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Hidden in a valley between misty mountains lies the serene and picturesque Japanese town of Rinin. This beautiful locale hides a dark secret, though: for thousands of years, the mountain settlement has practiced a ritual of gang raping a chosen “maiden” to appease their god Hime Iwanaga, so that a good harvest may be delivered. Although the superstitions have faded, this tradition is continued through a secret society lurking within Rinin High School, known as The Gang Rape Club.

Rinkan Kurabu, known in English as The Gang Rape Club, is a 2008 eroge visual novel produced and published by Anime-Lilith and fan translated by the now defunct Dark Translations. The game follows the people in and around Rinin High School and their interactions with the infamous gang rape club. The protagonist is the head of the club and student president of the school, but the perspective you follow throughout the game changes quite often; for example, the game opens through the eyes of Yamanaka Satoshi, the older brother of Yamanaka Tomomi, whom he is offering up as a maiden. Through the game you’re treated to the beautiful women of Rinin and how they’re chosen as the “maiden” by those close to them. Outside of this is the student president, who is arguably the main character, orchestrating all of these gang rapes and their conflict with a teacher at the school, Yamazaki Suzuko, who is determined to bring the club down. This plot branch, involving the Student President wanting to crown Suzuko a Maiden to get her out of the way, and Suzuko’s scrupulous investigations into the elusive club, is full of suspense and tension.

I have to say, I was not overly impressed upon starting Rinkan Kurabu. Tomomi’s face is odd, and for the first impression of the women in Rinkan Kurabu, it was not winning me over. Furthermore, the initial explanations of the workings and history of the gang rape club are a bit dry, with nothing really arousing on display; however, Rinkan Kurabu gets exponentially better as you go on. This is true for many parts of the game, such as the erotic content, the animation quality, the art style and the story. The closer you get to an ending, the better the game gets. The suspense builds constantly as you follow the Student President’s path, and without spoiling anything, there is definitely a great payoff. The Student President’s route is easily the high point of the story, but there is a myriad of alternate perspectives to choose as you play through the game, with another student named Kazuma, who also takes a bulk of the story in an alternate branch where he seduces a selection of maidens. The club may eventually be outed by Suzuko, but that isn’t as important to Kazuma as banging hot sluts is.

Rinkan Kurabu is definitely a game on the lengthier side of the spectrum, easily clocking in at 30+ hours due to all the extra side content. There’s a lot of dialogue and character interactions along with perspective shifts, which can be a bit much to concentrate on, especially when you’re just expecting something to get off to. I was constantly attributing the wrong character to the dialogue, to the point where I was mixed up on the relationships the student president had. It doesn’t help that the Student President’s name isn’t shown; they truly are faceless for the majority of this game, only using “Me” or “Student President” to denote their speech. If it wasn’t for the completely obscured character traits of the president, this perspective shifting aspect would work quite well as an anime, which is perhaps why it does have an anime adaptation. The lack of male character art in dialogue scenes doesn’t help much, making things a bit confusing when there are mostly guys talking. One particularly egregious example of this is when the Student President is talking to a male teacher and student, in which the entire scene is just the background of a meeting room. When the girls are participating in the discussion, you can easily see who’s talking which is made even more engaging by elements such as facial expressions and blushing. The issue is something I rarely let slide in visual novels, as I uphold that male characters need decent visual designs to get the most out of the medium.

The characterization in Rinkan Kurabu is well rounded, though, nothing particularly stands out. Each character fills their role quite well and there’s a selection of somewhat stereotypical archetypes used throughout. For example, there’s a perverted fat teacher who embodies all that is disgusting: an overweight, sweaty, and vulgar man exactly how you’d expect him to be. Their actions, however, are used to expand the setting slightly. I won’t spoil what happens with him specifically, even if it is minor, but their somewhat tired character archetype is used beyond simply having a creepy fat old guy for the sake of another tick on a checklist.

What’s great about this VN is the transformation the maidens go through after being raped. The student president always talks about “releasing their true feelings” and unleashing their sexual freedom. It flows quite naturally, as we see follow-ups of them post-gangbang succumbing to their newfound sexual release in the form of making adult videos to distribute amongst the club members, or submitting themselves as a sex slave to be called on for relief. There’s always some kind of returning scene for the girls to expand their degradation into cum-dumpsters.

In the more character-centric route, there’s a whole love triangle between two sisters, student Maki and teacher Shiori along with the student Kazuma, building the relationship between the three pretty well in his route. Everyone fits their archetypes and looks the part. This route is definitely for people who don’t want to bother with plot, as it’s a lot simpler and there’s a lot less perspective shifting to worry about, so you can just focus on the sex. This path varies quite drastically when compared to the Student President route, so you will need to do multiple playthroughs of the game, covering both routes to get most of the sexual content.

When it comes to the art style of Rinkan Kurabu, it certainly follows the precedent of everything getting better the longer you play. All the girls have thick outlines over their eyes, which can be very hit-or-miss, with examples of “misses” being Tomomi in the introduction and, to a lesser extent, the school nurses Aiko and Natsuko. Body proportions tend to be on the exaggerated end of things for the older women, so I hope you enjoy big bags of milk. The animated portions of the sex scenes are surprisingly well done: they’re fluid and enticing, are animated properly and are used appropriately to improve a situation. You’ll occasionally run into some silly faces, particularly on Aiko with her tongue flopping out during a gang bang, but hey: if you’re looking for some ahegao, I don’t see an issue here. The quality of characters tends to vary and this mostly comes down to the very thick outlines for the eyes and the general shape of heads on characters. The heads can get a bit small and the eyes can jut out beyond their faces. On certain characters, this is minimized and works just fine, such as on Maki and Shiori, but on others like Tomomi in the beginning, it’s simply uncanny.

If you’re here for sex (as you should be), you’re going to have a good time. Though it may seem like there’s just gang banging following this cult of students and teachers, it actually branches out to cover a variety of content. There’s some younger/older sister incest along with a drop of anal fisting, some forced gokkun, and of course, a lot of gang rape. The quality of the artwork in the scenes is overall pretty solid, and it’s clear most of the resources went into these, with the animations, lengthy sex scenes and a couple transitions for each. The game has long platitudes of just dialogue between sex, but I’m willing to give it a pass. Context is everything, and the eroticism is turned up when you know the story behind what’s going on. A son infatuated with his mother and their awkward encounters as she knows this, a young girl seduced by her older sister’s fiance, an older sister repulsed by her pervy brother, and his ploy to get back at her for being so cruel. The sex scenes are great on their own, made even better with the unique situations the maidens find themselves in. I’d recommend taking the time to read through it, but it’s just as satisfying if you skip most dialogue once you have the gist of what’s going on.

Rinkan Kurabu is a bit of a slow burn, but it’s got some wonderfully lewd content once it gets rolling. The plot is engaging once it also picks up, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the sex. The art style, while having a few hiccups here and there, certainly adds to most of the female characters. Overall, this is a high-quality eroge visual novel with an unusually high focus on plot, leading to a plot twist that pretty much sealed the deal in my mind as this being a great game. You do have to work for that pay-off, however, and if you’re not interested in the story and setting, it might not be that amazing, but it makes the satisfaction all the better when you are.

You can check out Rinkan Kurabu at Anime-Lilith’s website, along with their other titles. Dark Translations is, unfortunately, no more after the DMCA claims against them from Lilith-Soft, but the team has reformed as Sanity Ends!, though I can’t say for sure what this new team’s status is.

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