How to put wussy rapists out of their misery.
I gasped at first sight of a flying airship. The visuals are crisp, clear, and breathtakingly beautiful. I wasn't disappointed when I saw the characters. Each girl is so exquisitely distinct. You can actually distinguish one over the other, unlike most hentai where the females have generic faces with equally generic personalities. There are many good angles and shots worth archiving even if this is basically set in a time of mini civil wars. A bit of gore — every "protector" has a gun — can't really be avoided, but I appreciate that they kept bloody fornication scenes to a minimum. In fact, you only see one during the second episode. Sex is abundant. You see them every 2 minutes of normal dialogue or so, but they're not as disgusting as your usual hentai fare.
Most of Dark Shell, however, is about wussies in military outfits out to prove their manhood by bullying a bunch of helpless women. They promise protection in exchange for flesh. One guy just let his girlfriend be violated by a comrade because he was a worthless piece of cravenly shit. He then blames his lover's fate on the weakest girl in the roster and takes it out on the poor soul. This, dear readers, is a classic way of showcasing your "eunuchness" (gawd, that would sound much better if I were podcasting): Cower in fear of a bigger man, but make sure that you can bully a smaller woman. The greatest irony in this situation, however, is that in the end, his girlfriend proves that she had more balls.
What actually kept me going — aside from a mysterious sniper that shoots off everyone who deserved it — was the intriguing narration of one of the characters' past. Yes, amidst all that mindless non-consensual sex fest is a very short love story waiting to be retold. I only realized who the narrator was near the end of the first episode, after I finished my head count of the women. The preview of the second episode will also give you a clue as to who it is.
The movie has a lot of subtle ironies, and the biggest dose is administered in the end. The finale is anti-climactic but it doesn't leave you with a bad aftertaste. In fact, I think it probably is for the best.
My warnings about many NuTech titles apply: Do not read the back cover of this DVD if you don't want spoilers.