Mouse Is In The House
Copyright 2005 by Pat Powers
Mouse is not by any means a hentai -- it's aimed at teens 14 and up -- but it's not really a kid's adventure cartoon by U.S. standards, either. I'd like to write about it to show another aspect in which anime are different from American toons, though the vidcaps will speak volumes all by their lonesome..
Mouse is a master thief who can steal just about anything, no matter how well guarded it might be, even if it's well known that he's planning to steal it. In one totally unbelievable incident, he announces plans to steal an entire building and manages to do so even though there are police guards all over the place.
In real life, the mysterious, dangerous Mouse is a mild-mannered art teacher who is adored by his fellow teachers and female students, and when we say adored, we mean romantically. Three teachers become so enamored of Mouse that they wind up assisting him in his criminal enterprises. Well, not just his criminal enterprises -- they also cook for him and clean up his house and so forth, and all he has to do in return for all this assistance is make love to them.
Which is of course who the anime is aimed at.
That said, Mouse is an interesting ride. It has strong elements of humor and parody, with a lantern-jawed cop determined to catch Mouse, and Mouse and his three hot assistants avoiding capture with feats of derring-do. It's not really a fun watch for an adult because it is obvious from the outset that any feat Mouse sets out to accomplish, he will succeed at, that the cigar-chomping chief detective will be forever frustrated by Mouse's clever schemes, and that the gals will be unstinting in their adoration of Mouse.
That said, the toon does veer into unexpected territory on occasion. In one episode, one of Mouse's hot female minions suffers a psychological breakdown -- her personality has deteriorated into multiple personalities. Mouse decides he must enter her psychological landscape and rescue her (the series is set in the near future and apparently they have tech that makes this possible).
They wander through Hazuki's dreamscape and have various adventures and encounters, some of them of a psychological nature, with Hazuki aging as they move from one level to another. It's a tough ride for Mouse in many respects -- frex, when Hazuki reaches puberty in her dreamscape, she proudly displays her newly grown breasts and pubic hair to Mouse, covered in the cartoon by cute kitty cat parts. Her pussy is in fact a pussy. Mouse, unlike a lot of hentai heroes, has a sense of decency in this respect and is embarrassed and tries to get her to cover up.
It doesn't stop there. In a subsequent dream world, Hazuki dreams that she has become a giant female Godzilla. Then she doffs her Godzilla duds and becomes just a giant woman in a bikini. Then she picks up normal-sized Mouse and drops him into her bikini's bra for safekeeping. But he slips through and falls into her bikini bottom, right in the front of it, becoming a furiously scrabbling bulge in her bikini's crotch.
This is definitely not the sort of thing you'd expect to find in a toon produced in America and aimed at American teens. It takes for granted a lot more psychological sophistication than the U.S. Powers That Be are willing to grant to teens, wisely or unwisely, I don't know, though I suspect it's better to give teen males a sense that women have complex personalities, as this episode of Mouse does, than to keep serving up the same shallow stereotypes. Unfortunately, most episodes of Mouse serve up heaping helpings of those shallow stereotypes.
Mouse is also unlike adult hentai heroes in that he's embarrassed by the sexual advances of his hot female minions. This is fairly standard for anime aimed at teens. Some adult anime feature male leads who blush and stammer when women act sexy, but most are able to respond in a more mature manner, often by tying them up and having sex with them.
There's a little bondage imagery in Mouse, not much by hentai standards, but very strong in relation to what you might see in an American toon aimed at teens. Most notably, theres a scene where Mouse's most babelicious assistant, Mei (the blonde with the huge breasts at the top of the page) is being whipped while tied to a chair. By her own grandmother. As part of her training to become Mouse's assistant. When she passes out during the ordeal, Grandma expresses disappontment in her. (This part I didn't udnerstand at all.)
But the part that made the scene over the top in relation to Aemrican toons was the way Mei was dressed in her usual low-cut number while she was being whipped. Her huge breasts just bobbled and waggled all over the place as she writhed against her bonds. Yowzah. Not exactly Archie and Veronica fare.
Still, given the very direct way Mouse's minions express their sexual feelings toward him, such as by bending over and waggling their butts in his face, and the fact that at home they dress out of the Victoria's Secrets catalog, Mouse's responses seem extremely out of step. He's not as mature sexually as the youngest of them, which makes you wonder what the basis of their attraction to him is. As is common in hentai in particular and anime in general, the female leads are attracted to the male leads for little or no discernible reason, except for the obvious anatomical ones that are visible in hentai but not anime. (Though Mouse is one of the few handsome anime male leads who doesn't look absolutely girlish as well.)
Such reasons are never on display in Mouse. Sex itself is never on display, just referenced in leering displays of the fine, fine bodies of Mouse's horny minions. The closest they come is a recurring scene where Mouse's minions mob him, all horny for him at once, while Mouse blushes and stammers and gets super-distorted around the face.
I really can't recommend this film to adult viewers. It's not just that the approach to sex is juvenile, it's that the whole series has a juvenile mindset. As I stated before, the results of Mouse's escapades are a series of foregone conclusions. All the running, jumping, shooting and blowing things up that are involved in the adventures that dominate the anime totally lack excitement. One of the problems with animation is that you know that everything that happens is totally within the artists' control. You know he's going to make that huge leap, dodge those bullets, swerve around those crashed cars just in time, etc., because the standardized plotting tells you he will. As an adult, you will have seen all this before.
After you've seen a couple of episodes, you'll also know that Mouse is never going to be shown getting it on with his minions, and that the minions aren't going to do any totally naked slinking around. They'll always have at least panties and a bra, however skimpy both items might be, or their naughty bits will be concealed by hair or whatnot. So ... there's not a lot to watch for as an adult. I watched it as an exercise in how different the Japanese sensibility in cartoons for teens is. It's pretty damned different. If you're a parent of a teen who might be interested in watching anime aimed at his or her age group, I'd advise sitting down and watching a couple of them before giving the "OK" -- because you might not be comfortable with their contents.
And don't let your kids fool you with that line about "Its by the same people who made Tenchi Muyo." Yeah, Tenchi Muyo is an innocent enough anime that it has been show on the U.S. Cartoon Network cable channel with the several scenes of mild nudity that aired in Japan deleted. But there's no stigma about making sexual anime in Japan, and the Tenchi Muyo people have also produced an anime called Masquerade that's pretty much a hentai, albeit an much better-produced and less rape-intensive hentai than is usual. Since its protagonist is a guy who possesses golden sperm that conveys eternal life on its lucky recipients, there are lots of scenes of his erect cock emitting said golden sperm, generally in association with an explicit sex scene. Not for the kiddies, in short. Things really are different in Japan. Don't think we'll see that kind of work out of Disney anytime soon. Or even Hanna Barbera.
Poor Mouse. All those naked women crawling all over him all the time, calling him "Master" and begging him to let them serve him. It's a problem most teen males wish they could relate to. Which is what I think Mouse is ultimately about -- a straight up teen male sex power fantasy. Nothing wrong with that, so long as you know it's a shallow fantasy and don't take it for anything more than that.