Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
- MSRP: 39.95
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Vicious
Vicious Box Set
By Michael Thomas
April 13, 2003
Release Date: March 29, 2002
Vicious definitely lives up to its title.
For my primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. As with other bishoujo (cute girls) shows of a similar nature, the audio is split between the built-in left and right speakers of the television. The voices and music are nice and clear and undistorted. The show makes good use of the stereo speakers for incidental sounds, and the creepy music that plays throughout the series.
Again, NuTech has taken great pains in making a solid video release. Colors are vibrant, without any cross coloration or noise. Even in scenes were there is a lot going on, I did not see any artificing, shimmering, or softness.
The cover art and box art is more poster style, then anime cel oriented, with the main character, Angela, predominate on the box, and both DVD covers. The back of the box, and of the DVDs, covers all the usual topics; synopsis, adult VA cast, technical features, DVD features, and copyrights. The spines of the DVD also form 2-halves of Angela's face. There is no insert.
After a brief animated intro, the menu displays. Selecting options from the menu is quick and very straight forward.
Both adult VAs have extra galleries, and there is a cel gallery from the show itself. There is also a link to the NuTech website. On the reverse of the DVD are several trailers about other NuTech releases.
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Vicious is a very good bishoujo story. Taking place in a country estate (in a mostly unmentioned time... though it looks 1920s from the fashions, sets, and the way the people talk), the story revolves around Angela, her father, and their two servants, John and Bridget.
Six months prior, Angela's mother dies from a fall down the stairs. And this sets the scene for the rest of the show. You already get a feel for how degenerate Angela's father is (he's never actually given a name... he's just called "Father" or "Master") because he can't make his own wife's funeral due to work. Not only that, Angela, even six months after the event, still isn't dealing well with the new situation. Stuck in the middle are the maid Bridget and the butler John.
Angela, as the box text says, hates her father. Over the years she has seen her father abuse her mother, and abuse Bridget. And she wants to make her father suffer for it. So she decides she's going to give herself to John as a punishment to her father. Which is very vindictive... especially since Angela's father wants her to be a properly brought up member of high society. Now, I'm going to interject this here, Angela is very lolicon. So... if you don't like lolicon, this might bother you.
Anyway, Angela really starts to have an obsession with John. For example, Angela meets him when he's working and seduces him, or fantasizes about him while alone in her room. And this can only lead to trouble. John sees Bridgette being forcibly coerced by the master, and suggests that they run away from this house and start elsewhere. An idea that Bridget, in the first episode, mysteriously disagrees too... but a conversation that Angela overhears. And, since Angela isn't done with John yet, this puts a new set of plans into motion. Cue the entire "Ophelia" scene...
The story is a good one; you can see (or you find out) just how the characters come to act like they are. You can see where the tale is going at points, but, for me, that only further made you realize just how much like her father Angela is. The whole idea the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I also found the character designs to be very well done; from Father's demonic beard, to John and Bridget's uniforms, to Angela's high-society dress. Again, though, Angela is very lolicon, and this might upset some viewers.
Overall a very good, if frightening at points, and recommended story. NuTech picked well when licensing and translating this one for the English market.
Panasonic CT-27D11E 27" TV; Sony Play Station 2 DVD Player; Gold-Plated Monster component cable