animefringe march 2003 / reviews

The Girl Next Door: Vanilla Series
Format: bilingual DVD / 60 min.
Production: Critical Mass Video
Comments: It's horny, hilarious, and Hentai!
Animefringe Reviews:
The Girl Next Door: Vanilla Series

Let me get one thing straight -- I'm not fan of Hentai. I don't have the all-consuming desire to be digitized into an anime character and ported into one of these great shows. No, not me... but is that really too much to ask for? Please? Anyway, this month's special treat is The Girl Next Door, another Vanilla Series epic from Critical Mass. Despite the service-filled DVD cover, this sixty-minute adventure in unprotected cartoon fornication actually surprised me with its deviation from the Hentai norm.

The story seems to be Hentai standard: Masahiko is just like any other college student except for the fact that his pants magically find themselves wrapped around his ankles and his phallus is caught in some nubile girl's clutches every ten minutes (or so). There's just one problem -- Masahiko already has someone in his heart that he's saving himself for. When he was just a pubescent lad, a young girl helped him up when he was down. Ever since that day, he's held her in his heart and kept a very special package reserved in his pants.

'Unfortunately', Masahiko's resolve will be tested. For starters, a young girl, aptly named Fong Lee, has moved into his father's dojo to learn from the great master. Throw away all your preconceptions about Japanese Karate masters as wizened old men, Masahiko's father takes a more WWF approach to traditional unarmed combat. After some unhealthy fantasies concerning a very naked Fong Lee, Masahiko retreats to a temple to try and cleanse these thoughts and subsequently bumps into Rei, the resident buxom priestess. Of course, in typical Hentai fashion, the priestess is immediately possessed by an evil sprit that insists on making Masahiko expend his baby batter all over her face. He didn't really strike a home run though, so all is good. This isn't his only problem. After rescuing Fong Lee from perverts, Masahiko becomes a celebrity at his school and attracts a stalker girl who will tongue on any lengths to become his girlfriend.

At home, things start to look up as Masahiko gets closer to Fong Lee whom he suspects might be the girl from his memory. But, she suddenly decides to return to America - spouting excuses that if she became too close to him they could never compete in Karate tournaments against each other. Before she goes, Fong Lee does reveal that she's not the one from his dreams and leaves Masahiko still searching. Of course, there are always the two girls next door.

Of course, what would Hentai be without a defining moment? For Girl Next Door, it's when Masahiko's friend reveals to him how he lost his virginity in a park one night. While walking, he hears the cries of a woman for help and rushing to a public bathroom he finds none other than Masahiko's boss stripped down to her birthday suit pleading with him to rape her. Who could resist?

From my vast personal experience (read: 'next to none') most Hentai is just an adventure in blatant porn. Sure, there's a lot of sex to be had in this, but this anime actually has a pretty strong grounding as a pure comedy. You could take out all of the porn and Girl Next Door boils down to the story of a young man searching for his original love and trying to hold out against current temptation. That being said, it's still very amusing and most of the ridiculous sex just adds to the comedy. With the disk, you get the Hentai features norm: two language tracks and a slideshow. Not much, but we're not getting this for the behind the scenes footage. Though I have to admit that some supplemental live action could be pretty entertaining.