Mania Grade: C-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: C+
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Adult Source Media
- MSRP: 14.95
- Running time: 30
- 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 Vol. #1
By Chris Beveridge
December 10, 2006
Release Date: August 15, 2006
Romance is in the Flash of the Sword Vol. #1
What They Say
© Adult Source Media
Romance is what human encounters produce... And, sometimes, it impales one's heart the way a flash of a sword can...
The times are hard in these lands. Our group of blade swingers and demon catchers battle against evil, trying to stop the resurrection of a horrible demon. Little do they know all she needs is Keith's sacred fluid.
Jannette, the female mercenary who came to help Keith, is kidnapped by bandits and is taken to their stronghold. They repeatedly have there way with her. Will Keith arrive in time to rescue her before the chief of the bandits succeeds in penetrating her?
With the sexual stimulant applied, her desire is too strong, and she can't help but beg Keith to provide what her body demands.
Will Keith succeed in satisfying her sexual desires?The Review!Please Note
: Content-specific portions of this review are also published in our DVD review of this series as originally released by NuTech Digital.
Revisiting the fantasy genre in an episodic fashion, Romance is in the Flash of the Sword II provides plenty of paper thin plots and barely average sex scenes.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 in 2001, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame aspect ration. The transfer for this series is decent but has a few noticeable problems throughout. There's some noticeable cross coloration throughout the episode, 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:
The cover art for this release utilizes some decent material from the show with one of the women being taken care of by the other women against her will while there's a mild fantasy element background to it. The logo font is a bit awkward to read which doesn't help an already awkward sounding title. Similar to other releases in the AnimErotica line-up, that label is across the top. The back cover has the label across the top as well while below it is a decent summary of the episode and a number of pictures with nudity from the episode. The bottom portion is the standard design for Adult Source Media covers with the technical information and disc features laid out in a fairly easy to read manner. The cover is reversible with a completely different front cover that doesn't feature anything sexual as it has a large cast shot while the back cover is laid out the same but doesn't feature any shots of nudity.Menu:
The menu design is simple but effective as it has clips from the show playing in a red filtered background that take up the entire screen. Overlaid on that is a circle that has some good character artwork from the promotional materials while the navigation strip is along the right side. Add in a bit of upbeat instrumental music from the show and you have a decent menu. Similar to other ASM releases, it's very easy to navigate and they have some good access times to them. The disc also correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly which is always a plus.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)
The re-release of this title via the AnimErotica label from Adult Source Media takes the work that NuTech did and builds upon it a bit. Coming out at a cheaper price " one that I wish more single episode adult releases would " with some new cover artwork, it also gets a slight bump up by including French and German subtitles. The original language tracks and translations look to be here as well.
Helping to flesh out the underused fantasy setting in the hentai world these days, Romance is in the Flash of the Sword II is a six episode OVA series. 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 are some good brief moments throughout it, but overall it just doesn't get all that exciting. Neither the plot side of the show nor the sex side of the show really works well.In Summary:
This new release of the title is definitely a good thing for those who have never bought before. A fuller set of translation options, some better artwork and a cheaper price make it all very appealing. It won't interest those who own it already though for the most part. This series must have been a really popular game to get six episodes made for it considering how mediocre it feels. 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.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Photo Gallery
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.