Sep 13, 2015
Let's make this clear: I'm not a prude, but I refuse to throw around sexuality for the sake of titillation. Hentai is really not something I like to dabble in, and thus is only one or two drops in the bucket of anime I have seen. I get it that “porn without plot” is a thing, and that's fine with most people, but I'm one of those who would prefer it if there was a story that happens to have sex woven into it—and even then, there's no guarantee I'd like it anyway (I'm just that hard of a woman to please). Far as I
know, not too many hentai do this, and especially when it comes to the main love interests being a married couple.
Found one. (Thanks, TV Tropes!)
STORY: Elven Bride's story is as simple as it gets: a human named Kenji marries an elf named Milfa, a decision that alienates them because of racial discrimination against elves (although it seems mixed marriages are frowned down upon in this world anyway despite it being a thing). After marrying in an empty chapel, the newlyweds have their first night together, only to learn they can't consummate because's Milfa's vagina is small, and any attempt at penetration causes excruciating pain. They promise they'll find a way while still living a normal, married life, or as normal as it can get with all the discrimination and close to no sex life.
Even though there's only two episodes, it's clear there's an entire open world to explore. In one episode, we see harpies—actually, harpians—and townsfolk sneering at Milfa including three young boys who do warm up to her by the end. Then in the other, more characters come in that bring about entire questions as to how the world works and what kind of races there are, and even the kinds of magic used. Episode two is what gives us two racially-mixed women who take to Milfa quickly and set them up as possible friends for her. There's even a woman named Mitsuko who seems to have a history with Kenji (he calls her “Baa-chan”, even though she berates him for it), but we don't even get an exposition backstory about why they know each other.
But what would definitely be more interesting, and it's something the OVA does touch on quite a bit, is the social issue with mixed marriages/relationships, although we only ever saw Milfa being discriminated. No one (outside of the preacher, I suppose) approved of the marriage between Kenji and Milfa, her parents didn't even show up. My question is: “Why are elves looked down on by humans?” This was never answered, and though we got a plausible answer by the end for why it is the parents were probably so adamant about their marriage (even though them being a mixed-race couple is most likely a big part of it), this leaves behind some gaping holes that definitely could've been filled with something, anything. It's possible if there were more episodes, this could've been answered, but as it is, we can just assume it's similar to our own racial issues.
But I suppose for the most part, the heart of the OVA's story is the relationship between the newlyweds and their hardship.
CHARACTERS: Our two leads, Kenji and Milfa, are pretty adorable together. While we jump right into them getting married, we have a sense that they truly love each other, and their love scenes are romantic, it's just that reality ensues, and they are saddened to learn they can't consummate. But even then, they are quick to come up with solutions to give them hope to live a normal life, and it strengthens their love. They do steadily come to accept it may always be impossible, but they make do with what they can.
This really appeals to me as a hopeless romantic, for some odd reason. I won't lie that I feel a sense of... satisfaction, or at least happiness when a couple I root for get together and even consummate their love for one another. Yet it's not often I run into a story where a couple has problems in bed (and pretty much from the get-go), yet don't let it get them down as they know they'll find a solution, even if it'll take them a long time. In these two episodes, we don't get that solution, kind of, but I'm totally okay with it because Kenji and Milfa love each other regardless.
If there was one thing that bothered me a little bit, it was in the first episode when Kenji was out looking for what's called “harpy ooze”, which is supposed to be like the ultimate lubrication. Well he finds it, but he had to be carried away by a harpian first because the harpian as it turns out need human males to produce more harpians, otherwise they just get harpies. (It's weird, and it's things like this that make me wish we got more information on the world because it's kind of weirdly fascinating.) The harpian who carried him away also happens to be a princess, and she seduces him, yet Kenji doesn't even try to get away, let alone tell her he's already married. Of course, he does end up getting the harpy ooze to take home, but he had to bring her to orgasm first—after he stopped himself from climaxing since he wanted to climax with only his wife.
But clearly someone didn't realize that pre-ejaculatory fluid still has the potential to carry live sperm cells, soooooo... yes, a drop of seminal fluid can still get a girl pregnant. Guess the stars were lined up just right (or wrong... depends, I suppose) for Kenji that day. It's played for laughs, anyway, so I suppose I can let it pass.
Episode two introduced us to Mitsuko, who feeds on life energy to take on a more youthful appearance (so she's probably a vampire?), Ion, a mix between human and jinro (so a werewolf, then?), and a half-hobbit named Noitie. There's not much to them, unfortunately, but it's possible that if there were more episodes, they'd be Milfa's friends. For what it's worth, though, I did like what I saw of them, so that's why I'm a little sad we didn't get more.
We also got pretty much a “villain” in episode two named Perio, with whom Kenji has a history with, but it was just a quick set-up to give him the role of a womanizer before we see him having his way with one of his patients. Oh, he's a gynecologist, and he had opened up his own clinic just so he could have sex with frustrated housewives whom he seduces with magic, probably so they don't notice (or even care?) that his penis looks like a lamprey, which I think drains energy or something while still having penile functions. Unless it was nothing more than a visual metaphor, I don't know, and I don't want to think about it anymore.
ART/ANIMATION: It's from the mid-90s, so it has that typical 90s feel to it, but the art-style threw me for a loop at first. Body proportions looked off to me to the point I thought it was going to look very rough and even difficult to watch, but it quickly grew on me. To explain, everyone appears to have some baby fat to them, at least in their faces, it's a little weird, actually. With Milfa, I can at least understand why, but Kenji was almost silly-looking with his head being overtaken by his wide torso. Then I realized he was pretty much a hero/explorer in this world (well, his job is he's a captain of the National Guard, anyway), and almost immediately, I was okay with it.
The animation's not that bad, either, it flows nicely, and the sex scenes are rather smooth for what it is without showing penetration and even genitalia (outside of the aforementioned lamprey-penis-thing). The colors are rather muted at times, though, but I guess that's just a result of it being twenty-year-old cel-animation.
SOUND: This is more-or-less an afterthought, if you ask me. The voice-acting was fine, nothing to really complain about here (it's just that only Milfa appears to have a listed voice actor, everyone else apparently went uncredited, although Perio sounds familiar and I think Noitie is played by Mika Kanai), but the soundtrack is hard to talk about. This is because I don't know how much of it was original and the rest being stock music/sound-effects that were distracting. The music is pretty forgettable anyway, so I can't tell you if it fit or not, I just remember hearing fanfare sound-effects I swear I've heard from old games I used to play on the PC.
ENJOYMENT: I'm legitimately disappointed only two episodes were made, there was so much more to it that I could see, but will never get to learn. I know, it's silly to think about these things when it comes to something like hentai, but that was how the OVA presented itself. I actually can see this getting edited/toned down more to be more of an ecchi title, but with exception for maybe one or two scenes, the sex played a rather important role with the characters. Even if it was just edited to be heavily implied, we probably would've lost a little bit more to their characters.
Also, how often is it that we get to have a married couple in the lead role being adorable together while also remaining faithful (for the most part) to each other? And in a hentai, no less (but this is most likely just me not having seen enough to know for sure)? The only other title I can think of is Futari Ecchi, although I preferred Elven Bride over FE's OVAs, personally. It'll probably also be the only one I'll openly admit to seeing outside of this website alongside Kite and Mezzo Forte, because at least I got that warm and fuzzy feeling watching it, which isn't something I've gotten from any of the hentai titles I've seen, and probably never will.
But that's just the hopeless romantic in me, I suppose.
What did you think of this review?