Welcome to Pia Carrot Box Set 2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 59.95
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Welcome to Pia Carrot

Welcome to Pia Carrot Box Set 2

By Chris Beveridge     March 20, 2002
Release Date: November 21, 2001


Welcome to Pia Carrot Box Set 2
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
Koji is late for his interview at Pia Carrot, but gets hired because he's very persistent. Azusa (Devon) who caused him to be late for his interview, hates him with a passion. It seems like the beginning of a pleasurable summer with all the beautiful waitresses. The reality is that the manager Ryoko (Charmaine Star) works him very hard but secretly has a crush on him. Ryoko and Aoi are giving him a welcome party, but Aoi gets drunk and falls asleep. Koji and Ryoko are left to themselves to discover the feelings they have for each other...

The Review!
Pia Carrot 2 is the sequel to the original, though there's little to connect the two beyond the name of the restaurant and the fact that Yusuke from the original is now the owner and getting married. But he has little presence here, so it's a tentative link at best. But the show retains much of what made the first so enjoyable.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. As with other hentai of a similar nature, the show is essentially dialogue driven and uses primarily the center channel. In this respect, things are nice and clear and undistorted. The music for this release isn't quite as noticeable as the first one, serving more just as something to fill the background.

Video:
Originally released between 1998 and 1999, Pia Carrot 2 is much like the original in having a decent if unexceptional looking transfer. There's little in the way of actual problems with it, but the animation style doesn't lend itself to look outstanding. Colors are nice and solid, cross coloration is extremely minimal and at most there's just some shimmering during panning sequences.

Packaging:
The three keepcases for Pia Carrot in the box get some nice covers, each one featuring a most of the female cast in clothes appropriate for the episodes, such as their waitress outfits or their festival clothing.. The covers do feel pretty busy though with the large number of characters, the uncensored and adults only logos as well as the inclusion of the voice actresses pictures. The back covers show off some animation shots from each show and have a good summary of each episode. Features and technical information is nicely listed as well. The box set itself features the cover from the third volume while the back does a summation of the three keepcase backings. As with all NuTech releases to date, there is no insert included.

Menus:
The menus are a bit simpler than the usual we get from NuTech, but not bad at all. There's a static piece of animation throughout all three featuring one of the younger characters that has a menu board next to her. The board changes with each episode giving the episode title in English (as it's not translated in the program itself). There's also some animation playing behind them as well as some music. Moving between the menus is nice and fast and language selection is quick and obvious.

Extras:
Extras are pretty minimal here and are the same on each disc. The main anime related one is a video photo gallery showing various pieces of artwork from the episodes. Also included is a video photo gallery for the two featured voice actresses for the series.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After enjoying the first Pia Carrot series, I was glad to see that there was a sequel and that it followed pretty much the same tradition.

The main male character for this show is modeled pretty closely to Yusuke from the original. Koji Maeda's on his way to his interview at the Pia Carrot on his bicycle when a woman suddenly gets in his way, and he brakes hard but ends up hitting her. They end up in a compromising position, she insults and slaps him and runs off. Of course, this incident makes him late, but he begs and pleads for an interview and Yusuke ends up running into the situation and likes his spunk. So Koji's now a part timer for the Pia Carrot.

The show goes in a pretty much predictable route from there as he gets introduced to all the women who work there and settles into life at the restaurants dorm that's a few blocks away. Unfortunately his room is one that the previous occupant modified, so it's like a sauna and has no air conditioning, unlike the rest of the nicely cooled building. Koji gets along great with all the women and has a good time at the newbie party that's thrown in honor of the new folks. The party takes a turn for the worse though when he finds out that the woman he ran into earlier, Azusa, was also hired.

Koji then begins his travels among the various women, starting with the restaurant manager when most of the staff goes to a newbie party at the beach. The beach segment is just fun in general as it's very fanservicey for the most part and leads into a good encounter after a bad incident. There's also a festival episode that's combined with a hot spring episode. It's not unusual to have both in a series but rarely in the same episode, and I personally found that one to be the best based on who was being seduced for it.

The last episode is where he gets the girl from the beginning, and if you didn't see it coming, well, I can't consider it a spoiler. While Koji didn't get every girl (much as it seemed Yusuke did in the original), you just know that Azusa was going to be the one he ended with. I actually found their pairing to be quite good, just below the second episodes pairing, though this one ended up being much more romantic in feeling. It definitely gave the show more of a couples-anime viewing feeling.

If you liked the original Pia Carrot, you won't find much new here but you'll enjoy it nonetheless. Sometimes it's a matter of just not changing a good thing when you've got it, and that's the motto here.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Anime Photo Gallery,Voice Actresses Photo Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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