Anime: Diabolik Lovers
Original Run: Sep 16, 2013 to Dec 9, 2013
Genres: Abuse, Crime Against Humanity, Bullshit
Komori Yui, a pretty young thing with sweet doe eyes and a truly tantalizing neck, moves at the behest of her oblivious idiot of a father into a huge mansion that might be in the middle of a nowhere to live with six sprightly young men who express their sexual frustration by giving off rape vibes from their first meeting itself.
In a shocking twist, it’s revealed that all six are vampires and that Yui is there as their handy blood source for the rest of her foreseeable future which might be quite short since moderation is not a concept the boys’ parents have taught them. At first, it seems the boys are terribly reluctant to house our hapless heroine but thankfully, it turns out that her blood to them is like heroin (see what I did there?) and thus all is well. Yui can stay provided that she shut up and stick out her neck, literally, every time one of her housemates is feeling a bit peckish.
It’s truly a great arrangement and Yui might even have her heart stolen by the boys because what’s more romantic than regular and varied abuse?
[Warnings for spoilers and language]
What do you mean those aren’t real genres? Of course they are.
Let me upfront – I loathe this show and everything about it. The only thing that made the hours I spent on this worth it are the blog posts that others found amusing. If my raging rants about this pile of shit got people to laugh, then I count that a win. That said, I will try to limit my sarcasm to the summary above and use the actual review to list exactly why Diabolik Lovers almost killed all my brain cells.
Let’s start with the plot. Diabolik Lovers doesn’t have a plot for over half of its fifteen-minute episodes. In fact, every one of them save for the final few have the same formula where Yui approaches/is approached by one of her housemates who then proceed to insult and violate her while she begs for them to stop. And that’s another thing – the dialogue. Yui is relatively inoffensive in this department because she rarely speaks in more than a whisper and even when she does, nothing worthwhile comes out of her mouth. But the vampire boys on the other hand need to be arrested for the shit that they spew. I think I’ve erased most of their words from memory for the sake of my sanity but I assure you that almost everything they say is the kind of bombastic bullshit that would cause either unstoppable laughter or unstoppable rage depending on your mood. It’s so over the top and ridiculous that it makes you wonder if the people who made this were having a little too much fun with the writing.
My personalized tag for this anime is ‘this would be better off as hentai’ and I stick to that. If they’d stopped hinting at rape and actually shucked the clothes off, Diabolik Lovers would have fit right in with many other such titles which have little plot and less sense and is only there to get you off. I mean, people have been marketing vampire sex appeal since Dracula. This series could easily have put that to use. But instead, they tried to build…something…between Yui and the boys, and so we have this disaster in our hands.
Speaking of that ‘something’, I tried to consider Stockholm Syndrome as the reason for Yui’s attitude towards the vampires but I don’t really buy that. The show’s writing doesn’t convince me that they actually used the concept of captor bonding to make this story into something halfway sensible. Rather, it came off as a lot of thoughtless drivel where the characters do what they do because the plot demands it, reason and rationale be damned. Yui shows no indication that her repeated abuse at the hands of the boys even happened. There’s no freak out, no trauma, nothing that would indicate she’s affected. Instead, they feed on her and grope her and the next day, she bounces back as if nothing’s happened and tries to make friends with them. This kind of careless writing makes it hard to take anything about Diabolik Lovers seriously.
In short, Diabolik Lovers is a bad show with bad plot and worse characters. We’ll get to that in the next session.
You think the plot sucks? Diabolik Lovers’ characters make it seem Oscar-worthy.
Yui is once again not the worst offender but that’s only because each of the vampire boys are designed to be unbelievably obnoxious. Yui, on the other hand, is unbelievably stupid. Somewhere between episode 2 and 3, she mysteriously loses all of her brain cells and changes from a semi-respectable heroine to a senseless bloodbag with a knack for mind-numbing idiocy. See, she’s trapped in a mansion with six vampires who all make it clear that they see her as little more than food and would think nothing of it if they accidentally killed her. They treat her as little more than a toy. So what does she do? Try to escape? Nope, she stays behind to find the answer to a mystery regarding her father without considering the fact that she might end up a bloodless husk before she can find shit. That’s not bravery, it’s sheer stupidity.
Then there’s the way she treats the boys. She’s scared and that’s completely understandable. Any sane person would be terrified in her situation. But apparently, Yui think it makes total sense to try and make friends with them even after multiple incidents where all that she accomplishes is getting bitten and molested. Not once does she display any kind of anger or hatred towards them. What the fuck is she – a saint? It doesn’t make sense. Yui doesn’t make sense. At least the vampires are each consistent in their brand of jackassery. Yui just comes across as a person-shaped plot device. Did I mention that, at the end, Yui tries to kill herself, not as a desperate attempt to be free of her fate but so that she can save the lives of the vampire boys from a scenario that hasn’t even come to pass yet?
Yeah. That happens. Yui isn’t a character, she’s air that occasionally speaks.
The sad thing is that the vampires are even worse. There are eight of them in total, six of them are the Sakamaki brothers or the eponymous ‘diabolic lovers’, and the other two are also their relatives. They’re all terrible people who would make even the kindest soul want to pick up a machete and hack them to pieces ten seconds into their screentime. The brothers are the main culprits in this regard, mostly because they’re the ones with most presence aside from Yui. Each of them is distinct in appearance and attitude but unsettlingly united in their lack of basic decency and general dickery. While it’s clear that they’re deliberately designed to be this way, that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach them.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that for all that Diabolik Lovers fails in terms of its plot, it’s the characters that really turn the show from something watchable to an unsalvageable mess.
Art and Music:
The art is the one good thing about this anime. They’ve put a lot of effort into making the character designs appealing. Both the male and female characters are gorgeous and clad in clothes that make the best of them. Provided that you can ignore them every time they open their mouths, this show will give you some great eye candy.
The music is absolutely unremarkable. Well, the opening theme Mr.SADISTIC NIGHT goes above and beyond that to become actively irritating but otherwise, it’s all forgettable.
If you’re looking for a self-insert masochistic fantasy – and no, there is nothing wrong with that – with pretty boys and a couple of pretty girls, then this show may work for you. If you want to chill and laugh at some truly ridiculous shenanigans, then also this show may work for you. But if you want a serious story with substantial characters, please give this a pass.