Moonlight Lady Vol. #3 (w/cartonpack) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Moonlight Lady

Moonlight Lady Vol. #3 (w/cartonpack)

By Chris Beveridge     May 03, 2005
Release Date: April 26, 2005



What They Say
Suzuna Kuraki's life at her family's mountain shrine has been filled with intrigue, violent events, and an infectious sexual desire. Finally, the night of the great ritual comes, for which she has been preparing her entire life. But what is the ritual? And who will claim its amazing power? The final, long-awaited volume of Moonlight Lady is now available with an art box that holds the entire series.

The Review!
The series comes to a close as the Ceremony gets underway.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a pretty good stereo mix with some nice directional moments but not a terribly busy one. Dialogue was clean and clear throughout and we had no problems during playback with dropouts or distortions. We listened to the English track later on and noted no issues with that either.

Video:
Originally released to video back in 2003, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Moonlight Lady is a very solid looking show from Pink Pineapple, which means a lot of very vibrant colors and depth to them. The single episode here come across beautifully for the most part and manage to avoid any serious aliasing issues. The problems of cross coloration that was in previous episodes is gone here which leaves us with a pristine looking show filled with lush colors, most notably the beautiful shades of purple.

Packaging:
While the background has the darkened red imagery and the silhouette of a nasty looking dragon, the foreground provides the very attractive illustration of Kouichi standing behind Suzuna as her costume falls off of her body. Combined with the logo, the style of this piece is very attractive and sets the mood just right. The back cover provides some shots from the show itself mixed into a collage next to a brief summary of the shows premise. There's the basic production information for both sides and the usual solid grid of information about the technical specs. No insert is included in this release. With the final volume, a "cartonpack" or thin paper box was included with it so that you could keep the whole series together. The box basically has the same front and back as the third volume itself but the back has omitted the technical information. I would have preferred a chipboard box for it but that's probably still too much for an adult release to merit.

Menu:
The main menu uses a mixture of pieces from the back cover to provide a nice looking static menu here that has a good chunk of the vocal song playing along to it. With only the show itself and some trailers on the disc, the menu is pretty barren for selections but fast to access and quick to load submenus. The disc read our players' presets correctly but the first labeled English track was just the sign and song track so we had to manually change it.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the final volume, the last 30 minute OVA is finally available and it brings the series to a very satisfying conclusion though it doesn't play out as violently or as badly as the series had almost made out as a given as we got introduced to things. The slight change in its style is rather welcome though and I have to say that it made this episode all the more enjoyable to watch.

In a way, it's almost as if the creators decided that they had enough of the darkness and wanted to end on something much more tender and almost poetic. Kouichi and Suzuna finally get together in her bed, though she continues to be highly embarrassed about the entire situation. Kouichi's creative decision is to blindfold her with a light gauzy piece of material so that she can't see what he's doing all that well, which I wonder if it was an interesting way to get around the mosaics. Their consummation scene is very well done and very erotic, filled with some great animation that's just so fluid.

But the ceremony is getting close so both of them find themselves preparing for things. The two attending girls are amusing as they do what they need to in order to serve both Suzuna and Kouichi, which includes ensuring that Kouichi's morning hardness is very much taken care of before they go to the pool where the purification ceremony takes place. It's interesting to see how laid back everyone is at this point and how calm it is as the ceremony is within hours of being completed and the two leads seem to be even closer at this point. Going into the final ceremony, everyone gets to get into the action and it's a decent of somewhat anticlimactic ending to the series as it plays out. It's certainly not bad, but after the build-up and then the delay in release between volumes, you almost expected it to be bigger.

In Summary:
In the end though, this has been a very attractive series with plenty of atmosphere. Kouichi is a rare male lead in these kinds of shows whose body is actually rather well animated without being either wimpy or overly muscled. The characters throughout it all managed to have good scenes and lots of action but it was all tied to very nicely done costumes and settings that really enhanced all of the sex. A great amount of detail and wonderful digital painting was applied to give it a very attractive feel and that carried through into the sex scenes themselves which were great. It's unfortunate that the series has had delays but it is a series that most definitely merits rewatching now that the final installment is here.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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