Giovanni's Island is as powerful as it is predictable. It may be one of the few films to focus on the Kuril Islands, but its tale will prove immediately familiar to anyone acquainted with cinema's typical treatments of war-torn children.
Cool Devices has been touted as possibly the nastiest hentai ever animated. While some more recent tentacle flicks come close (Venus 5 and the various dojinshi parodies floating around), make no bones about it: Cool Devices IS the most explicit anime porn around.
In the first of the two episodes on this tape, "Curious Fruit," a girl named Ai is captivated when a couple of raunchy exhibitionists enter the bar where she is having drinks with friends. Intrigued (and aroused), Ai follows the pair, who take her in and open her up to the joys (ahem) of leather and bondage.
The second part features a scene that nicely wraps up the mood of the entire story: As teenagers, a girl is laughing as she's being chased around the pool by an older boy. She slips and falls (Didn't your parents always tell you not to run by the pool?) and skins her knee. The boy kneels down and licks her wound, and then, noticing that she had broken her hyman, licks the bloody secretions drizzling down her leg. Her voice-over says, "That's the first time I thought of my brother... as a man."
THAT'S not Christian.
A few years later, the boy grows up in his mansion after his parents' death, living vicariously through the "security" monitors he's installed around the house, including in his sister's bedroom. He invites numerous people over for massive orgies, but instead of taking part, he just sits in his chair in the security room, watching. He's mostly watching his sister, with whom he's had various encounters over the years. But it'll take a third party to bring the two together, and the tutor has just arrived...
Cool Devices isn't pure hardcore; there's always some bit of the action it seems they don't want to show. In the first part, the resident guy's penis is constantly glowing so as not to actually show it. The second part won't show any penetration. But while the series does pull some punches, these are far less than other hentai out there. Further, these stories make no use of rape or tentacles, two hentai staples (and cheap plot devices).
The American release is well put-together. Subtitled in the usual ugly large yellow font by Captions, Inc., there is no post-production work to be done, since all of the on-screen text is already in English. The box takes a nice turn away from the all-too-explicit covers of, say, Anime18 releases, replacing it with a large warning about the contents. I like the look of it, but the extra fold-out flap gets in the way when it comes to stacking it. (There is a spine-picture, but it looks rather lame so far.) The cover is in need of a spot of Velcro or something...
Sure to be controversial in that both of these episodes tackle some kind of sexual perversion (be it incest or bondage), Cool Devices delivers exactly what it promises. If you're looking for the latest, greatest wank-flick, look no further.
+ Excellent Animation, decent plot
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