Kranke This Up!

Saving the best for last, the fourth of the four erotic anime DVDs that Adult Source Media provided for me to sample was Night Shift Nurses kranke 1, or, in its original Japanese title, “Yakin Byoutou: kranke Kodama Hikaru.”

Fans that are familiar with the Night Shift Nurses franchise know that the show concentrates on nubile nurses being sexually used, abused, and humiliated, bringing out either homicidal tendencies, or more frequently a Stockholm Syndrome style affectionate masochism. The first “kranke” episode, true to its subtitle, focuses primarily on series’ recurring character Hikaru Kodama while introducing her younger sister, Ai, who becomes the focal character of the second “kranke” episode. Since the “kranke” series is set well into the Night Shift Nurses story, it completely skips over introductions to primary characters Hikaru and Doctor Hirasaka, which may leave new viewers somewhat in the dark, but the primary appeal of the Night Shift Nurses franchise is supplied in satisfying abundance, making this episode excellent for both long time fans and new viewers.

Befitting its status as one of Adult Source Media’s marque titles, the American DVD presentation of Night Shift Nurses kranke 1 fares better than many of ASM’s releases. The video in uncut and uncensored throughout, including an intact original Japanese title card and unaltered Japanese credits. While ASM continues its policy of not providing English translated production credits, “kranke 1” breaks the mold somewhat by providing highlight Japanese production credits on the DVD packaging. However, unlike some of ASM’s other DVD releases, Night Shift Nurses kranke 1 does not have a reversible DVD cover.

Also unlike typical ASM titles, “kranke 1” features literal subtitles. Based upon my novice understanding of Japanese language I’m convinced that the subtitles are not completely thorough, but unlike many other ASM titles, “kranke 1” is not dubtitled. The subtitles are based on an accurate, literal translation of the spoken Japanese dialogue. The optional English dub is typical of English dubs in the respect that it takes liberties with the original script, most notably changing tentative, embarrassed, or even unwilling girls in the original Japanese dialogue to insatiable porn queens in the dub.

Sex is frequent, graphic, and intense throughout the episode, with nearly all of it occurring between only Hikaru and Hirasaka. Viewers will see bondage, domination, water sports, facials, anal, masturbation, enemas, vomit, a bit of blood, and some depraved use of food products. As typical for the Night Shift Nurses franchise, this episode exhibits typically attractive character designs, serviceable background art, and adequate animation quality, although observant viewers will notice occasional brief lapses in character art and animation quality.

The Night Shift Nurses episode contained on the DVD alone is satisfying enough to justify the cost of the disc, but the DVD also includes the 22 minute long bonus anime “University Girls Special Counselling” (Joshidai Ecchi Soudanshitsu) which sports amateur quality animation and permanent English subtitles. But at least it delivers plenty of kinky sex and has enough limited animation to legitimately qualify as anime, unlike other ASM DVD bonus shorts that are better described as enhanced slide shows.

Devoted fans of the Night Shift Nurses franchise may notice that the Kranke Kodama Hikaru” episode is slightly tame compared to the Night Shift Nurses series’ most extreme, gratuitous, and outright nasty episodes. While there’s plenty of B&D in this episode, the scatological content typical of the series is minimal in this episode. As a result, long time Night Shift Nurses fans can enjoy this episode as a gratifying episode that adds to the series’ narrative. Viewers unfamiliar with the Night Shift Nurses series may find this episode to be a good entry point that introduces the series’ characters and concepts and hints at the series’ most extreme elements without being egregiously disgusting. Even among adult viewers, the Night Shift Nurses series is not for everyone, but viewers with a taste for fetishistic sex and dominant/submissive themes should give Night Shift Nurses kranke 1 a shot.

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