Vermilion Pleasure Night Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: D
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: TV 14
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 140
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Vermilion Pleasure Night

Vermilion Pleasure Night Vol. #3

By Mike Dungan     October 20, 2007
Release Date: October 10, 2006

Vermilion Pleasure Night Vol. #3
© ADV Films

What They Say
What They Say: Join sexy singer, manic mannequins, devilish delinquents, a crazy cook, and zonked-out zombies in the year’s most disturbing –and delicious- dish Japan has ever cooked up. Find out why this trippy, hippy kaleidoscope of color and sexy humor has become the rage of college campuses and smoke-filled living rooms all across the globe!

The Review!
An episode of the TV show, a movie made up almost entirely of skits from the TV show, and unaired skits finish up this most bizarre of ADV offerings.

For the purpose of this review, I watched the show in both the original Japanese and in English. The audio on the Japanese side is well mixed, moving freely across the soundstage. Only three segments are dubbed into English: Takako, Zombie Family and Midnight Cooking. With Steven Foster using his favorite actors, they sound good, though it’s always clear this is a dub.

This is a good clean crisp transfer with no problems I could discern on my setup. The colors are sharp, a definite bonus on such an outrageously psychedelic show.

Blue is the theme on this volume. The “Dr. Phero” girls are on the cover, swabbing a patient’s posterior. The back cover features several circular screen shots from the show. The disc has an image of the VPN monster against a blue background. The look is very much in keeping with the psychedelic nature of the show.

The menus are as in-your-face as the packaging. Scrolling bands of text vie for attention while the VPN creature devours them, which are replaced immediately. As with the two previous volumes, the problem is that there’s no cursor, no change in colors, nothing to tell you what selection you’ve made. Hit the “enter” button and take your chances. The secondary menus do have a form of cursor, so it appears it was designed that way.

Unlike previous volumes, we get more than just ADV previews this time. There is a live show that accompanied the release of the VPN Rise CD, a karaoke version of one of the Polyester songs (appropriately subtitled in both English and Japanese with text changing from yellow to white so you can sing along), and several unaired skits from the show.

Content: (Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 5 is the final episode of the TV series. “Takako” is a delinquent girl in a world of mannequins. It intentionally overplays the teen drama stereotype, but falls short when it goes for a gag ending. Then there’s more of the animated lecherous cop and sexy young woman he stops which goes nowhere and does nothing. There are a couple more Fuccons episodes, one in which Mikey gets a new dad, and another in which Mikey’s parents seem to abandon him. It ends with a surprisingly sweet moment, and is one of the few highlights of the show. Then there is a new piece of animation called “Fragile” featuring nurses in a rehabilitation ward set to more of Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s technobeat music. “Midnight Cooking” returns for two more segments. In the first, the insane cook shows how to select and prepare a drunkard for cooking, and then the Enka-singing cooks from the first episode make a return. A short live-action segment is next in which a woman is caught between a cross-dressing knife-wielding maniac and a wheelchair-bound man with a camera. This is one of the better segments in the show and proves that Ishibashi could be quite the suspense-thriller movie director is he so wishes. The Zombie Family play around with an ouiji board. The Polyester girls dance around for one final number. Finally, the show ends with “One Point English” in which a beautiful Japanese courtesan explains to her viewers how to compliment a man in English for his oral talents.

“The Color of Life” is a 90-minute movie made up of skits from the show, shown at several different film festivals around the world. The skits are divided into segments called “Family”, “Food”, Anger, Fear” and “Love”. They are introduced by a man speaking Italian with a Japanese narrator translating over the top of him (and subtitled into English for our benefit.) Only the host segments are new. While interesting, if you’ve already watched the show, then it’s mostly just 90 wasted minutes.

There is some bonus material as well. A live action show at a CD release is made up of the Polyester dancing girls, a “Nice Body” dancer and even some live Fuccons (especially interesting since the Fuccons are mannequins that don’t move.) They’re all set inside a double sided glass box dressed to look like a TV with various animations projected over them. There are a few unaired skits as well. The best was a Zombie Family skit. I never found the Zombies very funny, but this one had me cracking up because it was so obviously unscripted, with the three actresses just trying to make each other laugh while doing the family finances.

In Summary:
I keep finding VPN to be a difficult show to review, for the simple fact that I don’t think I get it. Segments like “Polyester” just bore me. I don’t normally find “The Zombie Family” funny. It doesn’t affect me. Like the dancers from “Starship Residence”, I’m disaffected and mostly bored by the show. Considering the rave reviews the show has been getting, as well as favorable comments from my own friends, It appears I simply don’t get it. You might find it thoughtful, insightful and entertaining. I’m just glad it’s over.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player


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