Romance is in the Flash of the Sword II Box Set 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: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 74.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Romance is in the Flash of the Sword

Romance is in the Flash of the Sword II Box Set 1

By Chris Beveridge     July 30, 2004
Release Date: July 02, 2004


Romance is in the Flash of the Sword II Box Set 1
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
Contains DVDs 1-3 of Romance is in the Flash of the Sword 2!

Keith is an honorable thief, but also a descendant of the legendary Shadow Blade. Employed as a guide for a sultry seductress - he finds himself soon wrapped up in much more than he bargained for. A one-night stand turns into the resurrection ritual for a demon?! He's really got his work cut out for him...

The Review!
Episodic fantasy adventures with a thin plot hook make up the bulk of this show.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. The show has a very simple stereo mix with the bulk of dialogue being center channel based. Even the music didn't feel like it was making much use of the stereo channels. Directionality across the forward soundstage is pretty bare but it all sounded decent enough all things considered. We had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video back in 2001, the transfer for the first three episodes of the series is decent but has a few noticeable problems through the transfer. There's some noticeable cross coloration throughout the episodes, generally centering on characters hair and faces, but there's also some noticeable areas of chroma noise, usually in the reds, that's fairly distracting. Colors in general look good and don't exhibit much in the way of breakup or macroblocking.

Packaging:
Going with a nice design for all three keepcases, the center of each of them has a circle where a pair of characters are showcased for that particular episode. Around the circle it's a pink background with the series logo and episode titles. The back of the keepcases contain a string of pictures along the right and a heavy summary of the episode next to it. The usual production credits and basic features are listed below. And as is standard with NuTech releases, no inserts are made for their shows. Reading the summaries, you realize that you don't even need to watch the show to know how it goes as they basically outline everything, including when the sex scenes happen.

Menu:
Using the circle and artwork from each cover along the left side, the show plays some pink-filtered clips next to that in the background and below the menu selections. The layout is the standard NuTech design and looks decent if pretty common. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly with easy navigation.

Extras:
The only included extra on each volume is a series of stills from that particular episode in a video gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Helping to flesh out the underused fantasy setting in the hentai world these days, Romance is in the Flash of the Sword II, a series of six episodes released in two box sets, offers up the first three episodes in this set. The show has something of a lightly mixed science/fantasy setting where we get creatures out of the ordinary as well as some mechanical things such as steam powered cars. It's not a full on standard fantasy piece but it has most of the trappings thereof.

The series focuses around the adventurer Keith, a happy go-lucky kind of guy who just happens to be something of an honorable thief. He's got some great skills that are influenced by his heritage as the descendant of the master thief Shadow Blade, someone world renown for their skills. He's mostly on the up and up though and helps out where he can for a price but is easily distracted by the pretty girls. As the show opens, he ends up getting involved in a quest to find a piece of jewelry for the Lady Elfarcia. This falls into his general routine and he finds himself hired as a guide for a woman known as Vanessa who is secretly seeking to resurrect the Demon Dune, for which she needs some of Keith's fluid to use in the ritual, so she has her way with him. It all goes downhill from there as Keith realizes what's really going on.

What Keith tries to do in each episode is to find his way back to Lady Elfarcia to return the crystal that she had lost but he ends up getting caught up in other adventures along the way. For example, as he climbs the cliff to her residence, he falls from it and into a passing by wagon, which leads him away on a new quest where the lute the woman in the carriage had is stolen and he's determined to get it back. Even if it is a lute that when played by a master player like herself will cause people to fall asleep and die. It's silly little adventures like this that Keith ends up on in each episode that serve to introduce one or two new women for him to be involved with in some way, usually with a mild sex scene towards the beginning that may not involve him and then a full on scene for him at the end. Even the packaging describes it like that. "As the episode nears its end, Keith and Lyon make passionate love." Not really, there's no love there, he's just a dopey thief who luckily makes his way into things and then sleeps with he pretty women.

Romance in the Flash of the Sword feels like a very average show. The character designs are decent but you get the constant feeling of seeing them elsewhere, and better looking, before. The women all look good but there isn't too much detail to them. Some of them are more amusing as they seem to be wearing partial cosplay outfits, such as in the third episode with the bunny paws for hands and feet. The sex scenes aren't all that plentiful nor are they all that detailed. Some of them look like they were done as just outlines of something potentially more detailed but then just colored in and let to go. There's some good brief moments throughout it, but overall it just doesn't get all that exciting either the plot side of the show nor the sex side of the show.

In Summary:
This series must have been a really popular game to get six episodes made for it considering how mediocre it feels after watching the first half. While there's some minor technical issues, those don't compare to the blandness of the show or the generic nature of the designs. This may be something good for people new to hentai to get into as it has a bit of variety to it, but not enough to really appeal to someone who has seen a fair amount of material. It's not harmful; it's just suffering from mediocrity. And there's still more to it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung P341 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, 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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