Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: C+
- Extras Rating: C+
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Anime 18
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 115
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Vixens
By Chris Beveridge
July 31, 2004
Release Date: December 02, 2003
What They Say
© Anime 18
Meet the sexiest android ever to travel through time... and her circus of naughty animal pals! Her mission: to help a 19 year-old computer nerd lose his virginity! The Review!
Originally called Visionary by U-Jin, his unusual brand of hentai is spread across several episodes here.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a pretty basic stereo mix that is mostly a full center channel based piece that doesn't have much in the way of directionality. In all, it sounds decent and full but without much going on in specific directions. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with it during regular playback.Video:
Originally released in 1995, the transfer for this show looks good overall but has some small signs of its age, mostly in the form of some occasional dirt and scratches on the print. The series has a somewhat basic and not terribly vibrant color palette so there are large blocks of color filling up the backgrounds and character designs. Cross coloration is minimal but there's some noticeable aliasing during some of the fast panning sequences. The transfer isn't top notch but it's not a bad one either.Packaging:
Showing off just one of the many women in the episodes, the front cover has a single shot of a scantily clad young woman amusing herself set against a basic bland dark red background. The back cover provides another character undressing and showing off her underwear next to a brief summary of what the show is like. Along with the usual list of features and technical information, the back cover is what we're using to seeing from Anime 18 releases. The reverse cover uses a nude version of the front cover on one side with a listing of the chapter episodes next to it while the right panel has the listing of just the production information above some other character artwork. There's no listing of either the Japanese or English voice actors for this release.Menu:
The menus used here are done on the cheap and simple with a layered series of purple rows where part of the middle has a series of clips playing there next to a static image of one of the girls to the right and selections to the left all while some upbeat little music plays along. The menu is decent but it just feels overly cramped with the small clip section and the way it's laid out. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly while navigation is quite easy. The disc however did not read our players presets and defaulted to English language.Extras:
The only extra here is a music video made for the show that I believe is original to this release and not exactly a Japanese extra.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Continuing to disguise the works of U-Jin under other titles and not mentioning his name anywhere obvious, Vixens is the DVD release of his Visionary works which is a combination of different comedic sexual adventures done in the style that he's known best for. That means that there's nothing with actual penetration shots or much below the belt so to speak, meaning that it works well for new folks to hentai and those who like some really dirty comedy.
One of the things that U-Jin does well is parodies and the opening episode, a length one with mini stories in it, does a parody of the hugely popular and long running Doraemon. Stereotypical dork Yujita has the losers life but everything changes for the worse when an android catgirl takes up residence with him and uses her powers, toys and abilities to help make his life fun. She's even called Doreimon. Yujita and his tiny frame get into a lot of trouble as he ends up trying to get it on with various classmates but can only seem to get somewhere with one of the teachers. His life goes through a lot of weirdness, such as when he turns into a baby squirrel for ten minutes and is able to use that time to sneak into a girls bath and go down on her, thanks to a rare snake that transforms people. Or there's the alien sexual enhancement that's basically a little squid of sorts that extends a man's length and performance. There's a lot of wacky comedy throughout here and it fits with the kinds of cracked humor that U-Jin does well with.
The other stories afterwards are shorter and not quite as good. The real highlight for me with these episodes is the one that has a character that's basically a life of Urara from Sakura Diaries. The premise of the story has the wealthy but pintsized Koban financing his attractive friend Sameo's dates in exchange for getting a shot at the girls he dates later on when he dumps them or tires of them. Since Koban can't get dates himself, this is the only way for him to make things work and it works out for Sameo since it lets him spend quite a bit of money on the women. Everything goes through an upheaval though when Koban finds a girl that he really does love and even ends up helping her out but is still too afraid to tell her how he really feels.
With U-Jin's work being more oriented towards amusement and teasing as opposed to full out hardcore sex, it's appeal is both broader and narrower. These should appeal to a lot more people but since they're classified as hentai, they don't get quite the distribution or publicity that they should get. U-Jin's works have always been appealing to me with his particular style of character designs which, while not completely unlike the anime standard, is definitely set apart from what the norms are. His works are always eye-catching and distinct, even if he does recycle characters from one show or manga into another. In Summary:
Vixen's is one of those good fun comedic titles that plays up the naughty angel well and puts its characters in situations that are implausibly fun. Watching them cope with it is half the enjoyment, especially in episodes like the Doraemon parody. But even U-Jin puts forward the emotions and feelings of his characters and stores like the skydiving one keeps the focus on the lead character falling in love, even though he's doing some incredibly shady things with his friend to get along in life. With this being a fair bit older, its appeal is even less for a lot of today's fans which is unfortunate. U-Jin really needs a revival and to do something new and popular with the mainstream. Until that happens though, titles like Vixens fill the niche.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.