Vanilla Series: Campus - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Vanilla Series Collection

Vanilla Series: Campus

By Chris Beveridge     September 29, 2003
Release Date: November 12, 2002


Vanilla Series: Campus
© Critical Mass Video


What They Say
The dream of the past and an improbable future...

Night after night, Takakage's dreams take him away to another life. A life where a very special girl named Ayame is the central part of his life. Yet every morning he awakens to the disappointment of reality where his dream girl is only a faint memory. If only she was more than just a dream…

When Takakage has his fortune read his perception of reality drastically changes. It seems that his dreams are more than just mere fantasy! He did, in fact, live 400 years before ... lived and died ... and ...

Through the mists of time, spirits move freely and mysteriously. Souls who were once drawn together tend to draw together again. And, lovers can reappear in places where they are least expected!

The Review!
Past lives and current romances intermingle in this surprisingly good hentai release.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The mix is a pretty basic stereo piece that sounds good throughout but doesn’t really have much in terms of directionality and depth. Dialogue is nice and clear and the few moments of music make good use of the stereo channels.

Video:
With only two episodes on the disc, the transfer makes out pretty good. Colors are nice and solid throughout, though some of the night time blue skies are a little less than. Cross coloration is extremely minimal and aliasing is also fairly non-existent. There were some issues during some of the panning sequences though, as some characters had their designs look like it was suffering from spot cross coloration, or some weird form of dot crawl. It definitely looks to be in the source material though.

Packaging:
The cover here goes right for the cute girl calling, with one of the lead women having dual shots here. One of them has her getting out of a pool while the other shows a good amount of skin along the top as she’s having some mature fun. The back cover provides a couple of good shots from the show as well as a couple of paragraphs of story summary. The discs features and basic production info is also clearly listed here.

Menu:
The menu is a simple one, with some animation and music from the show playing underneath the menu selections. Selections are very simple, with each episode laid out at the top level, leaving only language selection as a sub level. Access times are nice and fast.

Extras:
The only extra here is a nice little slideshow of images from the show itself.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Vanilla series is one of those kinds of releases where you just never know what you’re going to get next. In some ways, this is really good, since you can get surprised with something you never thought you’d like. The downside is that it can go from the extreme to the simple.

Campus is more towards the simple, but done very well. With no non-consensual situations and a focus on actual dating and romance, this is a near-perfect couples show. The story is a classic one, as we’re introduced to Ayame and Genshiro four hundred years in the past. Genshiro is getting ready to head out to battle the next day, and naturally Ayame is worried about him. To help alleviate her fears, he tells her they will both get married that night, and that as a husband he will definitely return. The two then get down to some fun nookie.

Flash forward to the present, and we’re introduced to Takakage, a young man who has dreams of the piece described above from the view of Genshiro, and his sister Mieko. Mieko also has these dreams, but from Ayame’s perspective, but doesn’t tell Takakage about them. The two live together on their own, as their parents had died a few years back. They’re also only half-related, and not by direct blood, so they clear up that little potential problem quickly. But for Takakage, Mieko is definitely his sister, as she’s been with the family since forever.

Takakage tries to work through these recurring dreams, only to have things made worse when on campus, his neighborhood friend Mayumi convinces him to let her read his fortune in one of their group stalls during freshmen introduction day. With Mieko going there, she gets read as well, but Takakage gets to learn that his true love will be entering his life in the next few days.

The episodes then introduce an attractive almost Victorian style blonde into Takakage’s life, but also a woman in a shrine who is the spitting image of Ayame. Takakage’s definitely a college age male and goes after everything he can get his hands on, but the episodes take a sharp turn to romance and deep love that brings it up above a lot of other hentai.

The sex throughout the show isn’t terribly explicit, going further than softcore stuff but not much further. The animators didn’t get inside the characters this time. But the images that they did use for the couplings are very well done, and owes more to the senses than a hardcore piece. Partially, this is why we recommend it pretty easily for couples viewing, especially for people who haven’t seen a lot of hentai. This is a good place to start. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Slideshow

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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