It’s Christmas Day, and as I admit I have a day of freedom to myself, the familiar call from Sothis pops up. “Can you help me add this one to the DB”, speaketh she, “its borderline hentai, so you make the call”. With the television being monopolised by gifted X-box games, I used my time wisely to watch a “quality” production from the 90’s that is heavy on the ecchi and low on production values.
Strange Love is...well... strange. Whilst going for the typical hentai scenario of school teacher seducing his headstrong pupil, the show does nothing but titillate the aroused viewer. Highlighting the difference between Japanese and western entertainment, be prepared for a perverted sensei, determined to have his wicked way with his cranially challenged (and lustily accomplished) pupil. The “innocent” Yoshida Chizuru is a model and the sexy star of a tv advert, something forbidden in the rules of the college she attends. Unfortunately, her secret is accidentally discovered by the youthful professor at her college and she soon becomes the target of his affections, even going as far as playing a high stakes game of Janken Po with him to alleviate some frustration.
As well as her effortless ability to make the boys stand to attention, Chizuru also spends her free time humping the guitarist of a famous band. The two play mind-games with each other and the end of the first episode sees Yoshida playing tonsil hockey with Hiroyuki in the elevator, as an embarrassed school girl looks away. What I didn’t expect was this young female, Azumi, to turn the story around, and force the once cock happy Chizuru to become the desperate victim. Questions about sexuality give rise to some saucy yuri scenes that are more amusing than arousing.
From chikan (train groping), to girls flirting with each other in the changing rooms, Strange Love also attempts to cover a fair few fetishes at the expense of a storyline. The bizarre change of pace between the first and second episodes also had me flummoxed by the complete u-turn in personalities. Maybe a longer running show that explored the relationship between Chizuru and Azumi would have been more successful, or an all-out hentai that gives some satisfaction rather than the sinful tease of something much, much fruitier.
Oh boy, did I laugh as the momentous mammaries swung out of their over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. Two ginormous breasticles on a teeny tiny Japanese school girl are meant to be realistic? Without surgical enhancements, I think not. And the striking feature of cauliflower ears to both male and female characters is not a welcome addition. To be honest, the drawings are amateurish and more deserving of a substandard doujinshi than an animated OVA. Women are unfortunately proportioned, with enormous breasts and very little else, apart from impossibly long legs that would be much better suited to a giraffe. And the male characters become just a second thought; their faces hastily scribbled as the artists fight amongst themselves to get back to sketching the curvaceous females with chest features resembling that of cattle.
In my entire anime watching career, I have never heard such diabolical voice acting as that in Strange Love. “Overacting” does not begin to describe the painful and forced lines of the seiyuu as they attempt to convey their feelings - regular AND orgasmic - to each other throughout the trite script. The soundtrack doesn’t fair much better; either making me giggle with a blatant 80’s porn anthem or becoming a droll-fest with an utterly forgettable piece that fades into nothingness less than 2 minutes after finishing the show.
There are more to the characters than just erratic perversion and stupendous boobies?
Strange Love is pretty terrible, with very few redeeming qualities. It tiptoes cautiously towards hentai, but lacks the balls to grab the premise by its naughty bits and descend into complete depravity; foolishly choosing the path towards ecchi instead. With no script, professional voice actors or plot to back up the half-assed sexual undertones, the show falls flat on its face. Instead, save your wrist, as time would be better spent either looking for porn, or finding yourself a harem game in which a bevy of beauties will do your every bidding. Disappointingly, Strange Love provides neither.
Yoshida Chizuru has a secret: even though it is forbidden at her college, she is a successful model and a star. Unfortunately for her, the new rookie teacher finds out her secret and she is willing to do anything to keep his mouth shut – including going back to his apartment for the night. Will her sensei maintain his professional pride, or is Yoshida’s mammoth chest and scant panties a prize no self respecting man would give up? And what about the new girl in school whose naive innocence makes everyone fall for her... can even Yoshida resist that doe-eyed smile?
As a not-so-closet perv, I love watching anything involving panty-shots, handfuls of cleavage and an innuendo fuelled plot. Although most of my reviews will err on the risque, I also love the obscure, the twisted and things that make you think - drop me a line if you want to discuss any of them!