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Balthus: Tia's Radiance


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Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • Other elements of this title:
    • Contains explicit sexual content.
  • grade: flawed
  • form: sub
  • source: Kitty
  • dur: 30
  • genre: erotica
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Mon Feb 12 13:57:44 EST 2001
  • mod: none

A story that tries to mix story, character, and explicit sex. It's an uneasy mixture, and the result has substantial flaws. Still, there is the feeling that there was an honest attempt to make a good anime.

The story concerns some alternate world. While it's a bit confusing at the start it eventually becomes clear that this area of the world is dominated by the factory city of Balthus. This strange place is a mixture of many influences, with cloth capped workmen operating strange and complex steam machinery to mysterious purposes. It's also a place where power, and priviledge, is likewise unfairly divided. Indeed this factory town is owned by a single man who, with his loyal henchmen, is lord and master of everything and everyone within it. This naturally includes women as well, which leads to an excuse for the hentai content.

Still, even in Balthus there are those willing to risk their lives to oppose this tyranny. We get to follow one man who, after a failed attempt to steal an air balloon, is washed ashore. Once there was a town there, but the people have all been stolen to work in Balthus. Apart from one woman, Tia, who also happens to be the sister of one of the rebels. An engineer who, amongst other things, is building a steam powered mecha to fight the master of balthus. He had also gifted his sister with a strange stone, which he said once had some relation to the machinery of the factory. However the dictator of Balthus does not allow people to escape, and is eager to capture them again...The question is whether they will be able to survive to oppose his power.

Hm, that all sounds quite positive...but as I mentioned it has problems. But before I get on to those let me mention the one strong point it does have. And that is that the design work, and world design, is actually quite good. The complex design and animation of the mysterious machinery is excellent. Everything is big, heavy and crude as if built with technology antique by our standards. Yet floating fortresses, a huge factory town and even mecha are expressed in this form. It's actually suprisingly cool.

But the story has got some serious problems. It's fairly rushed, and shallow, to meet the time constraints, but it also seems like there's some skill limits in there. Events flow on but aren't always connected, dialog is simple and we don't get much of a feel for the characters. You can clearly see how they wanted it to work, and they've set up all the right elements, but it just doesn't acheive the depth needed. This is partly because both the hentai, and mech-fetish design work, further reduce from the limited time available for story and event.

As for the hentai element,'s not going to save this anime. If you're a serious anime fan the interludes are too long, if you're a hentai fan they're too short and too rare. This is definitely a product that will please neither market too much. And the two elements do conflict. There is full nudity, and some groping, but the actual sex is largely implied. There are two incidences, both a couple of minutes in length, one of which is non-violent rape.

The production is highly variable. The complexity of the design work combines with the clear limitations of the budget to give a fairly strange appearance. Large scenes in which many elements are static and some animated sort of works and sort of doesn't. The character design is not too attractive, but the animation is workable. The backgrounds are occasionally quite attractive and do manage to acheive a sense of place. Taken together it's actually suprisingly competent and detailed animation. The voices are alright, limited by the somewhat broken dialogue, and I don't particularly remember the music.

Other Reviews

None of my regular sources has a review (yet) of this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:15 WST 2009