Jul 31, 2021
DISCLAIMER: Hainuwele - Shuukaku no Yoru is an adult anime OVA featuring violence and sexual assault. These elements are primarily used for aiding the theme of decadence, delusion and loss of self-worth in the anime and do not put forward any ideological stances. Nevertheless, if you are uncomfortable with such depictions, you might not want to watch this anime.
Okay, having said that, I would like to introduce you, the potential viewer to Hainuwele: Shuukaku no Yoru. This anime is the brainchild of Katsuma Kanazawa along with the prolific Iijima Hiroya, who pioneered the exploration of violence and psychological themes in adult animation in the
late 90's and early 2000's. As more visual novels started getting anime adaptations, especially adult ones that aired late night, his influence traveled to anime such as School Days which is infamous for its escapist MC who seeks comfort in sexual pleasure.
Shuukaku no Yoru is set in a city that's trapped in various vicious cycles of escapism and decadence. Although it's implicit, we come to know that the only way to leave this city is by crossing a certain bridge. The story begins on this bridge, on which Honoka, a white-haired seemingly innocent adolescent girl is sexually assaulted by some middle-aged man, presumably from the decadent part of the city. As she loses her strength and lets herself drown in the sound of the pouring rain and a passing train, she is rescued by Masato, who is later revealed to be her childhood friend. Masato essentially kills the man, throws him off the bridge.
Defloration, sex, blood and the trauma that ensues, is a central motif in the anime and also connects to the Indonesian myth of Hainuwele. Anyways, there's a time skip and we see that Masato now leads a small underground gang, which operates in the so called ura-machi, or the decadent city on the other side of the bridge. Both Masato and Honoka are seen to be trapped in this city in which numerous underground businesses, arm traders, brothels, and gangs thrive. Sexual pleasure is seen as a commodity that you can buy away. We never come to know what lies on the other side of the bridge. This is a world with precise boundaries. The anime proceeds to explore Honoka, her older sister Ryoko and the stoic Masato, who lives to protect Honoka. All three have lost hope. They no longer dare to leave the city.
The sex scenes in Shuukaku no Yoru are top notch. Sexy character designs, luscious women, scheming men, stoic men, insecure women, courageous women. Amidst scenes of rape and violence, we also have more tender erotic ones. Various motifs such as pubic hair, realistic proportions and realistic body movements during sex aid the themes I've mentioned.
Will you enjoy this? Will you be able to use this for your purposes? I can't say. Certainly if you're interested in exploring the themes I've mentioned, watching this ova is gonna be a good decision.
What did you think of this review?