t have a dub, so the master with the subtitles burned into the print was used.

Packaging:
Designed similar to the first volume, the front cover features a nice format for showing pieces of each show and look appealing. The back cover mixes animation from each of the shows together in one string and then gives a brief summary of each of the episodes. Production information for all the episodes are also included here as well as a more Universal looking block of disc features along the bottom, something I hope we see more of on future releases. The insert has a shot of the Kitty mascot and lists the chapter stops for each of the shows.

Menu:
The basic menu here is a nice shot of the Kitty mascot with the basic setup and play features. When you go into play, it prompts you to select the show you want as opposed to selecting on the main page. The menus are minimal with no animation or music but they do look slick.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It�s been about two years since the release of the first problem plagued Best of Kitty release, and Media Blasters has been good about bringing their Kitty titles to market, though their pricing has been pretty much all over the map with it. This release, with a $34.95 tag, is good when you consider that the individual tapes run for about $85.

Until you watch the shows that is.

While I spent 105 minutes of my life watching it, I�ll try to be a bit more brief in describing the shows themselves.

The opening show is Wake Up Aria, a story about a green haired girl named Aria whose been chosen to go to Golden Breast Island to study music by the renowned Mr. Karma. The school where she and the other girls (girls only of course) stay is amusingly shaped like a pair of breasts, complete with perky nipples. Aria points this out early on to Karma, and he just shrugs it off as his countries architectural style.

Mr. Karma and his assistant, Ms. Shinbi, put the girls through their paces with their musical education, but things start to get really funky when they take each of them for private lessons. The day after, the girl only makes stupid mistakes, much to the surprise of the others. But the girl doesn�t remember her lesson, adding even more confusion. What�s really going on? Well, Karma and Shinbi are really gross looking aliens with penis-fingers and a glowing green glass dildo that controls human minds.

And that�s without going into the absolutely horrible animation here. You can see where the mosaics should be, because the animation in those sections isn�t part of the rest of the characters body. Watch and laugh as the lower half of the girls jitter out of synch and her body goes jagged. This is down in the Pure Love area of bad anime.

After that, anything seems better, which is what the Legend of Reyon feels like. This show is something of a fantasy based piece about Baron Jeek, a powerful swordsman with magic skills who defends the world from the Brastica clan and their plans for domination. Things are based around a fighting competition setup by Desleen of Brastica that Jeek enters, only to be attacked by some summoned netherworld powerful NPC�s. There�s also Nelise, a woman with a grudge against Jeek but a bigger vengeance planned against Brastica.

The show features some decent animation and a couple of nice swordplay moments, but the hentai scenes are surprisingly minimal overall, especially after a show like Wake Up Aria. Flare isn�t bad per se, but it�s one of those shows that feels like it had a lot more it wanted to say but had to cram it into 35 minutes. It feels very rushed and the characters aren�t dimensional at all, giving you nothing to connect with.

So how do you top those off? Why not try with Balthus, an obvious hentai rip off of Miyazaki�s Laputa. The lead male even wears the same kind of cap as the boy from Laputa, and there�s all kinds of other similarities, even with some of the character designs nudging towards standard Miyazaki fare. The story is inconsequential here though, something about a factory workers revolt in this strange setting. I ended up being less focused on the story and more on the number of �homages� to Laputa I kept seeing.

There�s been a number of good releases under the Kitty label, which is why it ends up being amusing that the Best of Kitty release ends up being so bad. The first volume, even with all its playback problems, had some good fun shows that I actually enjoyed. These? I just want to wipe down my brain.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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