A collection of short stories, ranging from soap opera (the Ami series) to fantasy (Rall series) to horror (Cream Lemon Dark) to parody (Pop Chaser). It does deal with a lot of heavy perversions ranging from S&M, male rape (by a bunch of females, that is), bondage, torture, yuri (lesbian love) and incest.
First of all I'd like to get this out of the way; THIS IS PORN. The characters and plot are all there as a set up to sex. This being said, if I only watched it for porn why would I choose to watch Cream Lemon as opposed to millions of videos on numerous websites of an unsavory nature? The reason is that this is much more than porn. With unique and strangely appealing storylines, fantastic visuals, and good audio, Cream Lemon has become a classic of all anime, not just of the hentai genre.
That being said, during the
sexually explicit scenes, some of the fetishes (especially the bondage in the Escalation series), can be a bit overwhelming and detract severely from anything that makes this show anything but pornography.
I have only seen the first 16 episodes however, because these are the only ones available (that I could find) with English subtitles. Also this series may prove difficult to obtain and I was only able to find it through torrents.
Cream Lemon is an episodic show with new characters and different settings in each episode with the exception of a few multi-episode series. The stories surrounding each episode are extremely varied ranging from science fiction (Star Trap and Pop Chaser) to World War II era Japan (Black Cat Mansion) to pure fantasy (the Rall series) although most if not all of the other episodes feature some aspects of school in them.
The animation in Cream Lemon is superbly done and even looks good today despite being created in the 80's. The motion of characters is generally fluid although there are many sex scenes which do not always hold up to this standard. I would like to draw specific attention to the animation in "Black Cat Mansion" (episode 11) which was simply spectacular and brought out the story in very vivid detail. The only episode which was particularly unappealing in terms of design was the first episode of the two-part Mako series in which faces were just plain ugly or expressions were animated rather lazily.
In general the music was enjoyable and featured many piano pieces (especially in the escalation series) but also had some guitar stuff and, of course, had porno music going on during sex scenes.
I can't really say much about the characters being exciting or anything for the most part as their primary function was to lead to the sexual encounters between themselves and others. Almost all of the characters were pretty one dimensional. Some characters are enjoyable due to their personalities or due to the inherent humor of the episodes.
What I enjoyed most about Cream Lemon and watching it episodically were the differences between episodes. Some could be very funny and a few made me LOL a few times (Pop Chaser, Star Trap and Narisu Scramble). In some of the episodes the plots were so surreal in fact that you could even laugh at the premises of them even if the episodes themselves were not explicitly humorous.
Others had decidedly good plots despite being only to facilitate sex. An example of this is the Ami series which, if there were no sexually explicit scenes, easily comes off as simply a drama, albeit possessing a plot which involves an incestuous relationship. Another is the Rall series which focuses more on action scenes (scenes which did NOT involve sex) and in my opinion had less focus on explicit sex even though there were several scenes in which it did surface. This is about a village being attacked by a great evil (who wants to violate the women obviously) and a mythic heroine who must save them.
Overall this series is worth watching once and I feel that at least one or two episodes would be appealing to the average male (I doubt females would have any interest whatsoever). Thank you for reading :)