Review: Cleavage

I am a big fan of Empress (and their spiritual predecessor) with their anime based works being some of my earliest and fondest introductions into the ero landscape. When I saw there was another one of their works were adapted and Seishoujo again providing art I was sure to check it out but this was a wholly different beast to their other works and came off far worse because of it. Based on the VN of the same name where does it go wrong?

Yuuto lives with his father and step-sister Erika. When their father leaves due to a work transfer they are let all alone. With nothing between them they start to notice each other more and begin to develop feelings for one another which leads to them starting a relationship in secret. Little do they know others have caught on, including Yuutos teacher Sayaka who he also becomes lovers with. Who will he choose and will the consequences be too much?

The setup is fairly basic and run of the mill, father leaves town because of work and the siblings find love. What I found interesting was instead of spending a minute or so on the setup and jumping into the sex it spends a lot of time trying to make the developments feel more natural, showing off Erika and Yuutos gradual change in thoughts and acknowledging feelings from little things like being pushed up against each other on the train, seeing her come out of the shower or imagining her body naked. This take is not something you usually see in ero works these days and it was a nice surprise seeing their feelings grow, the seeds may have been there but they don’t blossom instantly and this train of thought carries on throughout the two episodes with numerous scenes of talking and discussing their newfound relationship.

I also liked the inclusion of people becoming suspicious including a girl and boy who were head over heels for Erika. It makes sense that sudden changes in people will be noticeable on a daily basis and instead of ignoring it tackles it head on. This ties into the teacher Sayaka as well which really worked as she added some much needed spice to proceedings.

This is a vanilla show which didn’t help itself for me at least as I like a harder elements in my ero works generally. As such the content here is rather on the milder side, there is oral, hand jobs, pussy play and the like all entirely consensual.

Starting with a sensual bathing scene as Erika, unable to resist any further begins pleasuring Yuuto in the bathroom, kneeling down, ass on show with some low angles shots to fit her entire, voluptuous body in as she makes him cum and she savours the taste. Not contempt with this little display of affection they begin to experiment more and more as time goes on as Erika and Yuuto have sex in the moonlit classroom after he saves her or another scene at night as she kneels on the floor, stockings on display as both she and Sayaka pleasure him.

Sayaka herself brings a lot more to the sex scenes as well the above. Being the teacher she is almost authoritative on matters as she pressed Yuuto in pleasuring her whilst blackmailing him. She masturbates in the classroom exposing herself to him, pleasures him orally and a quite wonderful underwater sex scene in a cow print bikini which really showed off the underwater aspect quite well with some varied angled shot. There were some succulent moments of yuri action but they were minimal.

Unfortunately these sex scenes are short and rather lacking. With so much time spent on conversations between characters and the like the actual sex scenes suffer greatly. They lack that extra something, they are plain, somewhat enjoyable but nothing else. It’s almost a 101 of how to do a basic sex scene and I found myself bored even. That is not a good sign when you only have two episodes. Only lasting a couple of minutes before more talking and this hinders the show a lot. It would not be so bad if the scenes themselves were enticing but save for some lovely angled shots of the girls naked and the aforementioned underwater sex scene there was little of note.

And that is my biggest issue with the show: the blandness. There are two assertive women yes and that makes it somewhat more interesting and the incest (but not blood related) relationship opens it up but that is basically all there is that struck me. For a vanilla show there is very little to it and what there is, is decidedly unsatisfying. I can applaud the approach of more plot elements but the payoff has to be worth it in ero works and here it simply is not the case.

Visually it looks good despite showing its age. This is in part thanks to Seishoujos fantastic art work. His girls have curves and voluptuous bodies that ooze sex appeal. Both girls fit this description with Sayaka differing in having a more mature look and gorgeous flowing red hair (I can never resist a red haired beauty). Every shot emphasises their erotic form, accentuates their beauty and vulgar bodies. The animation is up to par with nice smooth sex scenes and some lovely camera angles to display the sexual activity.

Coming into this show I had high expectations due to previous Empress (and spiritual predecessor) based anime works but this did not deliver. Is it bad? No, I enjoyed parts but overall it felt completely bereft of anything unique to make it stand out and the style of heavy plot elements did it no favours. At two episodes it waists it and produces about the closest show I have seen that defines the word average.

Studio: Kitty Media, Studio 9 MAiami
Release: 2006
Length: 2 episodes
Availability: CD Japan, Amazon JP, Mandarake, United Publications


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