First Impression: Masquerade



I can't believe I just made a two pages review on a Hentai....

Gosenzo San’e (Masquerade)

Creator: Masaki Kajishima (Tenchi Muyo!, Dual Parallel Trouble Adventures)
Director: Yuusuke Yamamoto (Aquarion Evol, B Gata H Kei)
Studio: AIC


Masquerade is the story surrounding the Hiraga bloodline in which Gen is a part of. Recently orphaned, he moves in to his grandmother's house and unwittingly triggers the Hiraga clan's curse in which nearly every member leads a tragically short life. In his grandmother's house, Gen begins to unravel vaguely remembered memories from a dream he's always had. With the help of an American graduate student, they try to uncover the secret of the Hiraga bloodline, the whispered legend of immortality that is locked in his genes, and a way to keep Gen from sharing the same fate that every one of his ancestors before him has suffered.
(Source: ANN)

I love Tenchi Muyo!, especially the Masaki Kajishima’s continuity. And one thing that interests me is that all of Masaki Kajishima’s series shares one universe. This applies to this piece of Hentai series. 

Surprisingly, for a Hentai, this series is pretty deep. And I’m not talking about how deep Gen’s penis can go (Yes, I’m totally watch this for the story). Every element in this anime has its own meaning, including the sex scenes.


The first episode introduces us to all of the characters. There’s Gen, your typical harem protagonist; Beth, the all-smiling-maid; Jennifer, the blond scientist (turned slut); Ms. Ito and Ayumi, mother-daughter package; and finally Ms. Sakurako, the woman in Gen’s dreams. It also introduces the plot element; Aqua Permanence (seriously, how hard is it just to say Golden Semen?), we’ll get to that later. 

Each episode focuses on one girl, each with their own problem shown during their sex act: Beth is trying to coping up with her loneliness of being an immortal vampire; Jennifer is just doing it for science (Science… sure!); Ms. Ito wants to take care of everything and Ayumi is jealous that her mother can handle everything; and finally Sakurako is trying to hide her pain watching Gen dying because of her bloodline’s curse. 

On the first episode, Gen is introduced to all characters. He’s unfamiliar with everything and cannot get used to the sudden change that happens in his life because of his mother’s death. This leads to the theme of the first episode: loneliness. When Gen is shown to have Aqua Permanence, a hint of despair can be seen on his face as he knows that something’s wrong with him. He doesn’t know who he should turn to due to his mother’s sudden death. He still hasn’t come up with her death. That’s when Beth comes in. She offers her body to Gen so he can finally cry for his mother which he hasn’t done yet. They share their loneliness: Beth is left behind with all of her relatives because of her immortality and Gen is by his mother. 

Second episode focuses more on the comedy aspects. It shows just how much Jennifer would go for discovering the secrets of Hiraga family’s curse with science. But unfortunately, she doesn’t understand the consequence as for later after she get the sample she wanted, Gen’s curse activated in the form of his eyes turned golden, raping her (she later ended up enjoying it, so I guess it’s not rape). When Beth visits, she realized that she was in this too deep as Beth reveals herself as a vampire and bit her (unsuccessfully). At the end of episode, Jennifer moves into Gen’s house and become his personal doctor, which leads to a hilarious off-screen fluid exchange between her and Gen (Oh, and Beth is peeking from the next room). 

Third episode shifts back to the serious aspect, as Gen’s obsession of finding the truth about Sakurako leads to his curse activated once again and passes out. In the infirmary, Ms. Ito asked Gen if his feeling for Sakurako is a genuine one. After one seductive bullying, Gen’s curse activates and starts grabbing Ms. Ito. But, as Ms. Ito is the one with experience, she immediately takes charge (which leads to the question: did she have a taste on that sweet Aqua Permanence?). This grows a certain jealousy to her daughter, Ayumi, who was watching from outside the door. Ayumi is a virgin with no experience with opposite sex. The scene where she vents to Gen and her resentment towards Gen throughout the series showed that she’s just a normal girl, not a strong independent woman just like her mother. After a little talk, they finally accept each other and have sex on the pool (again: did she have a taste on that sweet Aqua Permanence?) 

Final episode ties all the loose ends. The Hiraga’s curse is actually their cells dying in a tremendous speed. This results in a skyrocketed libido shown in their golden eye and semen. It’s a sign that they’re reaching the end of their life span. This gives me certain sympathy for Gen as he reaches and rape Beth at the beginning of the episode. Along with Jennifer’s explanation, they’re showing that Gen is trying to survive. He just wanted to live.

Seeing Gen finally at his limit, Sakurako finally takes Gen on her arms and have sex with him. It is revealed that she’s actually his grandmother this whole time (if you’re asking how Sakurako and his grandmother can be at the same place in the last episode, the answer is simple: Beth disguised as Gen’s grandmother during the event). Sakurako tells him that the reason she doesn’t tell Gen is because she feels guilty for causing the curse of the Hiraga family. But Jennifer tells her that she’s just hiding her own feeling for Gen. They later confirm each other’s feeling and have one last sex before she disappear and Gen go to America with Jennifer to get his treatment. 

One occurring theme in this series is the use of masks throughout the series. This signifies how every character hides their own feelings as if wearing a mask (hence the title Masquerade). Beth hides her loneliness for being immortal with her smile, Ayumi hides her insecurities with her tough act, Sakurako hides her feeling for Gen with her guilt of the curse (and by using literal mask). Jennifer and Ms. Ito don’t have anything to hide. Instead they revealed what’s behind the other’s masks. 

Gen’s modus operandi during each sex acts also contains a certain meaning. He always grabs their breast and sucking them, showing that he’s looking for a mother figure, something that Gen doesn’t get due to her untimely death. The scene between Sakurako and kid Gen during their intercourse signifies Sakurako as Gen's ancestor (Gosenzo San'e) and his yearing for mother's affection. That and his thrive to live as I mentioned earlier, make me care for the guy, something I was not expected to happen while watching a Hentai.

The music gives the show a supernatural mystery feeling, despite the very little amount of supernatural elements (like the only supernatural element is the fact that Beth is a vampire and that’s it). They sort of dropped that supernatural element by the end of episode 2 and looking at the mystery from scientific point of view, just to give Jennifer more screen time. 

In overall, this is a good anime. It has good balance between drama, comedy, and erotism. Definitely worth watching. (Except for the second season. It sucks! They reduced the girls into horny sluts, especially Jennifer. Kinda like Tenchi in Tokyo.)