Vanilla Series: Love Doll Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • 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: Love Doll Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     March 28, 2004
Release Date: April 27, 2004


Vanilla Series: Love Doll Vol. #2
© Critical Mass Video


What They Say
Produced by Shiyuuta Biwajima and Chikara Niki (BONDAGE MANSION / DARK / SLAVE SISTERS / HOLY VIRGINS) with Animated Character Designs by Haruo Ookawara (CAMPUS)!

With the first round of testing for the Love Doll candidates fast approaching, Rachel?s sadistic uncle, Duke Dusse, is pushing her to sexual extremes. He?s determined to make her into the best Love Doll ever - one who knows every erotic technique and can cater to every lustful whim of the Royal elite. But while her uncle is focused on the upcoming test, Rachel is more worried about Andrew and her best friend, Beth. The two have often been seen together and there are even rumors they might be engaged... Has the love of her life betrayed her with her best friend?

Then, when Rachel?s next erotic lesson lands her in a local brothel, she stumbles across Marsha, who sexually tortured her when she was at the convent. Forced to become a prostitute when her family fell from power, Marsha is plotting to regain her elite status by using her clients? dark secrets - clients like Rachel?s own uncle, Duke Dusse. What is the secret that he?s been hiding all these years? And what is hidden inside the forbidden Rose Room?

The Review!
Continuing her training, Rachel endures more to become the Love Doll all while dealing with relationships changing around her and her own family's past.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
While I really liked the first volume's cover with its style and details, never mind the coloring used on it, the second volume here manages to become one of my favorite covers of recent memory as we get Rachel really decked out here with a wedding dress and a whole lot of colors from flowers and the outdoors. Of course, she's still got her collar on and the nifty large nipple clasps to accentuate things. This is just great looking no matter how I look at it. The back cover provides a lengthy summary of what to expect and a basic rundown of the discs features and credits. Due to this being a review copy, no insert was included with this release.

Menu:
The menu layout is very nicely done, using one of the scenes from inside the castle that overlooks the sky and forest behind it. Unlike the same scene in the first volume, this times its nighttime and it's very dark for the background, giving it a more creepy feel. Selections line the right side of the screen and access times are nice and fast, especially with no transitional animations to be found.

Extras:
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)
After enjoying the first volume of Love Doll more than I expected, I had hopes that the next two episodes would work things out in a similar fashion by keeping up the high nasty factor while also playing some solid amount of story into it. These episodes don't disappoint in either respect as there's plenty of nasty sex in there and there's some good story development and resolution.

A good chunk of both episodes are still given over to Rachel's training as a Love Doll. She's being worked hard but is coming out with top marks in just about every area. With a fair amount of candidates in the running to be the Love Doll, there's definitely competition among the girls though they seem to manage to avoid any overt moments of it, instead focusing on only themselves and their ability to deal with whatever is thrown at them. This has continued on for months and it's reached the time where they're going to be tested in a variety of ways to see who has learned what. The tests are pretty intense, though they seem to be different for different people.

Most of the girls, or at least the ones presumed to not have what it takes to go all the way, are given over to a large group of men to be tested with in a long continual orgy. Through them we see a number of cute characters get tested this way with most of them turning into the 'deer frozen in headlight' shaking mode at the end. Or they just don't perform well or something else causes them to not be up to snuff. There's not a lot to these scenes other than the girl laying in the middle of the bed and a lot naked men ringed around them. But don't get too excited ladies, the animators have cut corners here and denied you by making all the genital areas for the men nothing more than shadowy areas, saving on a budget. You can visualize the producer smacking an animator say, "Don't draw that dick, there's no time or money in the budget for it!"

Frankly, these scenes would have been a heck of a lot more detailed and amusing if the rows of men standing around the women actually had dicks and were standing at attention for the young ladies. That'd add more to their fear and it would have amused both male and female viewers. Well, the female viewers at least since the men would be disturbed by such imagery I hear.

One of the things that does happen during the training is that Rachel learns of a rumor, said as fact of course, that Andrew is marrying soon and it looks to be the same girl she was friends with at the convent, the lusty young redhead in glasses named Beth. Taking advantage of her status, she heads out during one of the nights to the place where she last met Andrew to find out if it's really happening. Though this earns her a lot of trouble later on from the Duke, it does provide her with some of the knowledge she needed. While Andrew isn't there and there's no obvious plans for a wedding, she does get to talk to Beth and Beth lets her know her true feelings.

And young women, upon confessing how they feel about a mutual male friend, must then have sex with each other.

There's also a lot of effort put into the discovery of the Duke's secret as we find that he visits a brothel on occasion and uses it to test out various toys on one of the girls there, a favorite of his apparently. We also get to see some of his past and understand his fixations with his sister, including time on the battlefield. There's even a really great completely creepy moment in one of the usually locked rooms in the mansion where the Duke finally has sex with Rachel in front of an open casket where his sister/her mother lays, fully preserved from death.

Now that belongs on someone's resume as a writing credit.

In Summary:
While there are some truly bad moments in this show, there are a lot of really good hardcore sex scenes with some really gorgeous character designs. The story takes some strange turns but considering there actually is a story, it's easy to let some of it slide. Love Doll definitely enjoys playing in the nasty side of the hentai genre and makes no bones about it. This isn't a couples-friendly set of episodes unless the couple is really friendly with each other and willing to explore. For the single viewers out there, particularly those with no experience, this will only make your view of the world more skewed. Enjoy!

Features
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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