Tournament of the Gods: Title Match - 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: SoftCel Pictures
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Tournament of the Gods

Tournament of the Gods: Title Match

By Chris Beveridge     September 03, 2003
Release Date: August 26, 2003


Tournament of the Gods: Title Match
© SoftCel Pictures


What They Say
In a far away land, in a far away time, the greatest fighters of the land meet to do battle. Accompanied by a beautiful female partner, they test their might in the gladiatorial arena. To the victor go the spoils, including the partner of the vanquished!

But when Sid enters the tournament, he discovers the evil hidden at its heart. Shortly after he is crowned Champion, the lethally lovely Aquross infects him with a hideous disease that requires him to steal the life force of Angels or be in constant unbearable pain.

The only relief lies in an insidious drug that kills the pain, but causes sexual urges that cannot be denied. Now, in between bouts of unimaginable agony and savagely intense sex, Sid must defeat the evil Aquross and end the Tournament of the Gods forever!

Contains all 3 episodes Completely UNCUT!

The Review!
A fantasy oriented hentai title that brings tournament fighting to an interesting area as well as introducing something called an Angel Eater. That�s in addition to some sort of Elf like hot sex.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese, which is also the only language available on this disc. The track is a decent stereo mix that�s mostly center channel based for dialogue and stereo for action sequences and the music. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released to video back in 1997, the series is interesting right off the bat as it�s done in widescreen. The transfer itself holds up quite well with only some cross coloration and slight aliasing really being problematic in a few areas. Colors are nice and solid without bleeding and there�s the beginning of the shift in vibrancy that Pink Pineapple really started exploring in the late 90�s showing up in a few areas here.

Packaging:
This release goes the strange route of not offering up any female skin on the cover, instead going for a serious male fantasy fighter look with the lead character in armor and bloodied up here. The back cover provides some shots from the show and some indication that there are women within as well as a good summary of the premise. The production information and basic technical information is there, but once again we have another release that sells itself short. Listed as running only sixty minutes, they manage to omit an entire episode that�s actually there since it should say ninety minutes.

Menu:
The main menu is a simple static piece with the artwork from the front cover used set alongside the selections. Each episode is selectable and with no language selection, there�s not a lot here so moving about is minimal and access times are nice and fast.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tournament of the Gods is a bit of an odd series. The basic premise that it starts off with his young lad Sid heading off to the Tournament where, if he wins, he can return home and marry Azuki and take over the dojo that she inherits. He�s working with his partner Selena, an attractive blonde who has been around the block once or twice but is a generally nice person. Sid has a problem though in that Azuki has been promised to marry another and he�s in the Tournament as well and is the favored (i.e. it�s fixed) to win. So not only does he have to deal with the regular problems of a Tournament, but he has to deal with those who are actively trying to stop him from marrying Azuki.

There are a lot of rules related to the Tournament. One of them is that if you win, you get your opponents partner for 24 hours to do as you want, except murder. The town where all of this takes place has an odd vibe to it as well. Last years Champion roams around getting whatever he wants. One instance is when we see him in a local tavern and has the waitress become his slave for the duration of his needs as he takes her at the table, much to the dismay and disgust of the others.

Sid�s your basic nice guy who really wants to win the girl, but also enough of a man that he doesn�t have qualms killing things to achieve his goals. But he�s also something of a twit since he has no experience with women. So before everything begins in the Tournament, Selena gets nicely toasted but still aware of things and basically teaches him the ways of sex. She doesn�t want his first time with Azuki to turn out badly or painfully for either of them. Once that�s out of the way though, it�s off to the labyrinths where we see Sid and others training. There�s all sorts of creatures, small subplots and other bits that occur throughout the first two episodes, all leading up to the final fight for who will be the victor.

In a strange twist, there�s an aftermath to the contest in the third episode that�s almost barely touched upon. Apparently the Champions are brought to the service Aquross, where they�re sent to various levels of catacombs and dungeons (down an elevator mind you) where they�re looking to free someone whose been captured. To ensure their loyalty, Aquross has her way with them and instills in them a craving for angels, which can only be sated by having sex with one. Of course, the downside is that it kills the angel at the same time.

Tournament of the Gods is a strange piece. There�s some good fun moments, but Sid�s taking of various partners feels out of place at times other than Selena and Azuki. As it progresses to the third episode, things get a fair bit nastier (and according to those who have seen the original Japanese release, this release is indeed uncut) and almost unpleasant to watch. The character designs are decent, though some look a bit too wispy for my own tastes. When all is said and done, it feels weird that everyone comes out with a happy outlook on things. Anybody who went through what they went through here would be a basket case.

This is definitely in the realm of the darker fantasy material that tries to have a lighter edge. Your mileage will definitely vary with this title.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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