A particular genre of Japanese media became popular in recent years and it's known as reverse harem. Visual novels generate subst...

Diabolik Lovers: An Opinion of the Showcased Abuse (Spoilers)

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Reverse Harem


A particular genre of Japanese media became popular in recent years and it's known as reverse harem. Visual novels generate substantial revenue and their popularity prompted an increased production rate. Only a sliver of them get adapted into anime, though, and that's become a favourite pastime of mine.

The most recent show to make my list is Diabolik Lovers from Idea Factory. Boy, was I in for a disturbing surprise.
When I initially watched it, I had no idea the premise of the series were vampires. I don't like vampires as romantic interests because it defeats their purpose. Twilight also ruined a lot of things for me. Even though I hate vampires, I continued watching the series because it was the first  I picked up after a hiatus from anime.

Honestly, the recent episodes are of concern. Episode 4 contained a metaphor for rape. Let's go into why I believe so.

The plot centred around Komori Yui, a supposedly, normal high school student who moved into a mansion occupied by six sadistic vampire brothers. They take interest - a word that apparently has more contextual uses that I thought, as this series taught me - in her due to her blood. Obvious, I suppose, but bam, she's connected to their past somehow.

Komori Yu
Komori Yui

Don't be deceived by the picture! Yui hasn't smiled in the anime yet. In contrast, her personality in the game adjusts depending on the route chosen. Maybe if I played the game, I wouldn't have been so disturbed by the anime.

Yui reminded me of a sweet yet naive woman about to become involved in an abusive relationship. All of the brothers are indeed sadistic. They are attracted to her blood, meaning they want her around, and they treat her terribly. She attempted to fight but there was absolutely no one to assist her in this situation, making it much more difficult to achieve freedom.

As I mentioned earlier, episode 4 was horrendous. Raito, who nicknamed her 'Bitch-chan', really pushed boundaries when he forced himself on her in a church. Although there wasn't any vaginal sex, it was rape. He sucked her blood while she protested.

It was awful.

komori yui x raito


Contextually, her faith in God, church and religion was the only positive aspect of this episode. I say this because it showed her resilience against Raito's attempt of breaking her. He told her she was a sacrifice to the family the church offered.  

Yui's belief held her back from becoming an abused partner. She placed her faith in God and refused to submit to the brothers. 

All of this was a reminder of my friend who was once in an abusive relationship. Despite what the man said or did to her, she returned to him time after time because she was conditioned to. She thought there was no other man for her and did not listen to what her friends, who cared for her, had to say.

I hope this scenerio does not become the finale of the anime - where Yui is completely dominated by one of the brothers. It would not be romantic in any way whatsoever although I am quite aware of those in the world who have such fantasies.

If it isn't obvious, the issue I have with the series is the depiction of a submissive female partner. Being born in a family of three sisters, my parents empowered us to not let a man dictate our lives but to live in harmony with him or on equal basis.

So all in all, the portrayal of the plot in the anime was disappointing. I'm not sure if the game was too different as I feel extremely sorry for Yui. Although it is tempting to halt all interest in this, I will persevere to see whether or not Yui will eventually break free from all of them or if she will continue down the path of abuse.  


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