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Private Psycho Lesson (VHS)
MSRP: $29.95
Format: Subtitled VHS
Running time: 90 minutes
Publisher:Anime 18
Available:Out of Print
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© 1996 U-Jin / Shogakukan, Inc. / Gaga Communications, Inc.

Just when I thought Sprite was unique, here's Private Psycho Lesson, another hentai anime about weird psychological problems. Not only that, it's by U-Jin, a hentai artist whose work I greatly admire, largely because he relies on toilet humor and sexual tension to tell his stories, instead of "stories" where the plumber comes in to fix the sink and he sprouts tentacles and they have sex, the end, roll credits. In fact, I've enjoyed U-Jin's stories so much that I kind of figured that nothing he created could really be that bad-- if it wasn't absolutely hilarious and fun to watch (New Angel, Tales of Titillation) it was at least somewhat sly and amusing (Visionary). After watching Private Psycho Lesson, I can say that this video has shattered my lofty perception of the artist utterly.

The show is about Sara Ijima, a psychiatrist with a rather unorthodox approach to therapy. Basically, her chief talent is the fact that she has enormous breasts, which she rotates and undulates in a most disturbing fashion to hypnotize her patients. This top-heavy shrink wants to reform Japan's schools by baring her huge jugs to troubled students. I know, most of you out there are sitting bolt upright and yelling "Best school psychiatrist ever!", but it ain't that simple.

First of all, Sara's subjects in this series are young females-- and here I figured she'd have been more popular with boys. Anyweay, her first target is Yuri, a high school (uh, I mean, COLLEGE!) girl who's been attacking and injuring classmates, particularly female classmates with large breasts. Sara correctly infers that Yuri has some sort of weird psychological problem with big breasteses, and works her magic-- but since Sara herself has huge jubblies, wouldn't that place her in danger, too? Never fear-- her goony male assistant, Tamine, is never too far away to rescue her (and cop a feel in the process).

Sara's second assignment is actually dealing with a peer of hers, a woman named Erika. Erika's using psychiatric techniques of her own to brainwash a local school, which naturally concerns Sara. It turns out that Erika's damage isn't related to some violent anatomical fixation; she has rape issues.

Now, that's a delicate subject. I know that rape fantasy is pretty common in Japanese porn (because, uh, someone told me! Yeah, that's it.), but I don't really care for it, even if it's used as a plot device (see also Mystery of the Necronomicon) rather than pure titilation. U-jin attempts to use it as a plot device here, but it's so overbearingly heavy-handed and ridiculous (Erika was raped by an old student patient as part of a gang initiation, only his gang ended up turning on him violently) that was left just feeling disquieted and vaguely unpleasant. And folks, if porn (and mostly softcore porn, at that) has that effect, something's wrong.

Private Psycho Lesson is definitely a weird viewing experience, mostly because it's yet another erotic tale of psychiatry gone mad. I had no idea that they were so common! Anyway, this video isn't a total loss (if you're bored and just have to watch bouncing cartoon mammaries and get a couple of cheap laughs, I suppose it's worth a rental), but the character design isn't very good (particularly Sara's, which is a cardinal sin in an anime genre that relies largely on cute character designs to draw in perver-- uh, viewers. The animation quality isn't anything to shake a stick at, either. Bleargh. Private Psycho Lesson is... mediocre. Utterly mediocre.

Grade: C-
Posted on: Monday January 27, 2003 EST by Mike Toole

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