Warning: Not only is this anime hentai, but it is shotacon yaoi.Read on only if you accept that rather disturbing premise.
It’s a little sad to admit, but even though my blog gets good traffic these days, the entries that consistently get the most hits are for hentai. Yes, in just about every case I complain about how terrible they are, and no comments get left – but that’s what people are searching for, sometimes to stumble their way into here. And…well, even though I usually only criticise them, I still keep getting curious and watching more. I have a few lolicon OVAs from the 80s to watch, and some of the ‘classics’ of the genre like Bible Black, but one that made me pay attention was this – the spiritual successor to the infamous Boku no Pico. Kuro-Kun was made by 37°C Binetsu, who at least according to EncyclopediaDramatica are the renamed Natural High. I’m not entirely sure that’s the case, but stylistically at least this shares a lot with the Pico animations. Only with a whole lot less attempts to project innocence and cuteness, and much more bondage and fetishism.
The plot, which is very much like the execrable Okane ga Nai and I’m fairly sure was lifted wholesale from a C.J. Mikalski manga down to the disjointed childhood flashback scene, is a cliché of yaoi: a young boy takes on extreme family debts he can never pay off, but is rescued by a fabulously wealthy older male. But of course there are strings attached to the deal, and little Kuro-kun is not free, but rather becomes a sex-slave. The plot thus dealt with, the rest is sex based around various fetishes – first voyeurism as Kuro changes into a maid outfit and humiliating lingerie, then food as Kuro has to serve as a dish for his master’s meal, then finally some outright BDSM, in terms of mental roles as well as whips and chains. There is a distinct post-2010 flavour here that Pico managed to avoid, that further cheapens the already very, very cheap, not just in the fetish trends of having ‘traps’, as the English-speaking fandom has it, but in Kuro being a tsundere type, complete with the violent outbursts and shouts of ‘baka!’ Thus ends the OVA, and though I really felt like I’ve seen too much of that particular cliché, I must say I’ve never seen a flying roundhouse kick delivered by a naked underage boy, thoroughly enjoyed by its recipient. Nor did I think that was a sentence I’d ever be typing.
Yes, not only is Kuro-kun pornographic, it is paedophilic, just like the Pico series. Though there’s a rather alarming opening shot in a bizarre introduction that not only made me think that Kuro was going to die at some point during the episode, but that made it appear for a moment he is going to look about 8, he in fact looks about 13. I can’t say that's much more acceptable, but at least he’s reached puberty. I’m quite glad for the censorship, though everything that is unpleasant about anime porn is here in abundance – horrible squeezed sponge sound effects, thick gunk flying everywhere, and what look like very ugly genitals behind the censors. If anime on TV got toned down after particular laws were passed, it hasn’t reached the specialist DVD markets. Oh, and the animators were nice enough to keep some horrific, inflamed, alien-looking anuses uncensored for you until they are violated. How kind. And I thought the scarily oversized boy-nipples were too much.
For all it’s a new addition to a growing niche genre made by what are seemingly old hands, this wasn’t exactly as nice-looking as Pico to Chico, say. Animation is more limited, colouring is far simpler, and the designs are really not very nice – Kuro is a generic pretty-boy who really might as well be a girl, and his seme, personality-free Miisu, has a very dated face that reminds me of Keith from Psychic Force (from the early 90s), though that may mostly be the way his eyes are on top of his hair in that awkward way some character designers draw big fringes.
The bottom line here is that it’s stupid. But it doesn’t care. It’s meant to be shotacon anime based on fetishes, and that’s what it is, with stupid stock tsundere temper tantrums to transition between scenes. But if you’re looking for anything else here – other than trolling material – I’d have to question why. It’s not really what I’d call erotic, nor cute, and even with its whips and chains doesn’t come close to the dark fetishy mood of Enzai, but if you find it hilarious to send these sorts of things to friends and make them go ‘yoooooooooooo’ (or similar), certain scenes might push this even further. And that scene with the food, incidentally also the part that Kuro looks the most gender-ambiguous, actually manages to be cute.