Hen Zemi is a paradox. cute but twisted, it started off weird, got weirder, reached terminal velocity and ended on a rather sweet note (well, sweet for this series). also called "Abnormal Psychology Seminar", it follows a girl in the perils of a college course she enrolled in solely because her crush was taking it. the first episode is playful weird, just to get you hooked; the viewer, like the girl, may experience discomfort, paranoia, and nausea over the course of the 12 13-minute episodes and 2 half-hour OVAs. some may experience excitement at the visuals, akin to the actions and reactions of the rest of the class. as such, viewer discretion is advised.
|Nanako, smash any hopes you had of leaving this class with your purity intact.|
boasting a cutesy style that both fits the series' weirdness and seems completely out of place, the paradox continues with its impossible cast. what is normal? definitely not this bunch, though from first glance they might appear that way. exploring fetish after crazy fetish is this series' bread and butter, with the casts' motivations, relationships, and secrets slowly being revealed. as touching as this may sound the show takes ANY opportunity it can to twist everything possible, so any sort of sweet, sentimental moments always come with a catch. the OVAs have the oppertunity to be even sicker than the tv show (OVAs always do), and also bears the odd distinction of being better animated than the show. stranger still is that they came out PRIOR to the series, bundled with special edition copies of manga volumes 4 and 5. perhaps it has to do with a more expanded budget, but otherwise all the factors are the same. still, somehow they end up looking like Hen Zemi: The Movie.
|Somehow, the art quality just feels higher in the OVA.|
the soundtrack is cute. once again, this is a paradox, as the series' true nature is anything but (it's like a fluffy bunny exteriour hiding a murderous bloodthirsty rapist inside....don't worry, there's no actual crimes in this show~). the opening is lyricless and kept short, showcasing the female members of the cast. the ending's lyrics really do the show justice; sexy but lighthearted, candid about all the topics it covers as the main character jogs around and the other members of the cast stare at the screen with a big grin. the background music is just your standard fare, being a sort of neutral pallette against the bold strokes cast by the scenes.
|This image actually represents the series really well.|
despite my general disgust with this series i must admit, by all respects it's good. not my taste, not at all. but the animation is solid, the voice actors perfect and the plot (well, how much plot can you get from a slice of life?) pulling enough to keep you in. some episodes were actually quite nice, such as one when a few of them sit in a lecture room and talk about relationships. others, such as the new year's episode, made me cringe a bit. don't get me wrong, it takes a lot to disturb me, so this didn't have me running for the door, but i did make sure there was no one else in the room when i was watching. >>;
|This is part of the reason why.|
i can't speak much to a target audience here....the ONLY group i can say this is suitable for is the age group on display: college students. and you're gonna need some open-minded ones at that. watch at your own risk, people. i'm not liable for the fallout that will come if you try to show this to grade-schoolers or old people. also, considering this qualifies at times as porno, keep it out of reach of your parents.
|Please don't make me tell you what this is.|
Hen Zemi is available from Why Not Subs, Kira Fansubs, DmonHiro Subs, Interrobang Subs, Final 8 Subs, Nanikano Fansubs (Spanish) Tekeremata Subs (Spanish), Front de Libération des Animes (French), Pantsu Subs (German), and LJK Fansubs (Hungarian).
|I'd like to know that, too.|
|I can see that.|