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Lesson of Darkness Hentai Anime DVD Review

5 min read
There's nothing like some historically based hentai with tentacle monsters.

There’s nothing like some historically based hentai with tentacle monsters.

What They Say
Seventy years ago, Tokyo was plagued by a mysterious string of murders. Beautiful young women were found dead, their bodies dried up. It began when Miho, a college girl, discovered that a stranger is stalking her. Meanwhile, as her best friend Azusa seduced their professor, she found him to be a tentacle-endowed monster!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track along with the English language dub, both of which are in stereo and encoded at 192kbps. The majority of the dialogue is center channel based since it’s either dialogue or moaning but the music fills in the stereo channels nicely as well as some of the more climactic aural sounds. The minor bits of action or incidental aspects are nicely handled but it’s certainly from its origins and not one that’s really trying to stretch or do something big. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released back in 1996, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio but done in a faux-letterbox style. It’s done in this way to attempt looking more theatrical and it works well enough but is still somewhat disconcerting. There’s little in the way of vibrant colors for most of the show as it instead wants to deal in the muted browns and blacks. Even when we see the nighttime sky, it’s often as a hazy purple. There’s a softness to much of the show, but it definitely looks to be done by design. Cross coloration is non-existent and there are only a few instances of aliasing.

Packaging: 
The release comes in a standard-sized DVD case where the front cover has a nice shot of Miho in her kimono as it’s falling apart while you can see one of the tentacle demons in the background with another woman. The front cover is naturally very dark, but it works well with he kimono offsetting things and drawing your attention to her. The back cover provides a couple of animation shots and a brief summary describing the show. Lots of warnings about what’s inside and the nice new technical block of information along the bottom that I like. The insert reuses the images from the front and back cover to provide the chapter lists while the reverse side is just adverts.

Menu: 
The main menu is essentially a rearrangement of the front cover artwork and logo with the addition of selections. Without music, it definitely feels even more minimalist. With nothing on the disc beyond the show and some trailers, moving about is a breeze and access times are nice and fast.

Extras: 
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This release was one among a few during the time of its release that took us to the Taisho period for another round of historical hentai. This time, one of the girls even takes a stab at being truly in step with fashion by wearing a typical flapper hat, which is always nice to see some historical accuracy. But other than that, it’s very much a Japanese historical show, dealing with two students and their teacher and a stalking tentacle monster.

Miho’s come into possession of a blue stone, something that’s got some magic to it, but she knows not what. Her friend Azusa gave it to her, but pretty much since then, she’s felt like she’s being stalked. Black cats pop up everywhere, dead bodies start to litter the streets. The tentacle creature is out and about in human form, stalking women and reducing them to husks after they’ve had their pleasure. Miho ends up seeing at least one of these and begins to really fear what’s going on.

Azusa’s set her heart on seducing the professor, though he’s primarily interested in finding the stone. All is not as it seems though, as the various dark forces searching for the stone start to come out of the shadows and reveal which is really evil. Being the good girl of the times that she is, the revelations are enough to make a poor girl faint. Amusingly, there’s a great romantic love scene between one woman and the tentacle monster, complete with the right kind of music. You have to like it when even these crazy kids can find true love.

In Summary:
The Lesson of Darkness OVA isn’t a story heavy project since it runs just barely forty-five minutes. There are a couple of very good scenes though, particularly with Azusa and the teacher. The tentacle stuff is actually done rather well too, using various techniques to make it less blatant and more stylish. A lot of my enjoyment of this show and the previous one is just in the visual style of it. The time period, the clothing, the letterbox nature, the way it’s done up almost like a jack the ripper feel of a mystery. This is definitely a step or two above the typical tentacle hentai.

Features
Japanese Language, English 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: June 25th, 2002
MSRP: $29.95
Running Time: 45 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

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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