[Adult content warning] In many ways, Giga Freeks (a.k.a. Akiba-Web) is the mother of all superheroine peril web sites. Quite simply, Giga and its sister sites Zen Pictures and Zeus Web consistently offer the best production values in the genre. The company simply puts a ton of money into their productions (relatively speaking), and that—combined with the passion its creative team instills into almost every video—places Giga at the very top of the heroine peril mountain. In my opinion.
First of all, you should know that unlike Zen Pictures, Giga Freeks features full-on explicit sexual content, nudity, and all manner of things that any decent person would surely consider deeply offensive. In fact, the site is just so perverted and shocking to me that I’m having a difficult time putting aside my moral rage and writing this review. But, I will press on and give it my best shot (for analytical purposes only, and for the betterment of mankind).
Every episode that I’ve seen features the same basic storyline: the heroine (usually “super,” but sometimes just a well-trained spy girl or similar non-super heroine) arrives and disrupts the bad guys’ plans. They retreat. The heroine encounters them again (sometimes at their evil base; other times at another location). This time, the bad guys cheat. Typically, they’ve either gained additional powers since the last fight scene, or they’ve set a trap, or they’ve introduced a new super-powered character, or they outnumber the heroine, or they use a newly-developed weapon, or they just win because they’re better at fighting on that particular day. In any event, the heroine is captured and taken back to the bad guys’ base.
The bad guys torture and/or sexually assault the heroine. This is the “bread and butter” of Giga’s content, and I suspect that it is the peril and torture (and not the fascinating storylines) that keep customers coming back to buy videos. The peril scenes in Giga’s videos are simply the best I’ve seen in this genre. First of all, the company takes the time to choreograph multiple fight scenes and fashion together situations that establish the characters before the peril begins, which creates anticipation and build-up. Then, the anticipation pays off (usually) with good acting and attractive heroines in well-designed costumes. For peril fans, it’s a dream come true, and I’m not aware of a company that produces better peril content than the Giga family of web sites.
And in Giga’s videos, there’s all manner of rape and sexual molestation in any given episode, to the delight of some fans, and to the chagrin of others. If you can imagine a form of sexual assault, or an obscure fetish somehow related to sexuality or peril, there’s a good chance Giga has already filmed it. Furthermore, the site actually features real sex, i.e., not simulated. There seems to be real, actual penetration taking place in Giga’s videos (although, oddly, genitalia is obscured by a “mosiac” effect, in adherence to Japanese porn-related laws).
Perhaps as a result of that, Giga occasionally tends to feature slightly less physically attractive models than the PG-13 Zen Pictures. I would imagine that it is much easier to entice an up-and-coming model to play a superheroine who simply fights bad guys (in a Zen movie) rather than playing a superheroine who gets raped by tentacles, urinated on by multiple attackers, and swallowed whole by a giant worm creature (in a Giga movie). I assume that Giga hires adult/porn actresses, while Zen is able to feature more “mainstream” models. (The whole concept of “more” or “less” attractive is, of course, totally subjective, and I don’t mean to suggest that porn/adult models can’t be every bit as attractive as any other kind of model. This is simply my opinion based on my own observation as well as a few comments I’ve read over the years.)
As far as technical quality and production values, Giga and Zen apparently utilize the same creative team, so the same high standards of production quality you’ll find in a Zen movie apply here—extremely well-designed costumes, good special effects, solid performances, skilled filmmaking, etc.
A common complaint about Giga and Zen is the company’s DRM protection system, which is designed to prevent movies from being downloaded and then shared in violation of copyright. Basically, Giga forces you to install software on your computer that prevents their downloaded movies from working properly on any computer other than the one used to download the movie. There are ways around this (or so I’ve heard), which can come in handy if you, say, buy a new computer and want to transfer the movie over from your old one. I have to admit I’m not familiar with any of these methods, but a few solutions are discussed in the comments section of this Zen Pictures review.
So I recommend using caution when purchasing the videos directly from the site. I’ve heard of a few bad experiences, and the language barrier makes it nearly impossible to communicate directly with anyone at Giga. (In fact, I wanted to interview them for this review but never got a response to my email request).
Fortunately, there are other legal ways to obtain Giga movies. (I’ve heard of a few non-legal methods, but those won’t be discussed in this review).
UPDATE: Several Giga videos are now available for download at R18.com
One option is to buy DVDs at Anime Jungle, a site that sells lots of anime collectors’ kind of stuff, as well as the incredible violent fetish movies we all know and love. (On the left sidebar, under “Jungle Spotlight,” select “Indy Heroines” from the drop-down menu for Zen, or click on “Adult Heroines” for Giga). I’ve ordered from this company several times and highly recommend it. Delivery time is almost always under one week, even though they ship from Japan, and they have very good customer service. A drawback is that they charge full retail price, which can be anywhere from $50-$100. (They have a “pre-owned” section as well, which features reduced prices. I’ve purchased pre-owned DVDs here and have experienced no problems.)
Another option for purchasing Giga videos is FemPowerDVD. I’ve heard good things about this company, which sells recorded DVRs at much lower prices than retail (which makes sense, as the picture quality will be lower than a “real” DVD). They also sell similarly themed movies from other companies, so it might be worth checking out.
There are probably a few other sites where Giga DVDs can be ordered, and if you’re aware of any that I’ve missed, feel free to point them out in the comments.
So that’s about it. I feel like a broken record sometimes when I continually praise Giga and Zen as the undisputed masters of the genre, but I feel that no other company comes close. I don’t intend that as a knock on any other production company. In my very limited experience as a “producer,” I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it is to make a video of any kind, and especially to end up with a video that conveys a comprehensible narrative and fetish elements that people enjoy. I have the utmost respect for anyone who produces videos successfully, and that’s all the more reason why Giga deserves all of the praise it gets for producing the very best videos. I would love to see an American or British company rival or surpass Giga someday, but I don’t know if that’s even possible (for reasons to be discussed in a future article).
If you haven’t seen a Giga or Zen production and you’re a fan of heroine peril, do yourself a favor and check them out. I highly doubt that you’ll be disappointed. Then again, if you’re a fan of heroine peril, you’ve most likely seen several Giga productions already.