As many of our readers know, I have a strong penchant for watching horrible and sometimes controversial anime. This time, at request of our very own Vice Commander Miki, I am visiting Diabolik Lovers, a new anime from the Fall 2013 line-up. Upon entering this series, I felt this very strong fear that I was about to watch another badly-made anime to make me cringe and complain. Well, I cringed, and I complained, but not so much because this was a bad anime in the sense that Sparrow’s Hotel is a bad anime—it was more because of the number of creepy and extremely controversial elements found within the series. Basically, it’s the Twilight of anime.
First off, this anime is a reverse-harem anime. Instead of a group of girls making the lead male character’s life hell, we have a group of guys making the lead female character’s life hell. Literally…maybe. You see, not only is this poor girl stuck living with a group of pretty boys, but it also turns out said pretty boys are vampires, all with only one thing in mind: her blood. Oh, and to make matters worse, she is meant to be the bride of one of these vampire brothers.
Seems pretty run of the mill and potentially comical, right? If that was all there was to it, you’d be right. However, the creators go a step further and begin forming an extremely abusive and creepy relationship between Yui, our sweet lead character, and her six vampire housemates. They give her offensive nicknames, try to sink their teeth into her neck, and argue all the while about who her “first” will be.
More than half of the first episode’s scenes between Yui and her new housemates devolves into at least one of them trying to bite her neck. But the vampires’ actions insinuate a sense of rape, and Yui’s reactions only further that. These guys are brutal, and downright creeps. While I was discussing this episode with Miki, we safely concluded that if we built in a meter on Crunchyroll to track creepy or offensive occurrences, we would be well over 9000 within five minutes. Not only is Yui’s emotional and mental strength tested by her six assailants, but it’s further pushed to the limits by a shocking discovery in her dad’s diary; this just makes me want to reach out to this poor creature even more.
On another note, however, the aesthetics in this anime are great. The animation is gorgeous, and the characters are, as well—even our vampires. The scenery is beautiful, and it’s complemented by soft piano music in the beginning.
Suffice it to say that after a very long, drawn-out internal argument on whether I could handle the direction this anime is headed, I have decided to do my best to stick with this anime—and keep you all updated—for the season. While I was severely creeped out and disturbed by the first episode, I’m curious to find out how this all goes for Yui.