Preference and Prejudice

Well, this is, um, preferable to a lot of other things ... in our opinion, anyway.

It's amazing how many people who have written dozens of reviews of hentai titles express no liking for sex or sexual bondage, the two elements that distinguish hentai from other anime. Mostly, I think, this is because a lot of hentai review sites are annexes to larger sites that deal with mainstream anime. The reviewers don't really have any native interest in hentai, they just want to capture some of the revenue that hentai represents, so they review it, generally doing a very poor job of it because they don't LIKE it in the first place.

We LIKE sex and sexual bondage imagery. We like 'em a LOT. We think anime that have them are generally more fun to watch than those that don't.

We also like strong stories that are not just excuses for all the sex and/or sexual bondage imagery scenes, but which are compelling in and of themselves.

We understand that hentai are sexual FANTASIES, so that if women are portrayed enjoying being nonconsensually raped or bound, it's OK -- it's a FANTASY, the hentai doesn't really exist for the purpose of convincing viewers that real-life rape is good or that tying up people whether or not they feel like being tied up is good. It exists to help people get off on rape and bondage fantasies, and we're very comfortable with that, because almost all people who have such fantasies don't want to actually rape anyone or be raped by anyone.

That goes DOUBLE for the dreaded tentacle rape scenes. First of all, there is nothing on Earth that ACTUALLY has tentacles that can rape women, that wants to. There is no record of any attempted tentacle rape in the history of the Earth, and that includes Japan. We think such fantasies are merely the natural product of a culture that consumes lots and lots of squid and octopus as food.

And before you get too high and mighty about pandering to men's rape fantasies, you should remember that rape fantasies are a stock in trade of women's romance novels as well.

(In this context, we're more than a little puzzled about all the anime reviewers who can watch stories that feature the destruction of whole cities, sometimes even whole planets, with a certain gleeful joy in the fireworks, presumably borne out of an awareness that it's just a fantasy -- but the first cartoon tentacle that enters the first cartoon woman's orifice shocks them beyond belief.

Well, maybe "puzzled" isn't the word. Maybe the word is "skeptical." Deeply, deeply skeptical.)

We also like there to be at LEAST one character in the story you can like and/or identify with/root for. We don't care at all for the stories where the guys are all amoral scum and the women are all hapless doormats (all too common in hentai), as in the Isaku/Shusaku stories.

We understand that some women ARE doormats, and we don't mind SOME portrayed that way, but when they are ALL portrayed that way, it gets tiresome very, very quickly, like all those 50s SF movie heroines who were screaming, brainless twits who wouldn't raise a hand to defend themselves or anyone else.

But even more we hate amoral stories where the bad guys do one horrible thing after another but never get their comeuppance, as in the Desert Island X series. If the bad guys run around kidnapping and raping gals, we want to see them get caught, or shot -- preferably both.

Even worse than that are the stories where the women are raped and then killed and the bad guys get away with it. There aren't too many of these in hentai, but those that exist stink on ice.

At the absolute bottom of the barrel are the stories where the bad guys rape and then murder the women, then we are offered some kind of mystical cheat to make up for it, like the ending to the Kirei episode of Cool Devices.

We like maledom/femsub sexual bondage and dominance (and we are not at all averse to tentacled demondom/femsub bondage and dominance) as well as vanilla sex and lesbian sex (and bondage). But we don't like femdom/malesub sex or male/male anything. It's not that there's anything WRONG with any of them, they're just not to our taste.

We also don't like incest themes, scat, furry, foot fetishism, shoes, and quite a few others we can't think of offhand. Some of the things we don't like are wrong, some are OK, we don't care. We don't like any of them and won't seek them out. You especially won't find bestiality or kitty pron here, because they are really, really illegal here in the U.S. Since we don't like 'em anyway, we plan to keep a ten foot pole handy not to touch them with.

We will review those hentai that have a segment that touches on some of these themes, like the "Sacred Girl" episode of Cool Devices, which has a brother-sister incest theme, and we'll describe such scenes, but our dislike of them means we aren't going to be very good guides for those who like such themes.

So now you know some of our preferences. There are probably some preferences that even we don't know we have. We try to be as objective as we can, but we're not going to pretend we like stuff we don't, or that we don't like stuff we do like, unlike a lot of other hentai reviewers. Hopefully this means you can use our reviews more accurately as a guide to what you'd like.