Luv Wave (Japan 2000)

Rating: *
Review Date: 9/1/02

Divided into three installments.

An anime adaptation of the popular sci-fi hentai video game "Luv Wave" (1998). While it borrows a lot of elements from the game, in its untranslated form it's also just as incomprehensible as the game is. In a decadent future full of sex, drugs, and violence, a new designer drug has hit the streets. An unfortunate side effect of getting jacked up on this drug is uncontrollable violence and insanity. Our "hero" is a cold and emotionless police detective named Kaori (?) whose hair flops over one eye (actually, it sounds like a girl's name to me, but that was the closest thing I could come up with). He's trying to track down the source of the killer drug when he meets Alice, a cute and perky female cyborg who bears an uncanny resemblance to his high school lover. She's highly trained and ultra-lethal, and soon joins Kaori's investigation. Meanwhile, a computer virus (?) called XINN gets unleashed and wreaks havoc around the world. Or something. It also messes with Alice's circuitry and she becomes evil. And if that weren't bad enough, Kaori's younger sister gets kidnapped, drugged, and gang raped into a coma by the bad guys. After "interrogating" and sexually compromising EVERY woman in the cast, Kaori finally tracks down the villains and "saves" Alice, who has become a puppet of the sinister mastermind.

Pretty much complete crap, but it does feature some inspired girls with guns action sequences. Alice consistently kicks ass, and the young computer operator on the police force pulls off the classic "rocket launcher under the skirt" gag to great effect. She's also got a lot of other things hidden up there as well... Very cool. However, apart from that, the story is vague and convoluted, the animation is static and low budget, the audio is sparse, and most of the music is generic porno jazz. Plus, it's a hentai production, so most of the action revolves around painfully long and uninteresting sex scenes as Kaori "pumps" girls for information. And naturally, all of the girls in the video are about fifteen years old - if even that. As if the sex scenes weren't long and boring enough, all of the girls sound like screaming cats when they're having sex, making you scramble for the volume control whenever they start going at it. I honestly don't know how Japanese voice actresses can do this stuff (and do it for so LONG). And why do they sound like screaming cats? Is this just a perverse anime convention, or is this how fantasy sex actually works in Japanese culture? The video also stays pretty close to its video game roots, and many of the visuals are instantly recognizeable. The nature of XINN is still a mystery to me, and to a non-Japanese viewer it seems to have only been thrown into the video as a lame attempt to preserve continuity. While the brief action sequences are nice, the overall experience is ruined by the tasteless in-your-face fan service and the relentlessly misogynistic sex scenes.