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Autumn 2013: First Impressions – Diabolik Lovers

September 18, 2013

autumnanimeRight oh then, time to get things started.  I normally prefer to finish up everything from the previous season before I start posting up First Impressions, but I really wanted to get this one out of the way.  Kicking off the new season is a terrible rapey otome game adaptation – Diabolik Lovers.

I had pretty low expectations for this to start with, but I generally end up watching terrible otome game adaptations either because I like the art, seiyuu, premise, a character or some combination of any of those.  However I can not find a single thing to latch onto with Diabolik Lovers.  Even though the art is quite pretty, the characters are so repellent I struggled to finish the episode – not a single likeable creature in the cast!  The lead female exists only to be tormented by the six vampire brothers, each of whom abuse her in some manner over the course of the episode – any sensible girl would have ran a mile after the first fella attempted to rape her, but no – our idiotic lead just sticks around and takes it all.  Which of course is what she has to do if we are to have a show, but it still grates to watch her be such a doormat when subjected to what is essentially domestic abuse.

Rapey otoge stuff isn’t new, but Diabolik Lovers is so unrepentant in its portrayal of these boys as horrible people that it’s hard to watch.  I was expecting it to be a bit silly and camp, being fully aware that the subject material is quite trashy and revelling in that fact, but Diabolik Lovers is pretty straight-laced and there isn’t really any levity or fun factor to make it an enjoyable watch.  I’m sure some people out there must enjoy it (otherwise it would never had gotten an anime!), but it is just beyond me how you can find watching some poor teenage girl being verbally and physically abused by a group of teenage boys enjoyable.

On the positive side the artwork is nicely realised and the voice acting is all pretty decent, but the direction is a bit boring and the script is terrible.  I had fully expected to pick this up, but not even I can stomach this show – avoid.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Trix permalink
    September 18, 2013 9:23 pm

    It seems very problematic and somewhat sexist that you take a “blame the victim” approach to the “idiotic” lead.

    What was idiotic about her? She tried to run and call for help almost immediately – they crushed her phone, demonstrated super strength and speed, and so on. As soon as she realized they were vampires, she sensibly pulled out a cross – not her fault it didn’t work.

    The show certainly has issues regarding the abuse of the heroine by multiple men, but I don’t think the girl’s character was one of them. She was sent into the situation by her father, she reacted sensibly, and only stayed when she was forced to.

    • September 18, 2013 10:02 pm

      It’s more the complete lack of personality the lead girl displays that I have issues with – she’s just a receptacle for the abuse of the bishies. Granted that is the entire point of the show, but I’d have liked her to put up a bit more resistance – lash out, argue, demand some measure of respect, have some suggestion of a backbone! As she is, the lead female is just a doormat and a plot device – sure she’s the victim here, but that’s no excuse for her being utterly void of character.

  2. heinsia permalink
    September 19, 2013 7:07 am

    I used to read this blog which was pretty Diabolik Lovers centric, she analyzed it a lot and based on her review I think you also fell into the typical pitfall of many other people because the anime couldn’t carry all of the game’s content. If you’re interested in knowing more about this series you can read it here:
    http://narihira.tumblr.com/tagged/lore-discusses-dialovers

    For Yui centric part since you really disregard her:
    http://narihira.tumblr.com/post/54408263266/someone-who-wishes-to-stay-anonymous-sent-me-this
    http://narihira.tumblr.com/post/54366941855/thinking-about-things-yui-is-a-sassy-little-shit

    Do note however, I don’t play the game (Japanese only) and don’t watch the anime (trainwreck coming miles away) so I have no opinion on this matter, I just find her posts interesting and careful thought out; and I thought it’d be beneficial for anyone to give it a look before disregarding this series as cheap and supporting horrible ideas.

    • September 19, 2013 6:39 pm

      I’m sure the game has plenty of depth and it definitely has a pretty loyal and fairly large fanbase – but I can only give my gut reaction to the first episode of the anime adaptation, and this was it. If the anime improves significantly I may be tempted to give it another go, but to be honest I can’t see it happening – otoge adaptations are rarely well done and Diabolik Lovers doesn’t appear to be a particularly good one.

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