Warning Zone: Say “I Love You”

The why:
I’ll be honest here. This show is really more on the fence than all out WZ. Shows like Fullmetal Alchemist have featured off screen sex scenes. We know they happened, but we don’t actually see anything so it passes. A similar thing happens in this show, but with a big difference. One character reveals she has had sex with a particular male character. Now. We don’t see it happen. Aside from a scene with her in just her underwear (think bikini level nudity), we don’t see anything actually happen. But what makes this so ¬†different from FMA is the why. Simply put, she felt bad after being dumped and slept with a guy who pitied her. I actually have more issues with the guy than the chick. He bent to her tears and did something that probably made her feel worse afterwards than better and may have given her a complex about what love means. She was not emotionally stable at the time, so any overly intimate action by “just a friend” can be quite damaging.
You could also make the point of them being so young and unmarried, but I’m not touching that one. Whether you agree with sex before marriage or not, the reasoning behind what happened is pretty twisted. It’s also pushed off by the heroine as if it’s no big deal. Personally I find the judgment of someone you trust being very much a big deal. But maybe I’m just too old school for these shoujo shows anymore…
In any case, this was just enough of a difference for me to feel compelled to WZ this one. Though, if that doesn’t bother you, you won’t find much else too different from the usual YA stuff.

Personal thoughts:
I originally started this show because people were raving that it was just as good as Kimi no Todoke, a show I really fell in love with.
Disappointment doesn’t really cover this. Slight disgust is a bit closer. In addition to the above issue, I had some other tight lipped moments. ¬†Comments like “being a girl on a day like this (as if you can’t be a girl whenever you flippin’ want or that being a girl requires particular attire or attitude)” and forced kisses are really push button for me. Unfortunately this show has both. The lead guy forces himself on the heroine numerous times and, more than once, she feels compelled to change who she is for his sake. Not a fan of that mentality. Bettering yourself is one thing. Forcing yourself to be someone you’re not? Not okay. And the fact that everyone claims the two are so “in love” just makes it all the worse.

Overall I feel insulted that this show was compared to Kimi no Todoke, as this show isn’t nearly as healthy in its relationships, which was a highlight for Kimi no Todoke. Be warned, this show is really nothing like it. But, again, if the above issues don’t bug you, perhaps this show will be a decent ride. But I don’t think it will be much more than that. The art and music are entirely forgettable, and the characters are pretty flat. The only one that isn’t seems to do a personality 180 simply for the convenience of the story (the heroine needs female friends, right? Past enemies are perfect for that!). Don’t look for anything really spectacular if you chose to press on with this one.

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Warning Zone: Diabolik Lovers

The why:
When a show is tagged “otome” I know I’m not going to get anything deep. In fact, I’ll be lucky if the main character isn’t stupid enough to tempt me into purging the planet of my gender. That said, a very sick trend has taken root in the recent otome shows that have sprung up. And it’s why this show gets a solid WZ on top of being dropped after episode five.

Rape. That’s right. You heard me. Now, I realize the story sets a young girl in a house of vampire hotties and a recipe for a healthy relationship just isn’t in the cards… Even so. Every episode contains the heroine getting pushed down, smacked or even cut to the joy of her male captors. They then proceed to drink her blood, forcefully kiss her or mark up her skin. All without her consent. That, dear readers, is rape. Or, if you wish to be overly technical, molestation. And I refuse to condone such a thing. Of course, the random bad language doesn’t help (one of the male characters calls the heroine b-chan. Whoever thought that was attractive needs to get another job).

Personal thoughts:
Just to clarify, I have only seen around five episodes of this show. However, the amount of abuse was so high, I just couldn’t take it anymore. The most the character ever does is say “No” and very feebly push back. She does not try escaping or legitimately fighting, so the chances of her defeating her clear enemies are null. In fact, the tone of the show seems to make it clear that they intend on continuing this horrid trend just as it has been. Every vampire and his brother will abuse her, with a small side plot about her father thrown in now and again for good measure.
The art is decent, but does not at all justify the horrid story and characters. The fact that this show even exists makes me feel a bit sick. Currently it’s streaming and thus has not been officially rated. However, it could easily be given the TV14 mark as the violence and nudity content is nothing worse than other shows in that category. Strictly speaking, anyway. But the context of what is there is far from acceptable and thus right in the WZ it goes. If you like hot vampire dudes, I suggest shows with actual thought behind them, like Trinity Blood. At the very least they don’t treat women like voiceless blood banks ripe for abuse.

Warning Zone: Revolutionary Girl Utena

The why:
Officially this show isn’t rated. If it was at some point, it isn’t now. Although various places rate it between a generic PG14 to an allusive “objectionable content” warning (honestly, what the heck does that even mean?). In any case, to clear up any misunderstandings, this show should be strapped with a big M rating. And not because anything is outright… bad. However, you’d have to be amazingly dense not to know what is going on. And what’s going on is: numerous rape accounts, incest amongst various individuals and countless sexual abuses. Like I said, nothing is ever seen in full detail. But it doesn’t have to be. The “artistic” nudity, where details are always conveniently covered up by long hair and such, hardly distracts from what’s going on.
Aside from these elements, there’s also a decent amount of bad language here and there and some violence (although it isn’t nearly as bad as other TV14 shows).

Personal thoughts:
This show attempts to do far more than most shows. And for that, I commend it. It’s defiantly not for young viewers. It’s not family stuff. And I don’t appreciate the inappropriate elements. Even so, I commend it. I often found that much of the issues presented are extremely legitimate and painfully realistic.
However, while many found the symbolism focused on the breaking of the “Prince as Savior” mentality (aka the Fairy Tale mindset many men and women often live by), I found that Himemiya was a nearly perfect portrait of suicidal depression. Waiting for someone to save her, when she didn’t really wish to be saved. No matter how much others tried to. No matter how much others loved her. She didn’t believe them. And they couldn’t save her. She wouldn’t allow it. And in the end she had to decide for herself what her fate would be. There was no prince to do it. Because the only one imprisoning her was herself.
Of course, the show is so vague on so many points that the conclusion could honestly be anything. The theories are honestly endless (Tumblr is a fascinating example of this). However, it is for that reason that I appreciate this show and found it a refreshing watch. It’s a shame it’s too much for younger audiences. Then again, it tackles some extremely heavy issues that, while they may have been addressed in a cleaner manner, had to be dealt with. The point of the show was to break the fairy tail. To show its weakness. And it did. In what ways exactly, well, that’s up to viewers.
So if you have a solid foundation of fairy tail knowledge (just check out a bunch of Grimm’s tails if you don’t) and enjoy extreme symbolism regardless of some strong content, this show will deliver. Just go in well warned, my friend. This show may have some comedy elements going in, but they disappear at the end and it’s clear that the story is far from funny and very adult centered. You’ve been warned.

Warning Zone: Sword Art Online

The why:
The violence is a tad high, one character gets stabbed near the end. However, the real defining element that shoved this TV14 show into the WZ was sexual content. In one scene a girl gets undressed (down to her underwear) while under the impression she will be having sexual relations with another character. The scene then changes and she is in bed, seemingly naked and covered only by a sheet. What happened during the time jump is not confirmed, but very much implied (the fact that they are only about 16 years old and in a virtual game makes it all the more eerie). Near the end of the series, this same female’s shirt and over skirt are ripped off and the villain sexually harasses her. No details appear on screen, but the sounds made and the movement of the characters’ bodies make it very clear what’s occurring.

Personal thoughts:
I personally didn’t like this show, mainly due to the numerous issues with the storyline and character relationships. If I were to attempt explaining these issues, I’d likely be writing long into the night. Besides, other bloggers have already done personal impression reviews of their own and some have said it better than I. Suffice to say, many people liked this show. A few didn’t like it. It seems to boil down to what kind of shows one likes. If you don’t mind plot holes so long as the romance aspect is always prioritized, you might like this (if the mature content doesn’t put you off your tea first). But if you like heroes that stand up for something besides their own selfish desires, and prefer romance to be a side affect, not a main dish, this show will likely be a sea of frustration for you.

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