Let's get 2021 started with a bang (so the speak), with another really obscure OVA, 1990's Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - Ai no Shiro (Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - The Castle of Love). Despite the somewhat suggestive title, this is not hentai but a romantic comedy, albeit one that's a bit more sexually charged because the protagonists are adults, not high school students.
Our heroine is Mishiba Hiromi, office lady, wallflower, and (apparently) virgin. She pines for an adult romance, like those of her sophisticated colleague Kubo-san, but she seems to have no prospects. Then suddenly, she is more or less kidnapped and taken to the Castle of Love, a love hotel on Dougenzaka hill (colloquially known as Love Hotel Hill) in Shibuya. There, the handsome manager, Fujiwara Takuma, informs her that she is the daughter of the hotel's deceased founder and thus the heir to the property. He asks the flabbergasted young woman to become president of the hotel. Hiromi is inclined to refuse, until she finds out that the job comes with a beautiful suite in the hotel, as well as fine clothes and accessories.
Returning to work utterly transformed, Hiromi catches the eye of the office Lothario, Ootsuki-san. He promptly asks her out to dinner, gets her tipsy, and takes her to a love hotel for a bit of post-prandial hanky-panky. Fortunately, his hotel of choice is the Castle of Love, and Takuma intervenes to save Hiromi from a sticky situation. Then Mickey, the son of an American hotel magnate, builds a flashy new love hotel, the El Dorado, in the neighborhood and tries to poach Takuma to be its manager. Hiromi goes to the El Dorado to plead with Mickey to stay away from Takuma, but she ends up in another dicey situation. Takuma again shows up in the nick of time. Now, with all rivals cleared out, Hiromi and Takuma can acknowledge what's been obvious to the viewer from the outset: they belong together.
The voice cast includes:
- Shiozawa Kaneto (Takuma) played Kohei in Karuizawa Syndrome, Shin in Hiatari Ryoukou, Iason in Ai no Kusabi, Rock Holmes in Fumoon, Shiina in Chameleon, Sanzou in I am Son Goku, and Kurahashi Eiji in Nine, all Orphan releases. He also played Joe in Tokimeki Tonight, Yoshio in Miyuki, Takeshi in Touch, D in Vampire Hunter D, Narsus in the Arslan Senki OVAs, Rosario in Dragon Half, and Abriel senior in Crest of the Stars.
- Mizutani Yuko (Hiromi) played Pinoko in all the Black Jack properties, as well as Rika in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki, Lila in Eien no Filena, and Dr. Uematsu Kikue in Yume Kakeru Kougen, all Orphan projects.
- Katsuki Masako (Kubo) played Maroko in Gosenzosama Banbanzai and its movie version, Maroko, Mira in Ginga Tansa 2100-nen: Border Planet, Queen Bee in Golgo 13: Queen Bee, and Tsunade (Fifth Hokage) in the Naruto franchise. She also played Arianna Wyszynska in Apfelland Monogatari, Kenbishi Yuuri in Yuukan Club, Hojo's lover in Sanctuary, Itchan's mother in Sensou Douwa: Tako ni Natta Okaasan, and Yamazaki's maintenance engineer Kiriko in Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call, all Orphan releases.
- Seki Toshihiko (Ootsuki) was one of the leading male seiyuu in this period. He played the title role in Izumo, Riki in Ai no Kusabi, the hero Seitarou in Hoshi Neko Full House, the gang leader Hiba in Wild 7, Yoshitarou in Mikeneko Holmes, Miroku in Yuukan Club, Chuuta in Satsujin Kippu wa Heart-iro, the fighter Nagase Jun in Akai Hayate, the unnamed protagonist of Oruorane the Cat Player, and Sara's younger brother Junichiro in Kasei Yakyoku, all Orphan releases. He also played Matsuda in the Yawara! properties, Sanzo in the Saiyuuki TV series, and the title roles in Alexander (Reign the Conqueror) and Kaiketsu Zorro.
- Shioya Yoku (Mickey) played Triton in the Umi no Triton TV series and movies, Ryouta in Slam Dunk, Jinpei the Swallow in Gatchaman, Cosmo Yuki in Space Runaway Ideon, and the title role in Kariage-kun. He also played numerous featured roles, including Zhuge Jun in the first Sangokushi movie, an Orphan release. He also did sound direction on many series.
The director, Imanishi Takashi, has many credits, including Capricorn, The Cockpit, The Violinist of Hamelin, Zegapain, Yamato 2199, and multiple series and movies in the Gundam franchise.
Iri bought a second-hand laserdisc of this show. Intrepid ripped it on the Domesday Duplicator and encoded it. Iri then translated and did initial timing; Yogicat fine timed. I edited and typeset. Nemesis and Rezo QCed. As with Yume kara Samenai, the audio is FLAC. In Yume kara, that was a recognition of the deficiencies in analog audio decoding in the current version of the Duplicator software. With FLAC, it's possible to use the uncompressed audio track for filtering experiments, if anyone is so inclined (I'm not). In Milky Passion, the audio is digital, so it's just bloat.
Milky Passion tells a complete story. It's not a teaser for another media property. I found it quite enjoyable. The show does include some nudity and sex; it's a 1990s OVA, after all, and it's set in a love hotel. If that doesn't discourage you - or if that does encourage you - you can download the show from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.