As with most forms of storytelling, there aren’t really any original stories left to tell but rather just different ways to tell the basic stories and ideas. With hentai, there are a number of basic plots that are followed and it’s rare to get something that steps outside of that box, which is why they’re often the ones that stand the test of time – even if the animation itself doesn’t. With Body Transfer, the story here isn’t original but it’s far from common in the field so when you watch it, it’s like a breath of fresh air and plays with a concept that I can’t recall seeing anything of in the last couple of years. And that’s something that doesn’t happen often. The two-episode OVA series got underway at the end of 2003 as an original work known in Japan as Nikutai Ten’i. Produced by Green Bunny – and released in English through Media Blasters – it was a show that was delivered by director Fujimoto Yoshitaka who directed a lot of shows including Girls’ High and VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fresh. And you could get a hint of where screenwriter Mutou Yasuyuki would go in his career, bringing out projects like Deadman Wonderland and doing the screenplay for Afro Samurai. And, of course, Bible Black.
The story starts off simply enough with a rundown of a group of friends and friends of friends as well as a teacher who all go to the same school. They’re all women except for Kenichi, the sole young stud that several of the girls have strong feelings for. Like any group, there’s a dynamic that has some of the girls not liking others and Kenichi trying to keep the peace among all of them. Several of them belong to the archaeological group that meets after school and that day they’re getting ready to check out a new arrival that came in the form of a mirrored piece that looks to be made of gold. While everyone is on the school grounds, the world suddenly goes wonky and the entire school is seemingly transported to another dimension where warped space is all around and the few people that were in the school are trapped there.
Now normally this would be bad enough, but for Kenichi, it gets even weirder when he realizes that he’s not in his own body but his mind is inside the body of his friend and classmate Yoshimi, an attractive young redhead. When this concept is done in most other mediums, it doesn’t go too far but with hentai, it goes all the way. Kenichi has to deal with a sudden urge to go to the bathroom and then has a strong desire to check himself out from there, which leads him to self-exploration of his new body and just how amazing it is to be a woman. The mental dialogue that goes along with his exploration is amusing and definitely different than what you get in a lot of other shows.
As it turns out, most of the other girls in the building have also changed into other people’s bodies and are finding themselves filled with lust and desire, mostly for Kenichi since he’s the only guy around, but sometimes the other women will do. The only one seemingly unaffected is the bespectacled girl Sakajou who has learned the secret of the artifact and is using it so that she can finally have Kenichi for herself. She’s always longed for him but felt second place to his childhood friend Miho who just can’t admit her feelings for him. So Sakajou uses this as an opportunity to switch a few bodies around and have her way with Kenichi and prove to him that she’s really the right one for him… well, until this alternate dimension simply crashes in on itself and disappears.
I had hoped at the time that there would be more since even with some of the plot problems that do exist here, it has a good sense of fun about it and actually spends some time dealing with the situation outside of just the hentai elements themselves. When most mainstream shows deal with the subject, they never go far enough for obvious reasons of what it’s really going to be like if a man ended up with a woman’s body or vice versa. Body Transfer takes that to the right hentai extreme and just has fun with it while making sure that you’re kept on your toes as the women are body-hopping as well. While not original, it’s very well executed and the sex scenes are great with wonderful character designs and some very erotic imagery. But like most things, and hentai especially, your mileage may vary. But I was really glad that it held up well for me.