It might sound like what's become known as "body horror," but what's unsettling here isn't limited to the sores and the fleshy gore. So thoroughly conceived that it demands appreciation if not quite love, Kuso offers gross-out, Afro-future horror -- and ideas -- for the dank-memes generation.
Vintage and contemporary Japanese video game art, with explosions of color from every direction, pervades his animations, though with the adult themes of hentai -- witness a cave jam-packed with blood-squirting breasts and writhing tentacles. These vulgarities are indicative of the dreamlike, free-associative logic of meme culture more than they are a considered provocation. (They're certainly not meant to be sexy.) The animation, in fact, takes on a warped, psychedelic, DeepDream quality. Everyday things -- especially body parts -- become primal, menacing.
Ellison pairs his beautiful, bizarre creep-out experiments with excellent live-action story lines that at times prove furiously funny in the darkest way imaginable. While Adult Swim's white male–centric lineup traffics in similar non-sequitur gross-out humor, Kuso possesses an outsider's POV.