DVD Title
 Rica
International Title
 Rica
Movie Length: 90 minutes Original Length: 90 minutes
Company: Exploitation Digital Release: 2007
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1 Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (1.0 Mono)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (12)
· Trailers: Rica, Rica: Lonely Wanderer, Rica: Juvenile's Lullaby, Lady Ninja Kasumi, Emanuelle's Daughter, Yellow Emanuelle, Porno Holocaust
· Photo Gallery
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

Released under Media Blasters' Exploitation Digital line, this disc marks the first time the movie has been made available on DVD; in fact, this looks to be the first official release of the production on home video at all, rescuing it from several decades of obscurity. Unfortunately, this particular DVD falls short of the quality Media Blasters has been known for in the past, featuring mediocre video, audio and supplement presentations.


 Video: Star Rating

Without a region 2 release available, I was fairly interested in how the video presentation would end up for this Showa era feature. The end result is, unfortunately, a mixed bag. On the plus side, the colors on this release look fantastic, showing an excellent spectrum that really comes alive during sequences like the dancing stint at the night club. Sadly, the print used for the transfer doesn't fare as well, primarily in regards to the very thick layer of grain present. This is very unfortunate, as otherwise the print looks to be in impeccable shape, almost devoid of scratches outside of a few scene transitions. The overall quality is also hindered by signs of compression. Generally, due to the amount of grain present, this isn't always noticeable, seeming to "fit" in with the level of noise. At times, though, it does become overt, such as parts of the scene at the dock where the solid blue sky becomes marred with blocky pixilation. The end result is actually something that looks quite impressive for screen captures, but much less so in motion. At least the film does look fairly sharp at times, despite some of the other issues with the transfer. The sole exception to this is the scene where superimposition is used for Japanese subtitles for the MP soldiers, which looks incredibly blurry. I have never seen Rica before, though, so it's quite possible that this was just a mishap with the film in general due to the way the subtitles were added in, and not a problem with this release in particular.

Rica is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

The disc contains one audio track, which is the original Japanese audio present in a one channel mono format. It's certainly a no frills presentation, but seeing as how this maintains the movie's original format it does get some slack. The audio track included is devoid of noticeable inconsistencies as well, such as pops or crackles, while dialogue is mostly clear as well. Overall, it's certainly an acceptable presentation, whose only real fault is its lack of more robust options.

The audio can be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles.


 Extras: Star Rating

Sadly, there isn't a great deal of extra content here, especially for a Media Blasters release. The title does have its share of trailers, though. This includes three for the Rica trilogy, each shown in pristine quality that is actually superior to the movie found on this same DVD, alongside four more for other releases done under the "Exploitation Digital" line. The other extra on this disc is an image gallery that deals with promotional material printed for its Japanese release and a closer look at the one sheet advert distributed by Toho International.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, Media Blasters, through their Tokyo Shock label, has released some truly fantastic Toho DVDs over the past four years, and its unfortunate that this particular title just isn't up to snuff with the rest of their catalogue. One can appreciate, though, that they have begun to distribute movies that lack a precedent on home video. However, I do hope that the releases for Rica: Lonely Wanderer and Rica: Juvenile's Lullaby do improve over some of the aspects of this disc, particularly to reduce the level of noise present during the movie itself, if the prints are in similar condition.