Ringetsu Vol. #3 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: JapanAnime
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ringetsu

Ringetsu Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     July 23, 2007
Release Date: July 17, 2007

Ringetsu Vol. #3
© JapanAnime

What They Say
Naoto has had sex with all four sisters, not in the name of love, but on a mission to impregnate one of them and prevent being disowned by his family. However, as the ceremony draws near, he realizes that what he has been doing is foolish and must correct his actions before he loses his new true love, forever

The Review!
As the window of opportunity shrinks for Naoto to do the deed, the women he's involved with all find very conflicting emotions surfacing within them.

JapanAnime has provided only one language track with this release and it's weaker than a lot of their usual offerings. While the first volume had given us just a 192 kbps stereo offering, this volume brings things back to where most JapanAnime titles are with a 1.5 mbps PCM mix. There isn't much in the way of ambient noise or music in general outside of a few areas so it's mostly just dialogue and screaming. The track is pretty flawless though as we didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released in 2006, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. Though fairly recent and with a good bitrate, this release suffers heavily from two problems. The first is that with all the blues and dark colors within it the color banding is very visible. So many scenes stand out because of it, even with flesh tones, that it's very intrusive. The second problem makes the first even worse in that there is a lot of blocking going on within the blue and black banding areas which has it looking alive and constantly moving. There is some general noise to these scenes but the blocking is far worse. Even from a distance of fifteen feet when watching it on a 50" set, the banding issues are just glaring. Beyond that the show looks good but these issues simply dominate it.

Similar in style to the first two releases but without the school backdrop, Ringetsu's third volume continues to look good. The designs look great with lots of detail and great colors as well as providing multiple designs that would appeal to most people. The back cover provides just one full color character shot of both Shino and Ayumi, fully clothed, but hints at more in obscured designs in the blue filtered background. The summary runs through the basics of the premise and rounds it out with some production information. The bottom strip is the usually solid technical grid though I wish they'd list the aspect ratio here as well as being upfront about the audio track included. No insert is provided nor is there a reversible cover.

The menu layout is somewhat standard for JapanAnime but it does it well by having some of the best seamless transitions out there. Using the image of the four sisters standing together against a moonlit exterior scene, there is some very good instrumental music that plays along that sets the tone just right. Access times are nice and fast and the navigation is quick and easy to use. In the extras section there is a useful setting that lets you watch just the sex scenes in the show. With only one language track here, our presets really didn't matter much.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The third and final volume of Ringetsu closes out the series well enough though not in quite so complete a manner as one would think based on the first volume. Within that first episode there was almost a sense that something supernatural was related to the one month deadline that Naoto had to find a bride and impregnate her. That doesn't factor into the episode much at all but there is a supernatural element included nonetheless.

The relationships that Naoto has had with all four sisters has been interesting enough but the one with Ayumi takes on a special twist. With her recent acquisition of a particular ring, it seems that she's able to let Suzune take control of her body. This has led to some awkward moments to be sure, particularly when Ayumi didn't understand what was going on and Naoto seemingly got into a rage with her during the sex scenes, but in the long run it's allowing Naoto to have a bit more time with her to make the break. For Ayumi this is even more awkward as she's seen Naoto fall to Shino's attempts at protecting her sisters and that's just confused her about Naoto's feelings. Naoto himself is obviously confused as he has feelings to one extent or another with all of them, but when confronted with Ayumi and Suzune together in the way that they are, he's forced to really understand himself and what's going on.

Not too surprisingly, the final episode is almost wall to wall sex outside of some transitional scenes to help ease things along. Shino and Naoto certainly make quite the pair and she's finding herself rather attracted to him now. Mizuna ends up with the short end of the stick for this episode but she makes up for it in the toys she gets to play with. This actually leads to a scene that needed much more time as she introduces her toys to Shino in a forceful manner. Shino could carry a show on her own with the way that this has gone, particularly if they include more scenes with Mizuna helping her realize what her body can really do.

One thing in particular that I really appreciated with this final episode was that it brought some closure for Yuiko and her husband. With him having such a sense of responsibility and guilt over Suzune's death, he hasn't been able to function as a proper husband for some time. This area is lightly explored during the episode and it was good to see that they included that aspect to give them what was needed. Yuiko made for some interesting material in the first episode but went into wallflower mode for awhile after that. All four sisters had to compete for screen time across this but I think Ayumi won out in the end.

JapanAnime has done something rather surprising with this volume in regards to its subtitles. Included are the two main languages, English and Spanish. For each of those however there are four variations. You can choose from white subtitles and yellow subtitles but also bolded subtitles for each color. These look different depending on the setup you're using and it's great to see such a thing included in the release considering how little space they really take up. In addition, the way that the subtitles seem to fade in and fade out instead of just blinking off and on worked out quite nicely. Now, if only they'd spend more time on fixing the spelling mistakes and missing words...

In Summary:
Ringetsu has been quite the entertaining series, one that really made me wish it was given more episodes in order to tell its tale. There is such a rush at times that it doesn't get to play out in a manner that would really make it far more interesting. What we do get here however is quite solid with great character designs and plenty of varied sex scenes. Combined with a good sense of set design and mild unobtrusive music, Ringetsu just hits everything right when it comes to the show itself. The only downside is that if you have a favorite of the sisters, she may not get as much time as you want her to. The best bet is to be interested in all the sisters and just enjoy the whole thing. Ringetsu is an easy recommendation, particularly for new fans to adult material looking to get into something a bit more than the light fluff but not the full on supernatural hardcore material.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Spanish Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI with upscaling set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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