Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: JapanAnime
- MSRP: 24.99
- Running time: 30
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Roommate
Roommate Vol. #2
By Chris Beveridge
January 07, 2007
Release Date: December 19, 2006
Roommate Vol. #2
What They Say
After the long debate over who will live in the outdoor shack, it was decided that Suguru would live with his new roommate inside the building instead. The main problem is that his new roommate, Ulala, is a major cutie, but she's not the only issue... All of the other girls living in the apartment have the hots for Suguru! This is every man's dream come true... isn't it?The Review!
Suguru's life doesn't get any easier in this installment but it certainly gets hard often.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. With this release having only one audio track, there isn't much of a choice. The mix for it is decent though as it handles the stereo tracks well and without any noticeable problems. Outside of the minor music throughout it, there isn't a lot of directional activity but the dialogue is solid and when the stereo channels are used to effect it sound good. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
Originally released in 2006, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer for this show is a bit of a mixed bag but some of it does appear to be artistic in choice. In general it has a decent look to it with plenty of clean clear colors and not that much softness to it. But when you look a bit closer, even on smaller monitors, there is a fair bit of visible blocking that's noticeable, particularly wit Suguru's hair in the various darker areas. There's a touch of cross coloration in a scene or two but beyond that the transfer looks good with mostly solid colors and no visible aliasing.Packaging:
Though not quite the same kind of strong appeal that the first volume had, this installment again highlights another extremely sexy looking adult piece of artwork. Unlike the first volume though there isn't a racier version available so no reverse cover is here. What we do get is a pair of the beauties from the show sporting some great looking lingerie while posing seductively for it. Though a bit big in the chest, they aren't monstrous and fall within the realm of reality. The design for the cover really highlights them since it does the white framing with a light solid color for the remainder of the background. The back cover has a number of shots from the show with a decent summary of the premise. The rest of it is a mixture of the Japanese production credits and the excellent technical grid along the bottom. JapanAnime's covers are almost always very clean and easy to read and simply have a great set of production values about them and this one is no exception.Menu:
The menu for the release uses the original character artwork from the front cover with the same kind of pinkish-orange background though it's more spackled in a sense. It looks really good with the combination of colors though a bit softer than the cover artwork is itself. The layout is standard but it uses a good font and mixture of whites and pinks to accent it. Navigation is easy and the player preset issue is a non-issue due to the lack of an English language dub. Similar to other JapanAnime releases, there's also a sex-only viewing feature to the release which can be found under the extras.Extras:
The gallery that we got on the previous volume is gone from this one but they do provide an iPod and PSP version of the show as well for those that want to have portable porn.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first installment of Roommate was a lot of fun for a couple of reasons and this one essentially carries through on it. With the lead character of Suguru essentially being one of the luckiest unlucky guys out there, he screwed up with his girlfriend and then found himself being cared for by a small bevy of beauties. Competition is stiff for who wins him in the end though some of the girls don't realize they're really competing.
The problem of a place to live is where this episode revolves around and the group gets a bit of a shake-up in this regards. Since everyone is so concerned with each other, Suguru can't move into the small place on his own nor can he let Ulala or one of the others live there, so it weirdly gets decided that he'll live with Ulala there and Ai will move in as well to keep an eye on everything. The reasons and motivations don't really matter much though since the whole idea is to have two competing women under one roof and for Suguru to feel the pressure. And boy does he feel it as Ulala is so earnestly innocent in her approach that it just inflames Ai to take it up several notches.
Ulala's innocence causes her to miss out on the action at the start though and that allows Ai to really make her move. Her aggressive nature gives her the real advantage even when Suguru is so focused on Ulala. His daydreams of her while she's in the show gives Ai the chance to really take advantage of his need for release. But Ai's not alone in wanting to take advantage of him and others do the same, such as on the job where the more traditionally dressed kimono type is able to give him the right kind of smile and touch.
Where this show works, at least for me, is in the basic context within which it's all set. The characters are all college aged or older, they're out on their own and they have jobs or at least other things to do. Though Suguru is enticed and tempted into situations, it's all consensual and fun
. There isn't a mean bone in any of the characters here other than lustful desire that needs to be sated. Though they're still in their "twixter" years, they have some responsibilities on them but they don't have the problem of teachers, fellow classmates or parents breathing down their neck. Nor are they causing problems. There's always something to be said for the non-consensual shows and I've certainly enjoyed a fair number of them, but the combination for this one in terms of setup is just very appealing. It's just good clean sticky fun.In Summary:
Roommate is about on par with JapanAnime's other titles for the most part. This episode in the franchise is a good follow-up of what happened in the previous one though it does lack some of the setup aspect that added to the first. Great looking character designs, nice locations and enjoyable sex scenes drive this one to be a solid winner for me. My only hope is that they do continue with more of them since I want to see more of this and the characters sexual exploits. It has a certain charm and innocence to it that doesn't quite feel school-aged. This is a good follow-up to a very enjoyable first episode and recommended if you liked that.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
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.