Ask John: How Much Cream Lemon is There?

I’ve been wondering about the Cream Lemon series. I know it is an H-anthology series, but I can’t seem to find any good, detailed information on it. Do you know anything about it? Also, how much of it has been licensed for release in the US? Finally, have any famous character designers or directors worked on the series?

The Cream Lemon adult anime series is justifiably famous for its quality and its frequently groundbreaking content. Even now, more than 20 years after its debut, many of the original Cream Lemon episodes hold up remarkably well in both production quality and timeliness. Comedy episodes like Pop Chaser, Star Trap and Nalice Scramble remain as funny today as they were two decades ago. Serious stories like the Escalation and Ami series still have the emotional and dramatic impact they did when they were new. The Cream Lemon series is also significant for giving early work to animators who would continue on to greater accomplishments, including Toshihiro Hirano, who went on to create Iczer-One and direct Rayearth and Devilman Lady, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, who later directed Blood: The Last Vampire and Golden Boy, and Yuji Moriyama, who later directed Project A-ko, Geobreeders and Jungle de Ikou. On a side note, the first Project A-ko movie was originally conceived of as a Cream Lemon episode, but its potential lead to it being developed as a mainstream, rather than adults only, project.

The following is, as far as I’m aware, the most complete and comprehensive Cream Lemon chronology available.

08/10/84 Be My Baby
09/10/84 Escalation: Tonight It’s Hard Core
12/03/84 Superdimensional SF Legend Rall
03/13/85 Pop Chaser
04/10/85 Ami Again
05/25/85 Escalation 2: Forbidden Sonata
07/12/85 Don’t Do It Mako-chan! Mako Sexy Symphony Part One
09/10/85 Super Virgin
10/20/85 Happening Summer
12/15/85 Ami Image ~ White Shadow
12/25/85 Star Trap
01/25/86 Black Cat Manor
02/25/86 Don’t Do It Mako-chan! Mako Sexy Symphony Part Two
05/25/86 Now I Embrace You, Ami
08/05/86 Nalice Scramble
08/10/86 Cream Lemon Adventure: Ami Final chapter
11/01/86 Ami Young Graffitti - Cream Lemon Ami Highlights
12/05/86 Superdimesional SF Legend Rall 2
02/21/87 Escalation 3: Epilogue of Angels
03/21/87 New Cream Lemon 1: Tou Moriyama Guest Special - Five Hour Venus
04/15/87 New Cream Lemon 2: White Shadow
05/01/87 New Cream Lemon 3: Evil Doll
06/01/87 Don’t Do It Mako-chan! Mako Sexy Symphony Highlights
06/21/87 New Cream Lemon 4: Etude: Snow Heartbeat
06/25/87 Cream Lemon Special: Dark
07/01/87 New Cream Lemon 5: Dream Colored Bunny
07/30/87 New Cream Lemon 6: Summer Wind
10/02/87 Cream Lemon Lemon Angel TV series (46 episodes)
10/21/87 Cream Lemon 3 Year Anniversary Special Graduation Album
12/26/87 New Cream Lemon 7: Two People’s Life of Heartbreak
01/21/88 New Cream Lemon 8: Etude 2: Early Spring Concerto
02/03/88 Midnight Anime Lemon Angel Special 1
03/21/88 New Cream Lemon 9: Tou Moriyama Special 2 - Afterschool XXX
06/21/88 Cream Lemon Climax 1
06/21/88 Cream Lemon Climax 2
07/07/88 Midnight Anime Lemon Angel Special 2
07/21/88 Cream Lemon Climax 3
07/21/88 Cream Lemon Climax 4
08/21/88 Cream Lemon Climax 5
10/21/88 Ami After That 1: Removing the Sorrow Within
02/02/89 Ami After That 2: I Wish I Can Forget
06/21/89 Ami After That 3: I Wish Someone Would Hold Me
05/21/90 Ami After That 4: A Smile Within
09/01/89 Heresy Town Astalot
12/02/89 Toshiki Yui Best Hit: Impressions of Europa
04/04/90 Cream Lemon Tou Moriyama Special: Sou Kamo Shinai
07/21/90 Cream Lemon Kei Amagi Best Hit: Cherry Melancholy
09/21/90 Cream Lemon Climax: Ami After That Highlights
10/21/90 Cream Lemon Cilmax: Ninki Manga-za Zenshu
07/17/92 Cream Lemon Young Love: Angie & Rose
03/19/93 Black Cat Manor Continued
07/27/01 New Century Cream Lemon: Escalation - Die Liebe
08/23/02 New Century Cream Lemon: Ami Rencontrer
09/25/04 Cream Lemon (live action movie)
09/23/05 Cream Lemon: Ami’s Diary (live action OVA)

A surprising number of Cream Lemon episodes have actually made it into the American market in one form or another. Currently Legend of Superdimension Rall and Star Trap are available dubbed and uncensored as a double feature on the “Offenders of the Universe - Brothers Grime Adult Cartoon Volume 2″ DVD from Excalibur Films. Dark, White Shadow and Evil Doll are all available in English language, uncensored versions on the “Pandora An Erotic Trilogy - Brothers Grime Adult Cartoon Volume 3″ DVD. The first Cream Lemon episode- the beginning of the Ami Nonomura storyline, and the 4 episode Ami Sorekara OVA series- the end of the Ami storyline- are available on American DVDs titled “By My Honey” and “Story of Ami.” Oddly, the American DVDs contain the original Japanese censoring and have no English translation.

Article revised October 13, 2005

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