Vanilla Series: Classroom of Atonement - 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: B-
  • 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: Classroom of Atonement

By Chris Beveridge     September 22, 2004
Release Date: September 28, 2004


Vanilla Series: Classroom of Atonement
© Critical Mass Video


What They Say
Nanase's father has just been arrested for murder. While his guilt remains in question, a perverted gang of Nanase's classmates have already passed judgment, and are punishing her for her father's crimes. To atone for his sins, she must obey their every sexual command to satisfy their twisted desires. At school, in her room, even on a crowded train ? no matter where they are, Nanase must pleasure them in any way possible.

But not all of Nanase's classmates can be so easily satiated. Someone's publishing very detailed articles about her nightly lustful escapades in a special Atonement Newspaper! Spread across campus, this public humiliation might just be worse than her nightly tortures!

The Review!
Sins of the father are revisited upon the daughter.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series sports at typical stereo mix that’s most center channel based outside of a few segments and the music. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released in early 2003, Classroom of Atonement is presented in its original full frame format and is a nice fresh transfer that looks quite good. Colors are strong and vibrant without any noticeable bleeding or over saturation. Cross coloration is very minimal and there’s just some aliasing during various panning sequences.

Packaging:
Giving you a good idea of what to expect right from the start, we get a good shot of the lead character going through a bit of atonement with her fellow classmates and they use the old trick of obscuring the guys faces to make it a touch more evil looking. Proper placement of the logo and title bar continue to add a bit of a tease to it as well. The back cover uses the newspaper aspect from the show to provide the pictures and summary for the show. The discs features and basic production information is somewhat small but still readable. As is the case with other hentai releases, no insert is included (nor needed really).

Menu:
The main menu for the release plays up the newspaper aspect with some of the shows animation slowly scrolling through the photo "window" while the selections are lined up as the text, all set to some of the dangerous sounding instrumental music. The layout works nicely and fits the theme of the show well. Access times are nice and fast and submenus loaded quickly. The disc also correctly read our players language presets.

Extras:
Of the extras included, there's a brief image gallery and the trailer made for the US release. Also included is a far too brief dub outtakes section that barely lasts what seems like fifteen seconds. I'd really like to see the actors just have fun with some of this stuff sometime and really do some lengthy comical outtakes for a show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Classroom of Atonement is the latest from the Vanilla Series line that takes us to the Akemi Private College where the student body takes things on for themselves when it comes to ensuring that students don't get away with anything, including murder. Even if they themselves didn't commit the murder.

The show kicks off quickly as we learn that the shows lead, Nanase, is the daughter of a recently arrested man who is being accused of murdering someone just a few days prior from his own college years. He denies it all to his daughter but now she has to go through school with the public knowledge of what her father is accused of. That would be hard enough by itself but one of the male students has decided that since she shares the same blood as her father, she's just as guilty as he is and must atone for it. With four friends whom he directs into action as he never participates himself, Yuuka begins a series of events with Nanase that completely humiliate and break her.

To make matters worse, after each incident there is an amateur produced newspaper distributed throughout the school secretly that details what happened to her and how she's atoning for her sins. She tries to deny it but it just causes more problems and she then finds herself being handled by Yuuka and his group again and things get even worse. While she's had to put up with it at school, she finds herself being assaulted at home when they come to visit her. To make it even worse for her psychologically, they take advantage of her visiting female tutor when she comes by and then blame it all on Nanase, which sends her into a vicious cycle. As more friends get sucked in, it gets worse and worse for her. Well, with the exception of Madoka, an honor class student who ends up being taken advantage of and then forced into a lesbian show with Nanase for the guys enjoyment. When those two are together, Nanase realizes just how much she's enjoying all of this and Madoka goes into total enjoyment mode and wears out the guys first. It's an amusing twist that plays out nicely for the scene but doesn't have much long term impact.

Obviously, a good chunk of this show if not all of it is really non-consensual scenes but it's not done with heavy handed violence or any real bloody moments about it. The character designs are about average in general if just a bit below for some of the secondary characters, but they're not bad looking by any stretch. The animation quality is decent if unexceptional but it mixes well with the designs and is about average for what you get with the Vanilla Series overall. There isn't any heavily noticeable repeated animation used, it's fairly explicit if under-detailed in that area and the sex is good for the most part. While not a stand-out title from the series, it's a solid entry into the more hardcore side without going to an extreme.

In Summary:
Classroom of Atonement takes some of the usual elements of the punishment style storyline and plays them well but there are just the usual number of clichs, from a former boyfriend being involved in the gangbang to the secret that the mastermind behind all of it is holding. There aren't any real surprises until the last few frames of the show that end it in a slightly different way than expected but it left a smile on my face and the hour spent with the characters certainly wasn't a chore. While I wouldn't recommend a newbie jump into something like this as their first hentai, it's definitely a good title for someone wanting to start explore this side of the genre to see what's out there without being completely overwhelmed.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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