Legend of the Wolf Woman - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Legend of the Wolf Woman

Legend of the Wolf Woman

By Chris Beveridge     September 30, 2005
Release Date: July 26, 2005


Legend of the Wolf Woman
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Rina is a SWAT officer who is faced with a series of bizarre murders. The victims have chunks of their flesh bitten off, and are often found eviscerated or slashed with claws. Then a new string of crimes begin, the murders are similar but the targets are all men and it appears they have been seduced.

At about the same time, Rina's best friend, a beautiful stripper named Kata, has begun acting very strangely. Rina races to crack the case before her boyfriend becomes the killer's next target.

The Review!
Working with a dark story, Legend of the Wolf Woman is a violent show that doesn't shy from mixing the sex with it.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix that's used is fairly standard for an adult title with most of the dialogue being center channel based. The music and some of the sound effects do use the left and right channels though and provide a good warm full feeling but the bulk of the dialogue doesn't have much of a real sense of depth or placement. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer for the show looks really good throughout both episodes. While there are plenty of daylight scenes and brightly lit areas and colors, a lot of the show is very focused on darkness, shadows and filtered lighting. These areas are the more difficult ones to work with and it comes across well here with mostly solid backgrounds and very little blocking in foreground character animation. The transfer looks to be free of cross coloration and has only a few normal smudges of aliasing going on in a few scenes that's very brief.

Packaging:
The front cover mixes the two main leads of the show together with good effect for an attractive but dark piece. The right half has the SWAT team member in just her underwear and her back to the viewer but with the added plus of her gun and work gloves. Contrasting that is a close-up of the wolf woman with blood splattered across her fingers and extended fingernails while between the two is a view of the city. Very nicely laid out and really eye-catching with all the reds. The back cover is done with a few shots from the show and character pieces mixed together next to a single paragraph describing the premise. The remainder of the cover is filled out with the production information and the ever solid technical grid. No insert was included with this release nor a reverse side cover as the keepcase is a clear one.

Menu:
The main menu basically zooms in on and reworks what's on the front cover while bringing the buildings and the moon into it more strongly plus a little bit more blood. A bit of music is set to it from the shows instrumental track and the menu overall is decent and not one you mind lingering on too much. Access times are nice and fast and the disc did not correctly read our players' language presets and played in English with sign/song subtitles as its default.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Legend of the Wolf Woman is one of those kinds of titles that while it definitely is an adult title, it's one that takes advantage of being able to do the full on sex to combine it with a story that can utilize it. Of course, it gets completely trippy weird at the end but before it gets there it's a bit like most other thrillers or cop dramas except you see the full on sex instead of just implied lurid shots meant to tantalize.

Taking place in New York City, a version which has kogals for some ungodly reasons, the show centers around SWAT team member Linda. It kicks off with her taking down a pedophile who had killed some little girl and is seemingly part of a string of recent murders. She's really bothered by the entire incident so she needs some relief which she gets by hitting a local strip club bar with her friend Mary who works in the CSI division in the city. At the club she meets up with her boyfriend Brian while Mary stays behind to talk with their mutual friend Kata, a very attractive tall woman who is one of the performers there.

What nobody knows at this point is that there is some sort of virus that's going around that Kata has that turns people into wolf-like creatures. Kata's resisting against the changes she's going through but finds herself being attacked and can't help but fall into it. The show really seems to like to focus on very unusual or violent themed sexual situations; for example, when Linda and Brian leave the club to hook up, he's teasing her with the knife she keeps in her best, sliding it all over her which gives her a thrill. But they take a step further by having him pull out her loaded pistol and slip a condom on it and proceeds to use that on her from behind. A similar thing happens later when Brian finds Kata laying in the rainy street begging for his help, he takes her to his car and hooks up the cars battery to her and starts running voltage through her. Naturally, this only starts her changing again but it brings Brian into the fold and his sick sense joins the fray.

The plot revolves around this as we see the CSI folks trying to discover what the virus is about while Linda tries to stave off the growing number of wolf-creatures in the city. There's some weird subplot that brings in the US military that just makes you shake your head (Hey, let's launch missiles into Central Park!) and the giant black guy who seems to know how to stop everything by going to the source and screwing it into submission. The show does have a weird sense of humor as well. When the first scene finishes out and Linda watches the CSI folks come to check it out, they all look like, probably a good half dozen of them. I mean, it's like cookie cutter with slight height changes. It's so weirdly comical that you don't know how to react. There's another scene where Mary is overly distraught about what's going on so the black guy simply picks her up to his level and kisses her which seems to calm her down. It's just out there.

At its core, there does appear to be a plot that could be good but it feels like it was handled someone whose never written a script before. I haven't seen much from the Cherry Lips folks before but in that department they really failed badly here. Where they make out good is in the character designs which are attractive but not beyond description and the animation in general is pretty solid and better than a lot of the more cartoonish kinds of shows that have been coming out around this time. The sex scenes are somewhat varied depending on what you're looking for as they're mostly violent in nature or at least within that realm. There really isn't anything that's done with a sort of positive nature to it but that wouldn't fit in the story all that much.

In Summary:
Legend of the Wolf Woman is part of the adult genre that we don't see too often and has been far better done in such series like Oni Tensei. There's a good core idea here with the thought of a virus that spreads a wolf transformation gene among people but it's so haphazardly handled across the two episodes and has so many general weird and odd ideas to it that it doesn't really feel like it's a complete though but more a jumble of ideas that they managed to barely string together. The designs are good and the action, while violent, is well animated but overall the whole thing just didn't appeal all that much. There isn't a lot of shows like this out but most of them are better put together than this.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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