Soap no Moko-chan
Also known as: My Fair Masseuse
Medium: OVA
Year: 1996
Director: Shunji Yoshida
Writer: Naruo Kusugawa
Actor: Kotomi Ryuguden
Keywords: anime, hentai, boobs
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: One 40-minute episode divided into three parts
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=5084
Website category: Anime 1990s
Review date: 25 April 2024
Soap no Moko chan
Theoretically, it's likeable. Moko-chan herself is charming, kind and became a prostitute because she wants to make her customers happy. She calls it public-spiritedness. (Before that, she was a nurse.) She's popular and she loves her job, having a healthy attitude and a sense of humour. This is a feel-good hentai, with a sex-positive message that you could almost call feminist. When a man makes assumptions about Moko having been forced into this line of work, she tells him she's doing it because she wants to and offers him a freebie because he clearly needs one. (He flees in confusion.)
What a happy portrayal of the sex industry! There's no rape, misery or any of the issues often found among real prostitutes. No one's neurotic, mentally unstable or on drugs. Realistic? Don't ask me. Also, some of the comedy is overdone and goofy. It's certainly down-to-earth, though, and there probably are sex workers who'd identify with what they see here.
I like the show's cast and tone... but I disliked its actual stories.
1. KINKY MOKO, 14 minutes
An annoying man sees Moko jogging in the park and becomes her accident-prone stalker. His first mishap is to get kissed by a big butch man in lipstick. Mr Annoying's reaction to seeing him is "monster!" That joke hasn't aged well.
Mr Annoying follows Moko home, climbs a lamp-post and looks through her bedroom window while she's naked. Moko wouldn't have minded, but I wanted him arrested. Mr Annoying then stalks her on a train while sporting an absurdly huge erection. You'd think he had a small dog down there. (Whoops, he shuts it in a door. Ho ho ho, such comedy.) Schoolgirls laugh at him, but surely you'd expect someone to call the police? On following Moko to a soapland parlour, our hero assumes that she was forced into prostitution by gangsters and charges in to rescue her. He punches everyone in sight, from the manager at the front desk to Moko's current customer (a thoughtful elderly gentleman from an education committee who's interested in her motivations for doing this work). Gyaaaah.
I liked the conversations. Moko discusses how she feels about her job with her flatmate/colleague, to herself and with that thoughtful old customer. There's also an amusing joke with Moko's idea of suitable underwear. Mr Annoying, though, can sod right off.
A boy has a not-girlfriend who treats him like a taxi service, but at other times won't even speak to him. She gives him the brush-off whenever he approaches her. She shags other men. But if it's late at night and she wants a lift, she'll phone up and sweet-talk him into driving out to collect her.
This chap meets Moko and soon tells his not-girlfriend to get lost, although that's partly because he's sold his car to pay for sex sessions. (Moko's happy that he's happy, but she tells him to be more careful with money.) Things then get silly when the not-girlfriend shows up in a rage, storms into the brothel and accepts a sex challenge from prostitutes. Who can best satisfy this hitherto unlucky boy? Moko wins, not through technique but simply because she's caring... but then she provokes the boy into defending his bitchy not-girlfriend from insults Moko didn't mean.
Result: he gets together with this abusive not-girlfriend. Are we supposed to think that's a happy ending? How long will the relationship last? Should we be counting in days or hours? This not-girlfriend is interested in becoming a prostitute herself, for instance. Lots of money? How much?
3. HOW TO SLACK OFF, 14 minutes
Moko appears in a magazine and becomes too popular! She's worked off her feet and collapses, so the other girls order her to slack off. Relax. Take it easy. We're the ones who'll be pulling extra shifts if you go to hospital. Moko doesn't like this because she feels a sense of duty towards customers who are paying lots of money, but the girls persuade her to pretend to be an innocent first-timer who doesn't know anything. Men are turned on by inexperienced girls! This actually works (until it doesn't), but it's still frustrating to see Moko telling lies and putting on a personality that doesn't suit her. Even Moko herself feels uncomfortable and knows something isn't right.
Ultimately, she realises why this doesn't suit her and reverts to her usual approach.
Meh. It's thoroughly nice, but it's driven by unfunny comedy and ill-judged storytelling. Moko herself is lovely, though.