Ninja Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Adult Source Media
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ninja

Ninja Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     May 04, 2005
Release Date: May 17, 2005


Ninja Vol. #1
© Adult Source Media


What They Say
As night arrives the shadows of Koga fall on Iga and a new threat exists for our lusty vixens. After a torid sexual encounter Yatsurugi Shinobu's best friend Mashiba Aya is infected with a parasitic bug and succumbs to its will. Having the same insatiable urges, the same tragedy is about to happen to Kage Lena. The only known antidote is stored deep within the labs of the Koga Institute and is the only thing which will save Kage Lena.

Our hero Shinobu, in attempt to recover the antidote, falls victim to the many sexual traps found within the institute. It's now up to the rest of the girls from Iga to save both Shinobu and Kaga Lena... and they'll do "anything" to get the job done!

The Review!
A modern day school for training ninjas finds itself the subject of an attack by the Koga.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. This is also the only language available on this release as no English language version was made for it. The Japanese track is a pretty straightforward stereo mix that does have some minor moments of directionality but it's mostly the music that does a nice job of giving a full feeling performance. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released a few years back, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The animation for the show is much more cartoonish than normal but it's full animated and rather fluid at times but it also has something of an older feel to it at times with its design. It isn't traditionally animated but it has some of that flair to it while being more cartoonish. It's filled with lots of simple vibrant colors that look good but it does suffer from some aliasing and jagged lines, especially during panning sequences. It's not a bad transfer but it's one where the actual enjoyment of it will stem from how you feel about the animation. In some ways it may look cheap but it again comes back to the more cartoonish style it has.

Packaging:
The artwork on the cover is just very attractive and not representative of what's inside but boy does it sell itself well here. The front cover has a shot of Aya in bondage while Shinobu is dressed in her ninja gear while flames are in the background. The back cover provides a great looking illustration of Lena from behind with her panties pulled down that is just very well drawn. The summary covers the bulk of the show since it's only thirty minutes while the bottom covers the technical and production information. No insert is included in this release.

Menu:
The menu layout is similar to other releases from this studio in that the background is a simple wash of colors like red and oranges. Along the right side is a close-up of the character artwork from the front cover in bondage and the basic menu selections are lined along the left side. Access times are nice and fast and there's little here beyond the show and a few trailers. Since there's no real selections for language other than turning the subtitles on, the discs defaults mirror our players defaults.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first episode of a series, Ninja is something that looks like it has some promise but only if you can get past the slightly odd and cartoonish designs given to the characters. It has something of an older feel to it while mixing with a Saturday morning cartoon style as well as having lots of vibrant colors to it. But it's definitely an adult show since it's got a decent amount of sex scenes and naughtiness to it.

The premise is pretty simple as we're introduced to the three school girls as they're out and about having a bite to eat when they come across a pair of good looking but dark guys at the counter. To their surprise, one of them spills his drink but is able to kinetically teleport it back onto the counter, which to the girls reveals his secret ninja technique. Their secret discovered, they exact revenge on one of the girls at the school where the trio, along with hundreds of others, learn modern day ninja techniques. Lena and Shinbobu aren't attacked but they find that Aya has been captured and bound up and her body thorough used. Even worse, they later find out that she had been implanted with a parasitic bug that drives her wild and wanton until it kills her.

Without the full set of skills to take on the more powerful ninjas, the girls find themselves having to leave things as is. But when Lena finds out that Shinobu is infected with the same parasitic bug, she insists on sneaking into the ninja's location so that she can secure the antidote and save her friend and roommate. This leads her into their realm where there's plenty of traps of a sexual nature there as she has to deal with them before time runs out for her friend. With only thirty minutes to the show, it plays out pretty quickly and resolves itself well enough but keeps the door open for more as evidenced by the trailer for the second episode that looks to involve a tengu. With the look and feel of the show, this is a decent little piece but it's not something that fits into what a lot of the current digital shows look like but neither does it fit in with a lot of the previous traditionally animated shows. It's got a feeling of being somewhat cheap in terms of the animation but at the same time I find that I like the simple nature of the designs. The sex itself is fair to mediocre though and while explicit it's not terribly explicit.

In Summary:
While Ninja doesn't stand out that much against a lot of the other shows that are out there, it's got a bit of flair and style to it that I find appealing but it's weakened overall by the story being kept short for the length of the episode and how much there has to be done for it. The sex scenes are about average or just below but there's something to be said for the character designs and the simplicity of them. The preview for the second episode looks like the show is in the same style and keeps to its odd nature in how it looks at times so I don't see this show being a really big one for a lot of people. They certainly got the cover art right though, that's just gorgeous.

Features
Japanese 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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