Princess 69: Midnight Gymnastics Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • 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: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Princess 69

Princess 69: Midnight Gymnastics Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     November 22, 2006
Release Date: October 31, 2006


Princess 69: Midnight Gymnastics Vol. #1
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Fubuki has been searching for his missing stepsister, Miku Haneoka. Looking for help, he finds none other than beautiful Tomomi, who explains the evils of the school gymnastics team and what they do in the gym after school. To infiltrate the team, Fubuki becomes a coach and meets with the team's captain, the tough Koyuki Fujimiya. But he has yet to witness the depravity of the gymnastics team and their constant orgies.

The Review!
Tomomi's plans for her midnight gymnastics continues but things take a bit of a turn when Fubuki arrives on campus.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a standard stereo mix that's mostly center channel based for dialogue. There isn't a whole lot of noticeable directionality across the forward soundstage but when the really good musical score kicks in it comes across well using both channels. Both language tracks sounded good during regular playback and we had no trouble with dropouts or other distortions.

Video:
Originally released in 2004, this two OVA episode release is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Other than a general softness to the print which may be intentional, these episodes look fantastic and have a lot of really fluid sequences. There's a richness and warmth to the color palette used, between the greens and the pinks, which give this show an interesting feel. The show is free from cross coloration but does have some noticeable aliasing in a few scenes. Beyond that and the general soft feeling, this is a really good looking show.

Packaging:
The front cover does a nice play on the mirrors you find in locations like this as it shows Koyuki doing a movement so you can see her face but the mirror lets you see her backside as well. Similar to previous covers, we get a good look at the uniform and a push of both innocence and sensuality that works well. The back cover provides a couple of screenshots from the show and a decent short summary of the shows premise. The usual round of production information is near the bottom along with the always useful technical grid. No insert is included with this release nor is the cover reversible.

Menu:
The menu layout uses the style of the front cover and keeps it in static form while adding the selections along the left with a little bit of rearrangement. The artwork is a bit softer and lighter than the cover though but it still looks pretty good as some of the instrumental music plays along. Access times are nice and fast and navigation easy to do. The disc however did not read our player presets and played with just English language and no sign/song subtitles.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Princess 69 series has been on that has had its ups and downs. The first installment of it was pretty fun and enjoyable though one that certainly wouldn't appeal across the board. The second volume was an entirely different matter as it came out during a time when the scatological oriented shows were making some headway in the market and it was used here. To very disturbing and sickening results. But now it's been two years since that last release here and two more episodes have finally surfaced.

The storyline for this two parter still has Tomomi running very hot as she intends to have everything her way for the dark gymnastics that she's trying to promote. The difference this time is that Miku's younger step-brother has come to the school in search of her so that he can help her. Miku is in a weakened state from what she's been through in the first four episodes and basically under Tomomi's control. Tomomi has it in her head that she can use Fubuki to her advantage and after having Miku take care of her step-brother, Fubuki now finds himself in a very precarious position.

Doing as Tomomi instructs, he takes on the role of a teammate with the girls gymnastics team but he himself has to wear a uniform and pretend that he's a girl so he can stay at the school. This leads to Fubuki ending up in all sorts of bad situations that cause him to get involved with the girls. There's even an amusing scene where along with another girl, the two are accosted by some street punks who discover Fubuki's secret and really let him have it with the abuse. Fubuki finds himself spending a lot of time with Koyuki as he gets into the swing of things with the team and the two of them eventually start to get really close as they work towards the goal of mastering midnight gymnastics.

This set of episodes is something of a mixture of the good and bad from the first two releases in the series. The good is that the designs are still solid, the animation decent and they have a bit of fun with the entire concept of dark gymnastics. The downside is that the sex continues to have a violent or degrading edge to it and there's at least one scene of truly awful scatological material. I remember when seeing that for the first time two years ago that it was like high projectile pooping and that was something I could do without seeing again. It unfortunately makes an appearance here and just undermines any level of enjoyment with the show. There are a couple of subsets of adult material that I just can't enjoy and this one is one of them.

In Summary:
The latest installment in the Princess 69 franchise is a mix of what made the first four episodes good and bad. When it's good, it's decidedly enjoyable since it plays a bit on the dark side and uses an area of school life not often touched upon. When it's bad, it gets down and dirty in an area of sexual fetishes that a lot of people just don't find appealing. Thankfully, this kind of material has really slowed down in the last couple of years from when it was far more prevalent and that's a good thing in general. Overall this was a decent volume but the darker side towards the end made me not want to look forward to seeing more, much like the second volume of the first series did.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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