Adventure Kid (Japanese: アドベンチャーKID, Hepburn: Adobenchā Kiddo) is an erotic manga series written and illustrated by Toshio Maeda. It was published by Wanimagazine into four volumes from 1988 to 1989 and it was adapted into an original video animation (OVA). It follows Norizaku and Midori as they discover a demonic computer that transports them to Hell and destroys their world. They are transported to World War II and must prevent their future from being ruined.
The alternate name Adventure Duo was used in the British release of the anime because it was feared that parents would buy it for their children without realising the explicit sexual content and tentacle rape scenes. Central Park Media’s Manga 18 and Anime 18 divisions licenced both the manga and OVA series in North America. The manga was praised for its art style and plot, whereas the anime was panned for its poor animation quality.
|Cover of the first manga volume of Adventure Kid|
|Genre||Erotic, fantasy, horror|
|Written by||Toshio Maeda|
|English publisher||Central Park Media|
|Original run||1988 – 1989|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Hideki Takayama|
|Written by||Atsushi Yamatoya|
|Music by||Masamichi Amano|
|Licensed by||Central Park Media|
|Released||1992 – 1994|
|Runtime||40 min. each|
Episode 1: Norikazu, a young man, discovers a World War II computer buried in his back garden. When he activates it, he and a girl named Midori are transported to Hell, where various erotic creatures and monsters live. They make new friends, including a seductive elf named Eganko, who falls in love with Norikazu, and a perverted monster prince who is soon enslaved by Midori. The pair attempts to make the perilous journey back home with the assistance of their new friends.
Episode 2: After returning home, the adventurers discover that the world they knew has vanished and is now ruled by the demonic computer that first sent them to Hell. They mysteriously travel back in time to World War II in an attempt to prevent the world from changing. They witness the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, as well as the appearance of the Enola Gay and other symbols of Japanese culture at the time.
Episode 3: This episode features a humorous love-quadrangle plot in which Eganko devises a plan to use a love potion to make Norikazu fall in love with her while simultaneously making Midori fall in love with an egotistical young man from her school. When the love potions are mixed up, their plan backfires, and everyone gets what they deserve.
In the journal Sexuality & Culture, Mariana Ortega-Brena described it as “situated somewhere between porn, sci-fi horror, and the slasher film,” with a darker tone than regular hentai. In 500 Essential Anime Movies, Helen McCarthy described it as “an insane mixture of pornography and sitcom,” while Sequential Tart’s Sheena McNeil confirmed it is “erotic fantasy with a good dose of humour.” In The Anime Encyclopedia, Jonathan Clements and McCarthy noted its horror content, while McNeil and Oricon labelled it “erotic grotesque” and “erotic violence.”
Mania.com’s Chris Beveridge compared the Hiroshima scene to the style of the film Dr. Strangelove and claimed that Brad Fiedel’s main theme from Terminator 2: Judgment Day was “almost outright stolen.” According to Clements and McCarthy, it adds sexual content to the “alien girlfriend-squatter set-up of Urusei Yatsura” and contains humorous references condemning the author’s previous work, Urotsukidji.
Toshio Maeda wrote and illustrated the manga, which was published in four tankbon volumes by Wanimagazine between November 1988 and November 1989. From January to November 2003, Central Park Media translated it into English and published the four volumes under the Manga 18 label.
Hideki Takayama directed a three-episode original video animation (OVA) titled Yj Sensen Adventure Kid. Originally, the production team intended to have live-action erotic actresses dubbing some characters to increase public appeal, but the hired cast was unable to act due to a lack of experience. The three volumes were released on VHS by MW Films and Jupiter Films, one per year from 1992 to 1994. In February 2002, Tokuma Japan Communications reissued the entire series in three volumes.
Central Park Media bought its North American publishing rights in the 1990s and kept them until its bankruptcy in 2009. Central Park Media’s Anime 18 division first released the subtitled episodes in two volumes—both on VHS and on CD-ROM—and then in a single VHS with the dubbed episodes. Central Park Media released the entire series on DVD in 2001. It was renamed Adventure Duo for the British release because the word “kid” could obscure its sexual content. In addition, all episodes had to be edited in order to pass British Board of Film Classification certification; the first episode had a minute of video cut, while the last had over nine minutes cut. In the 1990s, Paradox released three VHS volumes, while Kiseki Films only released one in 2002. In the 1990s, Paradox released three VHS volumes, while Kiseki Films only released one in 2002.
Patrick King of Animefringe described the manga as a “classic hentai title.” Sheena McNeil gave positive reviews to all manga volumes, and was particularly impressed with the fact that sexual content—”quite a variety of sexual activities” that gradually shift from softcore to hardcore—was usually used to advance the plot rather than being “just there.” “It’s hentai with plot — and I don’t mean a semblance of a plot thrown in to keep the sex together, I mean an actual plot that makes Adventure Kid an enjoyable read on multiple levels,” she says. She praised its “well-thought-out characters” and called its art “exceptional,” noting that it “is graphic, but not in your face extreme.” “Provocative, humorous, dirty, and ingenious, it took a while to develop and get it on (more than fondling and blow-jobs), but it was well worth it,” McNeil said. According to Allen Divers of Anime News Network, who reviewed the third volume of the manga, “Adventure Kid is a well drawn tale with a variety of sight gags and quite witty dialogue.” Martin Ouellette of Protoculture Addicts said of the final volume, “While not Maeda’s best work, it does contain everything a hentai otaku will ever need: sex, weird sex, and bizarre sex (as well as immoral sex).”
Chris Beveridge, in his review of the anime, criticised the “poor animation and the extensively bad lighting style used,” as well as the “mock” dialogues. The reviewer came to the conclusion that he “probably should have cut [his] losses after the first five minutes,” and concluded, “Avoid at all costs, unless you love MST3K anime.”