Mania Grade: D-
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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: Kitty Media
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Nymphs of the Stratosphere
Nymphs of the Stratosphere
By Chris Beveridge
April 11, 2005
Release Date: February 08, 2005
Nymphs of the Stratosphere
What They Say
© Kitty Media
In the near future, the world as we know it has been spoiled by our negligence. From the stratosphere come five beautiful nymphs in the shape of angels, bearing the fragrance of forbidden fruit. It appears their desire is to bring pleasure to the devastated human race. A young programmer working late spots one of the beautiful girls on his balcony, peeping on a couple across the way. Once she departs he is surprised to find the scent of fruit lingering in the air. He knows he must pursue her, what he is yet to discover is that she's not of this Earth!The Review!
Five angels descend to the Earth and try to bring pleasure and happiness to those they meet but things don't go quite as planned.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. For a lot of it, there really isn't much in the way of dialogue, or it's intentionally low, as well as the incidental music for the scenes that keeps things in a very mellow mood. The mix is decent overall but it's not intrusive and doesn't really push itself. As the show progresses it becomes a bit more involved but like most adult releases, it's a fairly standard stereo mix that's mostly center channel based. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
The transfer for this three episode series is presented in its original full frame aspect. Like a lot of adult shows, it has some very vibrant pieces to it with bold striking colors for areas like eyes and hair and some good use of light and shadow to work over the characters naked bodies. Backgrounds tend to be a bit more muted but this one has a lot of blacks and shadows to it that look rather good and maintain a very solid feel. Some of the panning sequences introduce a lot of aliasing to things but otherwise the show is free of problems like cross coloration or color gradient issues. Packaging:
The cover for this release is really nice with a nicely detailed and colored piece of the lead angel in the second and third episodes with a hazy background to it though they do sneak in a skyline and some stealth bombers that really have nothing to do with anything that I can tell. It's very eye-catching in general and definitely attractive. The back cover provides shots of the various women from the show both in illustration form and from the show itself. The summary tells you more than the series itself will ever tell you and the bottom half has some of the basic production information and a the standard technical grid; though I will note that according to my runtime counter the program ran for 90 minutes and not 105 as stated here. Even more amusing is that the original solicitation and most retailers list it at 60 minutes. No insert was included with this release nor is the cover reversible.Menu:
The menu uses the full wraparound cover piece of artwork that comes across really nicely with the more vibrant feel of the colors in this media than the paper. Selections are lined along the left and with nothing there but the show and trailers it's very simple and easy to navigate. There's a brief loop of music for the menu that runs the standard thirty seconds but it ends in such an awkward place that it clips really badly. Access times are nice and fast and the disc properly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Angels are typically one of the more interesting areas that gets covered in the adult realm since there are a few places to go with it beyond the standard areas, which in themselves are often interesting enough. The writers can be somewhat literal with them and use them as described in many texts throughout the world or they can really just let their imaginations run wild. I don't know what these writers were on but they were certainly not in a good mood when they came up with this.
The show is presented in three parts. The first part is a strange piece that follows five girls around who are being taken advantage of by various guys. There is no lead up to the scenes and no follow-up, this is almost like gonzo material done anime style. In the various scenes there isn't much in the way of dialogue either though there is plenty of the sex sounds, but these are just relatively quick scenes that lead through some basic action " some nasty and some not " before the woman finally climaxes and ends up sporting a pair of angel-like wings on her head. I have no idea the reasoning behind why it's done this way and unless you find a particular character design appealing it holds little interest.
The second and third parts are tied together in that it opens with a young man who is surprised to find an attractive woman outside his apartment getting off on what she sees across the way in another building. Before he can get to her she bolts, but she ends up returning to his place not long after and starts to move around his place almost like instant teleporting. She speaks nothing but the two end up embracing and getting it on as he realizes that she's an angel. It's a nicely done sequence of events once they get together and it's the kind that's handled with some awkwardness on the characters parts but then turns into a nicely passionate piece.
While these two continue to explore each other, we learn that there are five angels that have descended to the Earth and are apparently defective and we see them in their various adventures as well. Unfortunately for them they end up in really bad situations end are seriously taken advantage of, from one being captured by a guy who uses her for a webcam site to another that abuses her constantly. It's pretty disturbing what happens to these other girls as they get treated by the people who've found them and have basically made them whipping posts for their own desires, not caring what they want.
When they creators decided to use angels, they went for the more classical approach in their design and these are all without sexual organs of their own. Normally this might limit what they could do since you'd think they'd just have breasts to work with but no, what this allows is for nothing but anal material to happen. And not just normal stuff which is fairly well done in the first episode, but the second and third episodes where you have one guy that sticks a sizeable gun into the angels ass and proceeds to punish her with it. To say it ends violently is an understatement because all of the encounters end violently. Disturbingly violently.
It's a rare adult anime show that seems to want to make you depressed throughout it. In Summary:
While the character designs are attractive and some of the scenes throughout it are well done, overall this show is hard to figure out in what it really wants to be and what it wants to express. It's disturbing, needlessly violent and simply mean a lot of the time. With the first episode having no real plot and the plot of the rest of it being incoherent, the show simply washes over you as it plays out and you wonder just what it's all for, what their real intent was. I'd almost say this is some sort of art house hentai piece that's trying to be a social commentary but it fails so completely on so many levels that I just have no idea what it wanted to be. No enjoyment derived here, not even of a comical nature. This is simply depressing and disturbing.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
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.