When men exchange wives without letting the women even know, it leads to a very dangerous situation – but also a very pleasurable one.
What They Say
Koichi has been married for only five years and already he's got the seven-year itch. He suffers from a very boring, very ordinary life with his wife Kanako and their daughter. Then one day his neighbor Kimihiko suggests they secretly swap wives. They decide that they will each seduce the other's wife and explore the wonders of an illicit affair. Koichi isn't so sure about it at first, but soon finds the deception, fantasies and excitement just the thing to scratch that itch!
Kitty Media has the standard audio tracks and encoding here for an adult release with a pair of English and Japanese language tracks in stereo encoded at 192kbps. The show is essentially all about the dialogue with hardly anything noteworthy in ambient sound and entirely forgettable music, so it has a very center channel feeling to it but one that is decently done and serves the material well. The show has no surprises to it but the dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2008, the transfer for this two part OVA series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The show has a good clean look to it with a bitrate that’s averaging in the eights throughout, so colors are good with mostly solid appearances outside of a few backgrounds that act up with some noise. Cross coloration is non-existent and there’s only a bit of line noise during some of the panning sequences. The show retains the original Japanese opening and closings with a translated set of credits after the second episode that covers everything. The transfer here is pretty solid and problem free though it’s not one that stands out highly since the show doesn’t have a lot of detail or heavy motion.
Wife Swap Diaries has a rather predictable but attractive cover with the two wives wearing very little looking all demure and innocent as they’re set against a pink backdrop with a bed and a plant off in the distance. The catch is the man’s hand on the left side where you can see a wedding ring which gives it a bit of a tie into the whole theme of the show. I would have really liked this cover if not for Sachie’s overly large breasts, which aren’t even that large in the show itself. Here it just makes her completely unattractive since she’d be constantly tipping over and being bottom up. The back cover has a lot of pink for the background with a few shots from the show strung through a few wedding rings that are dangling around the cover. The summary has a decent if comical approach to what the show is about and it works well enough in selling the basic concept. What’s odd and not at all attractive, is that they have about six pairs of the two leads along the bottom where they put them in different outfits, both regular clothes and lingerie. Again, sadly, it looks bad because they’re far too chesty which makes them unattractive and not like they are in the show. The remainder is given over to the production credits and there’s a good clean technical grid that breaks down everything accurately.
Not surprisingly, Wife Swap Diaries follows the traditional mold by using the cover artwork of the characters, set to the right side a bit, as its primary piece of artwork here. The artwork looks better in this form with more vibrant colors and not coming across quite as soft, but it still has the problem of the chest sizes that bother me a bit. The layout is decent with the navigation along the left that has all the basics which are quick and easy to navigate. The logo looks good here as it does on the front cover and there’s a brief bit of music from the show which is fairly forgettable playing along. As is the norm, the disc does not read our players’ language presets and defaults to English with sign/slates for subtitles.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kitty’s use of popular (or at least well known) titles and parodies continues with Wife Swap Diaries as we get a two episode OVA show that essentially is all about what the title says. Though like most “real world” hentai these days, it’s not consensual in a sense and there’s an edge of malevolence and actual violence about it as well. With a small cast of characters though, the show manages to keep you wondering how things will break down in the end and if some of the dreams – or nightmares – will come true.
The show revolves around two couples living in an apartment complex. There’s the slightly older couple of Kimihiko and his wife Sachie and then there’s the younger couple of Koichi and his wife Kanako. Both men suffer from a problem where their wives really aren’t into sex with them all that much, and the two of them have brought it up in different ways. Kimihiko has decided to put a plan into motion, nudging Koichi into agreement rather easily, where they’ll basically trade off wives and see if that helps them get what they all need. Sometimes it’s an arrangement that works, sometimes it can lead to disaster. What sets this on a potentially bad path is that Kimihiko informs Koichi that they will not be informing their wives of this, which essentially means that they’ll be taking advantage of them without their consent.
Before Koichi really understands what’s involved with this, Kimihiko has used Kanako pretty well by blackmailing her into it as he produces photos of the last time that Kanako and Koichi were together. Kanako wants to resist, but she doesn’t want any of this to get out and her body is responding pretty naturally as well. Koichi gets to watch all of this on the web stream that the men have set up, so it definitely gives him the encouragement to do the same with Sachie. Sachie seems to be pretty aware of the situation though, but she plays it as if it’s all a dream in order to make Koichi feel more comfortable with what’s about to happen. While Kanako resists but wants, Sachie wants and wants and wants in a very calm, relaxed and almost loving manner.
As expected, there are regrets to be had and new bonds to be formed along the way. Koichi really isn’t sure about all of these, particularly after what he sees with Kanako, but it’s the way Kimihiko seems to take things much further than the deal might have been that he worries about what’s going on. And in the back of his mind there’s that worry that there may be something more going on between his wife and Kimihiko with how she seems to want it more and more with him, even as she professes her love to Koichi. There isn’t exactly a back and forth thing going on here, but as the four of them end up entangled in things, and as Koichi starts imagining things even worse, it starts to devolve until Koichi doesn’t know who to trust or what’s going on anymore.
Wife Swap Diaries has a fairly decent real world look to it as it spends the bulk of its time inside the two apartments. There isn’t a lot to show that they’re lived in and personal so they have a simple and clean work that looks without humanizing it too much. The animation is good if unexceptional as there’s a nice flow to the movement and it doesn’t feel stilted or like it’s a supreme budget job. It’s not a high end animation piece but it’s about what you’d expect from a middle of the road Vanilla Series release. The character designs are interesting though. The men are fairly standard, a little non-descript but they have an edge of menace about them at times that makes you a little uneasy, but it’s all part of the story. The women look good but they suffer from having chests that are simply too large, though they do avoid going to the level of the obscene in a bad way. Sachie makes out the better of the two when it comes to the overall design as she plays the slightly older woman but it’s also her personality. Kanako comes across as a little too “from the country” with her design and personality.
This two part series has some fun moments to it, though I found that what worked the best was the material between Sachie and Koichi more than anything involving Kanako and Kimhiko, even when they paired off with other people. There’s a sort of simplicity to what we see with Koichi and Sachie that makes it fun, and as Sachie put it, essentially dreamlike. There’s a decent enough story idea here, one that’s been done before in other forms and under other titles, and this one fits in with those in that it’s about average but ultimately forgettable. There isn’t anything here outside of very appealing cover artwork that will make it memorable a week from now, never mind a year or more from now. But as a disc you can pop in and spin for an hour and get some… enjoyment out of? It’ll certainly work for that.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.