Title: Captive Market
Company: Black Lilith
Release date: 3-25-11
Vengeance consumes; it devours all in its destructive wake, leaving behind little else but despair and ruin, only for those with the bitterest of hearts and deepest grudges to dare pursue. Amidst a long and vicious war, people are filled with hatred and cruelty, each day ending in more bloodshed and carnage. For over hundreds of years, there has been no ceasing the merciless battle which ravages both countries, the losses reaching countless numbers, and surrender unattainable. Once, Celtoana was a continent espousing harmony between nature and magic, now left a scarred and barren land, torn apart by steadily-advancing technology, and those greedy enough to claim it for themselves.
However, despite reality, two generals dare to dream of peace: Anastasia and Danes, meant to be bitter enemies on opposing sides. In spite of the rising death toll and rampant savagery, these two women remain allies in secret, desperately wishing to bring peace to both the Furuakian Empire and Celtoana Allied Nations, where humans, elves, and all species can find mutual understanding of one another, and to ultimately restore their home to its former glory. At last, their dearest wish appears to be granted, as there are plans for peace negotiations to be held on a small, neutral country.
But it is not to last. Their expectations are betrayed: both Anastasia and Danes are taken prisoner, held captive by the Guild League. In truth, it had all been a plot orchestrated by a former enemy of theirs, and they are to be degraded, humiliated, and broken, until they are little more than prize possessions, prostitutes and slaves, whose sole purpose is to pleasure paying customers. Far from the peace they once yearned for, their future now holds nothing but madness and ruin―
In the beginning, Captive Market truly manages to accomplish a sense of suspense, crafting an engaging world and oppressive atmosphere. The unfortunate heroines are genuinely sympathetic and believable individuals, displaying strength and courage as their struggle for freedom grows more and more daunting with each passing day.
It is a shame that such breathtaking potential is wasted. Plot threads are left unresolved, character development falters, and the story progression is lost, instead replaced almost entirely by sex scenes. The pacing is rushed, never expanding on the fates of certain characters or exploring the tense political climate between the different species.
But to compensate for the poor execution, the three heroines are quite memorable, and it presents a multitude of twisted erotica to indulge in. There are better examples of dark eroge with much more of a story, but for those with a craving for the depraved underground of black markets and rampant corruption, it will satisfy for a short while.
“You think you can look at me with such defiant eyes?”
A seething, loathesome man focused purely on his own satisfaction and power. He shows no mercy towards neither the innocent nor the weak, taking pleasure in the foulest of crimes. To see the mighty fall into despair, then to be discarded as mere objects is his darkest desire, as vengeance for losing his arm in the war.
“You’re just a dog. Do you think you can disobey my orders?”
Known as the Quicksilver Witch, she is Gagoze’s partner and the owner of a brothel. A scheming and ambitious woman, she delights in others’ anguish and will do anything for money, taking a personal satisfaction in breaking each slave, mentally and emotionally.
Anastasia D. Faizland
“What are you planning? Don’t you dare laugh at me!”
While a ruthless and unflinching soldier on the battlefield, she is deeply protective, even maternal, towards those precious few whom she holds dear. She behaved in a quite amiable and kind manner before she was captured, but her days as a hostage have forced her to endure her frustration, unable to lash out with the constant threat of execution looming over her. She grudgingly cooperates, trying her hardest not to succumb to torture or drugs, if it means she can eventually escape.
Danes C. Asriel
“Stop fooling around! Don’t touch me! I’ll kill you, I swear!”
Sharp-tongued and conceited, she resists her new life as a slave with renewed passion each day, often turning violent and requiring further punishment. Despite the agony her body goes through, she treasures her unwavering pride most of all, and refuses to have her spirit broken, even if her name is tarnished. In reality, her unrelenting demeanor and brutal mannerisms hide a soft heart, as she considers Anastasia her only friend, offering comfort to her in her most vulnerable moments.
Noa N. Riads
“Why? Why are you so cruel to Anastasia? Noa will do anything, so please, leave her alone!”
Anastasia’s half-elf secretary, she is easily frightened and innocent to a fault, absolutely adoring her superior and always willing to sacrifice herself for her sake, despite her own descent into inescapable misery. However, as time goes on and Noa sees her pleas have no effect, she is determined to aid Anastasia in any way she can, even at the cost of her own sanity.
ShindoL is a name undoubtedly famous in the H-manga world, and to see his talents squandered on a title of this quality is truly saddening. While the heroines have many different facial expressions, their bodies are permanently stuck in one position, and in addition, all the girls only have one outfit each. Also worth nothing is the inability to switch to fullscreen without the graphics looking condensed and jagged, which limits the art to one tiny window.
In spite of all these systematic and presentational flaws, the character art is fantastic, with pleasing designs, attentive detail to coloring and lighting, and exquisite scenery.
Simply superb voice acting, for even the most minor characters sound outstanding. The level of emotion is hauntingly believable, switching seamlessly from insane desperation, to murderous rage, to broken denial in a single breath. Screams of wanton ecstasy and intense agony sound gruesomely authentic, making the plunge into howling insanity all the more chilling.
While there aren’t a great abundance of tracks, each one is appropriately atmospheric, yet fails to be particularly memorable. The heavy metal theme song is arguably the best, along with a romantic, mellow guitar melody, and one particularly foreboding, Middle Eastern-esque track.
Each heroine is violated ruthlessly until they lose their sanity or worse, and they beg for more. Despite the large amount of scenes, never does it fall short in terms of creative content, including orgies, pregnant sex, reverse rape, voyeurism, steampunk dildos, and there are two events which could be called borderline bestiality. Unfortunately, each heroine is not given equal treatment, as Anastasia has no less than sixteen scenes, Danes has fourteen, and Noa is given a meager four.