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Dark Dark Dark Dark

Dark DVD
Hentai Item Shop

Title: Dark
Genre: Suspense (PsychoThriller)
Credits: 2002 GrandBlue / Digital Works, 2003 Critical Mass Video

Ad Description: In the tradition of COOL DEVICES comes the latest thriller to join the ranks of the hardcore hentai set: the Vanilla Series! From SHIYUUTA BIWAJIMA and CHIKARA NIKI, the producers of GIRL NEXT DOOR / MEIKING, and EIJI UTAKATA, Art Director of CAMPUS / MEIKING, comes a show that will shock the adult anime world to its core!

Shinji Yagami had always heard the rumors about female students being raped on campus—everyone did. Of course he never believed them until the day he stumbled across a website showing detailed pictures of female students being assaulted in the classrooms. Shocked to find himself turned on by what he sees, Shinji begins his descent into a world of voyeurism, S&M, and rape guided by fellow sadist Satoshi Kojima.

When Shinji's childhood friend Miku Iino begins to suspect that he may be involved with the string of campus rapes, she decides to confront him. Torn between his own dark desires and the horror of his crimes, will Shinji continue to hide his secret from Miku, or will she become the next target of his vicious desires?

DVD Features: Animated Art Gallery, Scene Access, 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio with Regular and "Soft" Subtitles for on screen translations.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

HN Opinions
Average Rating:

skysenshi (09.18.2003)
Selfish Sex
It's hard to put into words what I felt when I was watching this new Vanilla Series offering. On one hand, I was a bit surprised to find something coherent and actually quite serious from the Vanilla marketing group. I usually end up laughing my ass off at their "horror" or "tragic" h-anime, simply because the sheer stupidity of the characters is just beyond logical comprehension. On the other hand, I don't condone rape in any form. I don't care if the women secrete barrels of liquid that could put Niagara Falls to shame. Rape is rape, and rape is violation of human rights, to put it mildly.

I say coherent because the writers seemed to have touched, if not focused, on the psychological issues surrounding rape. It's more about power, above all else. You will hear statements like, "If you worry too much about your partner, you will be stressed out and miserable," and, "It's all about doing what you want." Selfish sex. Shinji Yagami's problem started with him not being able to perform with his girlfriend because he was too nervous about what she thought. And then he discovers an outlet that lets him think more for himself, a means to satisfy his cravings. I don't see anything wrong with this. It happens to the best of us. But when we actually pull out our deepest, darkest side and shove it down everyone's throats, then we've got ourselves a whole bunch of nutcases. The rational part of us makes us human, and letting go of that turns us into mindless beasts.

Shinji's mental vulnerability makes him the perfect sidekick for Satoshi Kojima, who has gone deeper than Shinji could ever go. Shinji at least swings from sweet innocent boy to demonic sex maniac and then back. Satoshi goes from bad to worst, until he ultimately meets his cerebral demise. But who placed Satoshi where he is? Now that's a little twist I didn't really expect from the usually shallow Vanilla.

Dark essentially has a happy ending. Err…sort of. It's the little twist that puts a cliffhanger in there. Nevertheless, you can thank the kind, but somewhat naive, Miku Iino for not giving us the typical Vanilla Ending where everyone's in a lose-lose situation. Don't expect Miku to be a kick-ass female character, though. She's formula horror flick chick. You know, the ones that run to the top of the building and then find themselves trapped with nowhere to go? (Gawd, somebody oughto put emergency exits in their houses and schools!)

As for the hentai aspect, I quote the advertisers: "...comes a show that will shock the adult anime world to its core!" Hah! After Cool Devices and some 170 animated porn titles—not including the h-videogames and the h-manga—I could almost say I've seen 'em all. Dark's S&M and the countless scenes of sadism haven't reached Cool Devices or E'L proportions yet, but they're bad for your sanity. If you can't stand seeing elongated objects, other than the penis, being inserted in a woman's vagina or virgins bleeding their guts out, then I don't recommend you get this. Even in my jaded disposition, I still find myself looking away and cringing at the sight of a mop handle in a hentai sequence.

The art is, like all other Vanilla presentations, beautiful. It's the animation that doesn't impress me. Lazily done digital animation is never spectacular. Furthermore, US dubbers could use younger voice actors as Shinji sounds like he's in his 30s. And it doesn't help that there's somewhat of an error in my DVD options. When you select Japanese with English subtitles, only the second episode comes out right. The first episode is English with English subs. Other than those minor details, I'm thinking this is an improvement. Still, it doesn't mean I've become a Vanilla fan. They yet have a long, long way to go.

Art/Animation: 8 Story/Plot: 7 Characters: 7 Sounds: 7 Ecchi Level: 9