Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: D+
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 30
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Renzu
July 31, 2003
Release Date: December 11, 2002
After saving his childhood friend Asuka from being hit by a car, Tohru could no longer play soccer. Now, he spends his days looking through a camera lens; the distance it places between him and Asuka is the only way he can feel close to her. Asuka still cares for Tohru, but does Tohru share those feelings? With a running time of twenty-eight minutes, you will find that this is a brief title, brief in length and in sexual content.Audio:
For my primary viewing session, I listened to the Japanese audio; it is a simple stereo mix with the focus on the center channel due to the nature of the content. The English track was given a spot-check; as expected, the voices were decent though the dialogue was a bit stilted. Both tracks did not have any noticeable problems.Video:
This title received a great transfer; colors are bright, and there are no noticeable defects. Subtitles were yellow and were appropriately sized to be readable without detracting from the action, but there were some obvious grammatical errors in a few of the subtitles. The animation itself is decent though it does slip into the realm of PC game graphics at times. Overall, the show looks good.Packaging:
Asuka stands in front of her window partially undressed from her school uniform. It is a simple image that fits the theme of the show. The title is below her as is the "Totally Uncensored" bar; the standard NuTech warning bar is at the top.
Keeping with the simplistic approach, the back cover contains the requisite synopsis surrounded by screenshots. The warning bar is present at the top while the NuTech URL is at the bottom. A listing of the staff and a listing of the DVD features round out the back cover. There was no insert inside the case.Menu:
When the main menu loads up, a piece of background music plays while a brief clip plays in the lens of a camera. The sub-menus follow the same pattern; it is a fitting design for the show. However, the music itself seems an odd choice given the actual content of the show. It is a techno/metal piece that just did not fit; despite this minor quibble, the menus do a great job getting you setup with minimal transition time between menus.Extras:
The only real extra is a slideshow of images while more music plays in the background. Other than that, you have a screen that tells you about NuTech's web site.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tohru is a budding young soccer star on his way to the championship game. However, fate has other plans in store for him. While walking home from a game with his childhood friend Asuka, he pushes her out of the way of a speeding car. His leg requires surgery and his will to play soccer is gone.
Tohru spends his days looking through a camera lens; it seems to be the only way he can feel close to Asuka anymore. Asuka still cares for him and walks him to cram school one day. At cram school, his voluptuous teacher Miss Saki confiscates his camera. When he goes to retrieve his camera from her office, he overhears a heated telephone conversation Saki is having. She states that men are pigs, and Tohru proves her right by asking her if she wants to pose nude for him. Her response is a sharp slap to the face.
While trying to collect his thoughts on the school roof, Asuka runs into him and tries to give him a lunch. Tohru responds with anger and tells her that childhood friends are supposed to grow apart. Asuka tells him that she would like him no matter what happened. Tohru responds by trying to force himself on her, but she resists and pushes him down. Glancing at the discarded lunch, Tohru picks it up and comments that Asuka forgot to include chopsticks again.
He goes off chick hunting with his friend but ends up on the roadside instead. As he watches life through the lens, a busty young girl named Mao interrupts him and takes him home with her. After a brief sexual interlude in the bathtub, Mao tells Tohru to wait a few minutes before coming upstairs; she has a surprise she wants to show him.
And quite a surprise it is; Miss Saki is engaging in a bit of bondage with Mao. Apparently, Miss Saki enjoys inflicting a bit of pain on her lover. Tohru walks home amazed that Miss Saki has that sort of side to her; he also realizes that he has a side to himself as well, one that wants to hurt his treasured possession because it is his treasured possession.
Having come to this realization, the plot gods demand that he run into Asuka at this point of the story; they return to his place and make love while Tohru takes pictures. They wake up the next day no longer childhood friends but as young lovers.
There is not much to say about this title; the bulk of the twenty-eight minutes is spent setting up the predictable ending. The actual sex scenes are brief but well done, and the bondage sequence is fairly tame material. It feels like the writer did not have a decent enough story to make a mainstream title, so he threw in some sex scenes to try to sell it as a hentai story.
If they lengthened the story a bit more, it might have found the right balance between plot development and sex. As it stands, the scales are tipped more towards the story, which probably will not appeal to most hentai viewers. It is worth renting once but probably will not find a permanent place on your shelf.
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable.