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Hentai Prince & The Stony Cat Complete Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

11 min read

Hentai Prince Final Blu-raySometimes wishes do come true, but almost always in the most difficult kind of way.

What They Say:
Koto is a complete and total pervert, but he doesn’t think that’s a problem. What bothers him is that every time he tries to bluff his way through one of his indiscretions, his inability to drop his emotionless facade inevitably digs him in even deeper. Tsukiko also has an issue and wants to get rid of her childish habit of blurting out whatever she happens to be thinking.

When they learn about a statue of a cat that can take away a single personality trait that you want to get rid of, they’re both eager to try it out. However, what neither of them realizes until it’s too late is that the cat doesn’t just take the personality trait away from you, it gives it to somebody else! Now Koto can’t keep himself from saying exactly what’s on his mind, while Tsukiko has picked up a complete inability to display emotion! Could the solution be finding the original owners of all the assorted problems and arranging an un-swap? And if it is, just how are they going to find everyone?

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is pretty decent and about what you’d expect as we get the original Japanese language track only in stereo encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The series has its wild moments to be sure at times from the various slapstick comedy elements, but by and large it’s a dialogue driven piece and that keeps things simple. With it being a stereo presentation, it uses the forward soundstage well enough as the cast interacts and the incidental sounds hit where appropriate, but it’s mostly just a full sounding mix when you get down to it. Placement has its moments and there’s a mild bit of depth here and there from the slapstick, but this is largely a serviceable mix that gets a chance to stand out only when the opening and closing songs play since they have a richer and fuller palette to work with. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2013, 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. Due to there being no dub, all twelve episodes are on one disc. The series is animated by JC Staff and it has quite a good look about it with great colors, excellent character designs and a healthy amount of detail both in the backgrounds and the characters themselves with their various outfits and situations. The end result is a series that has a lot of bright colors with some great pop and vibrancy to them, smooth sequences where the high quality animation comes in and an overall look and feel that is spot on. I definitely liked the look of everything here as it comes across very well and is definitely easy on the eyes.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release is done up in a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the single disc that makes up this season set. The front cover goes for the ultra cute and adorable look as it gives us Tsukiko and Tsukushi together in very skimpy bathing suits that shows of a whole lot of skin as they cuddle up to each other. It’s made all the more adorable by the cat ears that they’re sporting as part of the series theme and the cat tails that peek out from behind them. It uses some very soft and inviting shades of pink and green to draw you in, but it’s the character designs that catch the attention. The back cover uses some mild cat moments here as well with how some of the colors are laid out as we get a few shots from the show along the top with the tagline while the bulk of the center is done with a red background and white text to cover the premise. Azusa gets her character image here with legs that don’t look like they could support anything while the remainder is filled out with the standard production credits and clean and accurate technical grid. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu design for this release is certainly nice enough if a bit simple in a way that doesn’t really grab you in a big way. With a heavy green theme working off of the background from the front cover, the right side gives us the leads of Yokodera surrounded by Tsukiko and Azusa flanking him while the logo is off to the right, which adds a fun style to it with the design. The left side goes for the standard navigation strip and while some releases do some great in-theme things, this one is bland with just a straight up and down list that has the episodes by number and title in white against a green background. This doubles as the pop-up menu and works well enough, but overall it’s fairly forgettable.

Extras:
The only extras on this release are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences and the cute Henneko BBS segment.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novels by Sou Sagara and illustrated by Kantoku, Henneko is a twelve episodes series animated by JC Staff that ran during the spring of 2013. The original work is still ongoing in light novel form, having hit six volumes as of this writing, and the anime adaptation of it hit some rather good notes even though I suspect that some people were just turned off from trying it due to the hentai part of the title. I had missed this show during its simulcast run as someone else was reviewing it, but that allowed me to marathon it after it was all completed and to just enjoy it in terms of its larger themes. And to get a pretty good roll out of fanservice and silliness along the way that definitely made it quite enjoyable to watch.

The show revolves around Yoto Yokodera, a fairly average high school student who has a particular fetish in his life that he loves. He’s part of the track team and is hugely dedicated to it in a way as he’s there from start to finish of every practice doing his exercises. Exercises that allow him a sweet view of inside the indoor pool area where he can watch all the girls in their swimsuits. Swimsuits are what he loves and it all ties together well. Unfortunately, his actions are misinterpreted by the track team captain, Tsukushi, as she thinks he’s just hugely dedicated to the team and names him to the position of the next captain after she graduates. That certainly sets most everyone else against him since Tsukushi is so highly admired and the girls aren’t keen on following a boy for this. This sets him on a path to knowing Tsukushi a bit more, but that’s just part of what causes him trouble.

His real trouble comes when he tries to follow up on a somewhat recent folktale that’s in the area where if you go up to the small stone cat statue on the hill and make a wish, it will come true. He’s looking for something positive in his life with it but when up there, it all goes awry as the cat god ends up removing his ability to provide a facade in his everyday life. What it means is that what he thinks, he says. Which goes badly during school the next day as he says some very saucy stuff to Azusa, the popular blonde girl who is pretty flat and leads to Yoto really being cruel in a silly kind of way that endears him to nobody. Yoto’s realizing what’s happened sends him into a panic and you can imagine how quickly he wants to fix everything at the statue. Living a life of saying exactly what’s on your mind is very dangerous, no matter if you’re a horny high school boy or a man of practically any other age.

When he goes to the statue though, things go quite awry due to the arrival of Tsukiko, Tsukushi’s younger sister who has her own issues to deal with. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and is looking to get rid of that, which works out well since they end up making their wishes along the same lines and his facade is returned to him but she also ends up losing her emotions. Which is what she wanted so that she can’t be read easily. The whole issue ends up creating a strange little bond between the two as they try to figure it all out, first in helping Yoto and then dealing with what Tsukiko’s problems are, which are pretty much kept for the entire series. That makes it an interesting thing to watch because without any emotion, it’s hard to really connect with her in some ways because she’s so blank. We get a little bit with the blushing she has, but you have to take a lot of it just from what she says and other bits of body language.

With these two as the main characters while we have Azusa coming in from time to time, the show manages to work in some surprising ways. Yoto is pretty much a decent guy whose urges are definitely strong and there and it gets him into trouble along the way. Tsukiko pulls him out of trouble more often than not, but there are a few instances where the Stony Cat statue ends up causing more trouble as it basically has found a way to latch onto him and affect several of those around him as well. In terms of the two leads, they really do start to come together as it goes on, but Yoto is largely oblivious to it. What happens is that he’s close to her as friend and as someone who understands the situation and what’s going on with the statue. So many people would simply not believe it, but they’ve experienced it together and there’s no denying what happened. It’s plainly obvious that Tsukiko has real affection for him and an interest in him, but she’s stymied but his obliviousness as well as the difficult she has obviously in expressing emotion. And she’s not going to outright say it either for the most part.

What a lot of the show ends up being about is simply misunderstandings and adapting to it in some of the worst possible ways. A good deal of that is actually a whole lot of fun as it revolves around Tsukiko’s older sister, Tsukushi. She’s pretty easily fooled when you get down to it and what happens is that she’s so protective of her younger sister that when Tsukiko starts spending time with Yoto, she can’t allow it. But Yoto ends up concocting a story during an awkward situation where she convinces Tsukushi that he’s actually Yoto’s younger brother, who doesn’t really exist. That has Tsukushi forgiving him of many things and not seeing him as a threat and that leads to a lot of complicated moments and a huge amount of suspending disbelief of just how oblivious Tsukushi can be at times. But it also opens up some really heart and emotion filled moments from her as she’s willing to say things to this supposed younger brother than she will anyone else.

With a series name that has the word hentai in the title, there has to be pervy moments. And the show certainly does have that, though a lot of it tends to come earlier in the run rather than later as the last couple of episodes builds on the actual character story here and the demons some of them are facing over their pasts. When that comes to a head – in a time travel moment no less – it has some silliness and fun, but it also gets to the heart of what these kids problems are. Getting to that works in a pretty natural way and can be surprising considering some of the open silliness and fanservice we get so early on with Yoto watching the girls, talking about how he only likes breasts of a certain size and so forth. It also helps that the character designs are certainly appealing and the nature of the characters lends itself well to what goes on, awkward moments and all. In the end, the two sides of the coin are well connected and neither outweighs the other but rather complements it.

In Summary:
The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat is a show that certainly had me interested in it when it was first showing up, but I wasn’t able to add it to my schedule. I had marathoned it not long after it finished though and revisiting it this time around just reinforce my overall enjoyment of the series. It definitely works out better when viewed in the long form like this as you can see some of the themes here of alienation, isolation and wanting to do right by others but doing it in the wrong way when it comes to family. It’s an underlayer part of the show that becomes stronger as it progresses and it helps that we have so many comical and fun moments with the cast first since it lets you become drawn into their personalities and how they present themselves. This series has a lot to offer and it fell under the radar for many simply because of the title. It has a similar kind of fanservice to other shows of this nature but it also contains a good bit more heart which helps to work better. I definitely liked this show and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for something fun to watch that makes you care about the characters.

Features:
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Henneko BBS

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

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
MSRP: $59.98
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

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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