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Virtuacall
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

Synopsis:
Emily has always looked up to her neighbor Kunihiko as an older brother. The two share a closeness that can rival that of real siblings. When Kunihiko encounters some girl problems, Emily decides to help him out by introducing him to VirtuaCall. VirtuaCall is an online system which allows one to interact with other people in a VR (virtual reality) environment. As a result, you can not only talk to people, but you can touch and feel as well. Emily convinces Kunihiko to get online and "practice" communicating with girls so he can do better with his actual dream girl, Suzume. After some effort, Kunihiko succeeds in winning Suzume over. The problem is, Emily soon realizes that she loves him not only as a brother... to top it all off, some family matters are pressing her to leave Japan as soon as possible! What's a girl to do? Emily doesn't have much time...

Review:
In a word, VirtuaCall can be summed up as... cute. The whole plot is typical teenage romance fare. Emily and Kunihiko are the best of friends who have not realized their true feelings. After a chain of events, they finally see each other in a different light and then... you know the drill.

What distinguishes this from other teen romances is the use of the VirtuaCall system. This system enables people of all ages to let their wild sides loose online. They can have casual sex with anybody they please without the usual ramifications. Talk about taking cyber-sex to the next level. It's a very interesting concept though, and it was incorporated into the story quite well.

The art and animation are okay. The characters are drawn nicely -- the girls are rather cute and Kunihiko looks better than most hentai heroes. Sexually speaking, VirtuaCall is on the milder side. You get a generous amount of upper body exposure and activity, but all the lower extremities are rendered in black. For example, you see a hand stroking something -- but it's just the hand in motion against a black background. While the lack of lurid details doesn’t detract from the story, some may feel a bit cheated with regards to the overall hentai value. Although it's nothing really extraordinary, I found VirtuaCall to be quite an enjoyable title. I'd recommend it to the uninitiated, and to those who are just starting out with this genre.

Miscellanies:
This anime makes you wonder about how far VR can really be pushed...

Screenshots
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Review Title:
Virtuacall
Alternative Titles:
Virtual Call
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
2
Duration:
60 Minutes
Aired:
1997
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Genres:
Romance, Softcore
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