When the power of pervertedness can save the world, it’s best to grab on tight and enjoy the ride.
What They Say:
Never make a deal with a wet goddess you’ve only just met. That’s a lesson Ryosuke Kaga learns the hard way when he foolishly agrees to let Lisara Restole use some of his “essence” to stay in this world. Despite her smoking-hot appearance, Lisara’s actually a Shinigami, a Goddess of Death. However, she doesn’t steal years off his life like any decent Shinigami would do. Oh no, instead she sucks off his lecherous spirit, draining his ability to enjoy… well, the things that teenage boys normally spend most of their time thinking about!
Now the poor degenerates only hope of getting his licentiousness renewed is to join the Lisara on her quest, since when she leaves our mortal plane he regains his normal immorality! But Shinigami can be really harsh mistresses, and it’s going to be anything but easy to go back to being sleazy!
Contains episodes 1-12.
The audio presentation for this release brings us just the original Japanese language track in stereo using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The show isn’t one that did well enough with certain factors to warrant a dub but we do get the show in a good high definition form here. The series is one that does a decent mix of dialogue and action sequences so that it covers the bases well but it’s not a show that really stands out in a big way. There’s a lot of simple perverted fun with the interactions with the characters as they deal with each other and some of the more fanservice oriented moments. And we also get some decent action sequences throughout with nearly every episode featuring something that works the forward soundstage in a solid way. But they’re not action sequences that really command attention, but it does well with what it has. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2012, the transfer for this twelve episode TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The show is spread across two discs with nine on the first and three on the second which is also where the couple of extras are included as well. Animated by studio feel., the show has a good mix of designs and material here but kind of shoots itself in the foot sometimes a swell. Compared to the broadcast version with all the whited out areas due to all the fanservice, it’s a huge leap as we get a solid, clean and uncensored release here. The first half of the show generally has a good look to it with detail, colors that are solid but don’t pop all that much and a certain clarity that works. With the second half where it shifts more to Grimwald and the fallout from there, the color palette used really weakens the whole presentation as it gives it all a soft and murky look. It’s not problematic with noise or breakup, but it just lacks a certain something. It’s all done to create the right atmosphere, and it does, but it makes the second half of the series feel a bit off.
The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case where the two discs are held against the interior walls. The front cover is a really awkward piece since it has Lisara upside down while the logo with the circle through it underneath covers up her stomach as her hair covers the critical parts of her breasts. it’s not a bad design, especially if you flip it around, but with it upside down it just feels like a weird choice of artwork to use that doesn’t grab your attention in a positive way. Color wise it’s filled with skin and hair colors and they’re definitely appealing contrasted with the blue of the case, but it’s a mixed bag overall. The back cover uses some good colors with a white background segment that has the premise in black with some tagline material using green. This all ties in nicely with the character collage along the right and a good breakdown of shots from the show itself with the extras strewn through it. It shows off the fanservice nicely and definitely sets the right mood here. The bottom third features the usual material with a clean production credits listing and a technical grid that covers everything cleanly and accurately. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design for this release is definitely something that’s appropriate for the show and sets the mood, though the two discs are nearly polar opposites in how they use the artwork. Both menus are laid out simply in that we get the circle imagery in the background against black while the left features the menu navigation that doubles as the pop-up menu as well, with a clean listing of the episodes by title and number. It’s clean and easy to work with as you navigate it and the extras. The rest of the menu has character artwork, where the first volume gives us the four lead girls mostly naked or with a little underwear on them that has a fair bit of nudity to it. The second volume uses a couple of other characters that appear later in the series where it’s all skintight outfits and just a bit more awkward in a weird way. I definitely like the menus overall but they do just feel a bit more provocative than usual.
The extras for this release are all on the second disc and look good as we get the clean opening and closing as the standard. We also get some of the original TV spots and promos that came out and a two minute slow slideshow gallery of various gorgeous images from the promotional campaign for the series.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novels written by Pan Tachibana and illustrated by Yoshiaki Katsurai that began in 2010 and have seven volumes to their name so far, the series has spawned a manga adaptation that began in 2011 and now this new anime series from studio feel. The property is doing pretty well and is even garnering an OVA that hit with the fourth volume of the manga in 2013, long after the TV series has ended. While it may not be a knockout hit, it’s one that’s building up a good little audience. And how can you not love a series that puts the word ecchi right in the title, albeit just calling it H?
The series revolves around Ryousuke, a high school student who has quite the perverted nature about him under what seems like a fairly standard looking personality. Like a number of guys, especially at that age, he views almost everything through a sexual angle in a big way. Those who know him well understand that it’s just who he is and have kind of accepted it. But into every life a little challenge must fall and for Ryousuke it’s the arrival of a young woman in the middle of a rainstorm that hits that disturbs his day of admiring all the school girls in their skin tight, see through school gym uniforms and the like. They may hate it, but that’s just how a lot of guys are when the opportunity arises. Ryousuke is simply just obvious about it and well known for it.
The problem is that this beautiful, nicely endowed and well shaped redhead that has landed in his life is intending to help him with his problem but will be facing quite the challenge. Lisara is actually a death spirit that’s come to help him with the perverted spirit that resides in him, but he’s such an intense one that it’s not going to be an easy task and parts of her reacts to what’s inside of him and vice versa. It’s actually impressive just how intense his pervertedness is. And hilarious. When he ends up face deep in her crotch, we get the wonderful visual of a field full of red. Her reaction takes a little bit to sink in, but when she realizes exactly what’s happened, it just gets bloody and violent for him. With even more looks up her non-existent skirt and panties to see it all again.
Lisara’s only using him temporarily at the moment though as she’s seeking someone really powerful with the energy life force that she needs in the human realm. She can sense who has how much power by shaking their hands, and that has her shaking a lot of hands as she’s sure the person is in the school. But what we learn early on is that it really is Ryousuke with the power as what he has within him is at its strongest when he’s fully aroused. Or, as he says, his Kingdom is at its most powerful. Lisara doesn’t actually handle a lot of his perverted nature well, but she finds a balance as it gets along because she gets the sense that he really does like her. And as much as she hates to admit it, she likes him as well. But because of her position, she finds herself denying it regularly instead and that means the two have an awkward working relationship since she’s dealing with a number of weird creatures that attack out of the blue. It’s all weird jelly-ish forms of creatures from the demon realm and naturally almost all of them causes her transformed outfit, a slick black and red piece with wings, to fall apart when hit by various bits of saliva and more. It’s standard fare hentai stuff, but it hits a lot of nice fanservice moments since it hits in such obviously choice areas.
While a story focusing on Lisara and Ryousuke would hold its own because they’re both fun and each has a larger past to them that comes to light, there are obviously a few other girls that come into play as well. Mina is Ryousuke’s childhood friend who has confessed her feelings to him but he doesn’t quite like her in that way, even as he admires her sizable breasts. That’s the main addition on the human side while on the demonic side, we get the appearance by Quele, a kind of mild mannered reaper who is in competition with Lisara since they’re cousins and she has her own interest in Ryousuke as she gets to know him. A stronger competitor for Lisara is that of Iria, a very buxom young woman who was Lisara’s rival during their schooling years as reapers. She starts as an attacker and rival here but eventually they come to the same side as you’d expect as the larger story comes into focus.
The first half of the series does a decent job of building the ideas, playing heavily with the fanservice and fun and introducing more of the characters as it all comes together. But it all goes wonky just past the middle as it’s discovered that Ryousuke obviously has a hidden power in him that has been lost for ages. That draws the attention of one of the two halves of the power side of where Lisara’s family has served well while the other hasn’t had their half of the power. That causes the arrival of the current head of that family, Galderblog, who makes the obvious and blunt ploy of simply capturing Mina so that it draws Ryousuke into Grimwald onto his own ground so he can capture him and extract what he needs easily. And not surprisingly, Ryousuke obliges since he just wants to save Mina. It’s all predictable, but they make it so obvious and comment on it that it doesn’t come across badly. Instead, it shifts to showing us more of Grimwald, and unhappy place to be sure, and starts to cement the relationships more as the girls rally around Ryousuke while Lisara struggles to find a way to save everyone.
With a show like this, a lot rides on the fanservice elements of it. And it does succeed there, though I’ll easily admit that during the simulcast with all the obscured moments, I was enjoying the show for the characters themselves and the story that was coming together. But it does play well here with what it does as we get a lot of nudity, a lot of comical fanservice and plenty of in-action sequences that works it well. It doesn’t hurt that the character designs are great, the animation is solid and the detail is definitely there. With the H in the title, you do expect your dirty stuff and it fits in well here in a story context and beyond. It definitely left me pleased with what they did and left me wanting more, even if the second half is a bit weaker than the first simply because of the transition in how Grimwald comes to Earth.
It’s easy to see why a title like this could go either way when you get down to it and while I do wish it had done well enough to get a dub, it wasn’t a show that was popular during its simulcast and just didn’t connect with people. I liked it, but I knew what I was getting into and just wanted a silly fanservice filled time. We do get the silly, we do get the fanservice but we also get a decent story as well that just falters in execution in the second half. I like the characters we get here and the dirty nature of it since Ryousuke doesn’t hide from her perverted nature and just runs with it while in a lot of ways being fairly respectful to others in how he interacts with them. So, I Can’t Play H isn’t going to be a barn burner, but it’s a fun show and I’m definitely glad it got the high definition presentation as there’s more than enough here to make it worthwhile.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Japanese Promo & TV Spots; Clean Opening Animation; Clean Closing Animation
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
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.