Mama Mia! - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 45
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mama Mia!

Mama Mia!

By Chris Beveridge     April 15, 2003
Release Date: April 08, 2003


Mama Mia!
© Anime 18


What They Say
Yuichi feels lost and alone – until two seductive women offer him comfort! He can’t choose between these lovely ladies, and they wouldn’t want him to. In fact, they want nothing more than to teach Yuichi to be the master of his own destiny…and theirs!

The Review!
Anime 18 goes back to the Secret Anima Files well and makes Chris cry.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. I did listen to a few choice segments in English and couldn’t stop laughing, so I had to switch back. Dialogue on both tracks is nice and clean with no noticeable dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Released in both 2000 and 2002, the transfers here are decent but not problem free. Colors look good and there’s a nice level of depth in some areas, but there’s also quite a lot of cross coloration during various scenes. Aliasing also makes up a decent chunk of the issues when it comes to panning sequences. Most of this is due to the style of artwork used and the digital panning, but it’s still quite distracting in the end.

Packaging:
Mama Mia features a really nice cover with artwork from the second episode being prominent while images from the first are softer in the background. Of course, the actual artwork in the show looks nothing like that, but that’s what happens sometimes. There’s also the very amusing comment of the show being in the tradition of the erotic classic Taboo. Taboo this isn’t. Of course, they don’t make live porn like that anymore either. The back cover has some artwork from the show, but even these are a bit deceptive. There’s a small summary of what to expect and the usual good production and technical information that’s easily found. The reverse side of the cover has some more black and white artwork from the show that also has the chapter list, English only voice credits and basic production information.

Menu:
Ah, a lovely menu indeed as the camera pans down one of the naked women who then opens her legs to have the menu pop out of there and ring around her central privates. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is good, though the background image gave me a bit of the shivers.

Extras:
The only real extra here is a brief video art gallery for the show, though there is also a US trailer for the show included as well as the standard anime artform segment.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Mama Mia is the latest hentai release to really give Pure Love a challenge in making me despise it, more for the animation than anything else. The animation style used for it is very reminiscent of the kind of artwork you find hentai websites advertising alongside real adult sites. This is the kind of artwork that looks very good in still images online and for occasional consumption, but really goes down the tubes when it comes to animation. Since the same amount of detail can’t be kept, they end up becoming very flat.

There’s enough sequences in here where you feel like they’re moving puppets across the screen. The first season of South Park has more smooth animation to it.

But, this is what I’ve come to expect from the Secret Anima series. With this release, we get two tales that are family based and completely unrelated. The opening episode has a young man named Yuichi who has just lost his father to an illness. His mother had died quite some years ago, so he finds himself alone. Though his father tried to avoid it, he has him move in with his previous wife and her adopted daughter. So Yuichi packs up all his belongings, including a single adult video that his father had, and moves to a new life.

His new life is definitely a different one, as his stepmother is very attractive. And as he finds out, so is his new “sister”. He’s quickly welcomed into the family and everyone is very happy to be there. The shock for Yuichi comes in the realization that the woman in the video he has is his new stepmother. And he’s been lusting after her for a week now no less. So when Mika starts coming on to him and then finds out his fetish for his new stepmother, things start turning into a real family affair, even though absolutely nobody is related. It’s a decent little episode, but the animation is just plain awful.

Which only gets worse with the second episode. This one centers around another family where the parents have an adopted son, their real son having died some time back. The family goes through a real challenge though when on a rainy night their car goes off a cliff and kills the father. This results in the mother having something of a lost memory about Yuichi ever being adopted, so she confuses him with her late husband.

Add in two generations of maids and a helpful amount of bathing scenes, and you get some fairly decent sequences. Except that the animation is even worse than the first episode. During one piece near the beginning as they walk through the gardens surrounding the house, it feels like an old 16 bit video game with the layers and movement.

Mama Mia’s not that bad for the stories, as they’re pretty standard fare for hentai, but the animation just makes everything a complete turnoff. This is pretty much for completists and those who just can’t get enough in general.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

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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