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Bondage Mansion DVD
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Bondage Mansion

Title: Bondage Mansion
Genre: Action
Credits: Critical Mass

Cover Description: It began as a game...or at least, a competition.

Yukio Mimura came froma a wealthy family and never wanted for anything. Kind and gentle, he obediently fulfills his dying father's final request; find a previously unknown cousin and allow him to live in the family mansion. But his cousin Hayato has other ideas for the family's mansion, its fortune, and especially Yukio's girlfriend Reika...

Woefully unaware of his family's sadomasochistic history, Yukio is forced to agree to a sexual competition to avoid the exposure of the family's dark secrets. A competition where Reika has become the playing field: the first to break her (as one would break a horse) is the one who gets both the mansion and the money.

Caught in the middle of a bizarre ritual between her current boyfriend and his sadistic cousin, it is Reika who will ultimately decide the sinner of this twisted competition...the one who puts her in bondage of the one who...loves her.

Skysenshi's Note: Bondage Mansion is a release for the Vanilla Series, which takes after the tradition of Cream Lemon and Cool Devices. I listed this as a separate title because unlike the Cream Lemon and Cool Devices series, each title within Vanilla Series has a standalone release. Even in Animenation, Bondage Mansion was originally listed as its own title.

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HN Opinions
Average Rating:

Interzone (07.20.2002)
Let the contest begin (and quickly end!)
Ouch. Never quite seen the appeal myself, it seems a rather painful way to express and receive love. But hey, there sure is enough adult anime released in the US featuring this particular fetish, so there must be the audience to justify it's continued 'dominance' (haha). Hmm…

Rather than being an anthology (as US distributor Critical Mass gives this impression), the Vanilla Series are totally unrelated productions from a single release label. Another Vanilla release was the very average Heat Series, so I sat down to watch Bondage Mansion with some trepidation.

But boy, the first obstacle to overcome is actually purchasing Bondage Mansion. As if the way-too-obvious title wasn't enough, the cover art depicts a near naked Reika shackled and gagged, which is bound to evoke a little embarrassment for the prospective viewer on purchase. Thank heavens for the Internet!

Bondage Mansion sets itself up with a typically flimsy premise; on his deathbed, Yukio Mimura's father makes a strange request of his son. Yukio must track down his cousin Hayata (whom he knew nothing about) and invite him to live in the family mansion. Not asking any questions, Yukio fulfills his father's last wish. Over a nice, friendly dinner Hayata drops a bombshell. He desires ownership of the Mimura (I shan't bore you with details as to why) fortune and blackmails his cousin into accepting his immoral challenge. Enter young virgin (heh, not for long) Reika, Yukio's girlfriend. Of course, whenever there's a challenge over power anywhere in hentai a woman must get involved, usually against her will. The two cousins have a couple of months in which to 'break' Reika — at the end of this period she will choose one of them.

And GUESS WHAT? Yep, she quickly discovers the joy of being abused. Man, she is gonna have SUCH a tough time choosing between these two total assholes.

Character designs are on the overly cute side for Reika and Yukio, but are criminally bland and insipid. Reika looks exactly like Chichiro from the Heat series (not surprising considering both shows have the same character designer). Erotic content is the same old censorship-confused mess that blights so much hentai. Generally explicit, Bondage Mansion applies the usual self-censorship techniques seemingly at random, mainly with obtrusive camera angles. Male genitalia is, wait for it, DARK RED. I kid you not. But worst of all is the lackluster animation, especially, of the sex scenes and the re-use of footage over and over again. To top it off, there's an old guy who makes an appearance in episode 2 who bears an uncanny resemblance to the 'Old Man' from Shusaku. And GUESS WHAT? He's a horny old perv!

The DVD itself was disappointing on a couple of points. Firstly, there are no previews on the disc. Boo. More annoying was the lack of a chapter select, each episode being a single chapter in itself. And on a couple of occasions the subtitles were mistimed. I get the impression that this disc was rushed and they are things I'd like to see remedied for subsequent Critical Mass releases.

Can you tell I didn't like Bondage Mansion? It has poor animation, mediocre character designs and a baffling ending. The lesson? There really IS such a thing as too much sex.

Art/Animation: 3 Story/Plot: 2 Characters: 2 Sounds: 7 Ecchi Level: 6