When a film's opening disclaimer includes the message below, you just know you're in for interesting viewing.
And that's really as good an introduction to hentai as any. Taking its name from the Japanese word for "pervert", the hentai genre encompasses all Japanese animated and comic-related media of a sexually explicit nature, from the tender and romantic offerings to the bizarre and comedic shows to the violent and tentacle rape-filled series that have become more or less representative of the genre. But there's one more thing (!) -- oftentimes, per certain prevalent fetishes in Japanese society, the females depicted in the sexual scenes are, shall we say, of a less than ripe age, despite the translators' insistence that the girls are 18 or 19! Half the time they can't even settle on the exact age, so they just approximate it as such -- not very convincing. WE'RE ON TO YOU, JAPAN.
Anyway, enter Tales of Seduction by U-Jin, the subject of a special three-part Scary-Crayon Spectare review. Now, I'm not what you'd call a hentai enthusiast and I'd never even heard of so-called "master of seduction" U-Jin until now, but when I came across this title on Deep Discount DVD (which I highly recommend, btw!) for $5.99, I couldn't help but want to get it home and tear off its coverings and seals and, welcoming it with open arms into the warm bed of my DVD collection, slide it into the player and set it spinning right 'round like a record. And here we are. Tales of Seduction by U-Jin: Three erotic tales from an apparent hentai master. Granted, I'm not sure how flattered I'd be by such a distinction -- THE MASTER OF CREATING RANDOM SEX TALES STARRING PERVERTED DUDES AND TEENAGE GIRLS!!! -- but whatever. It's U-Jin time.
Our first story, "When Idols Fall Prey To Lady Luck", begins in the well-stocked flat of Tsurujiro Kazama. An overworked pop songwriter and composer, Kazama's only relief is found in gazing at the young women in the physical education classes at the local university (my ass; that's totally a high school) directly in front of his apartment complex. His perversion isn't without focus, though. No, Kazama especially fancies one girl in particular -- Yoshizawa Akiyo -- who, he tells the audience in the opening monologue, reminds him of his first love. Granted, there's no way he should know this girl's name -- which means that he's clearly been stalking her and gathering information about her in addition to watching her from afar through fucking binoculars -- but the connection to his first love somehow renders his infatuation with this distant sweetheart a little less repulsive.
And just when you were starting to feel sympathy for Kazama, enter Nishimura Ryoko, a young singer debuting next month. See, Kazama's supposed to write her coming-out song, and, whenever he takes on such a challenge, he likes to get a feel for the artist first -- which means having the girls' managers send them over to his apartment so he can fuck their brains out. It's pretty disappointing for a story in a collection called Tales of Seduction, too. She just comes in, Kazama says, "Take off your clothes," and the next thing you know we're looking at Ryoko's dress and panties on the floor and listening to the sounds of two bodies bouncing on a bed and a girl gasping and a guy grunting. Where's the seduction? I see no seduction here.
By the way, throughout the story Kazama makes various decisions based on a sort of chance game -- he's got a wooden pencil with "1"s and "2"s written on it and, like flipping a coin, he rolls the pencil and observes where it stops to decide which course of action to take. For instance, here, he asks Ryoko whether she'd like to finish from the front or the back. When she declines to answer, he defaults to the pencil -- back it is. And so forth. It's hardly emphasized, mind you, but since the title of the short makes reference to it I figured I'd mention it.
So after they finish with the sex, Ryoko gets up and opens the windows -- and, upon seeing the girls' gym class in action, comments on what a dirty mind Kazama has for watching them. When he tries to play the innocent, she points out the numerous photos on his walls. AND LOOK AT THIS SHIT! That's not all, though -- Kazama's also got a secondhand girls' uniform which he takes the opportunity to bury his nose in and sniff deeply. I'm still at a loss to find the seduction, folks -- far from being erotic, this shit's moved into downright creepy territory. However, after receiving a strange, accusatory look from Ryoko, Kazama instantly jumps to defend himself. "I just prefer girls at their peak," he says.
And now's one of those times that I wish I understood Japanese or lived next door to a slender, easily corruptible, and sensuous (SECS -- it's an acronym!) young woman who does, because I'm fairly certain that those subtitles do not constitute an accurate translation of the words that are coming out of his mouth. 18 and 19 year old girls have hormonal imbalances and still have their baby fat? A woman hits her peak during her sophomore year of college? And yet Kazama's spent the entire time staring at and fucking girls who are obviously in their teens -- and very possibly their early teens at that! Feed me all the bullshit you want about desiring college coeds, U.S. Manga Corps subtitle division, but you know what? I've seen enough anime to know a high school gym class when I see one. And right now, at this very moment, I see jailbait.
Moving about Kazama's shrine, Ryoko discovers a framed picture of Yoshizawa Akiyo, the girl who reminds him of his first love -- prompting him to flip out and throw her out after commenting on the depth of his affection for Akiyo. Later, we see him staring at the high school girls and nearly falling to his death trying to get a closer look at Akiyo undressing. However, Kazama chides himself for this, reiterating that his love for her is pure and platonic. Cue flashback to him as a little boy, walking with that nameless little girl whom he so adores in his heart. I don't see how fantasizing about being with six-year-olds is supposed to make me buy that spiel about preferring college sophomores, but whatever. And then, in the next scene, we learn that Akiyo's transferred out of the nearby high school, but that he still sees her every day because she lives in the apartment complex just across the river. It's a pretty pointless development, given that it doesn't really change anything, but then, at the end, Kazama adds, "Rivers have always symbolized the flow of love." Ah, now it makes sense -- Akiyo had to transfer to set Kazama up for that cheesy quip. And then, for good measure, Kazama spins the pencil.
So after doing a little more neighborly stalking and falling into a bit of a slump regarding his songwriting, Kazama gets a call from a TV producer who wants him to star on "Reunited Lovers", the premise of which I hope needs no explanation. Reinvigorated by the knowledge that soon he'll be reunited with his long-lost love (!), Kazama redoubles his work efforts and fucks another rising star while thinking to himself about how Lady Luck must be guiding him and shit. Anyway, the day finally arrives! And here's how "Reunited Lovers" works: The contestant -- here Kazama -- is presented with a row of women and a bouquet of flowers, which he is supposed to give to his lover when he picks her out of the lineup. If he's right, she'll take the flowers, they'll hug, and everything will be peachy-keen! Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, unlike the Cyndi Lauper song, Kazama looks and fails to find his girl time after time... until, at last, only one woman remains.
And holy shit, we knew Kazama was unstable, but he fucking flips when he sees his girl -- and not in a good way. Is this "Reunited Lovers" or "Jerry Springer"?!? It's easy to get confused as security guards (and even the host!) rush onto the stage to hold Kazama back as he lunges towards her shouting about how his first love can't be that ugly and how he wishes she were dead. I feel bad for her! I mean, how would you feel if you'd gone on television to be reunited with your first love and the person found you so fat and repulsive that he/she actually rushed towards you with murderous intent?! And yet this poor woman's pain is being used for comedic intent in a cartoon about a perverted songwriter who lusts after high school girls. We live in a cruel world, people.
Back in Kazama's apartment, we find him bawling his eyes out after the extreme disappointment of seeing his first love -- and after he's been such a creepy freak for the entire short, that's how things ought to end. Alas, there is no justice in hentai. The doorbell rings, and who should be standing outside? Yet another young singer ready to be "initiated" into the music business -- Nakamori Seiko! But why haven't I boldfaced the name of this new character? Did I simply forget? And if I had, would I be drawing such attention to it right now? No! See, Nakamori Seiko is just the stage name of Yoshizawa Akiyo! HOW SHOCKING! Should he have sex with her? But what about their pure and platonic love? Oh, what a difficult and unexpected dilemma! Kazama asks Akiyo to wait outside while he retreats into his apartment to ponder it further.
And ponder it he does -- so hard that he collapses to the floor, groaning and holding his head as if full-grown Skilosh spawn will hatch from it at any moment. What to do? What to DO?!?! In lieu of making a decision on this pressing matter, Kazama opts to fucking trash the place. But wait! While he's knocking shit over, he happens to come across the pencil... which of course will be just perfect for resolving his dilemma. He gives it a roll, and -- voila! -- it lands on "2", which translates to "NO SEX". Their love shall remain platonic and pure! Hurrah!
Psych; this is hentai! Kazama rejects the advice of Lady Luck and proceeds to bang the fuck out of Akiyo. w00t.
Thus ends our first "tale of seduction," which really didn't so much involve seduction as perverted stalking and unnerving creepiness and even murderous rage and downright fucking lunacy. Um, good going there, U-Jin. But have no fear, disappointed readers, for part two's titillating tale definitely does have seduction... not to mention a character who rapes women in exchange for import video games! (Yes, you read that right.) STAY TUNED!