So... I watched Euphoria
Content Warning: I will talk about some disturbing imagery and concepts, so if you are of the faint of heart, I recommend to not read further and pick up a bible or something instead.
Ach ja, a bit more than a year ago, a friend of mine recommend me to watch Date A Live. They may tell you they did the exact opposite of recommending me Date A Live, talking about all its insane stuff and how bad everything is, yet there I was, three seasons and a movie into this mess. I have never forgiven them ever since for wasting my time by telling me to not waste my time on it. So when another friend started talking about how messed up this one hentai is, showing me isolated scenes, questioning its reason of existence and practically begging me to say something, anything, I had no other choice, as to put faith into my own hands, bite the bullet and take the wheel back from Jesus.
My general stance on such media is mostly rather boring: I do not care that much. I am able to form a clear opinion, but my actual reaction tends to be neutral. I am seldom, scared, shocked or disgusted. Watching stuff like the first episode of Goblin Slayer and I was bewildered by the communities reaction, questioning if I overlooked something that should make me react stronger or different. I am mostly unfazed by acts of fictional violence, even the brutal kind, extreme blood and splatter does nothing to me. Of course, I am able to say if something is fucked up afterwards, but I do so with the calmest of minds.
Never have I felt like I walked away from something with anything like a mental scar afterwards. I wouldn’t call myself a cold-hearted machine, I very often feel a lot of emotions, but it does seem weird that, concerning commonly considered “disturbing” material, I am apparently always the one out of touch. I am actually writing this whole segment before I have seen a single episode of Euphoria to kind of make a point. Don’t ask me what point, though, as I do not know so myself.
Guro porn and other related erotica never turned out to be my cup of tea, I am just too much of an innocent vanilla, hand-holding, proposing at the end type of softie for that. Hentai is definitely more digestible than its real life counterpart, but do I not necessarily look forward to it. I have no doubt that I could even possible enjoy it, but let’s see how much I not enjoy Euphoria.
So, the first episode starts with a dramatic cold open: A girl getting electrocuted, sitting in her own feces, her flesh burned and emitting steam. Keisuke, our main character, looks disgusted at the killed girl, though can’t bring himself to look away from her.
We learn the premise of this story, a sort of Saw gone sexual (I don’t know, I have never seen Saw). Some students and their teacher are trapped in a room and have to open five doors via some sort of sexual act, with Keisuke being the Keyopener and the girls being the Keyhole… subtle.
Introducing Nemu, one of Keisukes classmates that seems not all that bothered by this whole situation, less in the horny kind and more in the actual in control and spreading chaos kind of way. She is also the one “lending a hand"to Keisuke, as he was standing in the same room as the electrocuted girl, the electrocution being the girls punishment for refusing to participate in the game.
Next scene, we are greeted by Keisuke watching over an evil(?) version of himself with his girlfriend(?) Kanae. Evil Keisuke starts playing with her butt as if it were a Guitar Hero Drum Set, before raping(?) her. I honestly don’t know if this scene was supposed to be foreshadowing or a look into his past to introduce his sadistic tendencies. Anyway, I came out more confused than anything.
Starting the first game, Keisuke chooses Nemu as his Keyhole and the woman over the speaker tells them to have… normal vanilla sex. Well, the actual instruction were like:
- Keyhole: Vagina
- Number of ejaculations: 2 times
- Method: *Christian Grey Voice* Hard
Which basically came down to the two of them having this weird semi rape-play while Nemu wears a bit of bondage gear. Here is the thing though… Both are totally into it. Nemu suffers a heavy case of sado-masochism and prefers it to be rough, while Keisuke can engage in his violent tendencies. At the end of the day, nothing bad happened, actually. I totally see the problem, especially with Keisuke being able to choose the “Keyhole” on his own accord, but otherwise, those two had the time of their life in an otherwise messed up situation. I can absolutely see how this can turn bad real quick in the future, but as of episode one, ignoring the electrocution, this stuff is tame, unless I want to kink shame this weird approach to BDSM. Side Note, all the other girls watch over them on a monitor and I am unsure if their reaction indicates concern or “Damn, I wish that were me”.
Before diving into the second episode, her are some miscellaneous thoughts:
I kinda dig the whole art design, like the backgrounds being almost monotone and bleached out with only little accents of color and the characters having this “sharpness” to it that really fits together well. Add clever use of music and sound and Euphoria creates a better horror atmosphere than most horror anime I have seen. So far, I am still pretty good.
Episode two starts where the first one left off. Nemu tells Keisuke to keep choosing her, or she will tell everyone his secret of… getting hard after seeing their classmate electrocuted. He, however, has other plans. After getting stopped from being chocked to death, Namu exclaims to love seeing people fall from grace. After some petty High School drama between Nemu and Kanae about who knows Keisuke better, the preparations for the second round begins and Keisuke chooses Kanae as the next Keyhole. The instruction were almost identical, except the amount of ejaculation were dropped to one and also instead of some bondage gear, there was a rope.
Kanae also pulls the “I don’t mind if it is with you”-stick. The scene begins with Keisuke immediately ripping of her clothes and getting to work in an almost brutal way. It was violent to say the least. At this point, one can probably guess for whom Euphoria is made. Keisuke derives pleasure from actively hurting the girls and exerting complete control over them. He wants to see them fall into obedience and induce as much pain as possible.
Both eventually unlock the second door and Keisuke has to now actively deal with his sadistic urges by… holding an almost villainous monolog, while we see a montage of all the ways he wants to have sex with Kanae, my favorite includes a weird hangman construction, as well as quick overview of the third and forth round. Let me omit some details about the third round and say it contained scat. The fourth seemed to be “normal” again, but it didn’t stop Keisuke from going to town. At this point, Kanae is almost an empty husk, dependent on Keisukes attention and “love”.
The fifth and final round contained electro-stimulation… just not the entirely safe kind. It was essentially several minutes of seeing Kanae screaming, while Keisuke gaslights her that it is not pain, but pleasure she feels. After completing the assignment, Keisuke doesn’t stop and uses her to have his way a few more minutes. Gotta say, I liked last episode better, because there I could at least see how it could be sexy, but as expected, I am just too much of a “Please be gentle” gentleman for that.
Anyway, the last door opens and all survivors leave the room, with Keisuke and Kanae holding hands. The episode ends with this really bad rock number sung by what I assume is one of the voice actresses. The first episode had the same ending, but without the singing and I definitely preferred it that way. BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!
Certainly didn’t expect an after-credit scene in a hentai. So, as it turns out, they are not free. Keisuke is blindfolded and has one of those dog tail anal plugs, while he gets his temperature taken by a woman in a lab coat. This woman is revealed to be Nemu. Also in the same room is a very pregnant Kanae.
But nothing, and I say nothing, could have prepared me for the very last shot. Now, I kinda always assumed we would get into more non-sexual violent content, but seeing all the other girls killed in more and more cruel ways, definitely took me by surprise. We see the girl killed in episode one via electrocution, one of the other two girls had her head chopped of by a guillotine, the teacher was crucified and then drowned in tank of water and the lower half of the last girl was apparently squished via a hydraulic press… This escalated from 50 Shades of Grey to 50 Shades of Fucked Up way to fast.
Until the last moment, i was pretty confident in just watching Euphoria to the end and not caring, but now… I cannot claim anymore that my reaction goes into the neutral category.
“I wonder what would have happened, had you opted for a different choice?”
So, apparently, we are in some kind of Higurashi-esque time loop… or we are just going through the different routes of the Visual Novel.
This episode, we soft-reset to the state of the beginning at the second episode. Keisuke has to choose again, but opts out with one of the other girls, Byakuya, because he got pissed of at how emotionless she looked. Like the two times before, the first (actually second) round starts with the usual and one can probably guess how it goes at this point, if we ignore all the blood. Women sometimes bleed on their first time, but the sheer amount of blood was… yeah, she should probably seek out a gynecologist.
After the round, we again get some introspection from not only Keisuke, but other characters as well. Nemu acts a bit more ominous, asking Keisuke to choose Byakuya again to see what will happen. Byakuya on the other hand is pretty chill, all things considered, even taking an interest in Keisuke and commenting “You are hiding a beast inside your heart.” several times. She is rather fine with the pain inflicted by Keisuke and literally lives by the “Pain builds character” rhetoric.
Next door and we are greeted by… *looks at notes* vaginal fisting… and we are talking about the entire forearm here. That looked believably painful, if not straight up anatomically impossible to say the least. I can definitely see how this can be considered the worst stuff up until now. The last two rounds are set to a montage again, this time narrated by Byakuya instead of Keisuke. While she talks about… actually, I forgot most of it, but probably the value of pain or something, we see her being whipped and getting unconscious on the same hangman apparatus shown in episode two. Actually, she also turned unconscious in round three, so that makes two times in total. Yikes. I doubt Euphoria wants to portray BDSM in any realistic manner, unlike 50 Shades of Grey for example, but still…
At the end of the last round, Byakuya implies she may have been in this room some time in the past, telling Keisuke to check the shower floor, only to find nothing suspicious. Unlike the prior episode, it doesn’t end there yet, and the two play a b-b-bonus game, including a montage of smegma cleaning, piss drinking, giving a hand job, but with her hair, gurgling his sperm and receiving a facial, only to be greeted by a romantic candlelight steak dinner… I shit you not, they have a fancy dinner in a nice room. We learn that the collars they wear around their neck can make them unconscious, explaining how their surrounding can change from one second to another. And from here, it gets… not weird, actually.
In an almost groundbreaking twist of fate, they start having passionate vanilla sex… no catch, just wholesome sex and hand-holding. No weird violent tendencies, no kinks or fetishes, just two people realizing their love for each other in this otherwise messed up situation… its almost character breaking :D. If we ignore the first half of the episode, this right here might actually be to a lot of peoples tastes.
After they are finished, Byakuya has a headache again, talking about hearing voices, before, what I would best describe as, “rebooting” and starts choking Keisuke. We see the same room as the end of episode two, with the lab coat wearing Nemu chuckling to herself. Nemu looks at the pregnant Byakuya and asks her the very same question that we heard at the start of the episode: “I wonder what would have happened, had you opted for a different choice?”
He finally gets to fuck his teacher… err, I mean, you will not believe where this one ends.
We are again at the same starting point, door one being cleared by Nemu. This episode is kind of split in two with Makiba and the teacher taking turns.
Makiba is the youngest of the students and her dynamic with Keisuke is characterized by trust and betrayal. This one feels more psychologically sadistic than physical, though we will get there. It is about absolute domination and the removal of choice and agency on the girls part. Keisuke is already enraptured by the idea alone, before even doing anything yet. Most of the intercourse was not consensual, but concerning Makiba, Keisuke makes it abundantly clear that the point is, explicitly, rape and that he enjoys it the most, as later called out by Nemu. Keisuke, however, always follows up with kindness towards Makiba, making it one messed up relationship of essentially abuse.
For the physical aspect, Makiba is chained to the ground of a tank filled with water, barely able to stick her head above the surface. After clearing the room, Keisuke also nearly drowns her for good measure. Suffice to say, this one goes into the more fucked up area.
The teacher goes the more standard route with the first time being similar to most of the other girls, though the violence felt more toned down and based on the reversed power dynamic of a teacher and her student. Not much to add what wasn’t already explained in another episode.
The second time with the teacher, however… Oh boy. Basically, infantilism, complete with the pacifier, napkin and diapers. Put some laxative into the mix and I probably don’t need to write out what happened. It went by rather quickly, but would my day be certainly better, if it didn’t happen in the first place.
Here is where it gets crazy now. Turns out Byakuya was right in believing she remembers this place and reveals everyone an entry to a secret underground tunnel, though the tunnel eventually leads to a dead end and everyone gets attacked by scientists. The teacher proceeds to kick everyone’s asses using martial arts and after Nemu proclaims everyone should go back, she deduces that Nemu must work with the scientists. The teacher reveals, that she is some kind of an agent and stops Nemu from controlling everyone using the collars… she also points a finger gun towards Nemu that then turns into a real gun.
Hard cut and seemingly the whole situation is resolved. Kanae and Byakuya are safe, Nemu is interrogated and Makiba, the teacher and Keisuke chill out at some beach. Both then take turns having sex with Keisuke, this time with the girls in control and the episode ends with both standing against the setting sun… pregnant, of course.
Ignoring the record speed pacing, where the fuck does this story even want go to? I have a concussion from all that whiplash.
Ok fellas, buckle up because we have at least two seasons of plot to cover in this episode. I was initially unsure how this story can even go on, as all the girls had their time in the spotlight, we know that Nemu is behind it all and the last episode seemingly resolved everything… well, no.
Keisuke awakens in random storage room and Nemu explains that this time, they escaped through the tunnel, though Keisuke got injured. While the other girls search for help, Nemu stayed behind and nursed Keisuke back to health. Obviously, the first thing Keisuke does upon awakening is having sex with Nemu, who underwent a bit of a personality change, being less confident and dtf.
Together, the two leave the storage room and find their way to the school, which in the meantime was overtaken by Kanae and turned into a huge rape orgy. Both get captured and Kanae reveals that she was the evil mastermind all along, having implanted wrong memories of her into Keisuke. She proposes a deal where everything will end, if Keisuke deicides who should die; Nemu or Kanae.
Not wanting to kill anyone, Keisuke doesn’t decides just yet and the two get locked into a classroom for the night, where they have sex again. The next day, Kanae presents Keisuke the other girls and the teacher, and takes them hostage, saying she will kill one every time Keisuke refuses to decide who should die. Still, Keisuke doesn’t give an answer and all the girls are killed. It is done so with almost comedic absurdity. Their heads get teleported(?) away in an instance and blood gushes out of their necks. This is something I would expect from an edgy manga, but not hentai. We also get a flashback from the time everyone nearly died in the same way they did at the end of episode two… y’know… the stuff with the guillotine and being drowned while crucified…
From here on out, it is mostly an amalgamation of a lot of stuff: Without going into details, we get to see the human centipede, while Keisuke is unbelievably turned on by seeing the girls in pain, Nemu gets raped by the other guys, Keisuke joins in on the raping of their schoolmates, with the girls forming a literal line, while Nemu continues to be raped for who knows how long.
In the classroom again, Keisuke suffers a small identity crisis, as he is not sure which memories of Kanae are real. Both have sex yet again and Nemu confesses that she fell in love with him some time before all this stuff happened and that “she is sorry”, though we do not know for what she apologizes for.
Next day and Kanae drugs the both of them, resulting in Keisuke and Nemu having very intense sex. Often, hentai do this thing where they change the playback speed of the animation to vary the action, but here, it was on 200% from the very start. Anyway, we get another flashback, connecting a few of the other flashbacks, that Nemu and Keisuke knew each other as children and later wound up in the same High School, where they got closer again. Right before she kisses Keisuke, she screams “Why didn’t you kill me?” and we snap back to the present. Keisuke breaks her neck and with her last breath, Nemu confesses her love for him. Kanae admits that Nemu “won” and that she can “have him back”.
3 years later and Keisuke shoots Kanae in an alleyway, freeing a girl that looks like Nemu. We see yet another flashback… or not, since I am unsure where in the timeline we actually are and the two have sex again, this time without a confirmation of whether she is pregnant or not. It may have been implied that the Nemu we knew was different from the Nemu in the past, but honestly, I can not comprehend this plot anymore. At least, it doesn’t get boring. Last episode, let’s go!
And now for the grand finale… seriously, I do not make this up.
This episode starts the same way as episode 5, just with Kanae nursing Keisuke, instead of Nemu. While having sex with Kanae, we see a flashback of Keisuke getting raped by a woman as a child. He then falls unconscious and wakes up next to Byakuya, still in the very same storage room and Kanae gone… also they have sex.
Like last episode, they make their way to school, only to be welcomed by Nemu, revealing that she was the mastermind all along… wait, what? I mean, we know, but last episode, Kanae said she did it and now it is back to Nemu? Is there anyone not secretly the mastermind of this whole operation?… the answer is no, actually :D
Nemu shames Keisuke for taking advantage of the whole situation in the facility, which… fair and how she made this world just for him. Nemu also tells Keisuke to rape Byakuya, or else the captured Kanae will be raped instead. He “rapes” Byakuya until suddenly a whole cult, robes and all, appears out of nowhere and overtakes Nemu and the rest of the school, Byakuya being their leader. The cult also does this ominous chanting about the “pain of the earth” and what not.
Back in their underground hideout, the cult brands and rapes Nemu as part of a purification ritual. We never see her again. In another twist of fate, the woman that raped Keisuke, when he was a child, turns out to be Byakuya’s mother, making Byakuya Keisuke’s child… let’s ignore the whole concept of time for this one, since they are about the same age.
In the cult, it is said that Keisuke can bring forth a child, that will become the saviour to lead everyone to paradise, but only if it is male. Claiming to be better than her mother, Byakuya has sex with Keisuke to get pregnant with his child. Also almost every female member joins in too, because it is “okay to have more than one saviour”. Enter several minutes of Keisuke being drugged and raped.
The whole cult has this idea of salvation through pain, so some members get whipped bloody, while one time, Byakuya straight up beheads two women by sheer accident or something. In a golden moment of irony, even Keisuke is like “This is fucked up”, followed by his own introversion of “No. Maybe I am the one who’s fucked up”.
Through an approximately nine month long montage, Keisuke continues to be raped, until he takes hostage of the pregnant Byakuya and flees the underground hideout. Byakuya recovers some of her old personality and leads Keisuke back into the facility from the beginning. They open a door that supposedly leads to paradise, only to reveal an abandoned and empty room. Byakuyas gives birth to girl, Keisuke tells her to forget about the cult and all three continue to live as a happy family… yes, really. They just… have a happy live with their daughter and nothing bad happens… except that the child draws this weird Lock and Key symbol from the inside of the facility and Makiba and the teacher are now the leaders of the cult…
What a fucking ride.
So, this is it. This was Euphoria in all its animated glory. A friend asked me for whom this could possible be and I am not sure I can answer that question. The whole hentai follows this sadistic and cruel perspective, complete with (for most people) disturbing scenes and disgusting content. On the other hand, it is also kind of an ambitious narrative, with many twists and turns. Euphoria probably works better in its original Visual Novel format. I guess most people either can’t or don’t want to be able to handle such extreme material. Fair enough. Keep in mind that the electrocution in episode one is arguably the worst it ever gets.
Concerning myself, well… it is not like I had to practically force myself through that, though I would be lying if I said I enjoyed all, if any, of it. The more extreme scenes are not that many and spaced out, so for the most part, Euphoria is mostly a lot of rape with a violent main character… certainly no crowd-pleaser, but nothing that has to be made a big deal out of. Sure, the messed up scenes are messed up, but… nothing more. Come on kids, we are adults here. Seeing a run over hedgehog will ruin your day way more than this hentai ever could.
In conclusion, yeah, it may be messed up, no I will not revisit it and I feel no need to question its existence beyond, some people may get a kick out of the fantasy of abusing women. The End.
Also, remember: In the time it took me to watch Euphoria and write this post, I could have finished Go! Princess Precure instead ^^
Edit: So… I read some spoilers about the VN and the adaptation doesn’t even scratch the surface of what is really going on :D
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