Call Me Tonight, directed by Tatsuya Okamoto. 30 minutes. July 28, 1986.
The first Japanese OAV was Dallos, a s-f adventure (a poor rip-off of Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress), released in December 1983. The third, in February 1984, was the pornographic Lolita Anime 1. Of 17 OAVs released during 1984, 11 were pornographic. Early OAVs quickly gained a reputation as all short and pornographic, with only a few exceptions. The most notorious was Urotsukidōji, directed by Hideki Takayama, based on the manga by Toshio Maeda. Urotsukidōji was commonly held to be the originator of “tentacle rape”, although there are earlier examples. The anime and Maeda got all the publicity, but Maeda said that Takayama’s liberal anime adaptation, released January 21, 1987, was too repugnant even for him – “but brilliant”. A March 1989 feature-length condensation of the first three OAVs as Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend was shown theatrically in New York.
Call Me Tonight, a.k.a. Pink Noise vol. 1 (of four; the others are forgettable and have been forgotten), produced by AIC and C.Moon in 1986, was one of the first to have a real story and music, and to be erotically suggestive rather than outright pornographic: a romantic horror comedy rather than a sadistic rape/murder fest. This copy on YouTube shows the Bandai Visual “Emotion” logo that wasn’t used before 1999, showing both that Call Me Tonight has been rereleased since 1986, and that it’s considered tame enough, at least by Japanese standards, to get an unrestricted release.
A five girls’ apartment co-op in a big city (not specifically Tokyo) has started a Madonna telephone sex service. Rumi Natsumi, telephone name Suuko, is the leader. Emi and Yuki complain to her that a client, teenager Ryo Sugiura, is too weird for them. He claims that now that he’s developed sexually, masturbating or other sexual arousal makes his body mutate into a giant monster with lots of teeth and tentacles, ripping his clothes to shreds. He can’t afford to keep buying new clothes. Rumi goes to meet him in a coffee shop and suggestively prods him to demonstrate. He freaks out the other patrons. Rumi takes him to a movie theater showing a scary horror movie, and they learn that fear has the same effect on him. (There are visual references in Call Me Tonight to American horror like Weird Tales magazine and the horror novels of Frank Belknap Long.)
Rather than being horrified, Rumi takes this as a challenge. She tries to make him develop enough self-control that seeing something erotic or frightening won’t turn him into a monster. She takes a shower with him just outside; she shows him porno magazines; she stands in the rain to make her clothes see-through. What they don’t know is that two who were in the coffee shop, butch lesbian Maki Nohara and his weaker boyfriend/underling Hayata, have followed them.Maki is a horror fan and wants to know what’s going on. Maki and Hayata are met by Maki’s sister Oyuki, a teenage dominatrix and high schooler. Maki is excited about discovering a monster or maybe an alien, but Oyuki is more interested in the girl in their photo: she recognizes Rumi as a first-year student in her high school. Oyuki, who apparently doesn’t take Maki seriously, later confronts Rumi and orders her to turn Ryo over to her.
Rumi doesn’t, so Oyuki and her motorcycle gang capture Rumi and Ryo. They go to an abandoned building, where Rumi is turned over to the motorcycle gang to rape, and she takes Ryo into a room to seduce him. Meanwhile, Hayata has seen them and he telephones Maki, who sets out with a bazooka to rescue Oyuki. Ryo turns into a monster much more fearsome than Oyuki expects, with multiple horrific heads; so feral that Rumi is afraid he’s lost his mind and will kill all of them. Maki arrives and blasts Ryo through a wall and out of the building, but he climbs back in. The monster pursues everyone up to the roof. Rumi confronts him, forcing Ryo to confront and battle himself. He remembers that an alien “monster collector” has taken over his body and is looking for Earth monsters. Ryo’s getting emotionally excited turns his body over to some of the monsters within it. Ryo develops enough control to return to human.
In an epilogue, Oyuki has joined the Madonna telephone sex service. When she gets turned on, now it’s she who turns into a monster. No reason is given, though the viewer can rationalize one: Presumably Ryo wasn’t encountering any Earth monsters, and the alien collector gave up on him and transferred into Oyuki’s body.
Call Me Tonight was, in its way, one of a kind. It’s nice to have it still available on YouTube as a mild example of all the OAV pornography that was available from the mid-1980s to – I guess the early or mid-1990s. It faded away, presumably because (1) enough non-pornographic work became available for all the anime studios; (2) TV anime evolved from for children to for adolescents; (3) standards became more liberal, allowing brief nude shower scenes and more adolescent or adult innuendos; (4) once the novelty wore off, the market for animated pornography shrank considerably or dried up. Those who wanted pornography preferred it in live-action.
Next week: “Forgotten” OAVs #7.