Posted by: Morpher 30 July 2016
War is hell, and that doesn’t just mean violence. The world of Ryoshuu Ichiba ~Wana ni Hamerareta Elf no Onna Shoukou~, or more comfortably referred to as Captive Market, deploys its readers into shady dealings on the battlefield. Dieselpunk fantasy worlds can be a scary place with underground slavery profiting off conflict, and two sexy generals are about to find out just how “seedy” this underbelly is.
Captive Market ~Trapped Elven Officers~ is the 2011 title developed and published by Black Lilith (who you may know as the developers of the immensely popular Taimanin Asagi series), with the English translation by Thetsuuyaku. Black Lilith is great at creating interesting worlds for their erotic adventures, with Captive Market being no exception. The game maps out a continent full of history and conflict with two warring nations. Their respective commanders are attractive elves who wish to see a better future for their people, and, in doing so, are reeled into a cum-soaked world of sexual slavery.
The fantasy continent of Celtoana has been at war for over a hundred and fifty years. Captive Market opens with a recount of the world and its shift from spiritualism and magic into the era of technology, specifically mentioning the discovery of oil and its uses. The first of the two warring nations is the Fuluakia Empire to the east, a traditionally conservative nation content in its magic, whereas The Alliance, a congregation of smaller nations united to compete against the awesome power of the Fuluakia Empire, lies to the west. Though these two countries are important to the setting, the main stage for Captive Market is the third neutral nation to the south: the Union of Guilds. A small nation housing some of Celtoana’s greatest academics and the engineers of the first tanks, known as draches in-game. This ignites a military arms race, propelling both sides into seemingly endless violence.
The political landscape is surprisingly engaging for an erotic visual novel. The Alliance is a collection of states, all arguing over their contributions and reimbursement for the war while military figures hamper peace talks. On the Fuluakian side, there’s a royal court with a senate of nobles who all selfishly vie for control as they pull the strings on their aged puppet king. It should come as no surprise, however, that none of this political tension is ever resolved. The national politics and undertones of moral degradation exist to build an engrossing set for the story to act out on. The bulk of this setting is really only nice as world building since all the council and war dialogue is terrible. The true pull of the story is the character interactions, and once the gears of the character arcs start turning, the game improves tenfold.
Captive Market is fronted by two beauties; The blonde haired, blue eyed Anastasia D. Faizland, and the chocolate brown elf Danes C. Azrael. Anastasia is appointed commander of the Fuluakian knights by the emperor and pilots the famed super drache, Yggdrasil. Along with her companion Noa, she aims to uphold the honors of the Fuluakian military. On the opposing side is Danes, a strict by-the-books officer. As a member of the Azrael family, she is sent to oversee combat under the command of our protagonist Gagoze. Danes is promoted to commanding the army shortly after a colossal failure by Gagoze, crushingly defeated by Anastasia in her Yggdrasil drache. Gagoze is our self-insert protagonist; one I grew quite fond of. He begins the game quite arrogant and selfish, remaining so right up until the end even. I appreciate that he has a character archetype and his role in the story is prevalent; he is instrumental in training these captured girls, while he also has close ties with the slave trade organizer and leader of the Union of guilds, Jean.
Outside of the three main characters is the supporting cast, with varying degrees of importance; Noa, The Crown Prince, and Jean. Noa is a beast-girl who was adopted into Anastasia’s family after her family was killed in a bored conflict and is now a sister to Anastasia. Noa serves under Anastasia in the Falaukian knights along with wanting to help and protect her to a fault. Unfortunately, she is more of a plot tool most of the time, essentially used to pull Anastasia. The Prince has relations to Anastasia too, one of friendship and trust. She and Anastasia have a vision for a war-free nation and Anastasia herself holds the Prince in high admiration. He’s more instrumental to the plot, but exists as a prince to Anastasia’s princess if you will, before ruining this relationship. Jean is by and far one of the most interesting characters here. She’s a manipulative scientist who creates elixirs to drug and controls her slaves. Her relationship with Gagoze is amusing, as he takes an interest in her drugs, studying behind her back.
Now, if you and I share similar tastes in hentai, then you might find these elvish girls look somewhat familiar. The character artist for Captive Market is none other than one of my personal favorites, ShindoL. Famous for making character’s lives turn to shit in popular works such as Henshin -Emergence- and Four Leaf Lover, his style fits wonderfully for Captive Market’s plot of moral degradation. Beyond the thematic gelling, ShindoL’s art style is excellent, with distinctly thin characters that have just the right amount of curve, working perfectly for the tasteful elvish figures on display.
Another artistic area worth commending is the backgrounds. Every scene has detailed environments, from cramped city side streets to flat battlefields littered with blown-out tanks. Each backdrop is pleasing to the eye and the shading always fits the tone of the events. The audio quality is on par with the visuals, both elements adding to the atmosphere. The music is tonally appropriate, with dangerous electronic guitar riffs punctuating the more intense slave training. This loops quite well with riffs flowing in and out of each other. There are more middle eastern chord progressions in the Union of Guilds and more European influence in Fuluakia. The sound effects are nice too, with tank shells and explosions balanced in during battle sequences.
The many tendrils of the Lilith brand are all experts at delivering a variety of fetishes in their work, of which Captive Market hosts an interesting selection. Some of the more memorable events being the introduction of the pig-men orcs, Noa being fucked by some miniature crank-operated sex toy, and the scene with Danes having her hairy armpits licked and shaved. These unique moments are introduced through the slave training Gagoze forces the girls into, giving you some agency even on how far events progress from time to time. The content of the fucking events are definitely one-off in taste a lot of the time, and as such, are more “fetish pit stops” on the road to breaking these officers down. The frequency of choices in regards to the training is a nice touch; it’s all superfluous in the long run, but the immersion you get from the consistent selection of who to train and how far to go adds a lot to the dominating aspect of the story. The story follows a linear plot, so the endings you can get don’t vary wildly, ultimately coming down to your pick of the girl you like more (or both if you play your cards right).
Following the sex through the eyes of Gagoze presents us with a wealth of demeaning and humiliating sex for the girls. Gagoze is a cruel individual who takes pleasure in the girls squirming before succumbing to their erotic torture. He certainly has some unique tastes, one of which being keeping uniforms on during sex. Sadly, I don’t mean his character literally, but the game itself bares breasts for the viewer’s pleasure quite sparingly. I thought I’d find myself annoyed at this, but it comes across quite naturally; the women are still just as curvaceous in their military attire, and this is certainly a plus for any of you with a fetish for uniforms. Although Anastasia and Danes both suffer the same fate, they’re curtailed slightly differently in their endings. Danes revealing a more dominatrix subconscious is the most prominent change, but it’s enough of a difference to distinguish her from Anastasia in their cock and cum obsessions.
If you enjoy hot elven ladies being corrupted, then Captive Market is perfect for you. The setting paves way for an interesting series of war and politics, spiraling into moral degradation and enslavement. Our heroines are confident and powerful, only to be reduced to mere fuck toys addicted to sex. The presentation is beautiful and the sex is creative. There’s a lot to like here with the shades of domination and humiliation throughout. You can pick up Captive Market from DLsite, while the translation patch can be downloaded here.