Pure Mail - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 39.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Pure Mail

Pure Mail

By Chris Beveridge     December 11, 2002
Release Date: September 23, 2002


Pure Mail
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
In episode 1: "There is no need for relationships". Kei Ogata carried with him a trying, sad past. His only joy in life was chatting and mailing as a different person on the internet. One day he met a kind gentle girl on the net named Eve became friends with her. As time passed, they began sharing a strong bond of friendship. Then the other day, Kei began suspecting classmate Midori was Eve... In episode 2: The Summer Festival has past. Kei struggles with his own past, trying not to become the monster he hated so much. Midori worried about her best friend Miki look to A.W. for help. Little does she know, that the very A.W. was Kei and that he was Miki's problem. Will Kei be able to confess his love or will he forever be number two to his own alternate identity?

The Review!
Chat room romances and email love blossom into something darker here.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Though this is a fairly recent release, the show is a pretty basic stereo mix with most everything being center channel dominated. The only real exception is the music, but even that is pretty much just filling up the entire forward soundstage with no real directionality. But in the end, it's a decent sounding track with no dropouts or distortions.

Video:
It’s been a bit since we’ve seen a new Green Bunny show, so getting this rather recent show was a real treat. The transfer here, with an average of 8.5 megabits per second, is just gorgeous. Colors look rich and deep, cross coloration is relegated to about 2 seconds worth of screen time and aliasing is exceptionally minimal. There’s nothing I can really call a flaw here, this is a great transfer.

Packaging:
The two keepcases for Pure Mail in the box have some great looking covers, each one featuring the lead female character in various serious poses. The back covers show off some animation shots from each show and have a good summary of each episode. Features and technical information is nicely listed as well. The box set itself features the artwork from the second volume, which I think is my favorite piece, while the back does a summation of the three keepcase backings. As with all NuTech releases to date, there is no insert included.

Menu:
Thankfully these menus load up quicker than some recent NuTech releases, though we do get a nice in-theme menu again as we follow the light across a circuit board as it expands into the image of the girls from the show. The main menu features some animation and music playing in the background while some more solid pieces of artwork line around above it, with the selections off to the side. Load times are nice and fast and the layout is pretty standard stuff here.

Extras:
The usual minor extra shows up in this series with each disc featuring the same thing. The video gallery runs between one and two minutes with some nice clean shots and cel work

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Pure Mail was a title that intrigued me due to it’s influence from both email and chat applications, since that’s an area I’m familiar with, particularly with the meeting that special someone through that way. Of course, my experiences are nothing like this, and for that I’m rather thankful. Regardless, there are some rather good moments here outside of the one real rape sequence.

The story focuses around Kei Ogata, a quiet and introspective student who almost seems like he lives two lives. During the day, he’s your basic student, usually gloomy and nontalkative, but not a trouble maker or anything. At late at night, after waking up from nightmares about his parents in the past and the abuse he used to suffer, he logs onto a chat channel and talks with EVE while he uses the nick A,W. EVE has taken an affection to him since she first went online and helped her with a few things. As the two talked in private, they became closer and more interested in each other. But EVE kept talking a lot about her things during school, and Ogata eventually realizes that it’s a classmate of his named Midori. So he starts playing the game of seeing just who she really likes, as she starts expressing an interest in Ogata and telling A,W about it at night.

Ogata’s not entirely mentally fit, but I wouldn’t really go that far in saying that. He’s pretty much a regular confused kid, but is also suffering from the aforementioned parental issues, plus the fact he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Being a computer oriented person, he used his teachers account to log into the schools server to look around and learn more. The woman who manages the servers found this out and has used that information with the threat of making things up to bring him to her service. She’s started training him, albeit somewhat lightly, as a slave to her mistress act.

So when Midori finally asks him out to the school festival, and Midori finds out that her friend Miki actually really likes Ogata, she breaks the date. Miki insists on going with Ogata, so the two head to the festival. With all that’s rolling around in the poor boys head, he finally just snaps and forcefully takes Miki. From here, we start rolling with the repercussions of that, adding more secondary cast members and actually getting Midori and Ogata together. The two episodes for this series are pretty good, though I had hoped they’d avoid the entire rape aspect of it and find another way to deal with it, but that’s almost part and parcel with a lot of Green Bunny shows.

The character designs and animation, while definitely better than a lot of the hentai we’ve seen recently, aren’t terribly striking. Mistress Yumi in particular isn’t attractive at all, but Midori and Miki make up well for that. The animation is pretty much the top notch stuff I’ve come to expect from this production house lately as they’ve really mastered how to do this stuff under a budget. Pure Mail isn’t going to be for everyone, but when a show uses ascii smilies that blush perfectly, well, it’s going to speak to a certain geeky subset of fandom I’m sure.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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