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Masquerade
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 07/11/2001

Synopsis:
19-year old Gen Hiraga's mother had just died. Thus, Gen goes off to the countryside to live with his wealthy grandmother. Gen has a strange condition... he has uncontrollable sexual urges and his semen is gold in color! An American college student named Jennifer Collins is greatly interested in Gen. Jennifer is working on a thesis about the Hiraga family. The Hiragas have always died mysterious deaths at a young age, with the exception of Gen's grandmother. What's more, it's been said that the golden sperm is the key to everlasting youth, and Jennifer is willing to do just about anything for a sample! Gen himself just wants to know what exactly is going on... but time is running out, and answers must be found quickly before Gen shares the grim fate that has continuously plagued his ancestors...

Review:
If I didn't know better, I could've sworn that Gen Hiraga and Tenchi Masaki (from "Tenchi Muyo") are one and the same person. That aside, Masquerade is what I'd consider something of a waste. For the first two episodes, I found the story to be very intriguing and remarkably original. I can tell you straight off that such plot qualities is something of a rarity in the hentai arena. I was hooked just after the first episode. Unfortunately, the last two episodes never deliver what was promised.

Masquerade incorporates both supernatural and hentai elements to the storyline without having to resort to the usual horned and tentacled demon beasties. Given Masquerade's eerie setting and atmosphere, I felt like I was watching a suspense thriller unfold -- I could not wait to see what was going to happen next. However, something happens during the second half of Masquerade. What started out so admirably weakens and loses its pace by the third episode, to the point that I felt very little interest for the final chapter. It's obvious that Gen's grandmother is hiding something, but how the situation is approached leaves a lot to be desired. Gen starts losing himself to his libido-at-large too often, resulting in sex whatever female character is convenient at the time. We see visions of a woman who looks like Gen's mother and teacher, but then again, this sequence also gets highly repetitive and loses any impact it might have had. I have no idea why something that had all the potential to be great had to be concluded in such a disappointing manner.

The art and animation are of excellent quality. Crisp and vibrant, sporting the trademark AIC style you see in non-hentai anime series like Tenchi Muyo and Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure. Sex-wise, things get a little kinky but the details are never really graphic. The most you'll see are breasts and backsides. The English dubbing is not too good. Most of the voices and characters don't match. Gen sounds like a middle-aged man instead of a college student. The words and lip movements are not synchronized very well either.

Masquerade could have been one of the best hentai ever released. The general concept is a far cry from the pool of mediocre hentai works we often get subjected to. It's a real shame that it wasn't able to hold itself together through the end.

Miscellanies:
Unsurprisingly, Masquerade is from the creators of Tenchi Muyo. It is composed of four episodes.

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Masquerade
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Review Title:
Masquerade
Alternative Titles:
Gosenzo San-e
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
4
Duration:
120 Minutes
Aired:
1999-2000
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Genres:
Comedy, Supernatural, Vampires,
Incest, Yuri
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