Magical Twilight - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Magical Twilight

Magical Twilight

By Chris Beveridge     July 31, 2006
Release Date: July 25, 2006


Magical Twilight
© Critical Mass Video


What They Say
WANTED: Strong young males to be test subjects for final witch exam.

Sexy apprentice-witch Chipple dreams of becoming a good witch, but in order to achieve her goal, she first has to pass the Official Licensing Test! After bombing the written portion of the test for the third time in a row, Chipple only has one option left: ace the practical. So it's off to the mortal world to meet up with her test subject, one Tsukasa Tachibana, and make a "good impression" on him.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Not when it means teaming up with the one person Chipple really hates: Irene, a sultry siren who only passed the written part by using an unauthorized "oral exam" and a healthy dose of blackmail.

Suffice it to say that the roof of the test subject's house isn't the only thing that's going to get blown when these seductive sorceresses vie against each other to be the first to pass their test!

The Review!
Receiving a second chance at life, Magical Twilight returns with a first time ever dub.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its new English language adaptation. Having heard it several times in the Japanese form I was looking forward to checking out the new dub. Similar to a lot of Critical Mass's dub productions, it's kept rather accurate to the original script which works well here and doesn't date it with jokes and gags from today. The stereo mix for the English track is pretty good, though it is mostly a full sounding mix, as it duplicates the general feel of the Japanese track from a technical perspective. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track.

Video:
Originally released to video in 1995, the transfer for this three part OVA Series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The source material for this is starting to show its age and origins as there's a fair amount of very small nicks and scratches as well as dirt visible if you're looking at it on a large screen or up close on a smaller high resolution screen. This isn't surprising since it's from the traditionally animated era and it does add a certain charm to it but it stands out a bit if you're looking for it and it can be distracting. The plus is that the detail in the animation itself is just as visible and a lot of these characters look really good for it. The color palette for the series isn't too strong and vibrant as it works in a lot of soft purples but it's pretty good looking overall. There's noise to be seen in some of the solid color sections but it's fairly minimal and doesn't detract overall. This looks and feels pretty similar to the 2003 DVD release from SoftCel as it's a show that you can't really eke more out of.

Packaging:
Going with a new design for this release, the cover art is surprisingly good as it has some very nicely detailed and vibrant looking character designs from different situations combined together, often with the girls in states of undress. It's strong on the purple coloring as well but it's a very attractive piece and the more I look at it the more I really like how the fully detailed designs come across. The overall layout also firmly separates it from the previous release so you can't mistake it. The back cover has a few shots from the show and a large character shot of a towel-wearing Chipple alongside a good summary of the series premise. The discs features and technical information is all well laid out and easy to find and read, making it easy to make an informed decision about the discs' content. No insert is included with this release.

Menu:
The main menu is a cute piece with some not quite so high resolution artwork of the main characters against a starry background as a bit of music plays. It's a light, cute and fairly bouncy design that reflects the shows origins and fluffy nature pretty well and it's easy to navigate. Access times are nice and fast but it failed to pick up our players' language preset and defaulted to English while picking up the English subtitle track which is just the sign/song subtitles.

Extras:
About the same as the original release, there's a fair bit of extras here but it's slightly deceptive. The new original extra is the outtakes from the dub which is cute and that's followed by a series of sketches, such as character, sketches and storyboards, which made up the original production portfolio of images.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Critical Mass catalog continues to beef itself up with the remnants of the SoftCel catalog which is a very welcome thing. Few shows from the nineties get touched by other publishers these days and the shows that SoftCel originally had like Magical Twilight have a certain appeal that's mostly not being met by today's adult releases. Critical Mass also goes the extra length in their "porn preservation" program by adding new dubs when needed and cleaning up the subtitles. Add in the new packaging and it's a pretty solid release that appeals to more than just the original core set of fans.

Magical Twilight is one of those fun titles that deals with good natured sexual escapades. Of witches! But these aren't your ordinary witches. We're introduced to two of them from the White Magic world, two girls who are going through their final exams to become fully certified as witches. There's Irene, the go-getter who will do anyone so she can avoid doing the actual class work and there's Chipple, the do-gooder who tries her hardest but just can't seem to master things.

The two always seem to end up in situations with each other, but Chipple absolutely detests Irene and tries to avoid her as much as possible. Having both failed their written exam, they're each given another chance to pass by passing the practical exam. That exam is a bit more involved, and has the girls going to Earth and trying to earn the love/praise/affection of a particular young man. This young man just happens to be Tsukasa, a young man living on his own while trying to get into college and getting on with his life. All of a sudden, he finds himself with two attractive but very different women living with him.

Chipple earnestly and honestly tries to please him and to win him over while Irene essentially doesn't do much but to get into troublesome situations. Their situation gets more complicated though with the arrival of a witch from the Black Magic World whose assigned practical exam is to actually kill Tsukasa. With an underpowered but in love Chipple, a very confused Tuskasa and a non-caring Irene, the three end up working together to face the threat.

Magical Twilight is a very lighthearted show that's as softcore as they come. There's nothing really hardcore in here, but it doesn't matter much as there's enough of a decent amusing plot to go with it that the sex scenes often feel tacked on. Well, some of them at least. While it's definitely more than you get with say, daytime television, it's not what you get with a lot of today's hentai releases with their 'interior-cams'. A lot of the sequences are fairly quick too, as the show would rather spend its time having fun with the characters.

In Summary:
This OVA series is a light hearted magical sex comedy that's great for first time hentai viewers and those wanting to move slowly into the genre, as well as great for couples and those looking for something a bit easier to get into. If going headlong into pure porn isn't for you, then this is a great way to start out. The show is relatively self-contained, it's got some good character designs and more importantly the sex is fun for the most part. It may not have the slickness and vibrancy of color design that newer adult shows do but there are very few that are fun like this or have that warmth that comes from traditional animation.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Galleries,Dub Outtakes

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, 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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