In the midst of all the nudity in a public bath, enters a young woman who can only get it on when she's soaking in the pool. With soft-porn actress Ai Kurosawa, things can only get hotter in Toru Kamei's Maguma. Stephen Tan reviews.


Atsuko (Ai Kurosawa), a pretty young woman who is fully dressed, steps into a public bath. Seated in a comfortable position, she inserts a vibrator into her vagina and begins to masturbate. The insertion is not shown but viewers are left with no doubts as to what's going on.

So begins Toru Kamei's Maguma (2004). Set in a public bath, the film shows how husband Mitsuo and his wife, Atsuko, run the public bath, the customers they encounter; the financial problems they face and, above all, the relationship problems they have with each other.

Atsuko can only get aroused in the bath. The fact that Mitsuo owns the bath is probably the reason Atsuko agreed to marry him in the first place. Even though they have been married for three years, the couple have never had sex outside of the bath and this is becoming very frustrating for Mitsuo who wants "normal" sex like anyone else.

Since there are only two of them, Atsuko is usually the one who attends to the customers and is privy to all the nudity (both male and female) that comes with a public bath. There is a certain decorum and business-like attitude when dealing with a male customer in the nude and when it's a female customer, Atsuko displays a certain innocence and shyness even. The film does not make Atsuko out to be promiscuous for when it comes to sex, there is Mitsuo and if he is not available, there is always the vibrator.

That is until a persistent male customer who has been eyeing Atsuko for a while. One day the man approaches Atsuko and says: "Well, it's your move." The next scene shows the two having sex in the bath.

The documentary feel of the film continues when Atsuko meets a young couple who are at the bath for the first time. Keeping her distance, Atsuko watches as the young wife (played by another soft porn actress, Yuna Mizumoto) remove her clothes and then shyly trying to deal with being naked in the bath.

To Atsuko's surprise, the couple return another day and this time want Atsuko to watch them having sex in the bath. The husband explains that his wife is, firstly, intrigued by the fact that Atsuko works at the bath and is used to all the nudity. Secondly, the wife cannot get turned on sexually at home and the couple hope that sex in the bath in front of a stranger might work for them.

Though Mitsuo at first objects, eventually he gives in to Atsuko being voyeur-at-large. Needless to say, watching the couple having sex is a turn on for Atsuko though she refrains from joining them for a threesome.

However, business at the bath is not good and Mitsuo is forced to sell the bath. After locking up for the last time, the couple board a train for a holiday. At the last minute, Mitsuo steps off the train, leaving Atsuko on her own.

Being loved, wanted and not abandoned is all Atsuko ever wanted plus the fact that she had a major sexual experience at a bath (when she first discovers pubic hair) certainly marked her for life. For her, the public bath is a place of warmth as well as a place filled with sexual connotation.

But then, any guy who is aware of soft porn actress Ai Kurosawa - with her lithe body and wholesome breasts - would probably would not mind having sex with her in the bath their entire lives. Throughout the film, Mitsuo is shown to be a caring person and his leaving Atsuko in the end is a surprise that does not gel with the rest of the film.

Unlike Toru Kamei's other 2004 movie, Question, which was intriguing enough for the viewer to sit through, Maguma's premise is really wafer thin. Viewer's patience is only rewarded through the film's nudity and sex, which are more penetrating than anything else on display.

Note: The Maguma DVD (Fullmotion) is banned in $ingapore.

For more... email with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."

October 23, 2007


Click here for other Asian Values DVD Reviews:

Yumeko's Nightmare
Abnormal Family
Bitter Sweet
Empty Rooms
Despite All That
Tokyo X Erotica
Lunch Box
The Ambiguous
A Snake Of June
Ai No Corrida
Abe Sada
Edo Porn
A Woman Called Abe Sada
Visitor Q
Intrigue In Nylons
Maybe It's Love
Woman Of The Night
Take Care, Your Majesty
The Stud And The Nympho
Sex Beyond The Grave
The Sexy Killer
The Girlie Bar
At The Breast Of The Enemy
Starlets For Sale
In The Navel Of The Sea
The Amorous Lotus Pan
Big Bad Sis
The Sugar Daddies
Bruce Lee & I
Yesterday Children
The Boxer's Omen
Tinimbang Judged Today
The Foxy Ladies
Corpse Mania
Pale Passion
Sinful Adulteress
Raw Passions
Pila Balde
Sinful Confession
Flower Of Manila
Sexy Playgirls
The Most Beautiful Creature On The Face Of The Earth
Sexy Career Girls
Toro (Live Show)
That's Adultery
Woman Of Mud
Adultery, Chinese Style
Women Of Desire
Naked Under The Moon
Love Swindler
Virgin People
The Girl With The Long Hair
Sex For Sale
36 Secrets Of Courtship
Biyaheng Langit
Sexy Girls Of Denmark
Golden Lotus: Love And Desire
Tuhog (Larger Than Life)
Dreams Of Eroticism
Legends Of Lust
Amorous Woman Of Tang Dynasty
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Kiss Of Death
Crazy Sex
Forbidden Tales Of Two Cities
The Call Girls