Lesson of Darkness - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • 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: 45
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Lesson of Darkness

Lesson of Darkness

By Chris Beveridge     July 05, 2002
Release Date: June 25, 2002


Lesson of Darkness
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Seventy years ago, Tokyo was plagued by a mysterious string of murders. Beautiful young women were found dead, their bodies dried up. It began when Miho, a college girl, discovered that a stranger is stalking her. Meanwhile, as her best friend Azusa seduced their professor, she found him to be a tentacle-endowed monster!

The Review!
Following up on the same time period as Bride of Darkness, Pink Pineapple goes with the tentacle monster route in this letterbox presentation of a costume historical hentai.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Lesson of Darkness sports a simple but good stereo mix soundtrack. The majority of the dialogue is center channel based, but the music fills in the stereo channels nicely as well as some of the more climactic aural sounds. We noticed no dropouts or distortions throughout the episode.

Video:
Originally released back in 1996, the transfer for this show holds up much like Bride of Darkness. With it being in its original letterbox format, and again tied to the time period, the look of the show is almost film-like at times. There�s little in the way of vibrant colors for most of the show, instead dealing in the muted browns and blacks. Even when we see the night time sky, it�s often as a hazy purple. There�s a softness to much of the show, but it definitely looks to be done by design. Cross coloration is non-existent and there�s only a few instances of aliasing.

Packaging:
The front cover has a nice shot of Miho in her kimono as it�s falling apart while you can see one of the tentacle demons in the background with another woman. The front cover is naturally very dark, but it works well with he kimono offsetting things and drawing your attention to her. The back cover provides a couple of animation shots and a brief summary describing the show. Lots of warnings about what�s inside and the nice new technical block of information along the bottom that I like. The insert reuses the images from the front and back cover to provide the chapter lists while the reverse side is just adverts.

Menu:
The main menu is essentially a rearrangement of the front cover artwork and logo with the addition of selections. Without music, it definitely feels even more minimalist. With nothing on the disc beyond the show and some trailers, moving about is a breeze and access times are nice and fast.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
That�s right, it�s back to the Taisho period for another round of historical hentai. This time, one of the girls even takes a stab at being truly in step with fashion by wearing a typical flapper hat. But other than that, it�s very much a Japanese historical show, dealing with two students and their teacher and a stalking tentacle monster.

Miho�s come into position of a blue stone, something that�s got some magic to it, but she knows not what. Her friend Azusa gave it to her, but pretty much since then she�s felt like she�s being stalked. Black cats pop up everywhere, dead bodies start to litter the streets. The tentacle creature is out and about in human form, stalking women and reducing them to husks after they�ve had their pleasure. Miho ends up seeing at least one of these, and begins to really fear what�s going on.

Azusa�s set her heart on seducing the professor, though he�s primarily interested in finding the stone. All is not as it seems though, as the various dark forces searching for the stone start to come out of the shadows and reveal which is really evil. Being the good girl of the times that she is, the revelations are enough to make a poor girl faint. Amusingly, there�s a great romantic love scene between one woman and the tentacle monster, complete with the right kind of music. I think that�s a first�

Lesson of Darkness isn�t story heavy, since it runs just barely forty five minutes. There�s a couple of very good scenes though, particularly with Azusa and the teacher. The tentacle stuff is actually done rather well too, using various techniques to make it less blatant and more stylish. A lot of my enjoyment of this show and the previous one is just in the visual style of it. The time period, the clothing, the letterbox nature, the way its done up almost as a jack the ripper feel of a mystery. This is definitely a step or two above the typical tentacle hentai.

It�s hard to justify at the full $30 tag, but if you can find it cheap, I�d definitely recommend trying out this or Bride of Darkness. I hope there�s more to the series.

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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