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Variable Geo Neo Complete Collection Hentai Anime DVD Review

11 min read

Eight women enter the fighting ring for their own reasons though not all understand that they’ll be forced to have sex if they lose. Or maybe even if they win…

What They Say:
Variable Geo: an all-girl fighting league where the winner walks away with an incredible fortune and the losers are stripped of their dignity and raped for the amusement of the spectators. Yuu Asuka dreams of winning the money so she can save her brother’s restaurant, but first, she must battle her way through the world’s sexiest martial artists!

The list of Yuu’s buxom competitors includes her childhood friend Misumi, who isn’t about to miss a chance to finally beat Yuu. Unfortunately, Misumi doesn’t know anything about the penalties for losing, and she’s been selected as Yuu’s opponent in Round One! Will Yuu sacrifice her own dream in order to save her friend from the terrible punishment that awaits the loser?

Contains episodes 1-3.

The Review:
Audio:
This release works with the fairly standard audio setup for bilingual adult releases in that we get a pair of stereo mixes encoded at 192kbps. There isn’t much need for more than that here but the mix does pretty good overall with what it has during the action sequences and the opening and closing music aspects. The bulk of the show is centered around dialogue or sex sounds which don’t really require a whole lot of directionality or depth to them. In general though everything sounds good and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track.

Video:
Originally released in 2004, the transfer for this OVA series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The show has some pretty good production values to it and Critical Mass has a rather solid presentation of it here as it’s very clean and good looking. The animation has a good crisp feel to it throughout it when intended though there are some scenes where they use the stadium lighting to good effect as it casts a bit of a soft glow on the characters. Outside of a bit of background noise in a few scenes and some minor aliasing during the panning sequences, the show looks quite good and enjoyable.

Packaging:
The box art design for the show is surprisingly dark considering that it’s generally a brightly colored show. The front cover has Yuu in her waitress outfit doing a round kick while inside the darkly lit store while the logo runs down along the bottom. It’s got some nice views of her bottom and panties which is part of the allure and it also highlights that it’s a fighting show which ties in well with the logo as it’ll draw confusion with the game of a similar name. The back cover has a good clean layout that’s a bit brighter as the background is of the tournament ring while the foreground has a white cutout where the summary of what the show is about is located. A number of action shots from the show are included as well as one hint of nudity to show that yes, it is an adult release. The discs features are clearly listed and the technical grid along the bottom covers everything in a clear and concise fashion. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu layout for the series is rather straightforward but it has some good design elements to it that ties it together well even though it doesn’t feel terribly in theme. The left half has a picture of Yuu in an action pose that’s like a photograph on a blue corkboard while next to it are four post-it notes with the navigation information. The logo is along the bottom along with the volume name and number, all of which is set to an upbeat bit of vocals that runs just under a minute. The menus are quick and easy to access and they all load without problem. The disc also correctly read our players’ language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
The extras are fairly standard though minimal but welcome enough with any adult release. There’s a brief art gallery that runs just under a minute in length that you can chapter skip through to see it all. There’s also the always enjoyable dub outtakes section which runs just under ninety seconds that utilizes one of the best phrases ever with, “Man the tentacles!”

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Variable Geo Neo, a three episode OVA series, is directed by Ryuuichi Nozaki and plays off of the popular game name in a more adult fashion. It’s creation even garnered the attention of KOTOKO who provided a new opening theme song for the show. While I haven’t touched these games in years, from what I can remember at least, there isn’t any requirement to know them before going into the show since it’s more of an adult tribute than anything else.

The series revolves around a fighting tournament that’s about to kick off wherein the prize is ten million yen. Eight female contestants are drawn to the match for their own personal reasons and must go through it in order to win the prize. The show doesn’t want to start with the tournament though as instead we get a short sequence with a purple haired woman who has been captured by some military goons that are intent on torturing information out of her. She’s a tough nut to crack though as she resists everything they throw at her. It isn’t until they pour some goo on her that sinks into her skin that she begins to change. It’s through this that she becomes uncontrollably sexual and the men take advantage of her while she’s hanging from handcuffs. But that still doesn’t stop her from keeping her secrets, enough so that the whole situation turns bloody both on her person and theirs.

The main focus of the show however is on the eight participants in the tournament and a couple of them specifically for this episode. One team that’s entered the competition is a couple of friends named Yuu and Misumi. Yuu’s reasons for entering the tournament are pretty straightforward as she needs to earn a bucket load of money quick so that she can help save her brothers restaurant from being taken over. Her father counsels her against the contest due to the penalty if you lose but she knows she has to do it. Misumi, however, isn’t aware of the penalty and is instead just looking to take down her childhood friend in a good competition and possibly earn some money.

Variable Geo Neo works with a pretty predictable plot twist in that the loser gets taken for some additional action afterwards. What’s mildly surprising is that it’s all done on stage with the Men in Black who are working the event for whoever is really behind the whole show. While it’s easy to see the winning opponent enjoying seeing the loser humiliated like this, with this pairing it’s not something that goes over well since neither wants to see the other go through that. Between the first scene with the military men and then the copious amount of dialogue and fighting scenes, it’s this sequence that really gives the show a good bit of adult action.

The second installment of Variable Geo Neo doesn’t break any new ground but we do learn an important thing – the name of the purple haired violent woman from the first episode. Anna is her name and she’s got some sort of serious goal in mind with the competition and continues to show that she has no problem taking out anyone that gets in her way in an easy manner. The series is all about pushing through the fight scenes so you can get to the penalty section which is where the meat of the show is. I swear this material just writes itself. This episode takes us through a couple of fights which in turn leads to a couple of penalty scenes with different women while others watch on. The only ones not watching on are Yuu and the announcer guy who leaves as soon as the match is over. Now that man has scruples.

The two fights are over quickly which means that we spend more time with the penalty sections. Outside of that, there’s a bit of mild plot progression as Yuu finds that she has to carry on so that Sanari’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain while Masaki starts to realize that there’s something big going on here that involves clones. Hot clones. Mmmm, clones… This episode takes us through two fights with “new” characters and in turn leads to two sex scenes. The first one involves the American fighter Diane getting her butt handed to her but she’s got spunk as she tries to fight off the Men in Black before they can have their way with her. She’s hog tied pretty quickly and anally raped in a way that turns her into someone who discovers she loves it.

The other main scene is one that has Anna taking down her opponent, the cute young looking Kei. The obligatory girl with glasses, Kei isn’t the goth loli type but she has elements of it with the whitish gray hair and the bows nestled within them. When the Men in Black get her, she paints the tantalizing portrait of a young women with her small breasts and slender figure which is definitely accented by her facial features and the glasses. It’s plainly apparent who she’s supposed to appeal to and she’s taken forcibly through the penalty sequence as the Men in Black pour lots of the goop on her that intensifies everything she feels. Both scenes are over too quick in the end though and the impact and potential for them feels diminished because of it.

The third and final episode of Variable Geo Neo closes things out in a final enough way while also making sure that it fits into a larger narrative, providing you actually want that. This episode runs just several minutes longer than the previous two because it has to go through a bit more with the tournament sequences but also has to ensure that everyone gets sexed up so there are three scenes that must play out. Rather than cut any of them short, the opted instead to lengthen the program and let all the girls get the good stuff.

In a way, this last episode provides the most story and background and a huge chunk of it comes right at the start. Told in flashback form by Rita, we learn that she’s actually a special agent that’s been sent to the cruise in order to infiltrate it and undermine what the Professor has been up to with his experiments. Through these first few minutes, she recounts a bit of what’s happened before but really just puts it all in context with what he’s doing and how all the characters are related. And there are a lot of relations when she starts talking about the clones – of Yuka and others. Though this is done mostly just to bring the viewer up to speed since the previous volume came out, it really does work well to flesh it out in general and strengthen the overall narrative.

But Variable Geo Neo is really all about the sex and violence. The storyline has been working through the list of contestants and it’s getting closer to determining who the real winner will be but there are a few rounds left. Not unlike the first two episodes though, the actual fighting part of it is pretty weak and over quickly, which then shifts things to the public humiliation phase. Knowing that events will play out so that the clones are the final warriors, there isn’t much surprise when you have a character like Yung getting knocked out without much fanfare. She does have a rather fun humiliation scene though as she’s bound up and blindfolded and talked through her humiliation by a very handsome blonde gentleman. And unlike a lot of the others, she doesn’t really panic or freak out about it nor does she just get all into it either. It’s simply the penalty phase for her.

The series also delves nicely in the world of girl on girl action with this episode after Ayumi is soundly defeated in combat but whisked away by those intending to take down the Professor’s plans. Hidden away in a room with Yung, it doesn’t take long for Yung to really get protective about her and start undressing Ayumi and having her way with her. The two get along in a fairly basic way which isn’t a surprising considering Ayumi’s inexperience in the ways of being with a woman, but she does well enough if you go by Yung’s reactions and expressions to it all. And that only serves to get Ayumi even more interested in what she’s doing and put more energy into it. It’s a fun little interlude of sex and frivolity in the midst of the ship being mangled by Rita’s crew.

In the end though, it all comes down to the final battle between the principle characters of Yuu and Anna. The bond that the two share is something that’s put into a bit more context when Yuka does her small and obvious “reveal” scene and it’s made clear that they’re all related to each other. That hasn’t slowed Anna down at all as she intends to show that she’s the best of all the sisters and forces the fight with Yuu to happen at the time when everyone else is desperately trying to escape the ship. The relationships that play out during this are one of the better parts of the show in terms of the storyline and how it all comes together, but like so much else in the series it just has a rushed and almost tacked on feeling.

In Summary:
Originally released in three separate volumes a few years back, Variable Geo Neo definitely works better when watched as one continuous session rather than the wait between episodes we had. The series has some good character designs to it and plenty of variety but the sex scenes came across as too short as there was enough competition with the tournament and other story elements. With a few less characters, the narrative might have flowed a bit better as the focus would have been kept to the primaries a bit more. All in all, it’s certainly not a bad show but it’s not one that had me excited to see each new episode as we went along. There’s definitely value here compared to the original release and if you passed it over because of the episode count/price point problem, this release definitely fixes that..

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

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 6th, 2012
MSRP: $19.99
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

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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