Mouse Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 19.95
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mouse

Mouse Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     April 16, 2004
Release Date: April 13, 2004


Mouse Vol. #1
© Media Blasters


What They Say
20-year-old Sorata is an art instructor at Yamanoue School. Usually he's a mousy, nerdy teacher, but Sorata has a secret... he's also the internationally infamous thief Mouse, and he's a shameless flirt to boot!

Assisted by his three gorgeous, busty attendants - Mei Momozono the math teacher, Hazuki Kakio the PE teacher, and Yayoi Kuribayashi the school nurse - there's nothing Mouse cannot snatch!

The Review!
High fanservice combined with a modern day ninja-thief sounds like a winning combination but Mouse ends up being just a bit too much.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a decent stereo mix with only a few areas of noticeable directionality since the style of the show is very much loud and forward with much of it being center channel based. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with distortions or dropouts during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2003, Mouse features a good-looking full frame transfer here with lots of bright vibrant colors and a general lack of problems. Some of the mid range shots look a bit soft but it's difficult to say whether that's by intent or not. There's a good richness to the colors used throughout, particularly when you get to the Mouse moments and shots with his assistants in their special uniforms. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and there's a lack of general aliasing problems as well.

Packaging:
Using the artwork from the first Japanese DVD release, you can tell instantly what this show is all about with a shot of Mei in her red spandex getup leaning over with a background image of Mouse himself with the red tint. This is a really good looking cover that keeps the Japanese logo and the style of the Japanese release with only a few tweaks to give it some continuity with the next volume. The back cover provides a number of shots from the show and has a brief summary of the premise. The discs technical features are all clearly listed in the usual useful technical grid. The insert has a shot of Hazuki in a skimpy outfit while to the right of her are the chapter listings for all six episodes.

Menu:
The main menu is nicely done with a background of red tinted shots from the show with the series logo going down on the left while the right has an image of Mouse over the images, his shot being the only one in full color and untinted. This is all set to part of the opening song to the series which means you'll be making selections quickly and thankfully they load very fast. Access times are good and the layout is pretty standard stuff here.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Back when Mouse first started airing, there was a general buzz about it and just how fanservice oriented it was. Mouse was also one of the very few shows in recent memory that actually went and not only did the usual nudity scenes and actually show the characters breasts, but they dared to shock people with them having? nipples.

Scary times indeed.

Mouse has a pretty simple premise. Taking place in present time, the 20th generation thief Mouse is carrying on the family tradition of being able to steal anything and everything. It opens with him trying to get a golden skull from a museum so he opts instead to simply steal the entire museum from out underneath the police. The family that Mouse belongs to has been doing things like this since back in the Warring States days over four hundred years ago so there's plenty of reference and ideas that are available to the modern day Mouse, Sorata Muon. In fact, there is a group of families whose sole purpose is to breed special assistants to the Muon family to help them in their thieving endeavors.

The three assistants are young and highly attractive women ? provided you don't mind your women with breasts bigger than toddlers. While the rest of their designs are attractive, the breasts are just too much. All I can think of is the saying "Never eat something bigger than your own head" when I look at them. Add in that they wear the super skimpy outfits that allow for independent motion for each breast and it's just too over the top. Especially when they try to act all serious in their "day" jobs as professors at the academy that the families have set up to hide the Mouse activities. One of them is a professor, another is the nurse and another is a sports instructor. It all fits in its own way but it's just too much.

Within the academy, which houses something like 30,000 students from kindergarten through college, there are massive hidden chambers where things stolen are kept or special equipment and vehicles are stored for future use. There are all sorts of secret entrances throughout the school that allows Sorata, an art professor at the school as his cover, to move in and out of the place easily enough without notice. And out of the 30,000 students there, Sorata has to deal with three girls in the high school level who have something of a thing for him, or at least one of them actively does and continues to pursue him.

Much like Saint Tail and a few other similar shows, Mouse makes his plans known prior to the heist and sends notice to the police prior to the start of the caper. Mouse has a wide range of contacts and sources to pull off his capers, including one that allowed him to temporarily acquire the entire Russian eastern submarine fleet. So the capers are very much over the top as well in how they play out, though some are a bit more subtle. But then you add in things like memory wiping machines designed after the turtle kingdom fable and so forth and it's all over the map in how the show comes across.

Both an advantage and a disadvantage is the shows runtime. The series is twelve episodes long and this volume has the first six episodes. Each episode runs just about ten minutes long and there's plenty you can skip in each one with the openings and endings and half the time a recap at the start of the episode. With an 82 minute runtime, you can effectively finish the show in just about 60 minutes if you're quick on the remote. So if the show is too much, it's over quicker. If it's not and you revel in it, just keep repeating the openings and endings and enjoying the fanservice provided there.

In Summary:
Suffice to say, Mouse was an hour that I spent looking at the countdown timer to see how much was left. While there are some interesting bits to it here and there and you can see its origins in other more classic and refined caper series, it's a series that doesn't seem to really have any boundaries or rules set within its own world. And that's just the storylines. When you add in the gravity defying character designs and the way they actually perform in motion you'll either be hooting in pleasure or dying from the pain. I will give it props though for going for the nipple-nudity in the few scenes though and breaking that recent tradition of making all the women nipple-less. That's just cruel. Women need nipples too.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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