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 Post subject: Shojo Auction
PostPosted: May 17th, 2008, 6:56 pm 
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Joined: May 13th, 2007, 7:57 am
Posts: 4121
Location: Trier, Germany
aka "Virgin Auction"

I can't remember why I downloaded this two-episodes OVA title a few weeks ago. Maybe I was interested because of some screenshot? "Shojo Auction" does not have any Seiyû that I would have heard of and the sound of the title suggests some rather tasteless rape action implying a good amount of blood. Actually it doesn't matter why, it's worth the disk space. I was pleasantly surprised.

First off, meet Ms. Sukamu Shirohebi and a submissive, naked, bound man. They seem to have some sort of S&M relationship going on, but apart from his being tied up there's nothing of the usual dungeon-like atmosphere and leather accessories of other such titles. It's just that she is in charge of the situation, she makes him say embarrassing lines, makes him come into his own face, licks it off and gives him a French kiss... and the scene gives you one or two great opportunities for soundfiles to make your Windows system messages more fun, like, how about "Please give me a foot job!" for your startup sequence? :lol:
The only annoying thing about this introduction is that it uses approximately 25 % of the OVA's total running time, i.e. almost half of the first episode.

Then, enter three girls who have been offered for auction. Since real names are of no importance Shirohebi spontaneously gives them aliases: Yukina, a fair-skinned girl who wouldn't talk about her reasons for ending up in this situation, Umi, who was asked by her bum-fiancée (remember the term "Kaishônashi"?) to sell her vaginal virginity to help him solve his financial problems, and Gin, a Russo-Japanese half-breed who seeks revenge for her (Japanese) father running away and leaving his family back in misery (I have not understood why she thought it was necessary to take part in said auction for that purpose).
The girls are to live in a big penthouse room for two weeks during which they can do whatever they like - except leave the room (which includes all modern-day conveniences). The viewer also learns that Shirohebi's slave, Shijima Rongai, is actually the manager of the place, and Shirohebi is medical staff or something like that (checking the girls' hymen and wearing a white smock, like the archetypical physician does).

Up to the point when the girls were introduced I was still expecting some sort of rape-fest, but it did become better. The girls are not the usual victims and Shirohebi is not just some wannabe dominatrix. Although not being shown very elaborately, she exerts a positive influence on them. Despite her introduction she is a sympathetic person. A little twisted but generally nice. And it is important to be aware of the fact that these auctions do not sell girls as slaves - the point is the girls selling their virginity, which means they get the money and the organization charges a fee. They are being "rented" for one occasion, not sold/bought permanently.

Gin is being sold to some freak leader of a religious sect ("we have two million members nation-wide and assets of three trillion yen!") who believes being peed on by a virgin twice a day granted eternal life. But it turns out that Gin's father is his second-in-command, who, confronted with her accusations, tries to turn her to the dark side: "Let us rule this nation as father and daughter!" 8)
Well, she refuses and, uh... well, take a look yourself.

Umi ends up with a NEET ("Not in Employment Education or Training")... ya know, a guy like we have seen in "Welcome to the NHK", living in a dirty apartment, bespectacled and being glued to his computer screen. He speaks rudely ("I AM YOUR MASTER!") and thus tries to control her (at least he's not some obese and sweaty Hentai nerd), but due to Shirohebi's influence, she handles the situation in favour of both of them, exploiting the "fact" that people who sit in their rooms all day are physically inferior. Well, it works fine here...

Yukina has come to this organization bearing an unpleasant secret and with some plans of her own in mind. When the girls chat about their motivations for taking part, she refuses to name hers, and I thought she was a police officer or something. Her secret is found out by Shirohebi and shared with Rongai, who handle the situation quite well.

Okay, okay... as you look at the series you're gonna say "Graphics and artwork are not bad, but not very good either, the depicted sex is too normal and harmless, and these two episodes are more of a teaser when it comes to this mysterious organization around the Virgin Auctions!" That might be true, but I will still claim that it has interesting characters that make watching it worth the time, and a story development that is not quite the usual "perverted men versus submissive women". I'd say in case of the characters depicted, the women are the stronger group.

As for the language... I noticed a high number of English loanwords in the dialogues. Well, you who don't speak Japanese and read subs will hardly notice spoken terms like "sampii" (= "3P") or "shikusunain" ("69").
Furthermore Gin is using an accent that anyone would say is like an English speaker who is fluent in Japanese vocabulary and grammar but lacks pronunciation skills. I only concluded that she was half Russian because she said that her father was a "Yaponski" - I took that as a dead giveaway.

Last but not least, my assumptions about "speaking names".
As I said, the manager's first name is "Rongai", and Shirohebi's last name is "Sukamu". Given the multitude of Japanese characters and syllables an author can justify almost any name, but these should be pretty rare names, should they exist in the first place - which I doubt. I can't help but come to the opinion that the names are some sort of joke. I mean, "Rongai" sounds like "wrong guy" and "Sukamu" sounds like "scum", which would be the opposite of what these characters are - they are both nice people. Sexually tainted, yes, but you wonder why such tame and (com)passionate people hold such important positions in an organization that offers "Virgin Auctions"!? The girls involved seem to be, more or less, volunteers, but there are hints that this is not quite Terre des Hommes operating here - it's prostitution after all.


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