Night Shift Nurses: Head Nurse -

DVD Review

Mania Grade: C+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 70
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Night Shift Nurses

Night Shift Nurses: Head Nurse

Night Shift Nurses: Head Nurse DVD Review

By Chris Beveridge     January 26, 2010
Release Date: January 05, 2010

Night Shift Nurses: Head Nurse
© Critical Mass Video

When a special ward for wealthy clients opens in the hospital, the director knows exactly who she wants to run it so that the nurses are properly… trained.

What They Say
The doctor is in! The new doctor has arrived to whip the hospital's nursing staff into shape. His lesson plan is strict, and he has no tolerance for failure, which is met with the harshest of punishments imaginable. The Night Shift Nurses must learn their lessons well if they hope to please their new master - whenever and wherever he wants! Contains episodes 1 and 2!

The Review!
Night Shift Nurses retains its original audio presentation which is a bilingual release that has both the Japanese and English language tracks in stereo encoded at 192kbps. Like most adult shows, it features a pretty basic sound stereo mix with little in the way of directionality across the forward soundstage. There’s a very simple full sound to its design that works well and is representative of the time it was made and the intent, but it’s not one that really wows in any way though it does serve the material well. We didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released in 2000, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This volume contains the first three OVAs and is identical to what Anime 18 put out back in 2003 as it’s a repressing under a new label. This is a frustrating looking transfer, because for a good percentage of the time, it looks great, with good looking clean animation. What causes the trouble is when the camera pans, the aliasing really kicks in and the cross coloration gets very strong. These scenes are very shifty looking and just look bad in general. Outside of there, there are many really good looking scenes that stand out strongly, particularly the one between Narumi and the congressman where the animation looks really fluid and the colors vibrant and solid. It’s such a mixed bag from the source materials though.

Dark and voyeuristic is what the cover to the 2010 edition of Night Shift Nurses looks like as it gives us an upskirt view of Ren as she’s leaned over a desk. There’s a lot of shadows surrounding her which adds to the threatening feeling as does having the phone dangling over the edge of the desk along with her hair. The new logo isn’t all that appealing but it’s decently done since it doesn’t detract from the allure of the actual artwork of Ren herself. The back cover uses some familiar elements seen on previous releases with a pair of the nurses showing up along the bottom in their uniforms while a large shot of Narumi mostly undressed takes up a lot of space on the right. Sadly, she’s looking down so the visual doesn’t connect too well. The summary is very brief overall but it’s cutely done on a small clipboard which also lists the discs extras. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

This disc features the usual kind of menu we see on Anime 18 discs from this time period, with some animation from the show playing. It’s a simple but effective layout with the set of menu selections quick to load and easy to navigate. I do dislike one of the “Features” from then where if you didn’t make a selection in the first minute, the disc autostarts the show – and doesn’t read the players’ language presets in doing so as it just jumps into English. And with a number of unskippable warnings at the beginning, you’re trapped for a bit until you can regain control of the disc. I’m very glad this practice is for the most part long dead and gone.

There’s only a few extras included here. The first is a video art gallery showcasing several scenes from the show while the other is the trailer for this show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Night Shift Nurses is an almost legendary title in the hentai community as it was the big shocker for so many years. Back in 2000, this was when the adult market in Japan was undergoing a transformation from the tentacle beasts and silly comedy adult releases to things far darker, more sinister and in a way far more realistic. Evil was around every corner that would take advantage of nubile young women and the viewer was going to get a front row seat for it. While Night Shift Nurses was shocking at the time, it’s almost quaint (at least these early episodes) nearly ten years later as it blazed a trail for others. A trail that has seen the depravity raised by dozens of notches in the years since…

We get introduced to Dr. Hirasaka, a doctor who hasn’t been practicing for almost ten years. We see some flashbacks to some sort of experiment that he was doing back in University Medical that led to him simply up and leaving. Details are very sketchy though, but we learn more. Hirasaka has been called up to perform for a month’s contract at a local hospital, so he’s headed off there to meet his new boss and to find out what the job is. He’s surprised about being called up, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to meet the rent.

Hirasaka is definitely oversexed, as once he’s at the hospital, he’s imagining every woman he sees as being his willing slave. Very vivid sequences in fact, causing him to separate from reality at times. After an encounter with one of the women nurses who works in gynecology, Hirasaka‘s specialty, he’s finally introduced to the chief medical office who runs the hospital.

And yep, it’s the woman who was the subject of his experiments oh so many years ago. Hirasaka effectively freaks, fearing some reprisal or revenge, but learns that she’s called him in due to his special skills from their last time together. She informs him that he’s going to head a secret department of sorts, one that caters to the very rich patient, one where he’ll be training the nurses to become willing slaves for their use. Suffice to say, he’s intrigued and easily hooked.

The show then moves forward with him getting candidates from his boss and working them over in his own special way, usually getting something on them to blackmail them from the start and then turn them his way. The scenes are definitely explicit with nothing held back, at least in what we’re allowed to see here. These types of shows aren’t my cup of tea, so it held limited appeal as he progressed.

In Summary:
I’ve had a long relationship with Night Shift Nurses that’s been difficult at times because in the past it was shocking. There are shocking non-canon releases, such as the OVAs which have made me feel disgusted like these used to, but this first set of episodes is still the tamest of the bunch. It only gets worse from here, but it still has something of an artistic kind of quaintness about it. Unfortunately, I had hoped that of all the series that Critical Mass was taking over that this was the one that would get a new authoring job to try and alleviate some of the issues of the source materials. As such, this is still a difficult show to recommend, more so the actual presentation itself as opposed to the content which used to drive me away from it.

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

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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