Midnight Panther - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Midnight Panther

Midnight Panther

By Jim Lazar     February 16, 2002
Release Date: November 16, 1999

The Review!
First, the technical side:

The disc is in a clear Amaray case which is now CPM's standard packaging. Very nice. The cover art and info on the insert is clear and I couldn't find any problems.

The usual 'absolutely not for children labels are there as they are on all Anime 18 titles.

It starts with various warnings about the sex and characters all being 19 and over, but you can fast forward through them if you want.

A video montage and music plays behind the very responsive menus. There appears to be a 'play program' button on each menu screen, which is nice.

In addition to language, Play program, Select scene sections, there is a 'Pussycats' section which shows a song from the program and scenes featuring each of the Pussycats. A promo page has trailers for other Anime 18 titles and a second 'Want more' page has some more trailers for CPM's other titles. I don't see the logic behind this myself. One page with multiple sections would have been better, but it's not a big deal.

WebConnex is there... but only for Win 95. No Macs. It only looks like a link to CPM's site from the description, so it's hardly a big deal and probably wasn't worth the time to do it.

The episodes themselves:

As usual, CPM included the complete episodes with OPs and EDs intact (although these are nothing particularly special). The Japanese credits are there as well. As I've noticed with other CPM titles, they just put the entire Japanese release on their products and put the English credits at the end, a big plus in my book.

The program itself is free of any noticeable video or audio problems on the English audio track (sounded perfect on my DD5.1 setup). I spot checked the Japanese audio and didn't hear any problems.

One possible problem, but I can't confirm it myself. It might have dubtitles. The subtitles and English dialog are almost identical. I spotted a few deviations from in the sub script, so it might be an example of a very accurate dub script. And CPM is known for fairly good translations on both scripts, so there is good chance it's not a dubtitle job.

The NC-17 parental lockout works, but for the whole disc. I believe at first that CPM was going to have the disc skip the naughtiest parts when the parental lockout prevented it, but apparently that feature didn't make it to the final version. So, keep this in mind: This is an adult title (and always was), so not for the younger folks.

Which is for the best. I have a hard time seeing HOW they edited this for general release. Even the non-hard core scenes (there are only 2-3 really graphic sex scenes) are pretty explicit. The method of death that the Pussycats use would be particularly hard to cover up with a censor's scissors and still get the idea of the story. But I guess that some people like T and A without the graphic sex and that's where the edited version comes in (which isn't on the DVD). 100 points to CPM for releasing it uncut and giving their customers the choice (well, except for the DVD, which is adult only).

The one song the Pussycats sang was left in Japanese in the English dub, but unfortunately they hard subtitled it. This is a black mark (or green marks, since the subs were green) on the otherwise flawless video.

The subtitles are yellow with a slight boarder and looked good at the spots I checked them.

The story: Well, it's not a story that will make you ponder it's deeper moments for days or beg for more, but it does have some funny moments and some good naughty fun. There is a serious story mixed in with the sex and the jokes, but it can't be taken too seriously in the context.

The three Pussycats are entertainers by day and assassins by night. But they do most of their killing in the daylight anyway, so you can see their bouncing breasts better ;).

A great disc and a average adult title (I've seen much worse, but I've seen much better).

All in all, this is the treatment I'd love to see Kite given. Too bad CPM doesn't have the rights to Kite.

Review Equipment
Review Equipment Sony DVP-S300, Sony DB-930 DD5.1/DTS receiver, Sony 32" Trinitron, S-video


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