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Endless Serenade

It's not really fair to grade hentai DVDs on the same scale as regular anime releases. First of all, most people who are getting the discs aren't getting it for the plot, so it's possible to have a good ecchi experience (is that an oxymoron?) without having a "good" show. So, think of the rating I gave this release from TRSI's underground label, Critical Mass, as my own personal feelings for Endless Serenade and use my description of the show to come to your own conclusions.

Yuji is living a complex life for a student. He attends school full-time, but after the death of his brother, Ryoichi not quite a year ago, he is also pivotal in maintaining the convenience store that Ryoichi started with his fiancée, Satsuki. The job isn't easy, for even though Satsuki is the owner of the shop and she excels at customer service, she's terrible at the managerial aspects of the job. The most senior part-timer, Miki, is great at the administrative functions of the job, but she's terrible with customers, frequently angering them enough to shout at her.

Between school, training the new part-timers (who spend time on the clock, well, on each other, as well), handling the upper level tasks of running a store, and smoothing out customer service issues, Yuji has his hands full with tasks.

However, he'd rather have his hands full of Satsuki.

Over the past year, he's fallen slowly in love with the woman, and it's because of his concern for her as much as his devotion to the memory of his brother that makes him slave away at the store, keeping it afloat with all of his strength. But is this love a one way street, or has Satsuki finally gotten over the death of her loved one?

So there's a story. Neat. Sure, it's simple, but it's there. As far as hentai releases go (in my limited experience with them), this is a very tame release. That is, there are no rape scenes. All of the sex is either consensual or occurs within one of Yuji's daydreams (or night dreams), and thus this show wasn't as offensive as other shows I've seen. Unfortunately, I'd still say Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi is sexier.

There are a number of sex scenes in here, and they don't shy away from the nether regions of guys or girls. Unfortunately, the animation isn't really dynamic enough to make the scenes feel like anything more than a slideshow. The women are well-endowed, but there's only so much three-frame breast bouncing one can take without getting bored.

I never thought I'd say that, but there it is.

Endless Serenade is presented in both English and Japanese, but again, you're probably here for something besides the voice acting. There's a slide show, a few trailers, and the original trailer for extras. The music is what you'd expect from softcore hentai, and while it's not great, anything else would be weird.

so, there you have it. There's nudity and sex here, and even a bit of a redemptive story tucked away, but with a 35 minute running time, you'll remember the sex more than the plot. The animation isn't too fresh, so you might have trouble remembering that, too. But, if you like redheads or purpleheads (or whatever you might call women with purple hair) and want to see them naked, this one's for you. Otherwise, get Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi and be mystified by the power of Mune Mune. Now THOSE never bored me.

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