One week of no sleep and nearly two hundred hentai titles later, I think I've gotten numb. So before I start this review, I'd like to apologize to everyone if it seems like my brain has fizzled.
Enter our protagonist Mai. She had a fiancé named Youji, but he died before they had a chance to get married. Before he left for the mountain climbing trip that killed him, he discussed his latest research with Mai. It seems that they have discovered a way to create babies out of a woman's egg cell if you merge that with any part of a man's body where you can take DNA samples from. Well, it doesn't take a CSI fan to know that any part of a man's body, including his hair and his saliva, can be extracted for DNA samples. I think I felt a lump in my throat when she hugged Youji, at the aftermath of their lovemaking, and asked, "But we're going to have our baby normally, right?" When Youji died, Mai despaired and wished that she could have his baby at least, just so she could have the living proof of the love she shared with Youji. I, for one, was sort of touched with this scenario. You basically could understand where all that determination as a DNA Hunter comes from, and besides, I'm not exactly alien to the grief a broken heart carries.
As Mai goes from one mission to another, she experiences dangers at varying levels. In one episode, she encounters a sadistic man who keeps attractive women as "pets", complete with leash and chain. In another episode, Mai uncovers a conspiracy between the company she's working for and another underground group. With each episode, you can feel Mai's stress go up the scales. In her first mission alone, you could actually feel her pain when her target asked her, "Are you frigid or something?" and then promptly moved his attentions to the other DNA Hunter. Also, I am of the belief that Mai slowly develops an extremely strong stomach as each mission progresses...all her "targets" are either DOMs (dirty old men) or ugly brutes. Thank goodness for that third episode, wherein the target was a 35-year-old cute college professor. He's one of only two hot guys in DNA Hunter. The other one is the boss of the operation, who reminds me of a hunkier Genji Ikari (Evangelion).
Of course, there are funny instances in this anime that could only be seen in hentai. For one thing, if I were in Mai's shoes, I could easily get sperm without having to actually have sex with my target. However, this is H, and we all know that any reason is good as long as it leads us to our much awaited bedside action. Secondly, I spewed hot chocolate all over my screen when Mai prayed to the heavens and said, "Youji, please watch over me! I'll try very hard!" I don't know about you, men, but if I were dead and my husband/fiancé/boyfriend asks me to watch him make a whore of himself, I am pretty sure I'd get up from my grave and haunt him.
Artwork and animation are reminiscent of Black Mail. The only problem here is consistency. The girls aren't always pretty, with the exception of Mai. Blond-haired Kathleen's features are just too sharp for my taste, and the blue-haired DNA Hunter looks so common that I find her forgettable. The bespectacled Shiori is easy to remember because she has this irritating voice that sounds like a gay guy on steroids
- yes, I am talking about her Japanese voice-acting. The strangest thing is, Shiori appears to have a sweet lilting voice during some scenes, especially when she's "doing her job", and then reverts back to her ear-grating tone during meetings/conferences. H-sequences are conventional and not too sadistic, but they're detailed enough.
Overall, I have mixed reactions to DNA Hunter. One one hand, I find myself relating to Mai's devotion to Youji. I could almost feel myself cry when she sobbed and whispered, "You lied to me. You said you'd never leave me." On the other hand, I find some of the situations hilarious even without them meaning to be comical.