Crimson Climax is a three-part erotic yuri horror drama based on the Adult visual novel game Hotaruko by Tiger Man Project. The anime was directed by Daiitiya Otosime and Katsuma Kanazawa and released by Green Bunny and Kitty Media, who are both synonymous with adult-oriented entertainment. Although Otosime only has this credit to his name, Kanazawa is most notable for working as an animator on works such as Dirty Pair (1985), Vampire Hunter D (1985), and Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman R (1991) to name a few.

“Returning to her mother’s home island after her sudden demise, Ryo feels that the answer to her mother’s odd behaviour is within her mother’s origins. Despite how her mother had forbidden her to return to said island and to never associate herself with Hotaruko, Ryo nonetheless feels that something should be done to explain her mother’s eccentricities and what caused her to act so oddly. However, what Ryo never counted on was that the damned island contained a dark carnal cult that lured unsuspecting women for blood sacrifice, seduced them to their highest points of ecstasy, and then brutally slew them in blood as an offering to their god; Master Mizuno.”

Crimson Climax

An amazing example of an interesting story and solid animation, the anime features beautifully detailed, hand-drawn landscapes and traditional Japanese buildings, creating an incredibly vivid world for our characters to reside in. Having been created in 2004, the character designs feature the distinctive attributes of the “moe” design. However, behind this picturesque location lies a darker tale of human sacrifice, BDSM, and murderous mannequins in the name of serving the god Hiruko, providing an engaging yet twisted experience overall.

Bordering on the cusp of Ero Guro, the duality of sex and death is incredibly graphic in design; its depiction of ritualistic sacrifice at the height of gratification somewhat resembles the snuff video stereotype (though lacking any sort of filming). Along with scenes of cannibalism, incest, and lots of sexual assault, Crimson Climax undoubtedly resides in the horror genre rather comfortably. The turmoil and bedlam of the life or death scenario that is thrust upon Ryo show little respite throughout, mostly cutting to a hardcore bondage sex scene that certainly fortifies these horrific overtones.

Although a simplified version of Hotaruko, the anime is considered a fairly faithful adaptation of the original visual novel. The difficulty of adapting such an open-ended, branching story featuring over half a dozen endings can be an incredibly difficult task. However, despite this, Green Bunny produced an incredibly unerring representation of the source material as well as possibly some of their highest-quality work in the process.

The English production of the anime was undertaken by TripWire Productions, providing an English dub that is fairly poor in quality, completely subpar in comparison to the Japanese dub, which is far superior in both talent and believability (unfortunately the Japanese cast is not credited in most releases).

Granted, Crimson Climax may not be to everyone’s taste; the story’s brutal overtones may be too much to handle for some. However, if you are looking for an incredibly grisly horror anime and aren’t put off by the overly sexual nature, I highly suggest you give this three-part miniseries a go—with copies being available to watch on adult-orientated sites.

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