Shusaku the Letch: Replay - 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: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Shusaku

Shusaku the Letch: Replay

By Chris Beveridge     February 25, 2008
Release Date: February 18, 2008


Shusaku the Letch: Replay
© Kitty Media


What They Say
Masquerading as the dorm's manager, the lunatic letch Shusaku has devious plans for its female inhabitants. One by one, he enslaves the innocent females in order to assault them with all manner of sexual humiliation. And when the girls try to turn the tables, Shusaku only makes it worse for them. Blurring the line between agony and ecstasy, Shusaku will teach these girls a lesson they'll never forget!

The Review!
Returning to the scene once again and changing things up slightly, Replay lets Kato discover his true calling in life.

Audio:
Retaining its original Japanese track as well as the original English language dub that was done, both tracks are presented in their original stereo form at 192kbps. Being as old as they are now and the kind of material it is, it's little surprise that they're pretty basic stereo pieces that are more center channel based than anything else. With it being dialogue and vocal driven outside of a few musical cues here and there, it serves the material well enough without getting the way or standing out. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2000, the transfer for this four part OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. When these were originally released by NuTech Entertainment, it was one episode per volume with a decent bitrate to it but there were still issues with it. Those issues are still here though they feel less pronounced due to the changes in hardware and setups since then. The cross coloration issue in the source material is reduced greatly from that original release and isn't much of a problem at all here. Colors in general look good with some very nice vibrant scenes here and there and a solid looking experience in general with only some mild noise in a few backgrounds. The upgrade to having all four episodes on one disc alone is worthwhile.

Packaging:
While the original release was a four disc set in a flimsy box, Kitty does it up right here with another dark and evil looking cover with lots of black. Kato makes another appearance in the background with his design fairly well obscured as he watches over a pair of the girls, fully clothed, writing in pleasure and agony. The designs look much more up to date than they do in the show which certainly helps to sell it. The back cover continues to use a heavy amount of black for shadows which works well as the character artwork is bright and clean. One large character shot offsets the text and there are a few revealing pictures through the center as well. The summary covers the basics without much flourish and the remainder is given over to the production and technical information. This is a rare case where orange text actually works for a release. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu design for the release is pretty straightforward as it features the artwork from the cover of the women but zoomed in a bit and with more visible detail and color vibrancy. With a light bit of music to it that works well to set the ominous mood, the menu works well in covering what it needs to do while not showing anything really naughty. The menu navigation is simple and I like the addition of the play the movie now feature in the language selection section. With nothing else on the disc besides the show and a few trailers, it's easy to move around and is problem free. Access times are nice and fast but the disc defaulted to English language with sign/song subtitles.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After revisiting the Shusaku series as one of Kitty's adult license rescues from NuTech Entertainment, it was inevitable that we'd see the Replay sequel. The Shusaku family of OVAs has made itself quite a home within the Kitty label and I really wish they'd release some sort of mammoth collection of all the related shows and give it something of a "platinum porn edition" labeling just so that it'd be easy to get it all in one place. So much debauchery really needs to be highlighted.

Replay is an interesting sequel in that it feels like we're seeing the same thing again but with various differences along the way. Unlike the original Shusaku OVA, Replay dispenses with much in the way of taking time to get familiar with the setting and characters. It's assumed that you're familiar with it all after the original OVA and you know the gist of it. Replay takes us down the same path, but like the game that it was spawned from, there are differences in how it's all approached. Characters interact differently with each other, some succumb faster this time around and others discover a much more interesting relationship to have. Kato's manipulations are more blatant this time around as his video recordings are all over the place and everyone accedes to his whims quicker. Kato sort of jumps the shark a bit though by taking it much further which helps to destroy the illusion of this actually being possible within a girls school dormitory.

The story centers ostensibly around Eri as she and the other girls fall subject to Kato's desires. Kato's placement of video cameras around the building has netted him numerous dirty things that the girls are all embarrassed about and will do anything to get back. They foolishly believe that Kato will give them back once they give in to him, not realizing that to give in once means he essentially owns you after that. Kato's domination and subjugation of the girls as he turns them into his willing slaves is something that he does himself as well as using the other girls to accomplish. One by one, and sometimes in groups, he goes through bringing them under his control while Eri tries to figure out how to stop him. Her story is fairly minimal though as she gets sidetracked by the single teacher in the series who isn't exactly on the students side.

Shusaku Replay keeps pretty much to what was seen in the original which means lots of non consensual sex throughout it. That's sort of not true in a way since the women are all dominated and the end up doing it consensually as it progresses, but there's a fine line to walk when talking about it in general. The women all service Kato throughout the episodes but they also work each other over as directed. The sex ranges from basic stuff to rougher material as some of the girls are taken forcibly. Throw in some leashes, enemas, lots of girl on girl moments, urination and group sex and you have quite a lot of variety to it. The advantage the show has is that the character designs are pretty solid throughout and there's plenty to please most people if you can get past the entire domination aspect of it. Kato is the main weak point though as he's one ugly guy and you really don't want to see him. His skin color alone gives me the creeps, never mind that decidedly evil toothy smile he brings out on occasion.

In Summary:
Kitty's done fans right by releasing Shusaku Replay in this form as it's a huge change over the previous NuTech Entertainment edition. The space savings along make it worthwhile and they've carried over the original pornstar dub as well. Having the entire series on one disc without swapping them out gives the show a much better flow and the improved video quality over the original release some eight years ago is another big benefit. Shusaku Replay still isn't much to my own tastes, but the release here is quite well done and should definitely please older fans who want to upgrade their copy while also possibly drawing in newer fans as well.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

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

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