Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 and Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Kitty Media
- MSRP: 19.99
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Twin Angels
Twin Dolls Hentai Anime DVD Review
By Chris Beveridge
January 19, 2011
Release Date: November 23, 2010
Sometimes you have to revisit the classics with all of its tentacles and demon fun.
What They Say
Twin sisters Ai and Mai Amatsu have a secret life. They are the Holy Virgin Warriors, servants of a chaste goddess in the fight against the perverted demons who haunt their school.
Unlike previous editions of this release, the Kitty Media disc contains only the original Japanese language track in stereo encoded at 192kbps. The loss of the dub is rather saddening since it was an early part of hentai dub history and I hate to see releases have less than previous editions. The Japanese track here is about what you'd expect with a clean and clear if undistinguished mix that doesn't stand out much. It has a strong center channel design to it with the dialogue coming across well. It doesn't have a muffled feeling or anything like that but it doesn't have all that much life to it either. The music isn't all that noticeable overall but the key moments of action and adult action come across well.
Originally released in 1995, the two OVAs are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio. The materials here are some of the better looking traditional stuff that Ikeda’s pushed out over the years. The colors for this transfer look much sharper and more fully saturated compared to the NuTech release and about on par with the Anime 18 release. There’s a few jaggies here and there during panning sequences, but overall this transfer feels more solid with its backgrounds and colors. Cross coloration isn't absent from it as there's a couple of very small moments of it but it's negligible overall.
Breaking from tradition of past releases, this edition of Twin Dolls gets a new cover design to it that actually makes it look a little current, if not for the fact that shows like this just aren't made anymore. The front cover uses a foreground image of the two sisters in skimpy versions of their ouftis looking serious as they wield their weapons while the background has a large headshot of the demon himself with his eyes glowing as strong focal points. The dark green nature of it all works rather nicely and it has a dark and oppressive feel to it that's nicely contrasted with the bright character artwork. The back cover is a very dark affair with a heavy black background that makes the red font of the summary harder to read. The top has one of the demon images from the show and there's a pair of strips of shots from the show on either side of the summary. The production credits are done the same way which doesn't help it either. The technical grid is thankfully done with white on black so it's easily read and everything in it is clean and clear with no problems in listing what the discs technical aspects are. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design is very straightforward as it uses the character artwork from the front cover, which doesn't look as sharp and detailed here, while the background has a lot of dark threads to it that just add up to a murky and almost vein-like feeling. Between the two pieces is the logo itself which stretches to the navigation in the same style with symbols and the like that have no real relation to the show. There's nothing here outside of the episodes themselves and some trailers, so much so that the subtitles selection is on the main menu as well. Moving around is easy enough but I continue to be disappointed that the trailers are now just a five minute clip of various shows with no actual submenu to go through and choose which ones you want to watch.
Sadly, the extras from the Anime 18 release are not included here.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Twin Angels, released in this incarnation as Twin Dolls, has had a varied release history from the start. It was originally an Anime 18 release from Central Park Media on VHS. When DVD came along, NuTech Digital sublicensed rights to it but they only released the first episode. When Anime 18 got it back, they put it and the second episode out separately and then a collection for both of them. Unlike the NuTech release, they also included some extras and had a dub for both episodes, something that's missing in this release. Kitty's release brings us the show itself without any bells and whistles.
Twin Dolls is a rather good story, all told, that deals with more distinctly Japanese aspects than some of Ikeda’s other produced series. In Twin Angels, we’re introduced to two young women named Ai and Mai, both of whom are trained in various martial arts to carry out their families duty. For centuries now, their family has defended against the race of demons who would want to control the world. Their current duty is to defend their young Lord Onimaro. Onimaro is really just a young boy, but he’s got the blood of both the Carnal Underworld and human in him.
If his Carnal blood should be truly awoken, he’ll become ruler of the Underworld and be the unifying strong force in destroying the human world. Your basic childhood.
Those of the Carnal Underworld are searching for Onimaro, and they’ve found him in the protective custody. Using one of their more attractive human formed demons, they send her to the university where Ai and Mai are attending. Using their special incense, she causes the entire poetry room where she launches her plans to fall under her sway. The room is filled with young women, all feeling incredibly hot and aroused, including our two leads. It’s from here that the demons take the girls back to the Carnal Underworld to become sacrifices to Onimaro’s awakening. Our leads manage to fight back against the incense to varying levels, but both eventually succumb to it and they’re free to take the other women.
In fact, they’re free to take Onimaro too, as the young whelp has managed to escape the protective custody of the family house and has been running through the city so he could get to the university and play with the women. But his freedom has set him up to be captured, and the plans start to go forth in the Carnal Underworld.
The episode then shift focus to both giving a history lesson of the family and its responsibilities and then goes into their attempts to free Onimaro from the clutches of the demons who want to raise their Demon King back to life and conquer the world. Ai and Mai naturally get caught up in their tangled tentacles and there’s some rather good fighting sequences as well as a number of good sexual sequences. These play like normal tentacle hentai, but with the better production values and pacing that’s reminiscent of Ikeda’s shows. It’s not as campy as some of the things that have come out since, instead playing a more serious note and having a real sense of plot and story behind it.
The second episode picks up a bit after the first with Ai and Mai and the rest of the Tenjin folks in the temple keeping a close watch on young lord Onimaru. As usual, Onimaru is up to his tricks in trying to see up skirts and down blouses and anything else that he can do, and Ai and Mai are continually kicking the stuffing out of him.
After the failure last time around to get Onimaru away from his caretakers and releasing his bound powers so he could destroy the world, the Kijyo clan is once again working their tricks to cause this to happen. With some new help, they manage to not only destroy the spiritual temple the Tenjin clan have called home for generations, but they spirit away young Onimaru as well. Their plans start to build from there.
Using a temporary shelter, Ai, Mai and their grandmother being figuring out a plan to get Onimaru back and to stop the Kijyo clan, since their previous plan of using a master class spiritualist from the university failed, mostly due to the people chosen actually being agents of the Kijyo clan. The show then moves into familiar territory of demon fighting and the occasional demon sex scene. For a hentai series, this one continues to be very heavy on action and less so on the sex, though there are a fair amount of scenes. It’s just not like a lot of contemporary hentai where it’s wall to wall flesh festivals.
Twin Dolls is a decent 90's OVA series, but things feel so stretched out in so many places with the pacing trying to accommodate reasons for the sex that I ended up losing interest in the show about halfway through. In the end, the show didn't leave all that much of an impression. Both Ai and Mai’s characters ended up becoming disappointments in this volume as they got less screen time in general and ended up in some really lackluster sequences. They made out better in the combat sequences than they did in the real action sequences. I’m definitely glad that this volume has finally made it out again since it’s a rough time for hentai and some shows shouldn't be this hard to find after awhile. The main disappointment I have is that it loses the dub from the original release and the extras as well. Ikeda’s had better luck with series that mix more humor into things, but I’m definitely glad that he and Fukumoto opted to try their hands at something much more serious and darker.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English SubtitlesReview 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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