Variable Geo Neo Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C+

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  • 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: 19.98
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     April 29, 2008
Release Date: May 27, 2008

Variable Geo Neo Vol. #3
© Critical Mass Video

What They Say
Busty Beauties Battle It Out!

The Chinese martial-artist Yung Ching Jyu faces off against the mysterious fighter Misty. Little does Yung realize that Misty is actually the legendary V.G. Champion Yuka Takeuchi! Needless to say, Yung has little chance of defeating this seasoned tournament veteran, but at least her punishment will provide both her and the spectators with some hot and heavy action.

As the semi-finals begin, Sanari and Rita come up with a plan to free the imprisoned contestants. With their combined might, perhaps they'll be able to put an end to Variable Geo's evil underbelly once and for all.

But it's not over until it's over! Anna is spoiling for a fight, and she wants it to be with Yuu - guaranteed to be one of the fiercest fights in Variable Geo's history

The Review!
The competition comes to an abrupt close as the final matches play out between the clone girls.

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.

Originally released in 2005, 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.

Yuu once again gets the cover to herself and just like the second volume she's pretty roughed up here as we have laying across some rubble with her uniform increasingly torn in erotic ways. The design is quite solid and the detail and coloring really give it a sense of depth and dimension. The covers to this series have certainly been very appealing and this one is no exception. 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.

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 from the front cover 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.

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 barely thirty seconds and has a few quick mild chuckles to it. Once again, you wish they'd intentionally provide a few more outtakes to flesh out sections like this.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The third and final episode of Variable Geo Neo closes things out in a final enough way while also making sure that it fits into a larger narrative, providing you actually want that. This episode runs just several minutes longer than the previous two because it has to go through a bit more with the tournament sequences but also has to ensure that everyone gets sexed up so there are three scenes that must play out. Rather than cut any of them short, the opted instead to lengthen the program and let all the girls get the good stuff.

In a way, this last episode provides the most story and background and a huge chunk of it comes right at the start. Told in flashback form by Rita, we learn that she's actually a special agent that's been sent to the cruise in order to infiltrate it and undermine what the Professor has been up to with his experiments. Through these first few minutes, she recounts a bit of what's happened before but really just puts it all in context with what he's doing and how all the characters are related. And there are a lot of relations when she starts talking about the clones - of Yuka and others. Though this is done mostly just to bring the viewer up to speed since the previous volume came out, it really does work well to flesh it out in general and strengthen the overall narrative.

But Variable Geo Neo is really all about the sex and violence. The storyline has been working through the list of contestants and it's getting closer to determining who the real winner will be but there are a few rounds left. Not unlike the first two episodes though, the actual fighting part of it is pretty weak and over quickly, which then shifts things to the public humiliation phase. Knowing that events will play out so that the clones are the final warriors, there isn't much surprise when you have a character like Yung getting knocked out without much fanfare. She does have a rather fun humiliation scene though as she's bound up and blindfolded and talked through her humiliation by a very handsome blonde gentleman. And unlike a lot of the others, she doesn't really panic or freak out about it nor does she just get all into it either. It's simply the penalty phase for her.

The series also delves nicely in the world of girl on girl action with this episode after Ayumi is soundly defeated in combat but whisked away by those intending to take down the Professor's plans. Hidden away in a room with Yung, it doesn't take long for Yung to really get protective about her and start undressing Ayumi and having her way with her. The two get along in a fairly basic way which isn't a surprising considering Ayumi's inexperience in the ways of being with a woman, but she does well enough if you go by Yung's reactions and expressions to it all. And that only serves to get Ayumi even more interested in what she's doing and put more energy into it. It's a fun little interlude of sex and frivolity in the midst of the ship being mangled by Rita's crew.

In the end though, it all comes down to the final battle between the principle characters of Yuu and Anna. The bond that the two share is something that's put into a bit more context when Yuka does her small and obvious "reveal" scene and it's made clear that they're all related to each other. That hasn't slowed Anna down at all as she intends to show that she's the best of all the sisters and forces the fight with Yuu to happen at the time when everyone else is desperately trying to escape the ship. The relationships that play out during this are one of the better parts of the show in terms of the storyline and how it all comes together, but like so much else in the series it just has a rushed and almost tacked on feeling.

In Summary:
Watching Variable Geo Neo wasn't a bad experience but it was one that I felt would probably have clicked better if seen in one session. The series has some good character designs to it and plenty of variety but the sex scenes came across as too short as there was enough competition with the tournament and other story elements. With a few less characters, the narrative might have flowed a bit better as the focus would have been kept to the primaries a bit more. All in all, it's certainly not a bad show but it's not one that had me excited to see each new episode as we went along. With a quick release and low price point, Critical Mass has at least mitigated some of the single episode release issues but likely not enough to sway a lot of the casual adult anime buyers out there.

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