Variable Geo Neo Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Critical Mass Video
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Variable Geo Neo

Variable Geo Neo Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     April 10, 2008
Release Date: March 25, 2008


Variable Geo Neo Vol. #1
© Critical Mass Video


What They Say
Also known as "VG NEO," Variable Geo Neo is a three-part, original video animation inspired by the Giga Variable Geo video game and produced by Milky (Bible Black).

Busty Beauties Battle It Out!

Variable Geo - an all-girl fighting league where the winner walks away with an incredible fortune and the losers are stripped of their dignity and raped for the amusement of the spectators. Yuu Asuka dreams of winning the money so she can save her brother's restaurant, but first, she must battle her way through the world's sexiest martial artists! The list of Yuu's buxom competitors includes her childhood friend Misumi, who isn't about to miss a chance to finally beat Yuu. Unfortunately, Misumi doesn't know anything about the penalties for failure, and she's been selected as Yuu's opponent in Round 1! Will Yuu sacrifice her own dream in order to save her friend from the terrible punishment that awaits the loser?

The Review!
Eight women enter the fighting ring for their own reasons though not all understand that they'll be forced to have sex if they lose. Or maybe even if they win...

Audio:
This release works with the fairly standard audio setup for bilingual adult releases in that we get a pair of stereo mixes encoded at 192kbps. There isn't much need for more than that here but the mix does pretty good overall with what it has during the action sequences and the opening and closing music aspects. The bulk of the show is centered around dialogue or sex sounds which don't really require a whole lot of directionality or depth to them. In general though everything sounds good and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track.

Video:
Originally released in 2004, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The show has some pretty good production values to it and Critical Mass has a rather solid presentation of it here as it's very clean and good looking. The animation has a good crisp feel to it throughout it when intended though there are some scenes where they use the stadium lighting to good effect as it casts a bit of a soft glow on the characters. Outside of a bit of background noise in a few scenes and some minor aliasing during the panning sequences, the show looks quite good and enjoyable.

Packaging:
The box art design for the show is surprisingly dark considering that it's generally a brightly colored show. The front cover has Yuu in her waitress outfit doing a round kick while inside the darkly lit store while the logo runs down along the bottom. It's got some nice views of her bottom and panties which is part of the allure and it also highlights that it's a fighting show which ties in well with the logo as it'll draw confusion with the game of a similar name. The back cover has a good clean layout that's a bit brighter as the background is of the tournament ring while the foreground has a white cutout where the summary of what the show is about is located. A number of action shots from the show are included as well as one hint of nudity to show that yes, it is an adult release. The discs features are clearly listed and the technical grid along the bottom covers everything in a clear and concise fashion. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu layout for the series is rather straightforward but it has some good design elements to it that ties it together well even though it doesn't feel terribly in theme. The left half has a picture of Yuu in an action pose that's like a photograph on a blue corkboard while next to it are four post-it notes with the navigation information. The logo is along the bottom along with the volume name and number, all of which is set to an upbeat bit of vocals that runs just under a minute. The menus are quick and easy to access and they all load without problem. The disc also correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
The extras are fairly standard though minimal but welcome enough with any adult release. There's a brief art gallery that runs just under a minute in length that you can chapter skip through to see it all. There's also the always enjoyable dub outtakes section which runs just under ninety seconds that utilizes one of the best phrases ever with, "Man the tentacles!"

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Variable Geo Neo, a three episode OVA series, is directed by Ryuuichi Nozaki and plays off of the popular game name in a more adult fashion. It's creation even garnered the attention of KOTOKO who provided a new opening theme song for the show. While I haven't touched these games in years, from what I can remember at least, there isn't any requirement to know them before going into the show since it's more of an adult tribute than anything else.

The series revolves around a fighting tournament that's about to kick off wherein the prize is ten million yen. Eight female contestants are drawn to the match for their own personal reasons and must go through it in order to win the prize. The show doesn't want to start with the tournament though as instead we get a short sequence with a purple haired woman who has been captured by some military goons that are intent on torturing information out of her. She's a tough nut to crack though as she resists everything they throw at her. It isn't until they pour some goo on her that sinks into her skin that she begins to change. It's through this that she becomes uncontrollably sexual and the men take advantage of her while she's hanging from handcuffs. But that still doesn't stop her from keeping her secrets, enough so that the whole situation turns bloody both on her person and theirs.

The main focus of the show however is on the eight participants in the tournament and a couple of them specifically for this episode. One team that's entered the competition is a couple of friends named Yuu and Misumi. Yuu's reasons for entering the tournament are pretty straightforward as she needs to earn a bucket load of money quick so that she can help save her brothers restaurant from being taken over. Her father counsels her against the contest due to the penalty if you lose but she knows she has to do it. Misumi, however, isn't aware of the penalty and is instead just looking to take down her childhood friend in a good competition and possibly earn some money.

Variable Geo Neo works with a pretty predictable plot twist in that the loser gets taken for some additional action afterwards. What's mildly surprising is that it's all done on stage with the Men in Black who are working the event for whoever is really behind the whole show. While it's easy to see the winning opponent enjoying seeing the loser humiliated like this, with this pairing it's not something that goes over well since neither wants to see the other go through that. Between the first scene with the military men and then the copious amount of dialogue and fighting scenes, it's this sequence that really gives the show a good bit of adult action.

While the story is fairly mediocre, the show looks rather good with some very pleasing character designs and solid animation. It's not a standout piece of work but it's better than average with some good fluid scenes when needed and plenty of detail to the character designs. While the show focuses only on a couple of characters here, we do get to see the designs for almost all of the contestants and they have some well done outfits. The waitress pieces are pretty good looking for the start as well as they play off the entire Anna Miller aspect to great effect. The character animation is good as well as it utilizes flesh colors well with the lighting to give things the proper effect.

In Summary:
With only one episode, it's hard to say too much about Variable Geo Neo at this point beyond that it's an interesting use of the material with some decent sex to it. It's a show that I wish had more however but that's balanced by some good animation and design to it with the characters. The storyline looks to be fairly standard with the tournament aspect and the fighters going after each other only to be scored with later but it has a certain kind of fun to it that makes it appealing enough to continue watching. I'm still disappointed that Critical Mass has gone the one episode per disc route, but I'm not surprised by it. Thankfully they've bumped it up to one volume a month so that the wait for a series that came out four years ago isn't too lengthy, especially when we should get it all on one volume. At least they lowered the price accordingly.

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

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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