Vanilla Series: Love Doll Vol. #1 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Vanilla Series Collection

Vanilla Series: Love Doll Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     February 01, 2004
Release Date: February 10, 2004

Vanilla Series: Love Doll Vol. #1
© Critical Mass Video

What They Say
In the tradition of hentai (adult anime) series, such as COOL DEVICES, that pushes the envelope for adult anime in the U.S., Critical Mass Video presents the next level in hardcore hentai: LOVE DOLL. Produced by Shiyuuta Biwajima and Chikara Niki (BONDAGE MANSION / DARK / SLAVE SISTERS / HOLY VIRGINS) with Animated Character Designs by Haruo Ookawara (CAMPUS).

When Rachel's mother dies, she's left all alone in the world. With nowhere else to go, a nearby convent understandably takes her in. As grown woman, Rachel discovers that there’s only one thing the people in the convent really understand: how to use her body for their own sexual perversions. From torment at the hands of the nuns, to the Bishop using her as his personal sex slave, Rachel's only happiness is the time spent with her best friend Beth, and in a chance meeting with her very own "Prince Charming", Andrew.

When an uncle Rachel never knew suddenly appears to take her away, she’s happy to leave the convent behind. But, this may not be the escape she’s always dreamed of. Her sadistic uncle already has plans for his beautiful young niece: he's going to train her as a Love Doll. Requiring constant rigorous sexual training in every erotic technique, the Love Dolls cater to every lustful whim of the Royal elite. Now even when she's asleep, her training never ends. With such a future ahead, will she ever see her Prince again?

The Review!
It’s from the frying pan to the fire for young lady Rachel as she is being brought up in the classical European way of being a Love Doll.

We continued our tradition of hentai in Japanese with this release, which features a decent stereo mix. Much like most other hentai releases though, the dialogue and ambient effects are mostly center channel based while things like the music make use of the stereo channels. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and you can really feel the pleasure in the moans.

Originally released in 2003, Love Doll sports a very clean looking transfer free of most issues. Colors are rich and vibrant when required while other times they keep their flat solid feel for backgrounds perfectly. Cross coloration and aliasing are also both essentially non-existent, which results in a very smooth and solid looking transfer.

With the bondage and training aspect being a heavy part of the show, the cover shows this off beautifully with Rachael in her training gear with the castle setting in the background, complete with numerous flowers and other classical elements. Of particular note are the really cute nipple clasps. The artwork and design for this are great looking with lots of detail and rich colors making it very appealing to the eye. The back cover provides a lengthy summary of what to expect and a basic rundown of the discs features and credits. The runtime is off by about eight minutes or so, as the first episode runs about 38 minutes and the second thirty. Due to this being a review copy, no insert was included with this release.

The menu layout is very nicely done, using one of the scenes from inside the castle that overlooks the sky and forest behind it. Above the forest in the sky with a setting sun, animation clips from various scenes play along to the usual kind of haunting music that frequents shows like this. Selections line the right side of the screen and access times are nice and fast, especially with no transitional animations to be found.

The only included extra is a brief video art gallery of pieces from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Love Doll is a multi-episode series, of which the first two are included here, that introduces us to a young woman named Rachel. At a young age, she lost her mother that she loved and admired very much and found herself sent to a convent to be raised.

Rachel’s life in the convent was not pleasant by any stretch, especially as she got older. Though she didn’t do anything to others, she found herself the subject of the cruelties of another girl there named Marcia. Between finding herself blamed for things or having water dumped on her, she was quite the target. But when Rachel ended up becoming friends with a boy out in the woods who was actually the prince of the nearby castle, Marcia took things a step further and began to subject her to real torture. Though Rachel endures it all, she’s subjected to a forcible rape sequence with a vase (complete with a rose still in it) and other attacks, such as having her hair cut forcibly.

And as if this isn’t bad enough in and of itself, the convent also has its own secret plans for some of the girls. The nuns (the hottest new fetish in recent years) provide extracurricular training for the girls in how to be proper sex slaves. This of course goes all the way up to the bishop who is running the convent, who has his way with both the girls and the nuns. The bishop is an old bugger who gets his fun with Rachel a number of times, from things like a bit of scat and other nasty little moments. So between the two forces in her life, Rachel goes through her own personal hell every day but she continually thinks of the boy that she met that she wants so much to fall in love with.

So when her unknown uncle finds out about Rachel’s existence, having been separated from his sister for quite some time, he quickly brings her out of the convent and to be with him in his castle to live. Though Rachel dislikes the fact that she has to leave her Prince Andrew, she commits herself to becoming a real and true lady someday so that she can return to him and be good enough. But on the train ride to the castle with the staff sent to get her, Rachel learns that her life in the castle will be different but not necessarily better, as she’s being groomed as a Love Doll for the royalty in the area to be shared amongst.

Complete with a new leather outfit and under the guidance of the entire staff of her uncles castle, Rachel is given numerous and wide-ranging lessons on how to accept and give pleasure to a number of different people, all while learning things such as history and more. Though it’s not exactly what she wants to do with her life, it’s far better than what she had to endure at the convent and she’s getting more out of this than being a simple tool as she was.

Love Doll isn’t over with these two episodes as there’s more on the way. The show is pretty decent for the genre. The character designs are appealing and the use of the European style outfits is something that almost always works in its favor since they’re nicely detailed and not the usual thing you see in most anime anyway. The downsides to it, depending on your own fetish tastes, are things like the very brief scat scene or the hilarious implication of bestiality at the end of the second episode where you see some huge Doberman attack dogs getting ready to attack, only to have their poochie-pricks pop out at the last second.

In Summary:
Love Doll is pretty much what one expects out of the sex slave genre where they’re training a girl for use among royals, but it’s very well done and animated as it’s so recent. There’s a bit more story here than normal as well, but the bulk of the time is given over to the training, a series of events that fans of this genre will definitely enjoy. This one may be a bit too much for first-timers into it, but sometimes that’s the best way to explore new things.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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