Luv Wave Box Set - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: D+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 59.95
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Luv Wave

Luv Wave Box Set

By Luis Cruz     August 11, 2003
Release Date: May 16, 2003


Luv Wave Box Set
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
BC 2039, New York. A man under the spell of cyber psychosis enters a building with a woman as his hostage. Agent Alice is sent in to assassinate the man. As soon as her bullet tears through his body, the international computer networks are shut down, affected by the computer virus Xinn.

BC 2039, Tokyo. The international computer network security commission has ordered Agent Kaoru Mikogami with a new assignment: to assassinate hacker Mercy Spectre. His crime: stealing top secret information from the CIA databank. With Alice's help, she is able to succeed, but now his undead memory and personality ha invaded the worldwide network, invading minds of cyberdrug users. This is the technology he hacked from the CIA.... Now, Mercy is free to travel the network, becoming virtually unstoppable!

The Review!
With only three episodes, Luv Wave from Pink Pineapple shows that a hentai series can have a decent plot as well. Having only one sour patch, this title focuses more on the plot and action rather than the sex.

Audio:
For my primary viewing session, I listened to the Japanese audio. It is a good stereo mix providing some nice effects during the gunfights. Spot-checking the English dub revealed a good voice cast; the voices matched the characters well. Both tracks contained no noticeable problems providing a good audio experience. There was even a catchy ending theme song that could have been straight out of any mainstream title.

Video:
This title received a great transfer; colors are bright, and there are no noticeable defects. Subtitles were appropriately sized to be readable without detracting from the action.

What surprised me was just how good the animation was for this title. Despite not looking modern for something produced in 2000, it can easily hold its own in the animation department against many mainstream title from the late ‘80s/early ’90s. It looked great from start to finish in all departments.

Packaging:
The three-disc release comes in a thin cardboard box. Alice graces the front and spine of the box clad in her standard "uniform" while Kanako graces the top. The spines of the DVDs also form a nice picture of Alice. The box itself is a bit flimsy though and leaves a bit of room not keeping the discs very snug inside it. The back of the box is the typical boilerplate of screenshots, a synopsis for each disc, staff credits, and disc specs.

The discs themselves feature great front covers as well. Alice alone graces the covers of discs one and three while Alice and Kanako share the space on disc two. The back covers expand the synopses placed on the box but retains the overall design used on the back cover of the box. There were no inserts packaged with any of the discs. There were also one or two names misspelled in the synopses. The packaging fit the content of the show very well.

The only other item to mention is that the discs are all DVD-10s; one side contains the disc content while the other contains trailers for other NuTech titles. So, you get no artwork on the disc itself.

Menu:
Like the outer packaging, the menus have a network/cyber theme. A brief clip from the show plays in each menu while the catchy ending theme loops in the background. There are no transition delays as you switch from menu to menu. The only drawback is that the same menu is used for all three discs; there are no differences in the clips and pictures used for each one. It would have been nice to have some small differences in the menus for each disc.

Extras:
The only real extra on the content side of the disc is a slideshow of twenty images while the ending theme loops in the background. Unfortunately, the same slideshow is used on all three discs.

Your only other useful extra is on the opposite side of the disc; flipping the disc over allows you to view trailers for what appears to be every title in NuTech’s catalog. The initial presentation has only small images of the front cover for each release; this makes it difficult to make out what title you are actually going to select.

Once you have selected a title, you are brought to a menu that outlines the show, gives you the option of viewing a brief clip from it, and allows you to navigate through the titles. The initial viewing menu either needed larger thumbnails or the title written out below each thumbnail.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In the year 2039, the world is controlled by a global network. Somewhere in the US, an arms dealer is holding some prostitutes hostage. An operative manages to take him out but stands stunned as his laptop begins flashing the word "Xinn". The entire global network is flashing this same message causing widespread network failures resulting in numerous disasters.

Moving forward several months, Mikogami Kaoru is heading towards a rendezvous with Massy Specter. Massy is a hacker seeking asylum in Japan while Kaoru is a government assassin assigned to kill him. However, Massy was tipped off about the attempt and traps Kaoru. Before Massy can deliver the killing shot, a woman breaks in and kills Massy.

Kaoru soon learns from his chief that the woman is his new partner Alice; she is also an experimental US Army robot being sent around the world to gain combat experience. Kaoru is reluctant to have what he considers an oversized sex toy as a partner. The chief informs him that he has little choice in the matter and should get used to it.

To this end, the chief orders Alice to move in with Kaoru; while Alice is an efficient killing machine, she has yet to grasp human emotions and does not understand Kaoru’s feelings. Kanako, the tech expert of the intelligence group, does her best to keep Alice in peak condition as well as explain human behavior to her.

Kaoru’s next assignment is to track down a reclusive cyber drug dealer using Alice as bait. After receiving this assignment, Kaoru enjoys a brief sexual interlude with Kanako while Alice lay recharging in the same room. Alice and Kanako then proceed to their target.

Once again, Kaoru’s target has been tipped off and has set a trap for the pair. As Kaoru turns around and takes aim at his attacker, he comes face to face with his sister Mamoru. Apparently, the target called in a false terrorist threat to the Special Police hoping that they would eliminate Kaoru.

The First Process: Connect ends as Kaoru’s target uses Alice as a shield. Much to their surprise, Alice identifies the target as having the brain wave pattern of the recently deceased Specter. Specter laughs and informs them that they cannot kill him as long as there are bodies for him to take over. Alice then proceeds to decapitate the Specter host but requires a rescue from Kaoru to prevent her from falling from a building.

The two remaining processes, Protocol and Necross deal with how Alice is connected to the Xinn virus that occurred months ago. We learn that Alice contains the memory of Kaoru’s high school sweetheart Mayumi and that her father Dr. Wezmar Diorg is involved in an attempt to create a new god by controlling the global network. Everyone gets in on the action including some amusing firefights involving Kanako.

This leads us to the one sour spot in this release. Near the end of the second disc, Mamoru is taken prisoner while on an undercover drug bust. Of course, her captors proceed to rape her; you would expect that this would be the spot where the fetish material would come into play.

However, there is none to be found, but there is an extremely disturbing and violent sequence here. It is something that could have easily been left out, but it feels like the director wanted to shock the audience. It was very difficult to watch and is not something I would watch again. If you are watching disc two, I would recommend using your remote to skip ahead to time index 18:46 when your DVD timer reads 16:25. The scene has little bearing on the remaining content and blemishes what is otherwise an entertaining release.

Despite this blemish, the story is fairly entertaining and is the primary focus of the series. Other shows such as Lain and Ghost in the Shell have touched on the "God in the Network" theme, but Luv Wave gives it a unique spin. It is not as good as the aforementioned titles, but it holds its own in the plot department. Add in a few decent sex scenes, and you have one Luv Wave that you should definitely consider catching.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable.

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