Momiji Box Set -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 99.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Momiji

Momiji Box Set

By Chris Beveridge     August 10, 2004
Release Date: July 11, 2004

Momiji Box Set
© NuTech Digital, Inc.

What They Say
Momiji - a girl who gave up everything and lost all emotion is now awakened to a new emotion!

The Review!
Young rich guy takes control of a number of women and has them working as his maids, some willing and some not. Plot? It's got maids by Jove, who needs plot!

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The mix for it is standard fare for hentai so there wasn't much surprising about it. Dialogue is good and clean and generally center channel based. There's some use of the stereo channels for music and some of the moaning and grunting as they get creative once in awhile, but otherwise it's the usual routine. We didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released in 2003, the full frame transfer for these four OVAs looks decent but not quite the same as some other recent digital productions we've seen. Colors throughout the show are good and the darker colors maintain a solid feel to them. Aliasing and macroblocking are pretty much non-existent in general. There's a lot of fuzziness to the show that seems to be stronger at certain times than others without much of a reason. Add in some very visible interlacing in a few fast paced sequences and it can be pretty distracting.

Released on four discs inside the standard thin cardboard wrapper box, each of the keepcase covers provides a different image of Momiji. Some of them are good such as the third volume but some are just poor looking like the second one where the entire thing just doesn't feel right. The character designs shift between attractive and far too lolicon at times. The back of the keepcases are simple in layout with a line of images from the show through the center while above it there's some overly descriptive summaries of the show. They continue on some releases to tell you every single action in the show including how each episode ends. The usual round of production information and the bloated features listing NuTech employs to give the illusion of things being there is along the bottom. As is standard with NuTech releases, no inserts are included in these releases. The thin cardboard box, which is little more than a wrapper really, uses artwork that wasn't used on the keepcases with Momiji and Ayane in embrace that looks far to digital for its own good. The back side provides all four summaries and a number of the photograph pictures as well.

The menu layout is pretty simple with a basic style used that has the character artwork from the respective keepcase cover along the right while the left side has the selections. Underneath both, clips from the show play against the chanting style musical piece from the show. The layout for selections is standard practice for NuTech releases and works well. Access times are nice and fast but the disc doesn't read our players present language selections.

The only included extra on each volume is a series of stills from that particular episode in a video gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Momiji is the kind of series that as you go through it, you wonder how it managed to do so well as to justify and actually achieve four volumes when there's seemingly much better material that barely makes it past the first or second volumes. All I can figure is that it must have been a very popular game or is something that just had a lot of fans because the show is so very boring.

The show focuses around young rich boy Kazuto. He's handsome, he's got wealth, he's apparently got not parents around him at all and he does whatever he pleases. One of the things that he does is a cute fellow schoolgirl named Momiji. The trouble with Momiji is that she doesn't resist him much but she's still not exactly willing. She doesn't want him to take advantage of her the way he does, but she knows its futile to fight back. Instead she is simply emotionless about a lot of it and just has an almost dead expression to things. This frustrates the hell out of him and he continually does things to her to try and get her to show some real emotion about it.

Not only does this frustrate Kazuto but it also frustrates and confuses a few other women. One of them is a cute pink haired girl named Ayane who is madly in love with Kazuto. She'll do anything he wants but that isn't the kind of girl he wants so he keeps brushing her aside. Ayane decides that the only way to get closer to him is to do what Momiji does, and that's to work as a maid for his residence. Since Kazuto controls Momiji so easily, he's forced her to do that but Ayane does it willingly. So Kazuto is surprised when Ayane is suddenly there one morning and doing chores and trying to get into his bed whenever she can.

There's also another woman, a purple haired vixen named Shizuru, who has a relationship with Kazuto as well as Mari, a blonde maid who works there as well. Basically, there are a lot of women in his house who want him for some ungodly reason. While his looks are good and he's got cash, he's an absolute prick in every sense of the word. While there are bad characters that you can like and there are bad guys who are fun to root for, Kazuto is the bad character that's simply bad in all sorts of ways. The way they try to play up his apparent need for someone to have a real emotional connection with him is so contrived and so out of left field at the end that it's attempt to try and give the show a sense of love and honesty about it is practically comical.

The character designs for the various characters are decent but I couldn't really pin down one that was anything special or stood out from what are otherwise stock designs. Momiji herself falls into the near lolicon category with her size and overall look but when you add in a general deadpan performance at times that's required by the story it doesn't help. But even when she's really getting into it she's always got this edge of like she's expecting to be smacked upside the head. The other women are all eager but even when they do bed Kazuto there's nothing to it. It's pretty bland material in general.

In Summary:
There's good hentai and there's bad hentai. Momiji suffers the worst fate of the two by being mediocre. It simply doesn't stand out in any form, either as ridicule or actual excitement. The performances by the characters are fairly limp, the sex is unimaginative and the styles used are fairly bland. While it's trying to play up the emotional domination side of things, it presents far too many characters and characters that you can't find any real attachment to. When you don't have that, all you have left is the sex. And if that's average, you're better off looking for some skin mag.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan DVD player upconverted to 720p, 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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