Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 18 and Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Critical Mass Video
- MSRP: 24.99
- Running time: 65
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Stepmother's Sin
Stepmother's Sin Anime DVD Review
By Chris Beveridge
October 01, 2010
Release Date: August 03, 2010
© Critical Mass Video
Domination and control is the name of the game as Yusuke seduces his father's fiancee.
What They Say
Yusuke's been very naughty... He's seduced his father's fiancée, transforming her into a debased slave to his own twisted desires. But as his hold on her tightens, his sanity slips, and the forbidden family fun descends into a nightmare of lust! Trapped in madness of their own creation, they will pay the ultimate price for a stepmother's sin!
Stepmother's Sin retains the same audio mixes we saw on the original Anime 18 release with a pair of stereo tracks encoded at 192kbps. The two episodes here sport a solid stereo mix with a few moments of good directionality during the fight sequences. There isn’t a lot of directionality during dialogue scenes or sex scenes as is the norm. The show does a decent job with the music and the oppressive nature of the scenes, but overall it's a pretty straightforward hentai mix. Dialogue was nice and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2001, the transfer for this two episode OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The video encoding is identical to what Anime 18 released before as the disc is essentially the same thing. The transfer in general is decent but it suffers from what a lot of shows of this period deal with in that there's a fair bit of cross coloration throughout it. There's a lot of digital effects used in it to give it an odd sense of motion which has a bit of an unusual feel to it as well. The backgrounds generally hold up well but there's a fair bit of noise as well due to the number of dark sequences. While a remaster would help, I doubt this show would ever look fantastic.
Stepmother's Sin has an interesting cover to it in that it has Misako in her wedding gown, looking quite beautiful, as she has a very sad look to her face. While she is filled with white and soft colors, especially the yellow from the logo over her legs, there's a strong edge of darkness to the background as a black shadowy figure wraps his arms around her with his hands groping her. There's also an interesting bit of yellow lighting to the background which gives it an unusual feeling as well. The back cover has an interesting piece of artwork of Misako close-up with her large breasts making up about half of it, which are amusingly covered in something. There's a nice strip of shots from the show along the top while the bottom has a decent summary of the premise and a breakdown of the extras. The font for part of it is fun as it gives it a wedding feel. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu is pretty good as it has a curtain behind which an English language clip from the show is playing. The curtain is pulled back at certain points in the dialogue to give you a peek at the action. It's an interesting reminder of how even the basic hentai releases would have some fairly well thought out menus compared to the basic menus we get from most mainstream releases today. In the end, the menus are straightforward in that they allow you to get setup and into the action. Not surprisingly, the discs didn't read out player's language presets as it defaulted to English with no subtitles,.
The basic extras are here in that we get an image gallery containing shots from the show as well as some shots that were not present in the show. There was also a design sketch gallery for the characters and some of the settings. One of the fun extras included here is the storyboard section which lets you work with four scenes to see how it went from the storyboards to the final animation. .
Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There are a lot of interesting genres when it comes to hentai shows and every now and then you see one genre getting a lot of attention. One that got a lot of play back in the early part of the 2000's when it came to hentai licensing was shows about women who were either married or getting married that were succumbing to their future stepson. They tend to go pretty dark, though some of them are playfully fun, but that's not what we get with Stepmother's Sin. What we get here is a show that plays with a whole lot of control as the son makes sure to have his way with his new mother.
This show focuses on Yusuke, a young man who wants to completely control his future stepmother after he sees her having sex with a man other than his father. This event in the past has him making plans for the future that has now arrived and it's easy to put it into place because his father has had a reassignment to a faraway office, leaving the two of them alone with his stepsister. Yusuke plays her pretty well when it comes to setting up the way he intends to dominate her through force of will and personality as he finds small ways to get into her head, including a bathing sequence where she gets pressured into everything but insists that it will be the only time just so she can get out of this very awkward situation.
Interestingly, the relationship goes pretty well and as Yusuke pushes himself more onto her, and into her, she becomes more drawn to him as well. Though there's definitely a dominant and submissive thing going on but it's not all based on what you would consider cruel or disturbing as it gets deeper into things. Granted, it all started based off of Yusuke's intentions because of what she did with another man and his plan to get revenge, but there's this other element that does slowly make its way into it.
Naturally, it can't be just these two since there has to be more tension to everything. That tension comes in the form of Misako's daughter Shiin. Shiina's a rather pretty girl and she's definitely got an interesting in her stepbrother Yusuke. Yusuke's definitely aware of this and takes advantage of it when he takes advantage of her right in front of Misako. It's a bad enough situation in general, but for Misako it's even more disturbing because she ends up getting turned on by the whole situation and wants Yusuke even more. As the spiral continues, there are some emotional issues that come from it which doesn't exactly make all of what happened forgivable, but it goes some distance towards providing a reason for the actions by those involved, and it's something that gets explored a bit for Yusuke as he comes to some self realizations.
What hurts this show the most is the quality of the production itself. The show has a rather basic look to it with a lot of panning sequences and stills and it overuses digital effects to give it additional motion in various scenes. There's some really bad dark CG moments as well when the various couplings occur that's really bothersome. It's pretty amateurish even for 2001 when it was made. The character designs themselves are pretty good but there's a really basic budge level of the animation itself that kind of brings the whole production down, especially when combined with the video issues.
Stepmother's Sin is a show that plays surprisingly well when it comes to the psychological layer of the show. There's a lot going on under the surface that does come up eventually, but the production values of the series brings that down a fair bit. The sex scenes are decent at best because of this and they manage to keep some of the minor scat material to a minimum overall. It's a show that delves into the domination and submissive sides with a minimum amount of words overall, but an approach that works with how Yusuke goes about gaining both stepmother and stepsister. Stepmother's Sin is a show I wanted to like more than I did because of the animation quality but in the end have a hard time really enjoying as much as I would if it was better animated.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Art Gallery, Storyboards, Character Sketches
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.