…has hentai releases returned to the UK? If not, this is as close as it’s gonna get…
What They Say:
When a pair of sexy girls, Maria and Mio, come to live with high school student Basara Tojo, his life changes forever. The two girls have a secret that they don’t keep for long – Maria is a succubus, and Mio is a future Demon Lord. But Basara has a secret of his own – he is the last descendant from a clan of demon-fighting heroes. To make things even more complicated, the girls force Basara into a master-servant contract, and Basara ends up becoming their master!
What happens when you put a succubus, a demoness, and a demon-fighting hero under the same roof? They form a bond that will help them to take on anything!
Set up in 2.0 Stereo and Mono English and Japanese language, whilst disappointing there isn’t a 5.1 release the general quality of the audio isn’t diminished in terms of set up, as I required no changes to my audio settings and the quality in both languages is very good, with no issues of poor synching with the subtitles, or any cuts with the video. The quality is overall very good, and I will admit the music in general is incredibly fitting and atmosphere…including the rather naughty scenes – it’s strange when it can get really high intense to rather silly and porno-rific so to speak. That said, it does what it set out to do so can’t complain about the quality other than wishing for a Dolby Surround release.
Set on a 16×9 anamorphic format, the video quality I set full screen with no slow down or transition issues, no crossed animation when pausing and with the show being mostly dark and gritty, it is coming out very clear. The subtitles sync with no issues on either language, and because of how bright and colourful the show is for the most part (there are some dark moments as well but for a demon world atmosphere there is a lot of colour), it really stands out well.
There was no packaging for this test release; however the Blu-Ray release has collector’s packaging.
The menu is pretty basic, both discs have shots of Basara and Mio in badass poses on a magenta red style background, with selectable choices of Play All, Episodes, Set Up and on Disc 2 Trailers (no extras). It is very standard, does the job and you can return to the menu via the main menu easily, but nothing exciting.
The only extras are the trailers for the following shows on disc 2 – Omamori Himari, Freezing Vibration, Shinometa, Super Lovers and Unbreakable Machine Doll.
Originally a light novel series from 2012 which recently finished this year, The Testament of Sister New Devil also has a manga release and in 2015 this anime release which got a sequel in 2016 with some OVA releases here and there as well (one as recent as this year). This was another series I didn’t have any real knowledge in and went in blind – and when I put the disc in, the music on the menu blew me away as the image of the girl on the menu suggested this could be a fanservice series, but I had better hopes than initially and went with it.
Now for those who have followed my reviews for a while, you know I’m not a fan of porn without plot series – fanservice I don’t object to, but if it is the primary focus of a series then it really doesn’t get high marks from me. Which is why this series is conflicting….
On one hand, there is some actual good story here – some development with a lot of the characters and a classic fighting against a pretty disgusting bad guy with some good back-story.
On the other hand, the fanservice is even more blatant and borderline hentai here – I wouldn’t say it was Shinometa levels of off-putting, but it was much closer to actual full on intercourse here that I was tempted to skip parts of it.
So…how does it fit in then?
It starts with our main protagonist Tojo Basara waiting to meet his new stepsisters with his dad Jin…which leads to our first accidental ‘I didn’t mean to peep at you’ cliché when Tojo goes to the bathroom and sees one of his stepsisters changing – her name is Mio along with her little sister Maria. Despite the early setback, the group seem to get along quite well with Basara even saving Mio from some delinquents but things get interesting when Jin leaves on a business trip. Suddenly, the girls are now in a dark room and are clearly not of this world…they hypnotize Tojo and force him to leave the house.
…or at least, that was supposed to happen. Maria and Mio are in fact demons but to their shock, Tojo is in fact a member of a hero clan able to repel demons as is his father and he is able to defeat them and send them out of the house. However, Jin was well aware of what they were trying to do and explains some history of who Mio actually is – the daughter of the now deceased demon lord and now the current one is after her. Cue demons attacking the girls and Tojo saving them. He lets them return to his house where both violent and silly/sexy shenanigans are about to happen…
They form a master/servant pact which allows Tojo to know where Mio is…which when she refuses, puts a curse on her which basically brings us the ‘reason’ for all the fanservice in the show. When the curse activates, she gets into an aphrodisiac state, and to ‘relieve’ her from this, Tojo has to…well…touch certain areas. Doesn’t help that Maria is a succubus who enjoys this as well (leading to a few comical scenes whenever Mio or Tojo get too annoyed with it). This doesn’t help when they all transfer to a new school, and Tojo meets up with an old childhood friend named Yuki who was also part of the hero clan and she is aware of who Mio is…at least Tojo makes a friend named Yahiro who totally can be trusted…
There is a lot of the comedy moments resulting in more fanservice (helped by the busty nurse Chisato who also seems to know what is going on) but the history of Tojo with Yuki is explored as you learn that he was pretty much expelled from the hero clan, whilst Mio is struggling due to not having her powers fully developed. With enemies also attacking, Tojo’s technique of Banishing Shift which stops magic comes in handy, and the main spy attacking them unsurprisingly turns out to be Yahiro – yet in a twist the two actually team up as advantageous to both of them, who also tells Tojo that a man named Zolgia killed Mio’s parents….
More fanservice silliness abound with some action (three hero clan members try to kill Mio which sets up a two-episode battle between them and Mio, Maria and Tojo as Yuki is forced to be on the hero clan side) which has conflict between Tojo and Yuki as he trusts her, yet could be forced to kill her if the battle gets heated. This is why until pretty much the end, Tojo is actually a likeable lead as he isn’t a wimpy protagonist in a harem as they genuinely wants the best of everyone and does try and resist the advances, and when he is forced to basically touch Mio due to her course, he is apologetic…it’s just….well…see the end…
It basically leads to Tojo’s team winning and Yuki deciding to live with Tojo to ‘check on Mio’…totally not harem quota rising. In fact, she also gets into a master/servant pact with Tojo (leading to more fanservice) which after a comic moment of chasing Maria around the school, Maria meets up with Yahiro, now known by his real name of Lars, which actually is a big thing as we discover, whilst Zolgia is fully introduced and he fully intends to capture Mio for his own uses…both magical and…otherwise…(yeah, he’s pretty much a dislikeable guy straight away)
The story actually begins to pick up as after Yuki/Tojo make their pact and Yuki begins to befriend Mio, some of Mio’s friends go a bit nuts and it is clear they are being controlled. Maria is revealed to be the culprit as she captures Mio along with Zolgia’s subordinate Zest to his realm. It is clear though Maria still cares for Mio and there is a reason why she betrayed her – to which Lars reveals to Tojo that Zolgia has captured her mother. It appears Lars also betrays him as they have a quick fight which then cuts to Tojo being used as trade, but Zest has none of that and apparently kills Lars…but you know there are more sides to this story….
It leads to Tojo snapping Maria out of her problems, Yuki defeating Zest and Zolgia intending to capture them all…whilst also killing Zest because of her best useless…which does not sit well with Tojo at all. At first, Zolgia seems too strong but when Mio learns he was the one who killed her parents, she snaps and nearly kills him but Tojo stops her before she can turn into someone she isn’t. The end reveals that Lars was using a puppet and the real one manages to stop Zolgia as it was clear that him and Tojo were tricking everyone, and it leads to one final battle inside the lair that Zest as well as Maria’s mother (Shella, who looks more like a sister than a mother – succubus genes…). It ends with their victory and Zest also joining the girls…which leads to the ending where it turns me off the Tojo character a fair bit, as it showcases that he MAY have been holding back a lot with his urges, and when it could have been Zolgia touching her, he gets a bit possessed and he nearly has sex with Mio…now I say may because there is a hint that he could have been possessed by Maria before this, but it showcases he may have held back all this time – which ends with the harem trope (though the ending shows the new Demon Lord Leoheart up against Tojo’s father Jin so the sequel is most likely coming)…
There is also an OVA but it is pure fanservice and ups the degree even more so yeah….not my thing…
So yeah, this is quite a hit and miss series for me. Granted, I’m not the best person to say whether to go for it as I’m not a fan of overly fanservicey series that don’t hit plot points with it. There are some series that actually do both well, this one…actually does nearly do it. The last few episodes in particular with reveals of Zolgia and he was the murderer of not only Mio’s parents, but also had a connection with Lars as well (which was hinted at with his truce with Tojo) combined with Tojo’s more ruthless and aggressive nature suggesting he may have been holding back for his families sake, it gives you some character progression and development I didn’t expect. The battles themselves are very well animated with some great music, and some of the mental fights are also done well – Maria in particular having to really fight with herself between her love for Tojo & Mio vs. her love for her mother. Granted, there are a few deus ex machinas (especially with Lars) which cheapen it a little, but I was pleasantly surprised how strong a number of it was.
The problem, of course, is the fact that the show’s fanservice uses the ‘curse’ as a convenient plot device to show a lot of titillation, and it does get to some levels that it is close to hentai to be honest. Whilst Maria’s reactions are plenty of amusing, it’s strange to see Yuki who is so stoic basically pretty much go full I want you at a drop of a hat to an unnerving degree – it feels very contrived and just can ruin the few serious moments and back-story the show has to offer.
Of course, if you are full into fanservice/harem series, then this will easily float your boat – most of the service does come from Mio and Yuki (Maria falls into the ‘I am actually older than I look’ category – during her fight with Tojo you see her full adult form, so the dreaded I look like a loli but I’m not one) and Tojo’s nice guy attitude but goes along with it does fall flat if episode 12 is a true indication of his character, which is a shame because there are moments this series certainly isn’t too bad…it’s far better than say Shinometa or School Days for example…but definitely not my cup of panties…
…yes, the OVA episode. Urghh….let’s never speak of it again.
Testament of Red Devil actually has some potential and with a cliff-hanger the serious moments and battle sequences combined with subtle character development for Tojo, Mio and Maria makes this not one to completely avoid – however the in your face and convenient reason to showcase a ton of fanservice which gets close to full out blatant can either enhance or put off your enjoyment of the series depending if you are into the fanservice. Myself – not a fan but there are definitely worse out there and there was enough to at least not need to fast forward the episodes even when it got a little uncomfortable. Still wouldn’t recommend though.
Content Grade: C
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Anime Limited
Release Date: March 19th, 2018
MSRP: £19.99 (£44.99 for Blu-Ray set)
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.