Lady Blue - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Lady Blue

Lady Blue

By Chris Beveridge     September 29, 2003
Release Date: July 10, 2001


Lady Blue
© Anime 18


What They Say
19 year old ninja Miko Mido's fortune predicts that she's about to fall in love when an unexpected downpour throws her into the arms of 20 year old Hidemasa -whom she immediately recognizes as the man of her dreams!

Poor Miko must not only stave off the jealousy of her friend, 19 year-old Fubuki Kai, but is forced to put her fantasies on hold when she learns of the ancient and mysterious 'male' and 'female' flutes which are wreaking havoc on her parents and women on Earth. Suspecting that the new man in her life might know something about the flutes, she must enlist his aid, or perish!

The Review!
Ahh, more Miko and La Blue Girl, in this follow-up 4 part OVA sequel to the rather popular 6 episode OVA series. Just about everyone you want to return makes an appearance here, and to improve upon the original series, this set of episodes is rather story focused. But fear not, there's plenty of other scenes to keep it very much in the same vein as the originals.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Done in 1996, this is a fairly center channel based soundtrack and there's not a lot of music throughout it. There's a fair bit of flute playing that's central to the series, and that fills up the stereo channels pretty well. But this is mostly a dialogue and moaning show, so it's pushed through the center, and sounds good.

Video:
Overall, this is a pretty solid looking transfer. Colors are nice and vibrant, there's minimal color banding and there's practically no rainbows. Add in a minimal amount of line noise, and I'm even happier. So what's wrong? Well, there's a couple of sequences, very brief, where there's a fair amount of artifacting in characters faces where things get blocky. These tended to be sequences where the characters are farther away and smaller, but still easily distinguishable. The eyes and the mouths in particular got a bit blocky and angled. Other than that, things looked good here.

Packaging:
CPM gets a huge thumbs up here for using some of the original Japanese artwork on this cover. Add in the fact that the accompanying text is small and the title is kept to the side, and I'm an extremely happy camper. They even used what I think is the best piece of art the Japanese used for theirs. The back cover provides another piece of cover art in partial form (which is also used for the disc's silkscreening) and a brief summary of the show. The layout for the features and the technical information is solid as well. The black and white reverse cover is pretty nice, with a listing of chapters and some technical information. Do note that under the disc is the only place where you'll find the Japanese actors listed anywhere with this release. It's my only real complaint.

Menus:
Changing things around a bit from the norm, all the menu selections are nicely listed across the bottom in a style that works well with the artwork used for the menu. Access times remain nice and fast, and the layout is straightforward and works well. While not a major change from what they've done, this one just looks and feels better than what we've seen for the past couple of years.

Extras:
There's a couple of nice extras included here. The main attraction is the video art gallery that runs just over a minute. This shows off the various covers from Japan as well as pics from the animation itself. The covers make it all worthwhile. The Toshio Maeda section is fairly representative of what we've see from other discs about him, and the meet the cast section is your basic character bio section.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
What can I say, I like hentai.

And I rather enjoyed the La Blue Girl series that made its way out about two years ago. This story picks up not too long after the events of that series, with Miko back on Earth and wanting to experience what every girl wants... a first love. Is that so much to ask?

Well, when you're a 19 year old girl whose the product of a family line that's mixed with the otherworld race called the Shikima, it's not something you're going to easily get. You're more focused on your martial arts ability and fending off various demon tentacles. So yes, this is very much a tentacle demon hentai anime.

But it's also one, more so than its predecessor, that's more focused on an actual story that makes sense and works well. During her time back on Earth, Miko falls head over heels for a slightly older many named Hidemasa. He's the hunky type that works well for Miko. They're meeting is one of the classic ones of standing under an awning in the rain, and she gives him her umbrella, which is the cunning women's way of getting a man to come back to her place, like any black widow... er, anyway...

Miko learns of his family and job a bit, in that he deals with antique items while going to the university, as his household has many. He also mentions that his father had died recently. Ladies, this is often a first flag, especially in anime, that things are not going to go in a good way here. Miko is oblivious though, and can't wait to see him again. And she does fairly soon, as he's come down with an illness and is bedridden. It's while at his house that some things begin to take form, in finding a flute. Hidemasa tells the tale of it.

The tale revolves around a clan who broke from the main warlord of the time 400 years earlier. He struck up a deal with the Shikima to help him overthrow the rising power in the country, and had cemented the deal with a marriage between his son (a crossbreed between the clan leader and the Shikima's sister). A little more inbreeding with Shanahime and everything's complete.

But Gamara, the Shikima assigned to assist the clan leader, decides that he can make a play to rule over both the Earth and the Shikima world, and plots to have everyone kill each other and leave him on top. This betrayal works all too well, and the two betrothed children find themselves dead. Kyoshiro, the son, believes that his wife to be was his betrayer, which causes him to be enraged enough to be carried forth in a curse for hundreds of years.

This brings us back to the present, where both flutes that are needed have been awakened and are in uses again. When the male flute plays, the Shikima women find themselves unable to resist themselves while when the female flute plays, the male Shikima find themselves to be more aroused than normal. Not that you can really tell the difference when it comes to the male Shikima.

And so off go Miko, Fubuki and Yaku to try and figure out what the deal is with this curse, fight against the resurrected Kyoshiro in the form of Hidemasa with tentacles and deal with the resurrected betrothed. Throw in lots of flute playing and appropriate reactions, and you get a fun old hentai time.

As mentioned earlier, this is a much more story focused set of OVA's, but they're probably just as close to the original in terms of the regularity of the hentai sequences. The animation is a fair bit better as well, and the look is a bit more filled out. With it being done in 1996, and a new series being worked on today, it'll be interesting to see how much the animation has changed over the years. But for now, Lady Blue is a great addition to our hentai library, and one I can easily see getting a few repeat viewings. Very recommended for hentai fans.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Trailers,About Toshio Maeda,Art Gallery
Anime Artform,Meet the Characters

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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