Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: SoftCel Pictures
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: New Angel
New Angel Vol. #1
By Chris Beveridge
June 01, 2003
Release Date: May 13, 2003
New Angel Vol. #1
What They Say
© SoftCel Pictures
When high-school nerds Keisuke and Shinoyama spot a gorgeous new girl at school, they can't wait to find out who she is...but, strangely, she doesn't seem to exist at all! When our heroes learn rumors about the school being haunted by a mysterious spirit, they begin to put the facts together.
Entranced by the blithe spirit, Keisuke goes to a Medium..but it's not just the ghost that's going to get raised! Yes, she's the ghostest with the mostest, she's the NEW ANGEL, and while her behavior is anything but angelic, she'll certainly take our heroes to heaven!The Review!
SoftCel goes into more of their catalog and brings out some of the good U-Jin material from almost a decade ago.Audio:
As this series was never dubbed into English, all we have here is the basic Japanese stereo track that�s more of a mono track than anything else. There�s little real directionality in this show, or in many shows like this, so it�s a fairly unimpressive mix but it does the source material right. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions.Video:
Originally released in 1994, the materials here provide a decent looking transfer, though the process of putting things to DVD cause some of the materials to really show their own rough edges. This tends to show again in more mid-range character shots and the lack of detail, now that we�re able to see it so clearly. This provides some fuzzy looking characters, especially if some minor cross coloration creeps in. There�s a bit of aliasing throughout, most noticeable during up and down panning sequences. Colors look good if a bit flat.Packaging:
Providing a shot of the lead female in a nice bunny outfit, complete with ears, the front cover is a great looking simple piece that shows off a really nice character design. The back cover shows a few shots from the two episodes and has a basic summary of what to expect. The Japanese credits are nice and prominent, but what�s really missing from here is a listing of which New Angel episodes are included. The insert provides a fresh image of a character that wasn�t from either episode laying on a bed and is nicely scantily clad.Menu:
The main menu has the closing song playing against a static image that has the character art from the front cover, including a much richer looking background. With only the episodes here and very little otherwise to do, the menu is pretty clean and very easy to navigate. Access times are nice and fast and things load quickly.Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
New Angel Collection 1 goes back to the mid 90�s when U-Jin was getting shows made off of his material pretty frequently. This collection provides episode 5 and episode 2, in that order. While U-Jin did provide the original story for each episode, they were scripted by someone else. Some of his style is retained, but it doesn�t feel like some of his other shows.
Though they�re out of order, the two episodes here are pretty good fun and quite different from each other. The opening episode, running about forty-five minutes, brings us to the characters I�m assuming are in all of the New Angel episodes, since they�re in the 2nd episode as well, which is the second OVA. The lead comes in the form of somewhat geeky and fully perverted Kousuke, a young man who lusts after many women but has his heart set on a true love, a purple haired vixen named Shizuka. Kousuke is like many boys his age, such as when he�s at school, all he can do is see naked girls underneath their school uniforms.
Kousuke also has a friend named Atami, a masterful pervert himself, who is always armed with a camera. The two of them open things up with their photography exploits of the various girls in the school in stages of undress. One girl they take a picture of, a very attractive redhead, begs further investigation as she�s new to them. After they investigate with the administration, they�re stunned to learn no such girl exists. They mention this to Shizuka as well, which leads into the remembrance of a school tale about a student fifteen years prior who died after her boyfriend dumped her.
With the belief that she�s a ghost, and the apparent haunting of Kousuke by a sickly looking male spirit, he and Shizuka try to figure out what�s going on and how to deal with it, which includes visiting a spiritualist (who gets her abilities augmented by physical contact in ways that fit into a hentai show) and dealing with other students. This is also set against the backdrop of the relationship between Shizuka and Kousuke. It�s all nice and self contained with an amusing reason for everything tying it all up nicely.
The second episode, which is also the 2nd OVA, runs about thirty minutes and is a bit different than the first show. With the shorter time, things are a bit more rushed but still play out well. The story here focuses on a fellow classmate named Miki, and we�re introduced to this shy green haired girl as she�s about to commit suicide and jump off of the school building.
Kousuke is there to see this and manages to stop her. As it turns out, she sent a love letter to a classmate named Kawamura, but she found the letter in the trash next day and has decided to pass on to the next world. Kousuke intends to get to the bottom of this, and learns there�s more going on than is apparent when he confronts Kawamura. He claims he never got a letter, but also has feelings for Miki, who never got his letter. Add in a jealous classmate who wants Kawamura for herself and a very perverted friend for Kousuke, and this is one of those stories where everything would be so obvious if people just said what was what. But that�s no fun, so they go through all the hoops they do here.
Both episodes were pretty good and the sex scenes were nicely done, though I could have done without the whizzing sequence in one of them. The character designs are nice when they�re full on and detailed, the characters themselves are amusing and the overall feel is well done. The comical romantic hentai like this continue to be among my favorites, so I�m not surprised I enjoyed this.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.