Mania Grade: D
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: C
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Central Park Media
- MSRP: 19.99
- Running time: 45
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Tales of Seduction by U-Jin
Tales of Seduction by U-Jin
By Chris Beveridge
January 28, 2004
Release Date: January 13, 2004
Tales of Seduction by U-Jin
What They Say
© Central Park Media
From the creator of Vixens. In a city ruled by corruption, the world's most powerful men can have anything they want. All the rules are broken in this triad of tantalizing tales! The Review!
Originally released as U-Jin brand back in the 90’s on both VHS and LD, the title has resurfaced as Tales of Seduction, bringing the strange style of U-Jin to a new generation.Audio:
While it’s not hentai, it’s close to it so we stuck to the Japanese language track for our primary viewing session. The show has a very basic stereo mix that’s essentially mono. There’s nothing noticeable in terms of real directionality here, but the track is clean and clear and sounded good. Dialogue had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback on either track.Video:
Originally released in 1991, the transfer here is decent but showing some of its age. There’s a fair bit of noticeable grain in a number of areas, notably outdoor scenes and places with large bands of the same color. The colors are typical of the time with a mix of real world dull colors and some nice looking brighter ones, such as hair color and such. There’s some cross coloration throughout and a bit of aliasing, but neither are big showstoppers in general. While this doesn’t shine like other shows of today, it looks good set against what came out in its original release timeframe.Packaging:
The cover provides a really good-looking image that’s trademark U-Jin with her holding her pillow in a very loose nightie outfit. The cover won’t tell you much about the show other than it definitely fits the seduction title above it. The back cover has another shot of artwork and a brief summary that gives a bit more indication as to what the story may have in store. The discs features and extras are clearly listed and easy to find. The reverse side of the cover has a black and white piece of artwork of two of the characters engaged in sex while around them you have the chapter stops, English only credits and the production credits for both sides of the release. Menu:
The menu is a bit of a mixed piece with animation from all three shorts mixed in around some artsy shapes. The center piece is a static image of one of the girls blushing and stretching, while on either side some animation plays from one of the episodes while below her part of a cityscape is passed over, all set to some of the upbeat instrumental music from the show. Access times are nice and fast here and the menus load quickly and without problem.Extras:
The only extra included here is a brief thirty-two second video gallery of the small number of pieces of artwork that CPM received with this title oh so many years ago.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It’s been nearly ten years since I last saw this show on Laserdisc, and at the time since the majority of hentai out there was tentacle related material, U-Jin was something different even though it didn’t get classified as real hentai. It’s mostly just softcore material where the most you see are the women’s breasts, though the characters do engage in sex. What U-Jin likes to do with his stories, or more specifically do to his characters, is really mess them up in some way.
Take for example the first story. We’re introduced to a songwriter named Kazama who has had a long time love that he holds dear from his childhood days. From this and from his window in his apartment, he watches the girls from a nearby school practice. One of the girls he has a true deep love for, a platonic love though, for a girl named Akiyo. While he thinks of her, he writes his songs and has the managers of upcoming idols send those idols to meet him before giving them their songs. He’s quick and to the point when they arrived and have them strip and sleep with him right away. Unless one of them is an enkai singer though…
He believes his life is going to change though when he’s invited on a show where he’s brought into contact with a love of his life from his past. Figuring that it’s got to be the same girl he’s been in love with all this time, he’s all for it. The game show is actually kind of cruel in that after he hears from them, he has to pick which one it is out of a large group that is the actual woman who loves him. This is one of those moments where U-Jin messes with the characters and tells them that their fantasies of the past aren’t always the realities of today.
One of the really surprising things I got from this show when it first came out was in the next story, where we’re introduced to the wealthy president of a company named Toyama. By day, he runs his company with his trusty assistant who won’t go to bed with him, but by night and by request or payment he takes on the role of Toyama the Benbei, a man who will rape women who deserve it. He’s given an assignment here, where a jilted female lover wants her former boyfriend to realize that he’s being played. The girl he left her for plays up the role of being a virgin and quite innocent, but his former knows better. So with the help of the assistant, she hires Toyama to take her out and have his way with her, thereby revealing the reality to her boyfriend and breaking them up.
Toyama is brought in again when one of the executives daughters is sleeping with someone who works with him and he can’t stand to know what’s going on, so he has Toyama try to resolve things since he’ll have to quite otherwise, and Toyama can’t afford to lose him. So he has his way with the daughter after he learns who both of them are trying to get her lover taken out of the picture. Add in some strangeness about some Russians and the usual wackiness of Toyama with his cherry blossom covered shoulder.
Tales of Seduction for some reason just hasn’t struck me anywhere near as humorous or interesting as it did when I first saw, partially because back then this was all new territory as little like it had ever been released before. With it being thirteen years old now, it’s lost some of its luster to be sure. One of the things that does work in its favor though is listening to the English track, which is much looser than normal but manages to work very well here while avoiding being dated by certain phrases of the day. There’s some added comedy here that works with the performances, particularly with Toyama.In Summary:
With its short running time and mediocre story, there isn’t a lot to recommend here unless you’ve got nostalgia going for you or you simply must have all things U-Jin. That was my mindset up until I actually saw it again, and I almost feel like I would have been better off with my vague memories of the show and appreciation for something I remember being more interesting than this. With so many shows today being hardcore, I’m not sure just how well something as softcore as this would go over, never mind the entire benbei aspect of the program.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.