Word of Words Worth Perfect Collection - Mania.com



DVD Review

Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Kitty Media
  • MSRP: 34.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Words Worth

Word of Words Worth Perfect Collection

Word of Words Worth Perfect Collection DVD Review

By Chris Beveridge     April 30, 2010
Release Date: April 13, 2010


Word of Words Worth Collection
© Kitty Media

Two hentai shows combine into one release to give us a Perfect Collection of fantasy hentai anime at long last.

What They Say

At the beginning of all things, the gods forged two worlds: the World of Light and the World of Shadow. Between the two was carved the divine Words Worth Tablet. If this Tablet is ever read, the two Worlds will join and become complete. Unfortunately, the tablet was shattered, and the two Worlds have been locked in a brutal war for 100 years.

Prince Astral is the young heir to the Tribe of Shadow. He's caught in a web of sexy demons, cruel sorceresses, beautiful princesses, mysterious handmaidens and dominating queens as he quests to find the missing pieces of the tablet and save the world from a secret darkness.

The Review!

Audio
Retaining the same mixes as the original release, Wordsworth has a decent bilingual stereo presentation that's encoded at 192 kbps. The series doesn't really get too deep into directionality but it has a fair bit more than most adult series due to the various action sequences. Both mixes are pretty solid overall as they're your standard forward soundstage mixes that you find in most adult series. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout on both tracks and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
 
Video
Originally released in 1999, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Originally released on several discs discs by NuTech Entertainment, this release brings all of Words Worth onto one disc and all of Outer Story on its own disc. Though it isn't as flashy or brightly colored like most of today's releases, this traditionally animated OVA series holds up well with only a few issues that are from the time. The most noticeable is some aliasing throughout the various panning sequences. It's typically when it pans over a cityscape that it's the most noticeable but it creeps into a few other areas as well. The show retains a solid bit rate for the two and a half hours it runs and overall is pretty clean outside of a few speckles. 
 
Packaging
The cover for this release looks really good with a look of innocence about it that doesn’t speak highly of the fantasy element. With just the one human character with no weapons around but rather soft scenery and flowers, it’s very pure in its look but with a lot of detail and great framing along with the logo that’s just a touch too big. The back cover has more of the fantasy approach with some of the shots from the show, which also highlights the sexual nature of it, with some weapon and a bit of magic visible. The summary covers both shows with a decent enough summary to give you the overall idea without spoiling anything while the rest is given over to basic production credits for each series. The technical grid covers everything in good detail though I do wish they pushed the actual episode count a bit more. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
 
Menu
Utilizing the character artwork from the front cover of the previous edition, the main menus are decent pieces that are a bit soft and indistinct but set the mood well enough with the music that plays along. I would have preferred to see more varied artwork here since the NuTech release had five covers to play with, but these menus are functional and easy to use so it does the job. It just doesn't do it in a way that stands out. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is easy to navigate. The disc did correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.
 
Extras
None.
 
Words Worth Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the more anticipated acquisitions several years ago, Words Worth was considered a rarity in the adult realm as it tried to do a solid story and something in the fantasy setting. It usually seems that shows in that genre attempt something a bit more than just simple plots and Words Worth tried to take it up a few notches. In some ways they succeeded but at its core it's still all about the nookie. NuTech Entertainment released it a few years after its Japanese release in a 5 disc box set, complete with actual adult actresses to play some of the roles. After those rights lapsed, Kitty Media has picked it up and done a rather solid job of repackaging it into something far more accessible.
 
The main draw of Words Worth has to be the fantasy setting, something very few shows do. Few shows go beyond the tried and true modern setting to begin with. And fantasy fans like to see things go beyond what they usually do. Words Worth certainly takes advantage of that. The show is a tale of struggle between the Tribe of Light and the Tribe of Shadows. Our perspective is given in with the Shadows as the main character is Astral, the son of the king of the Tribe of Shadows. Watoshika, his father, won't let Astral become a fully "licensed" swordsman, as he needs him to stay alive for another purpose. Astral can't stand this and tries every which way to prove himself but to no avail.
 
The Tribe of Light's kingdom is located deep underground while the Tribe of Light is naturally outdoors on the surface. The leader of the Light, Fabris, is pushing through another attack to try and conquer and destroy the Shadow, which is something that has been going on since forever. The original argument over who destroyed the Words Worth tablet is what sparked it, but few even know or remember what it was. Grudges die hard.
 
It's during another push that we find Astral conning his way into getting "licensed" to fight that we also see his fiancée, Sharon, fighting hard against Fabris and his troops along with the best male fighter of the shadows, Caesar. The battles are rather bloody at times but go by relatively fast and generally only set up other encounters. While there's a lot of fighting going on, there's a lot of sex going on as well.
 
During one particular fight, when Fabris is about to take Sharon, Astral arrives to defend her only to have Fabris' daughter Maria, a spell caster no less, use her magic to essentially destroy him. The spell doesn't work as planned but still removes Astral from the picture. He now finds himself twenty years in the future with no memory and no idea of where he is. This sets up the amusing moments of him getting it on with Maria's daughter and a host of other fun time travel issues.
 
The main problem with the twenty year gap is an unexplained phenomenon. While everyone in the Light kingdom has visibly aged, with Fabris being gray and a grandfather and Maria being older, everyone in the Shadow kingdom looks exactly the same once the passageway between the two became closed. It's like they were sealed in time to some extent, but that can't hold up as one of the characters had a child that's a couple of years old. And the kid is Astral's no less.
 
But hey, we're not here for total story continuity are we? C'mon, we're here for the hot girls getting it on with all the guys. Sadly, some of it is with the horse-man and the two pig-guys. Oh man did I just fast forward through that pretty little segment. Barring that, there's a lot of good stuff to watch during these episodes. In particular, I think this is the first time I've ever seen a cat girl in hentai. It brings to mind just how difficult of a job that actress had in trying to both perform the part when Astral was being tender with her and to keep that cat inflection in her voice. I'll admit it, there's something about cat girl nookie.
 
Words Worth Outer Story Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the Words Worth series has always had a large following of fans, the main piece of it didn't live up to its reputation to me, though it was an enjoyable little fantasy romp. The Outer Story series takes the theme of the original and takes us outside to where the Light and Shadow races are fighting against each other and gets rid of all the elements that make up a plot, letting the show simple be a simple chase and screw piece.
 
After one battle, when seemingly everyone is dead on the field, April is helping her lover Norman tend to his wounds. As both have survived, he promises her his heart and to marry her when they get back. As she's getting some fresh water for him, one of the Shadow warriors gets pissed off at their public display of affection and promptly shoots a cannon at April, causing her to fall into the river and disappear downstream. For April, things get worse once she recovers later on having found that she's being fondled and nearly raped by a talking humanoid frog that can grow to great heights. Oh, and he ate Norman too.
 
On the other side of things, we see what's happened to two other young female warriors of the Light, the pretty redheaded Persia and her Amazonian like blonde companion Sabrina. During the battle, Persia ended up being defeated pretty easily by the horse guy who makes a return appearance here. Since he can sniff out that she's a virgin, he's all excited to have captured her and has big plans for her. Sabrina's attempts to rescue her friend from this fate go awry and both of them end up in the cell below, where Sabrina gets to ride a different kind of horse in a very uncomfortable way (no, not in the back seat of a Volkswagen). 
 
Watching all of this is a warrior from the Shadow race who finds himself getting involved with both sides of the storyline as well as some nice nubile elfin like ladies at one point. He's the glue that holds the story here together until you really realize that there isn't a story. It really isn't much more than the women running around trying to get away from the humanoid creatures that want to rape them repeatedly. So there isn't exactly much for the viewer to latch on to unless you were just looking for a show that will be pleasing to the hand.
 
Words Worth: Outer Story also has a problem of really diverging from past practices with subtitles. While previous releases from NuTech haven't been exactly the best translated at times, some recent shows like this are becoming more problematic. While we haven't had much issue with some of the sex scene dialogue being changed, the omission of much dialogue from those scenes IS a problem. There are a number of lengthy glaring lines missing here as well as a few that are shortened down to something like a three word translation.
 
In Summary: 
It seems like every few years I get to take a trip down memory lane with this title and it’s certainly not a bad thing. Some of the weaknesses are more apparent but there’s also a flavor of nostalgia for it with slightly older hentai that has a different feel to how it’s produced compared to more recent offerings. The actual character designs and the basic layout of it all is still fun and enjoyable and the traditional animation certainly has its appeal. But it feels like it's lacking some of the rawness of more recent shows that have found what boundaries can be pushed. This is a show I'd certainly love to see a new sequel to or a re-imagining of with current sensibilities and animation techniques. With Kitty re-packaging both shows in one collection at long last and at a good price, it’s definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for something a little different to sample from the hentai world.
 
Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

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.

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