There is an island where it is said that the red flowers will only bloom with a special sacrifice during ecstasy. Years ago, Ryo Inasa’s mother moved away from the island to escape the dark secrets it held. Her recent passing has given Hotaruko and the island residents an excuse to invite Ryo to the island to learn about her mother’s birthplace. Completely in the dark about the island’s bloody secrets, Ryo Inasa explores the island, but she isn’t ready to see the reason why her mother ran away. Based on the hentai game Hotaruko by Tiger Man Project and animated by the popular studio Green Bunny comes Crimson Climax, the first of two volumes from Anime 18, to welcome the you to the island of sex and blood rituals.
Audio: English 2.0 DD, Japanese 2.0 DD
Subtitles: English, Signs-Only
Extras: Art Gallery, Crimson Climax Trailer, Anime Artform, Anime 18 Trailers
Notes: Review is based on a Screener copy of the final product.
Ryo feels somewhat trapped on the island, having lost track of time since her arrival. A strange flower sits on the wall with an equally odd smell, but Ruka notices Ryo awaken and disrupts her curiosity. Hotaruko’s most recent servant, Ruka has been attached to Ryo to serve her needs around the complex whether Ryo wants it or not. This leaves Hotaruko free to check on Master Mizuno who serves as lord of the island. However, only Hotaruko is allowed to visit the island’s master according to Ruka. While walking down the hall, Ryo overhears Kasumi Ashihara forcing herself on Misa in an open area of the home. Kasumi backs Misa against a wall, lifts up her skirt, and begins to lick her pussy while Misa squirms against the wall. Despite having a fiance, Kasumi’s only passion is to play with Misa’s body. As Ryo turns to look away, Hotaruko greets her cousin and walks into the interesting scene before them. The two girls straighten up their clothes while Hotaruko comments on Kasumi’s fine skills at getting Misa so wet. As Kasumi leaves the spot, she points out that her family has been on the island just as long as Hotaruko’s. Ryo asks what that means, but Hotaruko manages to interrupt and distract Ryo from finishing her question.
Dinner is served, but Ryo only eats a little of it before leaving. Looking over the island from one of the high cliffs, Ryo surveys what used to be her mother’s home. Bungo Inasa comes up from behind her to join in the view. The slightest mention that Hotaruko has a crush on her cousin makes Ryo shudder. Thinking to earlier that day, Ryo asks Bungo about his fiance, who was messing with Misa. Bungo comments how he can’t stand the old island traditions. Looking behind them, he also mentions a tale of how the red flowers on the island and in Ryo’s room will only bloom with the blood of a female sacrifice. Meanwhile, Hotaruko’s head servant, Junko, has gone off to visit the island’s priest. Tied up by special Japanese rope bondage techniques, Junko hangs suspended in the air as the priest rams into her from behind while also pushing a stick up her ass. Junko can do nothing but wiggle in growing delight with the sensations.
Later that night, Kasumi hops into Bungo’s bed. Kasumi’s fiance only by a technicality, Bungo seems to be unimpressed with Kasumi’s attempts to please him by sucking and grinding against his cock. Kasumi’s body grows slick from the sweat as she begs Bungo to let her ride him to happiness. Bungo gives in, but soon forces her down to show how to really please him in bed. Meanwhile, Ryo allows Ruka to join her in bed for the night after seeing Ruka break down earlier trying to serve Ryo in the bath. Something calls to Ryo and draws her to the temple through a secret passage. Mannequin parts are scattered across the floor and screaming can be heard down the hallway. Ryo follows the light only to find Kasumi pleasuring Misa in a large ceremony. As Misa begs for her to continue, Kasumi hands Misa over to her father, the island priest, to finish off. Misa is raped doggy-style on the floor as Kasumi commands her to cum for their Master Mizuno. Ryo smells the strange scent of cheese as she notices the island’s red flowers all over the floor of the chamber. As Misa is fucked harder and harder, Ryo can’t help herself and gives in to the feelings she’s starting to have. As she plays with her own breasts and fingers herself through the cutoff shorts, Ryo sees Hotaruko standing next to Master Mizuno on the throne above the raped Misa. Kasumi draws a sword out and plunges it deep into Misa’s chest, forcing blood to flow out across the chamber like a newly-discovered oil well. Ryo watches in horror at the shocking scene as the red flowers bloom and the haunting memories of her mother having sex with strangers comes flooding back.
The next day, Ryo stands on the cliff, again surrounded by red flowers, trying to make sense of whether or not last night really happened. The memory of her mother becoming a depraved sexaholic at the scent of the red flowers stands out strongly now as she would force herself on Ryo for pleasure and warn her to never go to the island. Ryo stands at the foot of a tower inside the temple grounds with Bungo. Upstairs the priest leads a purification ceremony for the recently-departed Misa. As the group comes back down the stairs, Ryo calls out to Ruka. Carrying a special pan, Ruka loses her balance seeing Ryo and drops the plate. Ryo stares at the beating heart while Hotaruko scolds the servant for having ruined the ceremony. That evening, Junko joins the priest in the bath area to complain about how much attention Ruka gets. The priest bends over the servant and begins to pound away at her doggy-style to punish her for whining.
Ryo sits outside watching the moon and starts thinking about how upset Hotaruko was earlier that day scolding Ruka. Meanwhile, Kasumi and her father are diligently working on placing the muscle tendons from Misa into a brand new mannequin. As Hotaruko supervises the delicate operation, she knows her own time is coming soon. Only Ryo’s body will serve to help keep Hotaruko’s mannequin frame alive…
Crimson Climax brings together a solid story with great animation and well done sex scenes. The mixture of shocking events and past memories do well for shaking up Ryo’s stability as she falls further into the trap laid for her by Hotaruko. With only two men physically able on the island, the series pays equal attention to boy-on-girl and girl-on-girl sexual conquests. Kasumi’s scenes with Misa and Ryo’s playing with Ruka provide some of the best moments, but one can’t overlook Kasumi’s bondage punishment for Junko and Ruka with them suspended in the air with a double-sided dildo between them. The Japanese cast is uncredited, but the moaning highlights among the seiyuu include the actresses for Ryo, Kasumi, Junko, and Ruka. The English production by TripWire Productions does a good job, keeping fairly accurate with the script. Likki Dee Split provides an enjoyable Ryo Isana and plays well off Lynne Matthew’s subservient performance as Ruka. Only Brandy Delmar’s Kasumi Ashihara stands as a tad too deep of a voice for the character, but the performance isn’t affected by this minor quibble.
Crimson Climax is an engaging title thanks to the turmoil and struggle as Ryo tries to cope with the island. While some of the Japanese bondage torture may not be for some people, it helps further push the depraved nature of the story. The video quality continues Anime 18′s recent tradition of flawless video and the subtitles present no problems. The DVD extras consist of the US trailer and a slideshow of artwork and screencaps from the first two episodes. Anime 18 has done a solid job with this hentai title and it will be interesting to see how volume two is presented with the final episode. Crimson Climax represents some of Green Bunny’s best work and can’t be missed if you want a darker tale with lots of blood and sex.