Super Otome Taisen (スーパー乙女大戦) is a collection of short stories that were published over a period of several years to create an epic whole.
It is Christmas Eve at St. Anna’s private Catholic school. In the Teresa dorm, a minature Angel named Lilith tells seven girls that they have been chosen by God to save the Earth.
The “senshi” are third-years Mikiko – honor student, former president of the Student Council; Makoto – out lesbian, and “Casanova” of the school; second-years Karen – a half-Japanese supermodel; Sasa – the school bad girl; Fuyuko – otaku and president of the SF/Fantasy club and; first-years Goth-Loli Yumeno and…Mana. I’ll get to Mana in a bit.
The “senshi” gig isn’t quite what one might expect – they are told that their sexual energy will power the giant robot guardian Super Gaia as she fights off equally giant monsters that attack the planet. This requires them to either masturbate or have sex with one another to free Super Gaia from the tentacle-y clutches of the monsters.
During the course of their adventures, the senshi undergo some awakenings. Mikiko discovers a sadistic streak, while Sasa learns that she’s a masochist. Yumeno – who yearns for Karen – also learns she has a mean streak, School Casanova Makoto is summarily rejected or ignored by almost every one of the others, Karen and Fuyuko discover a mutual love of tentacle play and fall in love and Mana develops a kind of telepathy with Lucretia, the giant sea anemone tentacle monster they keep in the dorm and Lucretia’s baby tentacle monster, Koro-chan.
Right from the beginning, there’s a few things that are not right about the situation and it’s otaku Fuyuko who notices them first. For one thing, the monster design is inconsistent (and she can identify which anime and live-action designers they remind her of.) She also comments on the set design. And, as she points out, the Angel that is their contact has the name Lilith, which doesn’t sound like someone that the Christian God would chose to save the Earth. Fuyuko comments that Lilith’s wings are more like an insect’s than an angel’s and calmly mentions that for all they know, the God they are serving is Beezelbub, Lord of Flies.
Karen, discovers something’s up when she overhears Lilith talking to “God” who has a very high-pitched voice and whom Lilith refers to as “Director.” To keep Karen quiet, Lilith imprisons her with Lucretia. Karen doesn’t really mind that much and Lucretia is very gentle with Karen – even going so far as to feed her. Nonetheless, I had a really hard time being comfortable knowing Karen was involved in “tentacle play” for three days straight.
It’s Mana who saves the day. Mana is a really weird character. She’s totally asexual and never involves herself at all with any of the other senshi. When she discovers Lucretia’s baby, she puts Koro in a bowl and raises it. From there, she develops empathy that evolves into telepathy. When Mana realizes that Koro-chan misses her mommy, she gets the locked door open by asking Lucretia politely to open it. Ultimately, this frees Karen (who, mind you, asks to go back after a bath and a meal.)
The climax (herhn herhn) of the book comes when Yumeno, disgusted at what Karen has become, blames Lilith and concocts a plan to punish her. She engages the help of Mana (to whom she had always been kind) and Koro-chan. The little tentacle monster is just the right size to detain and “play with” Lilith. The senshi gather and force Lilith to tell them what’s up. It turns out that the role of “God” has been played by an alien AV director who wanted to create a reality show for the human fetishists in the universe. And it was a big success, she admits. I really felt that Mori-sensei dropped the ball here – she needed to have had Mikiko demand royalties for them all. Oh well, can’t have everything. Oh and Earth? Never really in danger…
The senshi are returned back to their lives which, amazingly, they slip right back into. They gather together one last time to say goodbye to the graduating third-years. You get one guess as to how that turns out.
In the final scene, Mikiko and Makoto are walking the campus and they see a beautiful woman, with perfect proportions and a very western face. They go running up to her…it can’t be…Super Gaia? I won’t spoil the ending. You’ll just have to read the book to find out. ^_^
In the same way that Sempai to Watashi takes the idea of BDSM and kind of beats it to death and then still runs with it until it stops being sexy, sort of normalizes and then becomes both more profound and more silly than ever before, Super Otome Taisen does the same with tentacle rape.
While Mikiko is the leader of the team, it’s Fuyuko who is protagonist for most of the book. Her open otaku-ness allows Mori-sensei to really trot out some serious sci-fi/fantasy obscura. Now I too know about “Stalingrad Fuyu Keshiki.” You can tell that Fuyuko is the protagonist, too, because she is the only one who gets the girl in the end. Makoto remains a court fool and Sasa is the group whipping girl, but Fuyuko and Karen find true love. Mana gets a new baby tentacle monster to raise. And they all live happily ever after….
Overall – 8