Mania Grade: D
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Kitty Media
- MSRP: 39.95
- 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. #4
By Chris Beveridge
November 04, 2002
Release Date: August 27, 2002
Best of Kitty Vol. #4
What They Say
© Kitty Media
Available for the first time on DVD, three of Kitty's hottest titles are on
one disc! In Bondage House, Takayasu is a private detective whose special
interrogation techniques are guaranteed to elicit a confession from any
female suspect. Get medieval with Erotic Torture Chamber, the tale of an
ancient warlord and his penchant for turning powerful princesses into
first-rate pleasure slaves. Lastly, no one can resist the Sins of the
Flesh, not even the pious Fernando. He dreams of entering the priesthood,
but only when he's not dreaming of carnal bliss with the beautiful Michaela!The Review!
The Best of Kitty series continues to offer single-episode hentai releases, giving them what is likely their only chance at release in an economical way here in region 1. But there may be an argument for not releasing this kind of hentai at all�Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to these shows in their original language of Japanese. Throughout all three programs, we were treated to your basic stereo mixes where the majority of the sound is coming through the center channel. Only the music in a few areas really took advantage of the stereo mix. Otherwise, this is a serviceable soundtrack with no dropouts or distortions that we could find.Video:
The transfer for these shows fall into the ok and acceptable category, when you realize what low budget pieces they are. A lot of the problems are likely source related, with a low cel count and the cheap budget. The third show, Erotic Torture Chamber, had the most noticeable problematic areas in some macroblocking in the backgrounds, while the other two just looked low budget.Packaging:
Designed similar to the earlier releases, 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 the grid of disc features along the bottom. 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:
This release actually has extras on it! There�s a decent looking video art gallery for the Bondage House episode creators, which provides some good looking artwork for about two minutes. The other is a �special sexy clip� from Erotic Torture Chamber, which looks like just that, a clip of pieces from the show that runs just over a minute, and is basically a trailer.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When we get a batch of varying hentai episodes, usually there�s one standout in it, while the others are of varying degrees of suck. This release of Best of Kitty manages to keep all three shows pretty much at a level of suckage unfortunately.
The opening episode, Bondage House, plays out with some strange twists to add more character depth to things, but in the end just ends up making things more of a mess. Takayasu, a freelance detective of sorts, ends up helping the lovely young Ayane when a couple of men accost her. He turns out to look just like her brother, so she takes him back to her house, where she lives with her uncle and some other relatives since her parents death. As you can guess, the uncle and the others are involved in a plot to acquire the large inheritance the two have gotten, and have already had the real brother killed off in a car accident.
So Takayasu tries to figure out what�s going on, while Ayane gets kidnapped properly to the basement where the bondage stuff goes on and various yakuza and family members have their way with her. Takayasu gets to know some of the family better as well, and tries to come off as the better detective than he really is. Things slowly move towards a conclusion with a fair amount of violence mixed into it, but overall the story fills the thirty minutes with some decent sex but nothing terribly great, as the character designs aren�t all that attractive, with most being nothing more than ciphers.
Sins of the Flesh had the potential to go a bit farther, but made a few bad mistakes. The story centers around some rural medieval time period where two painters for the church, both wanting to become more involved in the priesthood, are �competing� against each other as they paint angels on the ceiling of the church. Adolfo is clearly the better of the two, and is on a course to become even more devout after he completes this and to take a larger role in the church. His competitor is quite good, but lacks that special something that gives it all that much more. Of course, he doesn�t mind too much since he�s more relaxed in general. After all, Fernando is getting laid regularly while Adolfo�s never touched or thought of a woman.
Some time after he accidentally comes across Fernando getting lucky, he meets a local village girl who suddenly lights his mind afire. He starts having dreams of her, where she has his way with him in his room, though she looks slightly different with horns on her head. Whether it�s real or not, it becomes real to Adolfo and he starts sliding mentally into hysteria. At one point, he finds out the local village girl is getting married to someone she�s been promised to, and he insists he�ll love her better, though she hasn�t really even thought of him much at all. Combined with the behind the scenes rituals of the elder priests, Adolfo becomes less and less connected with reality as time goes on.
Adolfo is also one rather unattractive guy. Frankly, they all are in here. While I don�t go out looking for hentai based on the guys looks, if they�re flat out bad looking, it impacts the overall mood. And the designs for the guys here are just flat out bad. The women, particularly the local village girl, is nicely attractive, but they put everything into such poorly under lit scenes that it doesn�t provide a good spark. And amusingly, the end credits plays the entire thirty minute episode backwards in the space of a couple of minutes. Play that in reverse and you get the whole episode nicely time compressed, and you�ll probably enjoy it more.
Erotic Torture Chamber tries to do more with its forty-five minute time allotment though, and that�s about the only stand out aspect of it. Taking a fantasy setting, we�re introduced to a kingdom and a king that�s now under siege from an invading military force that has dragons as part of its command. These warriors are quick and fierce, managing to take over the kingdom very quickly. The leader, a man clad all in black and imposing armor, takes down the king and queen with ease, but allows both adult children to live under his command. The prince is taken away, not to be seen for quite some time, while the princess has now become his slave, performing both menial and sexual acts for him.
To make things more complicated, a visiting princess from Asronia is on her way to this particular kingdom, where she�s promised to the prince so that their marriage will cement the peace in the land. This naturally is not going to happen, especially once the invaders kill her entire party and bring her to the castle for their feared leader to have his way with. And through the usual manipulations, he does play with her and others. There�s more plot and dialogue in this show than most others, which isn�t bad and does help give it more of an interesting plot, but after watching the first two episodes, it was an effort to get through this one. The character designs are better than the first two as well, but with more time spent on verbal sparring than actual acts of sex, it just seems like it�s being dragged out more.
This release took some serious effort to get through, though we still hold out hope that more good hentai is coming. Media Blasters seems to have better luck with their single volume releases of shows than the compilations, though there is the occasional gem. Too bad there weren�t any in this batch.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Special Sexy Clip
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.