Wednesday, 17 August 2011

爆発寸前!! 天使のカウントダウン / Ready to Explode!! Angel’s Countdown / Countdown to Delight

Time to slip impressions of a hentai in between two slightly more respected older anime, albeit possibly not much. From Green Bunny, the great minds behind Wordsworth, and apparently farmed out to be animated in Korea, comes a hilariously plotless pornographic comedic anime that can’t quite decide who its audience is. Like so many ecchi series, Countdown to Delight gets most of its laughs by having a main character who doesn’t want to do anything sexual getting aggressively pursued – only here, the sex actually happens. And it’s remarkable how much less erotically charged things are as a result.

The plot, such as it is, is divided into two parts. In the first, our hero Motoki cannot get his homework done because his sister insists on having loud lesbian sex in the next room. Poor Motoki – not only is he pretty and childlike, with an unbroken voice and almost no body hair despite being in junior high, but his best friend has decided they ought to be gay lovers. On top of that, his sister’s lesbian lover decides that she ought to seduce him. His best friend walks in on this and has a hilarious jealous reaction. The best friend's sister came along, too, wanting a threesome with the two girls, but they decide on a fivesome instead. Motoki doesn’t like this idea, so runs away. While in this state of distress, he is almost hit by a car. In the second, this situation leads to him getting tutored by a beautiful rich girl, who of course turns out to be dominatrix fond of sadism. Poor Motoki is tied up, whipped and otherwise abused, until the three girls come to the rescue in silly magical girl/sentai outfits and prepare to fight – only for the meta humour to kick in as they declare nobody wants to see action scenes in a comedic hentai, so they have an orgy instead. And the poor gay kid gets no action at all.

It’s actually quite refreshing to see a hentai that’s actually meant to be funny. Though the humour is derivative, it makes everything much more pleasant to watch and at least avoids being self-important. On the other hand, playing it for laughs makes me wonder what the point of the existence of this episode is. I’m not one for hentai in general, it never…doing it for me, but I can’t see how anyone finds this erotic.

Plus it seems odd to me to have Motoki at the centre of it all. I guess he’s supposed to be easy to identify with, and it’s the fantasy of having four aggressive girls actively pursuing you (even if one is your big sister) that’s supposed to appeal, but…in the end, because he’s at the centre and always getting subjugated, it ends up seeming like he’s the object of sexual desire, and the whole thing is actually straight shota rather than the intended fantasy for straight boys.

I don’t think it bears overanalysis, though. A hentai to watch for laughs – like just about every other hentai around.

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