Bondage Mansion (2001)
By: Captain Red Eye on October 1, 2009  | 
Siren Visual (Australia). Region 4, NTSC. 4:3. Japanese DD 2.0. English DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 60 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Starring: Reika Uehara Masayo, Yukio Mimura Shun, Hayato Mimura Takuya
Screenplay: Rokurota Makabe
Country: Japan
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My word the world of animation has come a long way since the days of Snow White and Felix the Cat. There's certainly no way Walt Disney could have predicted smut like Bondage Mansion, which has been brought to Oz courtesy of the tireless folks at Siren Visual. Here they have presented the two half-hour episodes of this Vanilla Series instalment on the one disc, complete with English and Japanese audio.

The story is as follows; teenage Yukio and his cousin (and lover) Reika are living together in the house of Yukio's wealthy but ailing father. When the old guy croaks, his dying wish is that Yukio track down his long-lost cousin Hayato and allow him to join the pair in the family mansion. This was not a particularly wise move on the part of the uncle. Hayato, in addition to having designs on the family's fortune, turns out to be an incorrigible sexual sadist who promptly subjects poor Reika to all manner of sordid filth. Surprisingly, though conveniently for purposes of narrative, Reika takes quite a shine to this shoddy treatment, and both cousins end up competing for her affections in an increasingly perverse game of sexual one-upmanship.

As far as this sort of thing goes, Bondage Mansion is entertaining enough. The animation is adequate if not spectacular, and the Japanese voice actors do an excellent job, really giving it their all on lines such as 'I told you before, use your tongue more.' The actress who voices Reika deserves an Academy Award for her moaning and groaning during the numerous sex scenes; she sounds like a cross between Minnie Mouse and Jenna Jameson, which suits the material perfectly. Overall the storyline smacks of the Marquis de Sade, whose writings probably aren't the most inappropriate reference point for a hardcore animated release, and the flashbacks and nonlinear presentation of scenes prove effective at breaking up what is essentially an extremely simple plot.

As with many of Siren's hentai releases though, Bondage Mansion is not without its flaws. The character designs are somewhat generic and any character progression, such as it exists, functions solely to serve the storyline. The male genitalia have also been coloured a garish and unsightly red in what is presumably an attempt to sidestep censorship issues were they to be depicted too realistically, however their resultant uncanny resemblance to boiled hot dogs is more than a little disconcerting. In true de Sade fashion Reika also submits a little too willingly to the whims of the dastardly Hayato, though I guess if you're of a mind to watch an animated release in which a young woman is repeatedly tied up and ravished you aren't going to be complaining about a few measly plot holes. Furthermore the Western voice actors on the English audio track are woefully dispassionate, the subtitles are shabby and idiosyncratic and at times they drop out altogether or appear when no dialogue has been spoken.

Everything that critics of adult anime deplore is on offer in Bondage Mansion. The story's lone female character epitomises the typical hentai sense of feminine aesthetics: pubescent facial features, small waist, long hair, impossibly large breasts and big, innocent eyes. That she is routinely violated by the wanton male cast and quickly becomes complicit in their perverted parlour games will probably not please those who consider the genre an excuse for blatant gender stereotyping and unattainable phalli-centric ideals of body type and sexual behaviour. Those who take a more uninhibited approach to their viewing choices might find some merit in this lurid if imperfect addition to the expansive Vanilla Series collection; moral crusaders and those likely to be offended by graphic sadomasochistic content had better steer clear.
Presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio, picture quality is acceptable without being anything special. The main defects are a lack of detail, some uninspiring backgrounds and overreliance on static shots. A number of shots are also heavily recycled, which is surely inexcusable in a release running barely an hour, of which almost ten minutes is taken up with end credit sequences. The menu also seems to have a couple of glitches. For one thing it's impossible to navigate from the scene selection back to the main menu – this may have just been my copy but I tried it on two DVD players and it refused to work both times. Overall the animation, not to mention the DVD release itself, feels somewhat slipshod and more than a little rushed.
A fairly middling 2.0. Again, when the bulk of the scenes feature a young woman having hot wax dripped over her bound and naked body as a flaming crimson cock is rudely thrust in her face, the last thing you're likely to be thinking is 'gee, I wish this was in 5.1 surround.' Viewers can opt for the original Japanese with subtitles, or the sub-standard English dub which is also good for a chuckle thanks to its lackadaisical performances.
Extra Features
Trailers for this and three other Siren hentai releases.
The Verdict
Despite a few positive attributes, hentai aficionados probably won't be ranking Bondage Mansion among the classics. As an introduction to the world of adult anime, or as an over the top, fetish-filled hour-long diversion however, casual viewers may find it worth their while.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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