Platforms: PC (reviewed)
Release: 17th November 2017
Price: 24.95 (MangaGamer Store)
Review contains explicit content and story spoilers
Eroges … often characterised as mindless hentai games, which only exist to satisfy lone otakus, at least those are the general prejudices towards the genre. Especially a giant game about brutally raping woman like Kuroinu, which had to be split up in three chapters, seems more like a dream for perverts. Yet the best Eroges don’t draw their appeal from simple sex but rather use sexual intercourse as a stylistic device to tell an otherwise impossible plot and Kuroinu is exactly one of those.
In a dark fantasy world where humans fight against the dark elves, a mercenary group of orcs and men, led by general Vult, declares their independence. After successfully conquering the dark elves territory, they establish their so-called Cuntry, a state where every woman has to serve men. Naturally their path to victory continues in chapter 2, focusing on the fall of the three girls Kaguya, Prim and Alicia.
As cheesy as it may sound, Kuroinu is far more than watching the mercenaries capture castles and rape all women inside. Instead it aims to illustrate the believable downfall of three girls (out of nine in the complete game), each leader of their own castle. Those symbols of power, who never did anything else than serving others, are now being confronted with their helplessness against sexual arousal. Through various acts of rape they not only lose their virginity but brutally learn, that the body has its own will. The transformation from loyal, proud heads of society to broken perverts may be achieved by extremely hard rape but the true focus of Kuroinu lies in the slow psychological transformation and how smartly every route and character are forged together. So let´s take a look at the characters and why they work so damn well.
Princess Knight Alicia is probably the personification of a cliché princess, only caring about her people and friends. Having sacrificed her entire private life, including interest in the other sex, she lives for others rather than herself. Naturally seeing others suffer because of her is her biggest weakness and will soon be responsible for the castle´s downfall.
In theory not a really outstanding character, yet, not many plots thematized what would happen if such a person was separated from everything she lived for until now. Over the course of around six scenes, Vult destroys her entire world. Starting out with raping innocent women and being raped by a former minister, she quickly questions the meaning behind all her sacrifices if even her most loyal comrades betray her for their own selfish reasons. These initial doubts flourish during the following acts, transforming her into a women eaten up by doubts, disbelief and despair. Over her route Kuroinu explores the reaction of a selfless princess, ready to die for her people, who´s world is crushed by the cruel nature of men while drowning her in a world of pleasure, ultimately transforming into the “Blowjob Princess Knight”.
Prim, a young princess, cute, honest and naive due to her overly protective parents, she only saw the very best of the world. In combination with the influence her friend Alicia had on her, she could best be described as a seemingly cute animal, locked away in a cage, never allowed to do anything outside of her role.
Unsurprisingly her mental breakdown isn´t achieved in taking away everything she lived for like in Alicia´s case, who wholeheartedly believed in the world. Established as a very caring women/girl as soft as silk, her kindness is soon used by the mercenaries. In order to save others from being abused as fuck dolls, she has to offer herself, to help others at least a little bit. Yet by saving others through rape, she begins to connect those two, slowly thinking the only way of being useful is through sex. Prim is a girl full of self doubts because no one ever let her freely live as a human or princess, simply forcing her into a role. Now in this twisted world of pleasure it´s the first time she can actually do something on her own, even helping people, which seemed like an unreachable dream until now. At the same time, sex symbolizes the forbidden fruit in her little world, she knows it´s wrong but is drawn to it because she´s finally free. Both aspects ultimately drive Prim into associating happiness with the mercenaries’ cruel rape, leading to her nickname “Lustful Young Princess”.
Last but not least there´s Kaguya, probably my favourite character of all three. A head priestess who offered her asshole to the god, since that´s how religion in Kuroinu seems to work. By devoting their bodies to god the priestesses are very similar to nouns, living a life separated from pleasure and worshipped by men, that lead to very proud women, expecting only the highest of their leader.
However Kaguya´s route isn´t mainly about anally raping her in front of the other priestesses, forcing them to abandon her as their head priestess, but rather illustrates her path to self-discovery. In comparison to Prim, she isn´t drawn to sex because it was forbidden the whole time, actually she seems to be very aware of her desires to a certain degree. For example the holy asshole cleansing procedure reminds one more of mere anal masturbation, while her unconscious anal movements can knock out even the strongest men. It may not be openly said but Kaguya probably tried to escape the truth of her perversion by locking it away behind god. During her whole life she must´ve been trying to deny her own body and desires. Unfortunately, when they´re freed for the first time since years, there´s no escape, especially because giant tentacles torment her ass. Additionally to this confrontation with her own deep desires, having god taken away and being betrayed by a former friend, only her amazing ass gives her life meaning, resulting in the “Anal Priestess”. A desperate women ready to love even an insect, just because she´s connected in the slightest to it.
All characters in Kuroinu have one thing in common, they´re weak, only defining themselves through their role, task or status. Be it the selfless princess knight, cute young princess or noble priestess, none are incredible versatile and that´s why this Visual Novel works. Only women without deep characteristics, relying on one sole thing, can be crushed entirely by raping them, taking away everything they lived for or even grant them a new meaning. Observing their downfall, which passively reveals more and more about their psyche can evolve into a pretty dark journey into the mind of such flat characters. Kuroinu characterizes them through rape combined with brutal reality, making every scene necessary because the plot can´t work otherwise.
Nonetheless, it´s an Eroge, a very hardcore one at that, so being a fan of these Visual Novels is a necessity to fully enjoy it. Multiple tentacles raping Kaguya, a double penetration from giant orcs or even a huge orc gang bang, it´s all part of the experience, as said earlier. Especially considering the detailed descriptions of every single thing happening, mixed with its heavy use of technical terms for women anatomy in particular, it´s obvious Liquid really loved their rape scenes. Sometimes this love for detail can be Kuroinu´s biggest problem, since they tend to drag out scenes way more than necessary, hence 30-50 minutes long gang bang scenes aren´t unusual. As a result the interesting inner monologues or changes in a character can be overshadowed by redundant, generic rape.
Naturally there are also some minor problems with dividing a complete game into three parts. For instance, the plot has some scenes where every one of the nine girls is depicted, not only the three available in this part, letting such parts seem rather odd, while some scenes repeat themselves in both already released parts as well. Surely a necessary step to release a big game like Kuroinu in an appropriate amount of time, it´s just feels like promoting content not yet available from time to time. Additionally the Visual Novel typical resolution lock for the graphics is particularly low at 800×600 but that´s to be expected.
Kuroinu Chapter 2 may look like just another hardcore Eroge but as already shown by Chapter 1, offers far more than “just” brutal rape. By knowingly using one-sided characters as subjects for the mind breaking sexual torture of Vult and his mercenaries, it´s able to tell a believable plot about weak women confronted with their true nature. Every one of them thematizes an own psychological problem, using devices only an Eroge could use, resulting in a disturbing but ultimately very interesting, remarkable experience, if you enjoy such brutal Eroges and Liquid´s detailed descriptions. Even exceeding the first part with subjectively superior characters and ideas, it once again shows that not all Eroges are mindless fuckfests and makes the wait for Chapter 3 even harder.
[A Review Code was provided by MangaGamer]