School of Masochists - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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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: JapanAnime
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 80
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: School of Masochists

School of Masochists

By Chris Beveridge     August 18, 2005
Release Date: July 26, 2005


School of Masochists
© JapanAnime


What They Say
Keisuke Shimizu was once just like any ordinary boy attending college, until one day... everything changed... now he is a sex maniac on the loose - preying on innocent girls for his lust and desire. Students, teachers... it doesn't matter... but what could have made him lose control so terribly?

The Review!
The life of students is much harder these days than they used to be and a series like this really bears that out.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This is also the only language here as the English language dub that was available via the singles release is not present. This is a pretty straightforward stereo mix with nothing going to the rear channels and only some minor directionality across the forward soundstage. Dialogue is nice and clear and we noticed no dropouts or distortions on either track

Video:
Originally released as single episodes from 2002 to 2004, the transfer for this edition is presented in its full frame aspect ratio. The materials essentially look just as good as the single episode ones that we'd seen previously and is essentially a good near flawless looking release. Colors are strong and vibrant, aliasing and cross coloration is virtually non-existent and there's hardly any real noticeable blocking going on. As it is a perfect edition, the openings and endings are excised from certain parts of episodes to create a movie length feel.

Packaging:
Using different artwork from the singles release, this one provides an attractive bondage style shot of one of the lead girls while the other is visible in the background completely exposed but using a red filter to accentuate it nicely. The artwork is just very attractive and the colors look great in combination with the design. The back cover provides several shots from the show and plenty of nudity and bondage action. The summary is fairly short but well done while the bottom quater is a much cleaned up and nicely laid out technical section and production information piece. No insert is included with this release.

Menu:
The main menu is a decent piece that has the lead character in another bondage pose while animation from the show plays behind layered images in the background set to some of the shows instrumental music. Menus load nice and quick and access times are fast. The layout is the standard format for NuTech releases.

Extras:
The only extra included here is a video gallery that shows various stills from the show to music.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This is something of a rarity in what's happened and it's fairly amusing. This release is the 80 minute Perfect Edition release of three adult anime OVA's that was previously released in the US under the title School of Bondage by NuTech Entertainment. This edition essentially has all of the footage from there but has converted it into a movie-length format by excising the extra opening and ending sequences and adjusting the title to include the fun phrase "Perfect Edition". The downside is that since it's by another company, the dub that was previously produced isn't here and JapanAnime hasn't decided to dub their works yet – something that holds them back in my opinion from reaching a wider audience.

As a bondage series, it wasn't exactly something that I was all that keen on seeing but as noted during the original release, it turned out better than I thought and I fairly well enjoyed it. This re-viewing of it in Perfect Edition form essentially came across the same way and our opinion on it hasn't changed since it's been just over a year since we saw the last individual volume.

The show focuses around class president Orie, a raven haired young woman who does her best in the position and tries to get the other students to do what’s required and keep the teachers happy. Her main problem these days comes in the form of Keisuke, an altogether not pleasant looking young man who has a serious chip on his soldier. He’s dealing with his parents marriage falling apart, mostly due to both of them continually cheating on each other. His method of dealing with it manifests in non-standard ways. The simplest one is that while he comes to school, he avoids classes altogether, which sets Orie against him.

Orie manages to get one of the teachers, Miss Izumi, to take him aside to deal with him some. Unfortunately, she’s the worst choice possible as Keisuke has her under his control having had a vibrator strap-on stuck in her for the past five days now. His dark side really comes out as he abuses her in ways she loves in one of the empty classrooms.

But for Orie, she can’t let things lie and goes after him again later in the day after he continues to skip classes. He uses his ways to push her into a bet where she’d be his sex slave for three months to prove that love is stronger than just sex, something she agrees to under duress. With that, she becomes the target of his attention and he basically takes it down the paths expected, but not without causing problems by getting Miss Izumi jealous, something that’s bound to come back and haunt him.

After having his way with Orie at school and setting the beginning of his mental domination of her, he’s set to take her home on the train. This brings about one of the long standing perversions that come from Japan with the men groping women during the train ride and the women usually accepting it. While that’s continually changing and being cracked down upon in real life, Keisuke gets away with it quite well here and has his hands all under her skirt as the train races along. The moment gets worse though when Korin shows up and starts talking them up. Keisuke doesn’t stop though and Orie ends up with a very red face that she tries to explain away with a fever.

Keisuke takes advantage of this though and takes her to his house at the next stop, with Korin sneaking behind them to see just how lucky her friend is going to get. But her sneaking leads her down a darker path we don’t see until the end of the episode. Inside Keisuke’s house, we learn what makes him tick as we see what his mother enjoys. Showing Orie through a crack of the doorway into the darkness, she’s in there with a half dozen men who are all doing whatever they want to her and she’s just lapping it all up. Orie can’t believe what she’s seeing, but it doesn’t matter for long as Keisuke goes right into his “all women are bitches” mode and begins to go right at her with a vibrating egg and some fun with fingers.

All of this continues to overwhelm Orie, who we later see at home by herself in bed but unable to stop playing with herself. Though she hates what Keisuke is doing, something inside of her is enjoying every moment of it and pushing her mental defenses further and further down. While all of this is going on, we see Keisuke dealing with his other pet, Miss Izumi. As he’s become rather enticed with his new plaything, he’s decided to push her aside and focus solely on Orie for now. This goes over like a lead balloon for Izumi, and through her anger we see some of her past, from where she was dominated in college by her professor and to when she first met Keisuke and found herself wanting him nearly on the spot. All of this leads to an eventual confrontation when Izumi decides to take matters into her own hands.

When Keisuke arrives in the science lab where he's found Remi to be holding his precious Orie, he's surprised to find just how far Remi has gone with her attempts to win him back. His expressions change frequently while he takes all of this in, but it's his realization of just how cool it is that Remi did what she did that he takes her back as his pet and proceeds to "dig in" to Orie with both Korin and Remi getting into. Orie is taken over and over so many times and so completely that she's broken just as badly, if not worse, than Korin is. It only continues to spiral downward as it goes on and Keisuke uses his position and family influence over the principle and other teachers, leading him to a new position of power within the school over time.

This last episode manages to hold up well for the most part with the animation, but some of the visual tricks used to push the collapse of Orie's mind don't really work all that well since they were minimally done and just made the character artwork look bad. There's a bit more repetition of animation here as well as the combination mode of repetition while zooming in and out of different areas to help drag things out a bit more, but since the sex scenes overall are pretty decent if nasty, it's not too bad of a thing. The plot itself is once more just a small paper thin trapping to allow the lead character to do things to the girls that he couldn't do otherwise, or do through some more traditional stories. Keisuke continues to be a very unlikable character and, depending on your nature, you only feel sorry for the younger girls here more than anything else.

In Summary:
School of Bondage had some neat moments in the first two volumes, including a moderately good spike upwards in the second volume, but the third volume's payoff is entirely through more of the nasty stuff and more of the hardcore control bondage material that just doesn't appeal to me all that much. The designs are good and the animation manages well all things considered, so it balances out in the end. The show is definitely and obviously aimed at the bondage crowd, so if you have no interest in that you'll likely not care for this much. But if you want to try and expand your horizons, this one will do just that.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Slideshow

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, 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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