Mania Grade: C-
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- 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: 29.98
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Venus Files
By Chris Beveridge
June 26, 2007
Release Date: June 26, 2007
What They Say
Got a case you can't crack? A mystery you can't solve? Then call on the Goddess Detective Agency where busty Karen and her wild partner, Rio, will see to your every need!
When this beautiful detective duo takes on a new case involving drugs and rape, it brings back painful memories for Rio, whose sister was killed by a gang of sex-starved drug dealers. Could the same gang be responsible for this new threat? Hot-headed as she is, Rio must learn to control her anger in order to uncover the truth.
Meanwhile, Karen's constant exposure to the lurid details of the case are causing her to lose control of her own insatiable lust. Will this pair of sexy sleuths be able to conquer themselves in time to solve the case? Or will the hunters become the prey?The Review!
With a lot of back story crammed into the first confusing minutes, Venus Files is your basic detective story with lots of sex.Audio:
Critical Mass has put two audio tracks on this release as they've included the original Japanese stereo mix and a new English stereo mix. Both are encoded at 192 kbps with isn't bad for a show like this as it's similar to most other adult releases in that there is very little to it. Outside of the few bits of music and some other ambient effects, it's essentially a dialogue piece that reaches the usual levels in moans and screams. Everything comes across well here but nothing will really leave a last impression in the audio department. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
Originally released in 2004, the transfer for this two part OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This show has a lot of dark colors to it, especially in the blues, which gives some of the backgrounds a bit more life to them than they should but it tends to not be heavily distracting. Colors in general look good within the foreground and character animation is fairly fluid and without any serious aliasing outside of the usual pans and zooms. Cross coloration is minimal overall as well. Venus Files doesn't have a standout look to it with its fairly drab colors and dark design but it doesn't look bad either.Packaging:
The cover artwork doesn't give too much of an idea of what to expect in terms of material as it features a shot of Karen laying across the ground along with a headshot of Rio to the left of her. The logo is placed on a case file which does help point to the whole detective thing but it doesn't give too much of a clue as to what to expect in terms of sex. The back cover provides a few titillating shots from the show with no nudity as it's set against an opened file folder which also has a decent summary of the premise along with a clean listing of the discs extras. The bottom portion is a well laid out technical grid that covers all the essentials in a quick and easy to read format. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.Menu:
The menu design for the show is rather simple with the shot of Karen laying on the worn concrete floor as her clothes are torn aside. It does avoid showing any nudity though and is more intent on that damsel in distress look as a bit of instrumental music plays along to it. The navigation is set up as case files along the left which are easy to navigate as are the submenus. Access times overall are good and the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.Extras:
A couple of brief extras are included in this release such as a round of production art and an outtake section from the dub production. These run barely a minute but there are a couple of cute ones in there. The trailer for the US release is also included.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Venus Files is a two episode OVA series that has a fairly simple plot attached to it but has such a roundabout manner to it at first that you feel like you're starting a few episodes into the series. It also misses the boat with a few of the characters by not giving them the time they should but it also has some fairly unappealing character designs as they focus on the very large breasted women.
The show revolves around a detective agency that's headed up by a woman named Karen. Along with her in the Goddess Detective Agency is Rio, a spitfire of a woman who is all about action first and consequences later. It's rounded out by Masafumi, a young man who brings in some amount of balance to all of it as well as someone who does most of the grunt work. The show opens up by detailing a storyline that must have taken place elsewhere considering how much they're condensing it as it involves Yayoi and a friend of hers who was taken advantage of inside a spa retreat. We see what happened and how the Detective Agency tried to foil it. We also find out that Yayoi got taken advantage of in there and that they convinced her it was Masafumi in order to minimize her freaking out over being raped.
The introductions to all of these characters and this plot comes hard and fast which just feels very out of place at the beginning here. It does have some relevance though as there is something going on around town with women being abducted and drugged into craving sex. This sets off all sorts of alarms with Rio as we find out through a flashback sequence that that's how her sister died some years ago. An attempt to rape the two of them by use of an aphrodisiac went awry and Rio watched as her sister died from it. That also tied to a scene later on wherein she met Karen for the first time and the two used their various reasons to come together to form the detective agency.
Small jobs that they're taking now lead them back to the events of the past as they realize that the man that caused Rio's sisters death is involved and the entire thing becomes personal. The plot is fairly chaotic as it tries to get there which is bad enough but there's also a fair bit of history between some of these characters that feels out of place for the episodes. Yayoi is trying to get "back" into Masafumi's pants but he feels guilty about the entire thing. Karen has her own issues as she's a former trained sex slave who finds that she can't resist the lure of it all when she sees it being done to others. And Rio just wants revenge regardless of the cost and goes to whatever ends to achieve it even without her friends help.
The two OVAs feature a mix of consensual and non-consensual sex with a lot of S&M material mixed into it. Karen's past as a sex slave has her succumbing to being trained once again as well as having other people drawn into it. Though it isn't done in great detail there is a segment where several men have their way with her after the group's leader proves his dominance over her. The consensual scenes don't have a lot to them either and overall the sex just didn't come across as all that appealing or well done. Yayoi's attempts to get to Masafumi are a minor subplot that doesn't result in anything serious and a few other women drift in and out that have no real sexual impact on the show.
What struck me the most about it was the somewhat classic designs of the main characters of Rio and Karen. Both of them seem like a bit of a throwback to the earlier days of adult anime in comparison to someone like Yayoi. That's not necessarily bad but when combined with their large and to me unattractive chests it just doesn't work well. The S&M material is fairly light overall but there's plenty of milking going on here which may make a few people cringe. Masafumi is a decent enough male lead and he's worlds different than the man behind the sex ring but as usual the male characters really don't make much impact in the show other then when they're performing.In Summary:
While the opening of the show as poorly done in its structure, once it gets underway the show does a decent job of dealing with the content that it wants to play with. I found it fairly unappealing on several levels and simply waited for it to be over. Nothing here really titillated all that much and the plot wasn't anything out of the ordinary either. Fans of this kind of content may get more use out of it but otherwise it's something I can imagine a lot of casual adult anime fans will likely pass on. The character artwork on the cover is pretty indicative of it overall in terms of designs so it's easy to tell right from there whether it will appeal or not.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Dub Outtake
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 480p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.