Level C - 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: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Level C

Level C

By Chris Beveridge     January 03, 2003
Release Date: December 17, 2002


Level C
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Mizuki is a popular male fashion model with a promising future. When the mysterious Haruno sees him, she wants to make him the centerpiece for her company's latest promotion. To lure Mizuki in, she calls on the talents of her twin brother, Kazo. He is quick to seduce the young supermodel, but things soon escalate beyond business as usual. As Kazo's feelings run away with him, it looks like true love for him and Mizuki.

The Review!
Long sought after for DVD release, Level C has finally been ported over for those who can�t stomach VHS anymore.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. With this being a 30 minute only OVA and very limited appeal, Kitty hasn�t created an English language track to go with it, so you�ve just got a basic decent sounding Japanese stereo mix that�s dialogue heavy more than anything else. We noted no dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
The transfer for this 1995 OVA is decent, but is essentially a port from the source used for the VHS run, especially likely since the subtitles are not DVD subtitles but hard subtitles in the print itself. Colors look decent, though there�s a fair amount of background grain throughout in the solid colors, such as walls and the like in darker sequences. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and there was only a few areas of noticeable aliasing.

Packaging:
The front cover definitely lets you know what to expect, providing you can really discern that the effeminate looking man is actually a man. The cover is really striking with its vibrant colors and looks really good, highlighting some good character designs. The back cover has a few animation shots and a nice larger shot of the two leads while providing a basic summary of what to expect. The shows production and technical information is all nice and clearly listed. The insert provides another shot of the large picture on the back cover while also listing the episode chapters.

Menu:
None.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the very few number of yaoi releases in North America, Level C has long been sought after by its fans so that they can complete that collection of three titles.

The show itself is obviously pretty straightforward and simple since it fills just one OVA. We�re introduced to popular male fashion model Mizuki, a nineteen year old whose rising in that world thanks to the help of his older brother, the president of the company he works for. But this is just a side thing while he�s attending school and preparing for the larger life that�s going to arrive some day.

Enter Kazuomi, older than Mizuki, whose just lost his current residence after being dumped by his girlfriend. So he�s now walking the streets and trying to figure out where to settle next when he stumbles upon Mizuki and is instantly smitten by his good looks. One thing leads the another, and the two are back at Mizuki�s apartment having drinks. Kazuomi lets him in on his intention to move in with Mizuki and to pay the rent courtesy of pleasing him. Mizuki is both intrigued and afraid, which leads us into the series of sexual encounters the two have.

There�s a larger plot that becomes apparent at the end, but it�s all just superficial to the main course of Mizuki and Kazuomi�s exploration of each other. There�s naturally not a lot of depth to the story due to the short running time, which in the end gives the show a slightly rushed feel. Most of the story itself will feel like simple trappings just so that they can do the slightly more explicit parts. It�s not terribly explicit either, so it�s a bit odd in that sense as well. In the end, it�s probably just a bit beyond softcore.

Disc related gripes, well, beyond the hard subtitling at least is in that the lack of a menu forces them to front-load the trailers for other shows, though I was amused that they included Knight Hunters. And there�s no �end� to the show either, as once it hits the end of the last chapter it goes into auto-repeat mode. That�ll confuse someone I�m sure.

Is it worth it? I�ll leave that to the yaoi fans to decide. The shows don�t bother me in the slightest, but it�s hard for me to really know what the target audience is expecting out of it.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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