Monday, November 22, 2010

'Devil Hunter Yohko' is weakened
by too much sexual content

Devil Hunter Yohko, Episode One (1991)
Director: Katsuhisa Yamada
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

In "Devil Hunter Yohko," a typical (well, typical for late 80s/early 90s Japanese cartoons) 16-year-old girl discovers that her birthright and duty is to assume the role of "devil hunter" and turn back an impending demonic invasion of Earth.

"Devil Hunter Yohko" is an early 1990s direct-to-video animated series from Japan. There are some glimmers of cool ideas in the 45-minute first episode, but they are overwhelmed by a crass, hypersexual attitude that runs through the story. The episode starts with Yohko waking up from a prophetic wet dream, and it continues through her friends being corrupted by "lust demons" who want to make sure she loses her virginity before she awakens to her devil hunter powers--because they only manifest if the girl is pure in mind and body. That stuff is sort of tasteless and leads to a softcore cartoon porn scene between a couple of teenaged characters--one of them possessed by a demon--but the show is very crass and tasteless in its portrayal of Yohko's mother who seems to want to see her daughter sleep with any available male... doesn't care who, so long as Yohko is spreading her legs.

Although I imagine that this series would be highly placed on any Top Ten Anime Series list compiled by Gary Glitter or Roman Polanski.

I am not a prude, but the sexual references and themes in the first episode of "Devil Hunter Yohko" were just too tasteless for me. I understand the series gets better, so I may give the next installment a try.

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