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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Girls Bravo Vol 1
Girls Bravo Vol 1
Geneon // Unrated // June 21, 2005
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Don Houston | posted June 13, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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Movie: In Japan, there exists a large market for the so-called Harem Show where a wimpy guy will be surrounded by scores of eager young cuties willing to satisfy his every need or desire (there are variations on the theme where the gals aren't so brazenly smitten but you get the idea) and he will not take advantage of the situation for one reason or another. The gals typically parade around in outfits that would make Wonder Woman blush, with huge volumes of cleavage and panties to be seen. As one of the more prolific reviewers of adult material online, I naturally have a leaning towards this type of show myself so I took a chance to pick up a copy of the latest in this line of thinking from Geneon, Girls Bravo 1, in hopes that it would provide some laughs of a sexual nature along with a bit of the usual formulaic action. To be frank, I wasn't disappointed in this first volume of the show.

The lead male, also called the Alpha Male in the literature of the sub-genre, was Yukinari, a student so fearful of women that he breaks out into a rash when they are around. His condition has been diagnosed as "gynophobia", something I'd usually believe was the fear of a pap smear or something similar (I'm trying to keep this review from crossing over into adult ground even though the DVD was rated as "17 Plus" by Geneon), but that sets the stage for the ensuing action. After a neighboring girl nearly drowns him in his own bathtub for allegedly peeping on her naked body, he finds himself cast into the abyss, landing on a strange planet, Seiran, which is cosmically linked to Earth but not quite in phase with it. He is saved by a beautiful gal named Miharu, whose innocence is belied by the fact that she immediately is captivated by Yukinari.

What seems like a fantasy at first got even better though as Yukinari discovers that he isn't allergic to Miharu, but it all comes crashing down on him when he finds out that Seiran is populated almost exclusively by beautiful women who are on the prowl for guys. Granted, it would take me all of about one second to get over that little travesty ("Take a number gals, Don Houston has plenty for everyone!" would be my battle cry) but then I'm not afraid of gynecologists, oops, I mean women. In any case, the hordes of willing women all try to take Yukinari by force, including Miharu's older sister, so after a prolonged, if unnecessary foot chase, he finds a way back to Earth (with Miharu tagging along).

The gal that nearly killed our protagonist, Kojima, is then seen weeping at the probability that she killed him but when he returns with his naked little gal pal, Kojima does what all women would do in such a situation; get mad at Yukinari and nearly beat him to death again. The show then settled into a formula where Yukinari goes to school each day, Miharu registers for school as well, and the fun begins anew as the situational comedy sets Yukinari against the spoiled millionaire (or was it billionaire) who sought the affection of Miharu; and Kojima's anger as she continually comes across the couple in situations that appear as if they are engaging in sexual intercourse. One of the side romances tossed in for good measure is that the antagonist's sister, Kazuharu, finds Yukinari attractive; mostly because of the devotion of Miharu although the plot device was set up to explain it via a prediction (watch the show to see what I mean). Another side laugh was when Miharu learned how tasty bananas were, eating them the way they were intended to be eaten by women. For those keeping track, the episodes were as follows: 1) Bravo From The Bathtub, 2) Bravo At School!, 3) Cooking Is Bravo, and 4) Bravo At The Mansion.

I liked the show more than a number of similar series I've watched to date due to the manner in which the silliness played into the characters a bit more developed than usual. I got the impression that the gals of Seiran would somehow find a way to bridge the gap between the two worlds in later volumes (I think this will be a shorter series than average by the pacing of this first volume so they'd better hurry) but there was enough to make me feel fine with giving it a Recommended. Where the series goes from here could be either up or down, hopefully it won't settle for retreading old themes that are far too worn out in the harem fashion by this point in time.

Picture: Girls Bravo 1 was presented in the same old 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in for airing on Japanese television a few years ago. The colors were very bright and given an airbrush look at times in keeping with the more adult themes of the show. The subtitles seemed a little noisy in the manner they appeared on the screen but otherwise the anime style used fit the subject very nicely and I thought it was eye catching to say the least. There were no compression artifacts to be seen and fans of adult anime will likely find this a breath of fresh air over the usual hentai titles they may be used to.

Sound: The audio was presented with the usual choice of a 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo track in either the original Japanese or the dubbed English with optional English subtitles. I preferred the original track this time as the dub voices weren't quite up to snuff in terms of timing and execution but also in how some of the voice actors went over the top in a manner inconsistent with their Japanese counterparts. Most of them were fine but the old saying about one bad apple came to mind here. In any case, the music was interesting to listen to and while the separation between the channels was limited, the dynamic range was just fine on both tracks.

Extras: With four episodes on the DVD, I kind of expected some decent extras on the release. First volume releases are more likely to have five episodes in my experience so going below that threshold tends of provide more space for the extras without compromising the picture quality but the bottom line here was the usual minimal extras were the only ones included. There were trailers, a textless opening, some art, and the original Japanese credits with a minimal paper insert included too.

Final Thoughts: Girls Bravo 1 is a harem show I can suggest to those of you who want something a bit lighter than usual with all the usual sexy anime gals trying to do what they do best with a shy lead unable to live up to his manly responsibilities with them. Seriously though, it was cute as well as interesting and I hope the rest of the series is as well done as this one was both in technical terms as well as the thematic approach it had for the well worn genre. Give it a look and I think you'll find it a pleasant diversion form your usual style of adult entertainment.

If you enjoy anime, take a look at some of the recommendations by DVDTalk's twisted cast of reviewers in their Best Of Anime 2003 and Best Of Anime 2004 article or regular column Anime Talk

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