Review: Rei Zero

Rei Zero is an anime original prequel to the Tokumu Sousakan Rei & Fuko VN and anime. This method is unusual for Lilith who usually base their anime on one of their products and include material from it so how will their anime original prequel fare?

Rei Kirisawa and Shouko Munei are two agents working for a special division dealing with narcotics. They are attempting to track down Joaquin Knight, the leader of the North Cartel, a well known underground organisation providing dangerous drugs to the city. Upon tracking him down though Rei and Shouko find something much darker and depraved than they anticipated.

It’s a simple enough setup, two agents tracking down a well known dangerous drug dealer. The latter part also opens up for the possibility of said dangerous drugs being used which can lead to all kinds of fun. It gives of a Ghost in the Shell like vibe initially in look and setup but never delves into even a fraction of the complexity of that though which is fine, it doesn’t need to.

There are two episodes here and each differs greatly in the content that you get. The first episode focuses on Rei and Shouko as they track down Joaquin which means more action focused segments. The action scenes were okay if unspectacular, a nice setup and display of what Rei and Shouko can do but it is after capturing Joaquin where events escalate.

On a train to meet an informant they are caught by the North Cartel and this is where their sexual torment begins. Their clothes are ripped off, drugged, molested and raped during the episode. You can see the desperation in their eyes as they see each other be toyed with, degraded and used and abused by these lowlifes. Slowly but surely they begin to accept this pleasure forced upon them against their will as the drugs takes effect humiliating them further.

I loved this, it was suitably dark, degrading and disgusting for me, from the twisting of nipples, playing with their pussies, raping them, filling them with their cum and turning them into almost mindless objects as they are humiliated in front of so many men is  a joy to watch. Then to cap it off, Shouko is kept and Rei is chucked off at the station, semen dripping from her pussy, clothes torn, breasts showing and a final drug adds a bit more humiliation.

The second episode is set in the hideout for the North Cartel. Rei, still affected by the drugs, releases Joaquin and goes to where Shouko is being held. Rei agrees to Joaquins demand of making 13 guys (one for every hit she dealt to him) cum in 30 minutes to save her. Things take a turn for the worse though and her hell only begins again as she is subjected to months and months of sexual training.

This was also my favourite episode as it subjected Rei to some really degrading acts. Relentless oral, anal sex and gangbangs are the main focus but the treating of Rei as their pet with her collar was what really did it for me. Slapping the cum out of her and seeing her on all fours, ass in the air being given a dog bowl of food covered in semen and forced to eat it as they stepped on her showed the real dark nature in these two episodes. It felt like a real natural progression from the acts in episode one.

This second episode was a lot harder and plentiful in its content than episode one, to the point that it felt like the first episode purposefully left it lighter in order to set this up in terms of sexual content at least which you also notice in the aesthetics. Sex scenes are given greater time and focus as they become more and more hardcore in their intensity and action. This also helped it lead to a more satisfying ending by going to even greater lengths to show the repercussions of the events that transpired.

The animation and art here is very much what you’d call a mixed bag with the two episodes showing the good and the bad of ero anime. The first episode feels a lot cheaper in all areas, characters more off model, animation weaker, less detail and less overall polish whereas the second episode goes the other way with all production values upped considerably as the focus turns to Rei and her sexual hell.

It’s with Rei where this becomes much more apparent as in episode one she looks more off model, her face especially, along with a slimmer body type and darker hair. The second episode gives her a more buxom body, lighter hair and much greater detail in facial expressions. It was noticeable but not so much as to take me out of it. I also wasn’t exactly complaining in episode two as that is where the real meat of these two episodes comes.

It’s not all bad though; the art in general apart from that weird hiccup is lovely with loving attention paid to the girls bodies. It always uses the right angles to show the girls helplessness and focuses on their bodies as they moan, reacting to the lurid acts being thrust upon them. It works well as your eyes are drawn to that, especially so given the dull and monotone backgrounds that make their flesh jump off the screen.

I have expressed my love for this show so far but I do have another gripe aside from the animation bumps. The first episode felt a bit too by the numbers. Scenes on trains with molesters are hard to present with freshness and Rei Zero stumbles here a tad. This by the numbers approach does also seep into episode two as well, whilst it is fantastic seeing Rei subjected to all manner of heinous sexual acts I felt it could have gone further. Erotic torture, body modification, degradation and humiliation would have upped the ante more.

Whether you’ve watched or played sequel or not you will get great enjoyment out of this show. Whilst it does feel like a show of two halves the scenarios play out well, it looks really good when it matters most and it’s full of hardcore, enjoyable sex that caters to a darker side. A couple of minor issues here or there don’t detract enough and can be forgiven. Go watch it, you won’t regret it.

Studio: Pixy
Released: 2010 - 2011
Episodes: 2
Availability: 2 DVD Singles (OOP) and DVD Box


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