Plot: What’s it about?
Although the Himalayan Mountains can be a relaxing place to kick back, college student Masao is soon to learn that even in such a tranquil place, evil can raise its wicked head. He is in the area with his parents, but his relaxation is ended when a strange woman appears and without warning, begins a blood soaked orgy of murder. She first slays Masao’s parents and then turns her attentions toward him, in cruel and sadistic ways. But these killings were by no means simple acts of violence, as the woman had a most evil plan in mind, one that would cause even more death and destruction in the long run. You see, the murders were carried out in ritualistic fashion, spattered in blood and saturated in evil, as the woman wished to awaken spirits of the damned that had been dormant for many years. As time passes, Masao’s friends back at school begin to wonder about him and when he shows back up again, he simply isn’t himself. The rituals opened a seal that held back demons and now that it has been unsealed, its bad news for the world. Masao’s body has been overtaken by demonic forces, though he is still able to have some control over himself, unlike some of the infected students at his school. Can he somehow rid himself of the infection and save his friends, or have the demons already grown too powerful?
Classes have been canceled on account of DEATH! Such is the tagline of this offbeat hentai series, which combines demons, rape, violence, and sex, which might sound bizarre, but this is a series about college students. I’ll grant you that most colleges don’t have demons, but the other elements seem right at home in the college atmosphere. Nightmare Campus has traits of your typical hentai style anime, but it never rests on the usual elements and in the end, that is what makes it more worthwhile than I had anticipated. The animation is good and I love the character designs, a mixture of older anime style and a more modern approach, making for some memorable, enjoyable characters to inhabit this world. The visuals are dark, but that’s to be expected and the demon design work is also good, which is important. I was also impressed by the storyline and plot movements, which were more complex and well executed than I expected. This is by no means an anime masterpiece, but for hentai, this is some good stuff. As per usual for a hentai release, you’ll see ample naked bodies and sexual situations, so if those ingredients offend you, go ahead and mark Nightmare Campus off your wishlist. But for those interested in this kind of anime, I think this disc is more than worthwhile, especially with all five episodes included. I do wish the series would have closed in a different fashion, but even so, Nightmare Campus is a solid release.
Video: How does it look?
Nightmare Campus is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. I had some doubts here, as this dual layered disc houses well over three hours of animation, plus other data elements, but the image is most often more than solid. I did see some minor compression issues and small color flaws, but aside from the first episode, it all looks good here. So on the whole, colors come off well and show vivid hues, while contrast remains ever consistent, with no detail problems in the slightest. I do wish some of the troubles were cleared up in the first episode, but once you hit the second installment, the visuals improve and remain at a solid level.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc includes dual audio options in Japanese and English, with the original Japanese being the recommended choice, of course. This mix won’t knock the pictures off the wall, but it sounds good and the material is very well handled. As the action heats up, more active presence emerges, but even so, keep your expectations realistic here. The music sounds lively, sound effects are well presented, and dialogue is very clean and never muffled. So not the kind of mix you’d want to show off your home theater with, but for what it is, a more than effective treatment. This disc also includes English subtitles, should you need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc houses a meet the cast featurette, as well as some promotional materials, which are fun to browse.