And so we come to the other great problem with my generation -- the Anime craze, which I find sad and inexplicable at the best of times, and frankly disturbing where it concerns cartoons aimed at pre-teen Japanese girls, and aimed low. Kurusu City is a case in point.
The heroine of the game is the feisty Anime schoolgirl Miki Maeda, but the narrative voice is most definitely provided by her Uncle Kev, who dotes as Miki strikes one cute Anime pose after another. ("You cross your arms and frown in indignation." Oh Miki!) Kev spends a great deal of time -- some would say a quite astonishing amount of time -- in the locker room of the "Peak of Ripeness Orthodox High School", going into great detail about the various cutesy early-teen relationships and intrigues therein (in a game ostensibly about killer robots), before guiding the breathless reader through not one but three schoolgirl tugs-of-war. It's all vaguely clammy, and if I listen very hard I can hear a faint whup-whup-whup in the background.
It feels unpleasantly like I'm being led through someone else's sexual fantasy, and what's more, a repressed and inhibited sexual fantasy, a sexual fantasy pretending not to be a sexual fantasy. Kev lingers over a situation where naked breasts, butts and other exciting female bits are on show, and later a great deal of sweating and grunting and moaning -- and yet all the time his language remains scrupulously coy and cutesy. It's as if he's skirting around that which interests him most, as if the mere mention of a nipple, say, would break the spell. Hell, even a bra is too much for Kev, the girls instead removing "articles of clothing". I'm reminded most of all of the seven-year-old who is attracted to that photo of the swimsuit model without knowing quite why he is attracted to it -- or the redneck who likes some well-oiled WWF wrestler. In fact, maybe it's this very coyness that's the turn-on about this particular fantasy, maybe the thrill is that of recreating an 'innocent' childish proto-sexual buzz. But whatever the attraction, it looks unmistakeably like the sexual fantasy of someone uncomfortable with adult sexuality. And that, I fear, explains much of the popularity of this brand of Anime.
Of course, maybe I'm wrong and there's a great steaming money shot at the end of the game. But alas, the game forced me to quit just as I was about to quit voluntarily, and I'm really not keen to investigate further.