We review a hentai comedy in which the main character gets raped -- a lot.
Our heroine is deeply embarrassed by her rape. But it's the people who made this hentai who should be embarrassed.
Nurse Me is billed as an erotic comedy on the back of the video box. Nurse Me just has one problem -- rape is not the comedy gold that the makers of this hentai seem to think it is. I think it's possible to treat just about any theme as a source for humor, rape included, but rape is one of those themes that is EXTREMELY difficult to get humor out of. You'd have to be an absolute master at comedy -- someone like Voltaire, perhaps -- to manage it. And the people who made Nurse Me are not in that league, not by a long shot.
The "joke" in Nurse Me is that everyone at the hospital -- doctors, other nurses, patients, and visitors to those patients -- wants to have sex with Juki. Juki, being a virgin, wants to have sex with no one. So they all have sex with her anyway, much against her will to judge by the constant cries of "No, please, no!" that Juki emits whenever she's having sex, though Juki rarely makes any physical attempt to escape from her attackers, she just cries and moans a lot.
Here's our protagonist enduring lesbian rape with a wine bottle. She's an equal-opportunity victim.
(To tell you the truth, rape isn't only not funny, it's also not sexy. A female protagonist who cried "No! Please! No!" throughout the sex scene as Juki does throughout Nurse Me is not erotic at all, and I speak as a fairly jaded sort of US filmgoer.)
Of course, many US filmgoers are so appalled by rape that any treatment of it that isn't straight-out condemnation will have them going through the roof, and I think this hentai would do it. Then again, such folk tend to dislike all hentai since they associate it with the tentacle rape in La Blue Girl, which seems to be the basis that most non-anime fans form their opinions of hentai on for some reason.
The lead female in Defiance of Good and Evil is handgagged almost entirely througout her rape scene. It was probably all the crying and screaming of "No, please no!" that made them do it. If they'd thought to bring some tape or a just a strip of cloth or two, they wouldn't have had to bother. Some rope to tie her to the bed would have made things easier, too.
She's raped at the mental instutition she's sent to by her parents when they discover she's smoking pot. It's a very 70s film.
Back in 1975 when XXX filmmakers were experimenting with bondage, there was a film called Defiance of Good, aka Defiance that thoroughly demonstrated to me that realistic rape was no fun. It had a scene where Cathy Taylor, played by Jean Jennings, is put in a mental home after her parents catch her smoking pot (they overreacted a bit). On her first night there she's promptly gang-raped by orderlies. Instead of being the usual rape fantasy ("Oh, no! Oh, NO! Oh, yes. Oh, YES! Oh, YES YES YES!") she spent the entire sex scene crying and sobbing and pleading with her captors not to rape her.
This scene later in Defiance with an actual willing participant in handcuffs and shackles is much more fun to watch. Lots of writhing and mmphing too.
It was a long scene. It showed her each of her three captors having sex with her a lot, so you have to figure the filmmakers thought they would turn the audience on. But it was not in the least arousing, because Jennings' character was so clearly not having a good time. If I had had a boner while watching it, it would have killed it dead.
This scene from Viper GTS shows a demoness fulfilling her end of a bargain in which she promises a wizard (think Harry Potter) anything in exchange for his soul. Being a horny young wizard, he chooses sex with her. Being a demoness, she is DELIGHTED to fulfill her end of the bargain (just check out the expression on her face) so much so that she literally leaves him drained. And forgets to collect his soul.
Fact is, I always find sex scenes enjoyable if the female participant(s) seem to be enjoying them. Frex, one of the reasons the sex scenes in Viper GTS were so nice was that they involved happy, well-adjusted demonesses who, although often finding themselves having sex for all sorts of reasons, are demonesses and tend to enjoy it no matter what, even if they're chained up in heaven and being had by angelic chicks with dicks. A realistically depicted rape like the one in Defiance just doesn't get it.
Nurse Me starts with a beautifully concieved ceremony in which Juki expressed her devotion to nursing.
It's all downhill from there, and a very steep downhill, too.
Juki's devotion to nursing keeps her going at it (so to speak) despite all the raping she endures. Nurse Me is a 90 minute DVD, so we're talking a lot of rape. Four episodes' worth. She gets rescued from some of it, from some of it, she doesn't. Unlike a lot of hentai, there are male characters in this story who recognize that rape is wrong and prevent it when they see it in progress, rather than joining in the fun. Sadly, some of Juki's "rescuers" then turn around and rape her, and we're back to the high-pitched "No, please no!" stuff.
A little consensual sex, with a character named Mona who has mostly consensual sex. Unfortunately, the guy in the background is getting ideas from all the sex he's watching, and Juki, also in the background, is the one he's getting ideas about. See the image at the start of this article for the inevitable result.
But even during the semi-consensual sex scenes with her girlfriend, Juki STILL does a lot of "No, please no!" I guess it just got to be a habit with her.
Juki also has a bit of voice-over narration in which a cutesy doll in a cutesy voice asks you to enjoy all the whacky hijinks Juki has as she trains to be a nurse. It's pretty creepy as well, this tiny female creature inviting the audience to watch so many people raping "little old me ... heh! heh!" Yeesh.
Here's Juki, chained up and wearing a red sex suit. Guess what happens next.
Now the interesting question is, how do you make a hentai which consists largely of rape and call it a comedy? Because I would never have rented the damn thing if the back of the box hadn't said, "erotic comedy." I'm all for anything that'll make hentai lighter and more fun to watch, so the "comedy" thing sold me. Most of what passes for comedy arises from Juki's eagerness to nurse her patients, and her ineptitude at same, which is mostly a result of her eagerness.
Here's Juki ready for her enema demo. I don't get this stuff at all.
There really isn't much room for this sort of byplay, what with all the raping going on. There IS a scene near the beginning, which verges on being funny but then fizzles, when Juki inadvertently volunteers to be the "patient" while the instructor demonstrates how to give an enema. There is some humor potential in Juki's suprise and consternation at finding out that she's volunteered to drop her panties for all the class to see and get an enema. But the scene quickly devolves into a standard hentai enema scene, which I've never liked anyway. Maybe enema scene devotees would recognize some sly humor here, but somehow I doubt it.
One of the nurses, Mona, is a lot less virginal and more inclined to say "yes' than Juki, so there are some consensual sex scenes with her and various patients, doctors and passers-by, further reducing the screen time available for plotting or characterization. There is a LOT of sex in this hentai, and that would be a good thing, except for all the high-pitched crying, pleading and screaming. Even if you have no sexual bondage inclinations, by the end of this one, you'll be thinking, "Would someone please put a gag on Juki?" just to get the noise levels down.
Here's Juki in a tapegag. Gags are relatively rare in hentai, compared to American bondage porn. I'm sure they used this one just to get the noise level from Juki down.
And I also kept wondering if Juki might not like sex a LOT better if people didn't keep FORCING it on her.
Juki and Mona are forced to endure lesbian sexual bondage while inside a giant glass bowl for some reason. I swear, it made sense of some kind while I was watching the hentai.
All I can figure is that the Japanese-language version might contain some sly humor that isn't present in the English dub. But I'm not counting on it.
A naked Candy cowers before two male figures in this, the signature image for the film. And very indicative of its contents. It was used in posters advertising the film. Ah, the 1960s, a wonderful time to be a filmmaker, you could get away with anything.
Where I think this film could have worked was as a Japanese version of the 1968 US film Candy, a takeoff on Voltaire's Candide written by Terry Southern and Buck Henry. "Candide" is about the adventures of Dr. Pangloss, an eternal optimist who declares that "all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds" despite the fact that his life consists of nothing but misfortune and misadventures. Candy, the titular lead in Candy is a dewy-eyed innocent who gives her flower to one scalawag after another as soon as they've trotted out a halfway-cogent rationalization for why she should, imagining them all to be great men despite much evidence to the contrary.
A great doctor played by James Coburn teaches Candy one of the great truths of medicine, which is that when the bill arrives, everybody gets screwed.
I made that up, but you know, Candy just wasn't all that funny. Not even Buck Henry and Terry Southern could save it.
Not everybody who has sex with Candy commits actual rape, but as played by Ewa Aulin, Candy is so innocent and dewy-eyed that she frequently seems oblivious to her situation and her surroundings (much like Dr. Pangloss in "Candide") to such an extent that I think the gang at Law & Order SVU could easily bag every last male lead in Candy for rape on grounds of "diminished capacity."
Here's a feeble attempt at humor, as Juki is chained upside down, awaiting her next rape.
If Nurse Me had followed along those lines, with Juki forced into one sexual encounter after another, but seeing them as romantic love affairs despite clear evidence that her "lovers" are rapists or close to it, there could have been some potential for humor, if it were handled with wit and intelligence. But given how badly what material there is is handled, I'm just as glad they didn't try. I mean, Terry Southern and Buck Henry are a couple of the best humorists we had going in those days, and Candy just wasn't all that good.
Ultimately, I can't recommend Nurse Me, not because it failed to live up to its potential, but simple because it's not at all sexy and annoying to watch. Aside from all the rape, all those high-pitched cries of "No! No! No!" throughout the film get on your nerves after awhile. And the lack of bondage. Curiously for a hentai dealing with rape, there's not a lot of bondage in Nurse Me. There are a couple of scenes that involve bondage, but mostly people just grab Juki and have at her.
The animation is par for the course -- not noticeably good, not noticeably bad. The character design is also par for the course. Nurse Me's major advantage as a hentai is that it is quite generous with the sex scenes -- too bad they're so unpleasant. But with Behind Closed Doors, Princess 69, Wordsworth Saga, Swallowtail Inn and many other good hentai floating around out there, you don't really need to do that ... just yet.
Another shot from Juki's big enema demo. It means this review has reached the end.
Comment on this review
Return to the Mmmphing Mainstream Index