Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Anime 18
- MSRP: 59.95
- Running time: 250
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Urotsukidoji
Urotsukidoji Perfect Collection
By Chris Beveridge
September 29, 2003
Release Date: January 18, 2000
Urotsukidoji Perfect Collection
What They Say
© Anime 18
According to legend, every 3,000 years, the three realms of demons, humans, and man-beasts are united by the revival of a being more powerful than them all—and the coming of this Overfiend means chaos and destruction!
Determined to find the Overfiend, demons scour the human world for signs of his coming. Two such creatures, Amano Jyaku and his sister Megumi have tracked the Overfiend to an unlikely place, Myojin University in Japan. Here, two 19-year-old college students, Tatsuo Nagumo and Akemi Ito are unwittingly drawn into the hunt... and after a night of horrific revelations, their lives will be forever changed!
From the creator of La Blue Girl.
"Urotsukidoji: Perfect Collection... is the sickest, most bizarre, disturbing and wondrous release to pass my viewing station in quite some time... very highly recommended." - The Cinema LaserThe Review!
This collection is something I've been waiting for quite awhile now. Having had the show untranslated at one point and then having the excellent Perfect Collection Laserdisc set from CPM as well, I really wanted to see how this show would stack up on DVD.
On the audio side, there's no issues here throughout the disc. Dialogue is clean and clear while the rest of the sounds are fairly well done. It's not a deep soundstage by any means, but there is some amount of directionality across the front speakers.
On the video side, there are a few things to note, but nothing major. The first of the five OVA's, which is naturally the oldest, is starting to show its age. There are several visible nicks and scratches as well as a piece of dust or two that have gotten into the master. Fortunately, this is only on the first episode and the other four look quite well. The show has a lot of dark and soft sequences and everything looks good. I did several comparisons with the laserdisc set and on my setup, the DVD does look slightly sharper in some areas. I wasn't expecting a huge difference on this area though. Overall, the show looks very well encoded.
Thankfully for this release CPM has used some new cover artwork. While I have nothing against what was used for the VHS, LD or dub DVD covers, they've just been used for so many years now it was nice to see something different. The front cover for this release is very understated and has some great detail to it. The blue color design works well too. The back cover has a good amount of information as well and thankfully the story blurb doesn't give away huge amounts of the story.
The case that was used for this 2 disc set is the same as what the Heroic Legend of Arslan used, where it holds both discs in case just a bit thicker than normal. For dual DVD releases like this, it's definitely the way to go. The only real problem with the packaging, since this case is black and not clear like some recent CPM DVD's, is the chapter listings and other info are on the reverse side of the cover insert. At this stage of the game, I truly wish that CPM would have made the extra effort to make a separate insert for inside the case as just about every other DVD producing company does.
The menu's for the release are pretty similar to most other CPM releases. Selections are quickly accessed and everything is laid out pretty much in a straightforward fashion. No issues here at all.
On the DVD-ROM side, there's not much but there's some interesting things. There are 20 images in the gallery this time around, and several seem to be promotional style images that aren't from the show itself. There's a brief section on the main cast of characters and a larger section on the manga, showing the US covers and a page or two from the inside. On the downside, the DVD-ROM content is PC accessible only. Since DVD is supposed to be cross platform, I hope they try to keep the Mac option in mind more often.
The only other problem I had with this set is during the fourth OVA at the beginning. During this episode, there are several language spoken (Japanese, English and German). The non-Japanese portions are hard subtitled in Japanese, which isn't a big deal. The problem was that CPM overlaid the English translations on top of them. Yellow subtitles on top of already existing white subtitles. It was practically unreadable and wholly unnecessary. They should have been placed at the top of the screen, especially since you can turn the subs off if you want to see any animation you might miss. The way it was done just doesn't work at all.
And the show itself? Well, consider my opening statement. I've owned these five OVA's in many formats over the years. I've treasured my limited edition laserdisc set. It's one of the highlights of my laserdisc collection. This is a show that I've found to be filled with a great story. Some will say that it'd be better without all the sex scenes, but those add a level of power to it that it would not have otherwise. Especially when you consider the role that sex plays within the summonings in the show itself.
The storyline is fairly straightforward. Every 3000 years, the Overfiend will be reborn and will unite the demon world, beast world and human world. As luck would have it, the late 90's are when the Overfiend will be born. The story deals with Amano Jyaku and his quest to find the Overfiend and help him to bring about this promised new eternal kingdom. From there we learn more of the three worlds and those who both oppose and desire this kingdom that's been foretold in legend.
When this show was originally released in Japan back in 1987, it broke all kinds of barriers and expectations. When people talk about its influence, even as tame as it seems now 13 years later, it really was the show that opened up the erotic anime/erotic horror genre that has been filled to varying degrees since. The shows are graphic and there is a level of sickness to it, but there is also a powerful story behind it. The characters do have emotions and they do grow throughout the episodes.
This five part OVA series is highly recommended.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.