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DVD Review

DVD cover

Master of Martial Hearts


Starring (voice): Kaori Nazuka, Ai Nonaka and Akemi Kanda
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 April 2011

Aya Iseshima’s life takes a strange turn when she rescues another girl from a particularly vicious fight. Through this act of generosity she discovers the existence of a secret, female only, martial art tournament - the ultimate prize being the Platonic Heart, which will grant the victor one wish. Not to be deterred Aya joins the contest to prove her valour and her strength...

Master of Martial Hearts is a fan service show directed by Yoshita Fujimoto, who made such memorable series as Body Transfer (2003), Elufina: Servant Princess (2004) and Ikki Tousen (2003). As you can see there is a general theme running through the shows with his work often moving away from straight forward hentai, to the more watered down ecchi fan service show.

Like Ikki Tousen, Martial Hearts is little more than an excuse to see buxom lasses beating the living crap out of each other, to the point where their clothes shed, revealing various body parts. Unlike Body Transfer, Martial Hearts aims to titillate - with the emphasis on "tit" - rather than produce anything pornographic.

The disc contains all five episodes of this OVA - Destiny Sprints Into Motion, A Reason to Fight, Three Sisters, Sworn Enemies, Silently, Like Secrets and Flames - containing lots of bouncing naked breasts and panty shots. Aya’s opponents are usually dressed in fetishized uniforms, teachers, police women and maids. When not wearing these, the characters spend much of their time in bikinis.

There is a plot of sorts, which just raises this above many other fan service shows, but it’s not very engaging. The only extra on the disc is a video commentary (29 min, 36 sec) from three of the lovely Japanese female voice actors; it’s a pretty good idea to watch the commentary as it actually happens, whilst the show is sown in a smaller window.

The show get a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, but while this is a positive it can’t hide the fact that the show was pretty cheaply made, some shots consist of nothing more than the static picture across the screen.

Okay... How you feel about the show depends on what you’re looking for. The inclusion of a half credible plot helps, but really the raison d’etre of the show is to provide soft core erotica. Approached with that in mind, it’s not a bad example of a mindless and disposable product. Just don’t show it to the kids. Personally, I am not a prude and have no problem with shows of this type, I’m sure that they are very popular with young lads and those with a low IQ, but why they feel the need to make then so formulaic and dull is beyond me.


Charles Packer

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