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Anime on DVD Recommends: Koihime
Typically, hentai has been misrepresented in the West as violent and darkly fatalisticfantasy, but softer, more romantic fare is slowly starting to be released domestically.Of these new titles, Koihime
adds just enough heart, a pinch of socialcommentary, and an honest resolution to the pretty girls + sex recipe and stands out as thebest among this new generation.
Not extreme enough to cater to those looking for pornographic thrills, but edgierand too explicit for most anime fans, Koihime
is an excellent choice foradult couples looking for something to enjoy together.Musashi
is on vacation from college. Rather than spending his break amidst the hustle and bustleof the big city, he visits his grandmother in the remote, country village where hegrew up. He hasn't been back in 15 years, so it is quite understandable that his memory might bea little hazy. But why is he having so much trouble remembering the four girls he promisedto marry back when he was a boy?Nami
is elegant and mature. She thinks that Musashi is fickle and indecisive but loves himanyway. She is an excellent cook, but don't assume she's totally domesticated. Namiis a tough business woman, running the local general store.Her father has a fearsome anger and doesn't approve of Musashi, but fortunately he's awayfor the night....Anzu
is energetic and cheerful. Her good humor is contagious to those around her.Of course, when she is hurt – as when Musashi jokingly admits that he cannot rememberher – she is not afraid to express those feelings, either. Her sense of culinarydelectability is interesting, to say the least. Anzu can often be found hanging around the hot springs.Suzaku
is the shrine-keeper's granddaughter. She's rough and tough around the edges. Lifeis a game to her, and by golly, she's going to be the winner. When things don't work out theway she expects, she often finds herself confused and angry. But what she lacks infemininity, she makes up for with fierce loyalty to her beloved Musashi.Mayuki
is shy and quiet. No one really seems able to connect with her, but she seems mostat ease around Musashi. When he's not around, she becomes sullen and withdrawn. The othergirls don't understand her and even seem a little afraid of her.
Being hentai, there is plenty of sex in Koihime
. Essentially,the plot serves to get Musashi together with each of the girls. However, in Koihime
the sex serves the plot equally, and though they are explicit, the sex scenes are rarelygratuitous or exploitative. Watching the characters make love, we see more about the charactersand how they feel about each other in a natural and totally intimate way. We learn that Namiis uncomfortable with her own beauty. We see Anzu's eager curiousity about sex, and life ingeneral. For Suzaku, even sex is a competition – she can hardly slow down enough toenjoy it properly. Mayuki's deep-rooted fears of abandonment are only soothed by Musashi'sgentle touch.
Even Musashi seems to undergo changes as a result of his encounters. At first, he is eagerand anxious to enjoy himself, but later expresses concern over his own motivations forsleeping with these girls. He becomes a tender and giving lover. By the end, he comes tothe last girl with serious doubts abouttaking advantage of her affections. He comes to realize that his sex with her is an extension ofthe affection and tenderness he already feels for her.
Perhaps what is most surprising about Koihime
is how the plot frequently lifts itselfout of the mundane scenarios of most sex stories to reach a point where it connects at aromantic – not simply erotic – level. Upon returning to the village,we learn that the girls' familiesare deeply disturbed that their daughters pledged their love to an unworthy outsider. Evenaffter the sex, there is still love that must be fought for and won. In the story'ssurprising finale, Musashi must show that love can overcome cultural barriers and reach thosewho have been lost to love.
In all, Koihime
is a sweet, little love story with a gentle, and refreshinglyinnocent, outlook on sex. The ending is appropriate and a touch bittersweet.
In a genre full of brutal, disturbing and graphic images, it is nice tofind such a charmingly entertaining and romantic hentai program. Make time in your life to watch itwith someone you love.
At just under an hour for both episodes, Koihime
will leave youlonging to return to this quiet, dreamlike village and the beautiful girls who livethere.
R1 DVD Releases R2 DVD Releases
Publisher: NuTech Entertainment
MSRP: $24.95 ea.
Boxset available: $39.95 Publisher: KSS / Pink Pineapple
MSRP: 5800 ¥ ea. Back to AoD Recommmends