Imma Youjo IV -- The Erotic Temptress

Re: the caption -- oh, yes she is, and yes she will, and there'll be hell to pay when she does ...

Copyright 2005by Pat Powers

Imma Youjo IV -- The Erotic Temptress has one of the niftiest story lines of any hentai I've ever seen. It stands right up there with Cool Devices' Slave Warrior Maya operations, Fencer of Minerva and The Wordsworth Saga, but which in certain respects is better than any of them.

Our story starts out with two men and a baby visiting an old fortune teller in the usual Japanese fantasy of medieval Europe.

The wife of one of the men, Count Mayatola, has died in childbirth, leaving him wifeless and childless, and pretty upset about both.

But a baby was found on his doorstep the day his wife died, and Count Mayatola feels that this baby was meant to be his in exchange for his lost wife and child. They've brought the baby into the fortune teller for an occult checkup.

The fortune teller informs Mayatola and his friend Count Beebopaloola (OK, I made that up, it was hard to catch his name) that the baby carries a terrible destiny and that their wisest course of action would be to kill it.

The handsome Count Mayatola in full drag.
Note shoulder pads for carrying terrible and sady destiny.

This does not sit well with old Count Mayatola, who is determined to raise the baby as his own. So the fortuneteller informs him that the only way to prevent this terrible destiny from occurring is to raise the baby as a man (it''s a girl baby) thus throwing the child's destiny far enough off kilter to keep things from going awry.

The next scene is one of wanton pillage and rape, as a witch hunt is in progress in a small village. The evil Count Pickerel has teamed up with Fiona, the king's favorite, and they're going around killing men, women and children, abducting women, raping them, torturing and then killing women some more, in order to protect people from witches who do things like make milk go sour and destroy the occasional potato patch. Or in Japan, maybe it was rice paddies.

Witchunters rape a woman amid the corpses of her family while her village burns. Hey, beats lettin' her make the milk go sour!

(I've heard that the Japanese really have this thing for medieval Europe, understandable enough as Japan went through it's own feudal period, but it IS funny to see all these Japanese anime set in what is clearly medieval Europe).

Meanwhile, Count Mayatola does as the fortune teller advises, and his daughter grows up to be a fine, brave, dutiful, really, really, really feminine-looking young man. Whom all the ladies think is REALLY HANDSOME. Strangely enough, the young Count Mayatola make Leonardo DeCaprio look really rough and butch, but nobody seems to find this strange or even noticeable.

Young Count Mayatola doesn't care at all for the witch hunters, as his/her sharp legal mind has noticed that Count Pickerel isn't really bothering with little formalities like trials or even making any effort to determine guilt or innocence -- he just goes in, kills a bunch of men and abducts, tortures, rapes and kills a lot of women, and moves on. And the women he abducts are all young and comely.

Oh, that wacky Count Pickerel! Apparently, being chained up naked and upside down WAS due process in medieval times.

Best of all, we get to see plenty of scenes of the action in Pickerel's dungeon -- lots of imagery of tied up babes being raped and such. There's also torture imagery, mostly just whipping and branding, but a couple of images of sharp things and hot irons that weren't my cup of tea but were easy enough to fast-forward past.

Count Mayatola reports his/her suspicions to Count Beebopaloola, who says he has heard similar reports about Count Pickerel's depredations, but can't move against him because Fiona speaks for the king, and as long as Pickerel and Fiona are hooked up, he can't move directly against Pickerel.

Furthermore, he warns Mayatola to be extremely careful around Pickerel, as her secret would make her very vulnerable to him.

But Mayatola's too pissed off about all the horrible raping, torture and murder and immediately confronts Count Pickerel. They have a swordfight, which Mayatola wins, giving Pickerel a cut on the cheek which mysteriously never heals.

Now Pickerel is really pissed off at Mayatola and sends an agent off to spy on her. He sees her taking a bath in front of an open window (pretty stupid behavior for anybody who's trying to hide the fact that "he" is a she) and pretty soon the cat's out of the bag and Mayatola, being exposed as a female, is accused of hiding her sex because she's a witch, and she's in Pickerel's prison, along with her friend and handmaid Anne.

Displayed publicly with her breasts exposed and her hands tied behind her back, Mayatola's pretense to masculinity is betrayed by her huge rack. "But I've smoked a LOT of pot!" she tries to explain -- tragically, no one believes her.

Count Pickerel has a plan to break Mayatola, and if you guessed it involved tons of bondage, rape and torture, you've guessed right. And as an extra added benefit, her maid Anne gets the exact same treatment.

The evil Fiona begins the process of making Mayatola into a sex slave with a little lesbian action, using her own knowlege of what feels good and what doesn't to a woman's body. And we are forced to watch. Life is good!

In fact, there's a horrific little scene where Anne, just into the prison, is locked in a cell with a total degenerate whom Fiona, gazing in through the cell window, warns not to kill his new toy by playing too rough with her. Fiona shuts the window on the door and all we know of the following proceedings is Anne's screams of "NOOO, PLEASE NOOOO!"

But never fear. There's a lot more bondage, rape and torture in store for both Mayatola and Anne, separately and together, and we get to see every last bit of it.

Maya finds that life in a dungeon sucks.

What's more all this bondage, rape and torture is totally germane to the plot. And here's where the plot twist that really makes Imma Youjo IV comes to the fore -- I'll put in a spoiler warning here so you can skip over it if you are so inclined:

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAGH SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to read the spoilers, just highlight the text hidden in the black box below:

Maya's witching power is linked to her sexuality, and all the rape and sexual bondage Pickerel is subjecting her to in an attempt to break her is actually making a very powerful, very dangerous witch out of her! Yes, every single sexual torment they subject her to, every sexual act they perform upon Mayatola and force her to perform, brings them that much closer to their own doom.

Oh, that is tasty stuff.

We see hints of this as Mayatola's eyes flash red while she's being raped at various points.

Meanwhile, Count Beebopaloola goes back to the fortune teller to inform her of Mayatola's capture and ask what he should do. The fortune teller informs him that if Mayatola becomes the witch she is destined to be, she'll control everyone around her, make them fight and kill one another, and "destroy everything."

The only thing Count Beebopaloola can do to prevent this, now that Mayatola has been exposed as a woman, is kill her before she assumes her full powers.

Meanwhile, back at Count Pickerel's castle, Fiona has noticed a change in Pickerel. Like, she's naked and sucking on his cock, and he isn't getting anything out of it. In fact, he tells her to stop and heads out for a walk.

Fiona knows Pickerel is headed out to visit his chained cutie Mayatola. She and Anne, now caged together, have adapted to being bondage slaves so completely that when their jailers come to molest them, the jailers are welcomed with open, though still chained, arms and legs.

And when Pickerel gets to Mayatola, he's hesitant, until Mayatola reveals to him that she's figured out that Pickerel is attracted to her AS A MAN and wants to use her as a man, and offers him her anus, which he accepts, i.e., he reams her thoroughly.

Meanwhile, a group of former jailers, now converted into glowing eyed sex zombies, enter the room and start raping Fiona. But the orgy is interrupted by Fiona's assassin, who kills all the sex zombies.

The angry Fiona figures it was Mayatola who sent the sex zombies, and sends the assassin to kill Mayatola.

But Anne, now Mayatola's sex zombie slave, shields Mayatola's body with her own, and while the assassin reaches the inevitable conclusion ("I'll just kill both of them") Count Pickerel, now also a sex zombie, kills the assassin.

And when Count Beebopaloola shows up to kill Mayatola, but does he succeed? We never learn. The end.

OK, I have some problems with the plot of this movie. The biggest one is this: how is Mayatola's rule going to be so much worse than all the hell that the witch hunters are responsible for? I mean, so she turns some people into sex zombies ... how is that worse than all the murder, torture, rape and pillage that the witch hunters were practicing? Granted, we never saw exactly what life was like under Mayatola's witch reign, but it was very hard to believe that it'd be a whole lot worse than the witch inquisition. And if it WERE going to be worse, they should have given us some intimation as to how it would have been worse. They didn't so the plot was seriously crippled here. Given the extreme nastiness of the people running the country, and no rationale for Mayatola's evil other than the word of a flaky old fortune teller, my sympathies were entirely with Mayatola.

Here's Maya and Anne still in chains being forced to have sex with Pickerel, Fiona, and a player to be named later. Puts a whole new perspective on this whole witch persecuting thing, doesn't it?

The character design on this one was very nice, but the animation relied way too heavily on the technique of panning across a large scene in order to save frames. This was especially noticeable (and annoying) in the witchhunter rape and pillage scenes, and in the dungeon scenes. Sexual action is a key element of hentai, and THIS is the place to spend money on animation, not save it. Many of the scenes were annoyingly interrupted by this technique.

The dungeon scenes were also dimly lit and the colors were washed out, as you might get in a real dungeon, but frankly, that's not a good idea in a hentai. One of the major points of a hentai is the sexual action. If you're going to use shadowy images, do it the smart way, the way Stepmother handled it -- have some areas of the frames bright and well lit, and others in shadow. Don't do everything in murky grays and browns. (Note: the images that accompany this review have been shrunk and enhanced and don't really match the colors on the DVD or video. They're close, but it's really difficult to get an exact match here.)

Most of all, don't have the men's' and women's genitals be dark brown, even if their skins look light grown to pasty gray in the dungeon light, and then draw them in shadows. What the HELL were these people thinking? I mean, it's one thing to avoid drawing genitals or to completely obscure them in order to secure a different kind of rating. But that's not what happened here -- some of the images are XXX and as explicit as they can be.

In the same vein, so long as I'm ranting, if you are going to show an explicit image at all, might as well get some mileage out of it. Don't just show one or two second flashes of things going in and out, give your audience a chance to see what's going on. This is one of those places where you can save on animation costs by looping the same image two or three times. Combine two or three such loops and you have several seconds of smooth animation that convincingly portrays sex, which is after all physically repetitive a lot of the time, with scads of savings on cel drawings.

And I know a lot of people who have seen explicit scenes in hentai that were clearly done in just this way are going "Well, duh!" but the folks who made Imma Youjo IV have apparently not figured this very basic thing out.

However, these are basically quibbles over what is one of the best hentai I've ever seen. The strong plot and character development combined with the way the sex scenes work with the plot makes it much more watchable than the average hentai. Seeing the step-by-step progress as the fortune-teller's curse is fulfilled despite all the efforts of the good guys to prevent it is really, really nice.

My review must conclude by noting that there aren't a lot of A-level mainstream films with plots as good as Imma Youjo IV. Tasty stuff. Do watch.

Maya waits in chains for her next victim ... er, captor.