Mystery of the Necronomicon - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 127
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mystery of the Necronomicon

Mystery of the Necronomicon

By Chris Beveridge     September 29, 2003
Release Date: May 08, 2001


Mystery of the Necronomicon
© Anime 18


What They Say
From the director of Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend!

Plagued by a string of gruesome occult murders, the inhabitants of an isolated resort turn to one another for comfort. But each hides a shameful past and forbidden desires. Now, a private detective must overturn every secret to fight the evil that stalks them all!

Complete Series: All 4 episodes!

The Review!
Be afraid, it's yet another hentai show with something of a plot and no demons. At least none of a non-human variety....

Audio:
For the primary review, we watched the show in its original language of Japanese. With the show being rather dialogue driven and minimal on the music score, the majority of the show is through the center channel. Overall, we noticed no problems with it other than maybe being a bit low. There's hardly any directionality at all across the front soundstage and what few ambient effects there were sounded decent.

Video:
For the most part, this is a pretty solid transfer. There's a fair amount of rainbowing throughout, more prominent in some scenes than others, but when it's prominent it's very distracting. There's a bit of edge enhancement causing a number of jaggies along otherwise smooth lines throughout the show as well. Line noise is pretty minimal. The show does look good overall since it was done in 1999 and the animation style used is very CGish. There are a number of scenes early one that make the show feel like a really high-grade hentai video game. The CGish feel to it does ease off as the show progresses, but it's still very much there.

Packaging:
The front cover gives you a look at one of the minor characters in a bad spot while some of the other women in the show are featured in the background, though a bit hard to see. The reverse side looks a bit better with one of the main characters there and another paler shot next to her. There's the usual brief summary and all the technical stats. Fairly decent package, though rather unexceptional.

Menus:
The menu system is slightly awkward here, with the main page laid out like book titles on a shelf. Since they're at an angle, it helps if you're laying at an angle too! The menus are otherwise pretty typical of CPM releases which means they're easy to get around in and access times are good. Unless you hit one of their age rating screens, which you can't scan through and you can't skip past. Then you're stuck sitting there watching this endless screen.

Extras:

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Mystery of the Necronomicon is one of the first hentai titles I've seen that's made me simply disgusted. And that's saying quite a lot since none of the others in the past have. But this one makes me disgusted in much the same way as Silence of the Lambs did as well. Ew ew ew!

The story revolves around Satoshi, a 28 year old private detective and his assistant and adopted daughter Asuka. Asuka, who appears to be about twenty going by what's in the show, was adopted five years earlier by Satoshi after her parents death in Maine, in a situation where Satoshi may have been involved if not the murderer himself. The only reason he was never fully accused was he lost his memory during this time and after spending time in a mental institution, was finally let go. He returned to Japan and adopted Asuka out of some form of guilt.

The story picks up with Satoshi and Asuka staying at a winter resort. An interesting cast of secondary characters is introduced and it doesn't take long for a murder to happen. And it's quite the grisly one, with the victims face being torn off and the eyeballs being plucked. Ew ew ew! Any time the whole skin of someone like this is brought up, it just makes me shiver. Ew!

The story then moves quickly into a murder mystery with hints that go back to Satoshi's incident six years earlier in Maine. With hints that come throughout the show, we begin to unravel the mystery of a mans quest to grant immortality via a book of pure old evil magic, the Necronomicon. But it's not the ending, but the journey that proves to be the interesting part.

The show, told in four parts, is fairly interesting. The sex scenes aren't bad, though somewhat brief in a few of them and they are fairly explicit. The animation as mentioned earlier is very digital in its nature and will give some people an uneasy feel in how it simply glides across the screen at times. The character designs are pretty good, though nobody changes clothes during the course of the month that this mystery takes place.

While the Mystery of the Necronomicon won't rank high on my list of hentai shows that I'd recommend, it's yet another in a series of releases that's completely demon free and without tentacles. The characters are interesting and each have their own motivations and the overall storyline works fairly well. Except for the whole face removing thing. Ew ew ew!

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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