Typically, the best pornos are the ones with scenarios. So are the worst ones. The shit ones. It depends on the acting, which is reliably awful. The head cheerleader’s failing chemistry. The baby sitter’s spending the night. And who ordered this pizza? It’s implausible, unthinkable, bowchikawowow with extra cheese.
In Japan, however, the goal is an immersive storyline. High quality acting, soundtracks and sex. No surprise pizza delivery, no horny babysitter, the only tongue in cheek being a cock. And ironically, hentai is a medium which caters to a certain kind of realism. When a story is drawn, there are no need for elaborate sets, actors who can both act and fit the right look. Many of the pitfalls that plague a narrative in porno movies don’t apply. This is how you can get a story like Dark Shell.
Dark Shell takes place in a post-WWII feudal dystopia, where warring factions wage an endless struggle in the quest for power. In the melee, one band of brothers has been separated from their base. Now they must trudge across pock-marked roads, bent steel and rubbled concrete, carrying a fresh batch of rape victims female civilians in tow as they attempt to allude enemy combatants and one skilled and opportunistic sniper. For the civilians, this may sound like a cool deal. Get ushered to sanctuary by a company of badasses with assault rifles and nicknames like Sledge. They’re practically home free. Unfortunately, this is not that kind of movie. This is a feel good movie of the best and worst kind. This is porn. Hentai. And in this world, the war has left the entire populace in a maniacal sex-craze, as entire armies leave themselves open to enemy fire in the pursuit of gang-rape. Men can’t stop having sex. Women can’t stop loving it.
In the deprave, psychoreality of the porn universe, there are two kinds of rape. The realistic kind, where the victim is physically humiliated, and the fictional kind, where the only victim is feminism. In the prior scenario, the rape leaves the woman in tears, psychologically bruised and damaged. In the latter, the woman inexplicably starts to enjoy it, her hands and legs suddenly wrapping around her assaulter, her opinion on being forcibly penetrated swayed by the rapist’s magical sex technique. In Dark Shell, when one of the female soldiers(an enabler) tosses her cigarette and voices her disgust of men, you can’t help but wonder if she’s talking to the audience. This is what gets you off? Really? You sick motherfucks.
In most of these scenarios, once the woman is “broken,” like a domesticated animal she will be at the beck and call of her master, obsessed with cock. However, in the case of Dark Shell, each woman, despite professing their undying fealty to man-cucumber while in the throes of passion, seem traumatized by the ordeal post-coitus. Furthermore, the women are visibly ashamed to look at each other, ashamed of their own pleasure, as if the only thing that has managed to survive this hellish apocalypse are a bunch of outdated social mores.
Mores that bleed from our universe into theirs.
There is, after all, a hint of realism lost in this sadistic male fantasy. In our society we discourage women from having casual sex not because of the risk of unwanted pregnancy or STDs but because of this spurious notion of the slut , and how being one is against everything we stand for, even as the same rules aren’t applied to men. The dark shell that entraps these women is not the incorrigible, destructive act of rape, but the idea they are somehow a tramp, a whore, rather than a victim of a crime.
The same concept is true for the intended audience. In the hypersexualized porn universe, where everyone – from pizza boys with extra sausage to stay at home milfs to catholic schoolgirls to horny janitors to displaced civilians in a war-torn Japan – craves sex, blowjobs, and all of the above, the concept of rape often doesn’t exist. What makes these scenarios good, what gets men off, is not the rape(because it’s ultimately consensual) so much as the idea that these women, all women, are undercover sluts, but can’t express themselves because sex is taboo. And it’s this idea of taboo that becomes the thread that links their world to ours, that makes implausible sex a believable scenario.