Review: Garden

I am always on the lookout for NTR and shows that provide a depressing but salacious experience but it is hard to keep track of everything and sometimes you stumble upon something that you completely bypassed at the time. This is the case for me with Garden. Based on the manga of the same name by Midari no Rupe what does this bring to the table?

Koutaro goes to an offline meet to see a fellow gamer, he ends up meeting only one of them, a girl by the name of Hitsuji. At first he is nervous but she quickly and unexpectedly starts tempting him sexually before allowing him to go all the way with her. Now fixated on her Koutaro cannot get her out of his head but little does he know what she is really up to and how she will drag those around him into deviant sexual activity.

I really liked this story, it opens with the briefest of scenes and setup it morphs bit by bit into something grander and more layered as mastermind Tsubaki is unveiled, he wants to create a utopia where those who have unusual or disturbing sexual urges and desires can bathe in their desires and uses Hitsuji to do so. I thought this was really interesting and the way it’s used to bring in unique fetishes works so well. Each scene segues into the next one so seamlessly. There are twists a plenty right up to the end for a satisfying (to me) ending.

This anime contains a lot of disturbing content. There is rape, gang rape, molestation, drugging, mind break and prolonged scenes featuring incest and loli. It should go without saying that is any of this sounds off putting to then stay away from this.

The content here is filtered into various parts with the relationship between Koutaro and Hitsuji acting as both a bridge and catalyst for these. Hitsuji willingly enables Koutaro to do whatever he wants with her which makes her come across almost doll like as she gets fucked, like she has little mind of her own or acts according only for others. The sex scenes for these two remain rather vanilla with a tinge of roughness.

The other main sex scenes are where the show really exceeds with Azamis corruption my favourite. A classmate of Koutaro with a crush on him she goes to a rumoured Love Seminar to help her advance these feelings but after chatting with Tsubaki gets set upon by three older guys who slowly rape her time and again one by one before being gang raped by all three. At first she tries her best to hold off with tears coming down her eyes but slowly begins to come around to this and eventually breaks to begin revelling in this pleasure as she opens herself up to the guys.

As a gang rape scene goes it hits all the marks. She is violently taken by three guys, one of them overweight and ugly. She cannot escape this as they tear her clothes, ravage her pussy, her throat and ass. As the sweat is sliding off her body her thoughts turn, every word begins to change, her thoughts alter before the breaking. As a breaking this scene is perfect, the camera strikes the right balance between her and those raping her to emphasise her peril, it is lengthy and paces itself well so that when she breaks its due to the never-ending cascade of rape warping her mind, she wanted Koutaro to fill the hole in her heart but comes to a realisation that these guys who are like her can do so as well.

I have two complaints that tempered my enjoyment. The first is that this feels significant story portions are missing. The green haired girl Hiroga getting drugged and raped by her teacher is symptomatic of this. As a sex scene I liked this because it features one of my favourite kinks in the beautiful girls defiled by ugly, gross man. Seeing Hiroga resist and break was enjoyable but it came out of nowhere. Other than a brief glimpse in episode one we knew nothing of her which makes it less effective. This can applied to the ending which while enjoyable feels like it’s missing the reason of ‘why’ which is a rather important.

My second issue is Koutaros little sister Ninjin. I have nothing against loli designs or little sisters (I adore the latter) but here I think it went too far for my tastes to become uncomfortable even. I get that in part it was going for this but her childish mannerisms and personality traits are not something I enjoy. It leans too young for me with the prolonged scene simply not for me. I’m sure there are those who will enjoy that but for me it did nothing.

Visually this show is real treat. The animation it is silky smooth with very fluid character movements. The camera has an effect that often moves, zooms in and out on the characters and tilts at various angles that I liked, it helps mask up the limitations and creates something memorable just like famed director Teruaki Murakami but not quite as effective or extreme. There are a bevy of camera angles that highlights the girls and their predicaments from over the shoulder shots to panning shots to curving pull back shots. It is a refreshing change that is most welcome.

The art complements this with its detailed look and distinct colour palette. In many of the scenes there is a tinge to the screen, almost like an outer filter that features neon lights. It sets itself apart and helps add to the seedy and even grittier look to it. The characters are not neglected, both the girls and the men that fill out these lurid fantasises are very detailed with sweat dripping and a shimmer on their bodies curves coming from the light, it looks fantastic and again sets itself apart from its peers. It combines to bring a darker and disturbing which works so well. The girls offer an array of body types from the petite Hitsuji to loli Ninjin and fuller figured Azami or mature Hiroga.

I had no expectations going into this but came away almost completely satisfied. There were a few elements I felt didn’t click for me or didn’t explain enough to have a greater impact but it does work without them and works very well. I feel like if I read the manga I will get annoyed at what was cut but for a standalone release it nails the darker tone and NTR it was going for.

Studio: Pink Pineapple, Office Takeout
Release: 2013
Length: 2 Episodes
Availability: Amazon JP


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