Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Anime 18
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 120
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Masquerade
By Sean Kemp
February 16, 2002
Release Date: September 11, 2001
Video: I didn't find anything wrong with the video on my initial viewing. Some scenes looked stunning, but for the most part it seemed like the average DVD from CPM.
Audio: For my initial viewing, I gave the English dub a chance. Spot checks of the Japanese audio found it to be well done, sounding better then the English Dub for the most part...
One thing that stood out for me was the excellent music. The music seemed to fit well with the story, making the ominous and strange things happening come to life.
My only complaint with the audio was the poor quality of the English Dub. I watch Anime in both languages usually, giving the English Dub (as well as the Japanese) a chance. The casting seemed off, and the acting shallow.
The main character Gen's voice seemed the worst choice. While the Japanese made him sound like the Student he was, the English Voice actor sounded like a middle aged man, with the actor putting little to no kind of emotion into his acting.
Menu: The menu seemed fitting for the show. Nothing fancy, with clips from the show playing in the background, and the music playing. From time to time you would hear one of the characters say something (regretfully, only in English.) Selections were fast, and easily to navigate.
Extras: The extras included on this disc were Storyboards for certain scenes, which you could watch with the clip running next to it. You can change the view using the Angle feature.
There is also a "Meet the Characters" section, as well as an Art Gallery. DVD Rom features have an Art Gallery, Storyboards, Character Sketches, Scripts, Credits and Links.
Packaging: The front image of the DVD has a beautiful image that seems to truly capture the beauty of this show, with Ms. Sakurako holding Gen in her arms with the moon behind them. Regretfully, the back of the DVD pushes the sexual content of this show, so I feel that it's kind of out of place compared to the rest of the show.
Content: Masquerade is unlike most Hentai being released today... There's no crazy tentacle sex, or graphic rape scenes like is found in many of the other Anime 18 titles released these days. This may sound strange to a lot of people reading this review, but Masquerade is a beautiful story that happens to have sex in it. The sex in the story fits in to the storyline very well, and most of the time helps the story move along. I've seen many Hentai titles that use the sex as either a way to generate a semblance of a plot, or as something just sort of thrown in. Masquerade is neither of these, using sex as just part of the storyline.
While there are a few scenes that I felt were just sex scenes for the sake of having a sex scene, the majority of the sex scenes served a purpose, helping you try to understand what is happening to Gen.
The sex scenes are more natural then many shows. No crazy tentacle rape, or unnatural position or fetishes. Just plain old sex, without the whips, chains, and tentacles...
Overall I have to recommend Masquerade to anyone that is looking for a good Hentai with a story to it.
8x DVD Toshiba DVD Rom, Real Magic Hollywood+ Decoder Card, AST Vision 4L Monitor, Soundblaster Live, Altec Lansing Speakers