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Bride of Darkness Hentai Anime DVD Review

5 min read

Taking place during the early 1900’s in the Taisho period of 1912 to 1926, we get a rarity – a historical hentai!

What They Say
Sanshiro is only a servent’s child, but he loves the daughter of his Master, Momoyo. All he can do is watch Momoyo from a hole in the ceiling and count down the days until her fiancee, Yoichiro, returns from England to take her away forever.

When the fiance does return, however, he brings not only separation for the poor Sanshiro, but also a curse of lust and sadism down upon the entire household! Sanshiro can only watch as a plague of lasciviousness infects Momoyo’s sister, the maid, and all those who come in contact with Yoichiro. But is can this lust be natural, or does it hold the taint of evil? By the time Sanshiro finds out, there will already be death and possession, with the promise of a demon’s awakening to come!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo as well as the English language dub, both of which are encoded at 192kbps. It’s a fairly straightforward design so that the forward soundstage gets some use at times but it’s more about the ambient sounds and the incidental moments to really add a bit more to the design. It’s a simple enough mix in the end and it serves the material well with clean dialogue for both tracks and no problems such as dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video: 
Originally released in 1999, the two OVAs for this series are presented in a non-anamorphic 1.85:1 aspect ratio and its backgrounds use an odd style of coloring to give the walls and furniture a feeling of texture and age to it that you get in some live action films. It’s a single-disc release with plenty of room for both of the episodes and the bitrate for it is decent as it works this kind of unusual source material. The character animation itself is fresh and very much what you’d expect the people at Pink Pineapple to be using in 1999 with good solid colors. At most, there’s some slight grain during some of the nighttime outdoor scenes, but otherwise, this is a pretty good looking transfer for the time of such oddly presented material.

Packaging: 
Though there’s a lot of black on the front cover, the imagery it uses for the characters is quite nice and gives you a small idea of what to expect in terms of moodiness. The back cover gives a rundown of the show in a decent summary while also providing a couple of screenshots and some basic production and technical information.

Menus: 
With nothing on the disc but the show and a few trailers, you’ve got a basic menu here with straightforward selections. Access times are nice and fast and moving around is a breeze.

Extras: 
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the two-episode OVA hentai series, you can never really be sure of what you’re getting. Is it enough to tell the story it wants to tell, or does it try and tell too much and feel rushed? Or did they end up leaving out big chunks of it and having it incomplete?

Bride of Darkness manages to pull off not only an interesting story in the two episodes but also some good encounters between the characters that don’t feel overly forced. The story focuses on a small group of characters who live and interact at a mansion in Japan. The lead male is Sanshiro, the son of a servant of the house (whom we never see). Sanshiro is madly in love with the Master’s daughter, the beautiful Momoyo. The two get along well enough, but she considers him a friend and he continues to paint nudes of her without her knowing. Things get even worse for Sanshiro when Momoyo’s arranged marriage to Yoichiro, an up and coming power from a conglomerate during this transitional phase of the country, becomes even more of a reality as he’s arrived finally from some time spent in England.

And like any good old mansion, it’s got its secrets. We see how Momoyo’s father, whose long lost his wife, plays with one of the maids. We also find that Yoichiro has something of an S&M; relationship with Momoyo’s older divorced sister whose come back to live there. There’s some amusing banter between the two, which Sanshiro hears about as he skulks about in the attics and looks through the peepholes. Of course, he also spends some time watching Momoyo but finds himself feeling really guilty about it.

But while all of this plays out fairly normally, Sanshiro finds himself becoming increasingly hit with powerful headaches, some that seem to knock him out entirely. It’s not long from here that we get introduced to Konago, a white-haired and pale skinned girl who tells Sanshiro that she feels an evil presence coming from Yoichiro and that he must help her. She reveals an interesting ability or two, especially the one of flight. It’s here that we learn that something evil has moved into the relationships and begins to manipulate people to its own ends.

In Summary:
While the show is overall pretty average, its design and style have definitely helped boost up the overall content grade for it. There’s just a great deal of attention paid to the look of the show that really pays off here and making it looks different from the usual shows we get. It really does feel like a historical show that’s gone down the hentai path by accident. The character designs for the women are great, particularly Momoyo. The show keeps up a nice brisk pace without going to fast or losing its focus. It tells a solid enjoyable tale for the hour it runs and kept us entertained both with the plot and with the naughty bits.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A

Released By: Kitty Media
Release Date: February 26th, 2002
MSRP: $29.99
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic 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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