Slaves To Passion Hentai Anime DVD Review

Slaves To Passion Hentai Anime DVD Review Some muses don’t operate in a way that makes sense to normal people.

What They Say:
Juichiro is a painter who seeks perfection in all things: his artwork, his household, and most of all, his women. His artistic talent flows forth from an insatiable lust for S&M, bondage, and pleasure mingled with pain. Juichiro’s apprentice, Kaoru, envies his master – not just for his artistic skills, but also for the source of their inspiration: Juichiro’s beautiful wife Reika, whom Kaoru fantasizes about constantly.

When Juichiro dies unexpectedly, Kaoru suddenly realizes that Reika is now free for the taking, and all of his erotic fantasies become very, very real. Will Reika’s sadistic desires be the key to Kaoru’s artistic renewal… or will he become nothing more than a slave to passion?

The Review:
Audio:
tHe audio presentation for this series comes in the original Japanese language and the English language adaptation, both of which are in stereo and encoded at 192kbps. While there are some good directional moments throughout the show in the form of whips or other sexual sounds being thrown here and there, the bulk of the show is center channel based with its dialogue. It’s not a big talking set of episodes but there are a lot of quiet discussions going on in between the various sex scenes. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 2003, the transfer for this two part OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. While the animation quality of the show suffers a bit here and there, it does the best it can with what it has though there’s a good bit of softness and oise to it and some less than solid areas. The two episodes are pretty much free from any issues such as color gradation, aliasing, cross coloration or grain. Each episode is presented in its original form with the English translated credits following after each episode. While the show itself may not be the most vibrant out there or the best animated, it does the best it can with what it has since it uses a good bit rate to it and has plenty of space to work with.

Packaging:
While some covers come across as more modern and cleaner than the original work, Slaves to Passion goes with something that does have some good colors but the designs are definitely older than what you’d normally get. Reika takes the entire stage here with her traditional kimono falling off to reveal the rope bonds as it’s all set against an orange moon in the sky. There’s a lot of detail to this piece and it looks really good though some of Reika’s design isn’t the best. The way the background looks with it, while a touch darker than it should be, adds a lot to the look and feel of it. The back cover takes the rope bondage piece and runs with it as a way of separating out various shots from the show and the premise. The discs features and production information are all clear and easy to read. No insert is included with this release nor is one needed in my opinion.

Menu:
The main menu takes the rope bondage theme and works it just like the back cover does with a center piece for the Play All while other sections around it have stills from the show and selections to choose from within them. It’s a simple static menu with a bit of traditional style music playing from the show but it works well and is in theme with the mood of it. Access times are nice and fast and submenus loaded quickly. The disc also correctly read our players’ language presets which is always a nice plus.

Extras:
While there’s the usual things to be found in the extras section from Critical Mass such as the trailer made for this show, we’ve also got a slideshow of images from this release. There’s also an all too brief series of dub outtakes, all done by the voice actress for Karen, which raunch up the show a few notches in an amusing way. I’m still waiting for a hentai series to do a behind the scenes recording session with the actors.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Truth in advertising is a big part of how hentai covers come together because with all the fetishes and kinks, you want to make it clear so that people can get what they’re after and avoid what they have no interest in. Slaves to PAssion does just that as we know there’s plenty of bondage and ropes that are going to be involved here and that it’s likely going to have some (or a lot) of non-consensual material, or at least forced material. As is the norm for Vanilla Series releases, they swing back and forth between a number of genres and styles and this one is the one that while they can get done well technically, they’ll rarely get me interested in parts of the content just because I don’t care for that particular style much.

Slaves to Passion follows a fairly straightforward plot when it comes to hentai series. We’re introduced to Ayamoto, a young man who lives with a very talented painter as his apprentice. Ayamoto’s quite skilled but he just lacks that certain something that gives his works that amazing feel that his mentors does. Ayamoto is also quite convinced that his master gets a lot of his inspiration from his wife, Reika, a very attractive and reserved raven haired beauty. He’s quite certain of this as he’s been watching how his master takes his wife into bondage moments, bringing her into moments of pain and pleasure that seem to inspire him to make even more amazing works.

Everything changes though when his master dies of a sudden heart attack and the household gets thrown for a curve. Reika lets Ayamoto stay as long as he likes due to the help he’s been over the years. Her sister Karen continues to try to and seduce Ayamoto herself while taking on a wide variety of nasty men and the maid, Kayuki, simply does as she’s instructed and keeps the sizeable household running smoothly. The household doesn’t last long once the funeral happens and the typically meek Ayamoto realizes that the only way to properly fulfill his masters wishes to become a great painter is to do what he did for inspiration. And so begins his somewhat reckless takeover of the position of Reika’s bondage master, bringing her to new heights of pain and pleasure while ensuring she doesn’t speak as he’s convinced her he can get her convicted as the one who murdered her husband.

From there, it’s everyone for themselves in a manner of speaking as they all connive to take the top position in the household and not get taken down for the murder of the former master. Lots of sex, bondage, more murder and the police get involved in trying to figure out what’s going on inside this residence. It plays out fairly typically and those who’ve seen a lot of shows along these lines can already guess much of the plot and probably some of the nuances of it as well. The real draw is the sex itself but even that just doesn’t feel too up to snuff. The bondage material is ok, but Reika’s design suffers a bit during it since the way she’s drawn just doesn’t look all that good. Karen in particular isn’t attractive at all which makes her scenes all the more fun to get through. Ayamoto makes an amusing change in his facial appearance from being a fairly calm and meek young man to someone you’d think of as pure evil based on the way his lip now curls once he starts playing this game.

In Summary:
While hentai covers all sorts of genres, some appeal more than others and Slaves to Passion is not one that works all that well for me. It’s the kind of title that plays in familiar territory but doesn’t bring much new to it and doesn’t have a strong enough look or story to truly pull it off without coming across as just plain disturbing at best and uninteresting at worst. It looks good sometimes and others you can tell where they did things on the cheap. The character designs are a bit of a mixed bag and the plot fairly obvious almost from the start, but there are a couple of decent sex scenes mixed into the bondage material. For those that enjoy this genre, they may get more out of it than I did but I basically put this in the it could have been done better and not as explicit in some contexts.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Art Gallery

Content Grade: C-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Critical Mass Video
Release Date: November 5th, 2014
MSRP: $14.99
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 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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