Was Usagi raped?


AntiMagic 5 Img014I will leave that question up to you to decide. I think it’s very clear, though, that something has happened in the past between poor Usagi and the despicable sack of animal excrement that is Tenmyouji Reima. In fact, you can tell that this guy is a real bastard from the very moment Usagi starts hyperventilating at the mere sight of him. To him, Usagi is an ‘important belonging’ of his – that should tell you everything you need to know. In the novels, Usagi goes into a lot more detail in telling Takeru about exactly what he did, but all that is rendered moot for adaptation purposes by that one phrase, which conveys the exact same meaning. In this series, there are characters everywhere with grey morality, a good example being pre-Takeru Ouka (and post-anime Ouka in fact, although that opens up a massive debate as contentious as abortion that I’m not going to get into right now). But Tenmyouji Reima is not one of them. He is pitch black. His attitude was glossed over a lot in the anime, but he’s basically like Matou Shinji except with a lot more derp. If you’re watching Rakudai this season, he’s just like that unpleasant little shit with the invisible arrows whose name I can’t remember, but is significant in that he’s a villain voiced by Matsuoka (and he’s pretty good at doing villains). A pathetic, useless waste of space.

AntiMagic 5 Img016A lot of the contextual background behind Usagi’s plight was heavily glossed over though, and it’s yet another (and I’m beating a dead horse here, I know) issue with the breakneck pacing we’re still going at presumably until we reach Volume 5 – part of me is worried that necks will actually be broken before we get to our destination, but there you go. In the anime, it sounded as if the Saionji family were trying to get to a better social status by political marriage, which isn’t exactly true because the Saionji family are prestigious too. Usagi uses ‘watakushi’ and ‘desu wa’, which is basically declaratory of an ojou-sama. So they already have money, and status – and Usagi isn’t the only heir, because she does have brothers (which the anime conveniently forgot about to make her redacted life story more believable). The problem is that she’s not a legitimate heir. Usagi is a bastard child, which is why her ‘mother’ denied being her mother in the first place – so she’s a useless bunny, on top of being in the worst platoon ever at school. In the eyes of her family, all she is therefore good for is a political marriage – which they do benefit from but not as much as the adaptation makes it sound. It’s the same result, but arising from very different facts because the Saionji family in the anime seem to be casting aside their daughter’s happiness in the hopes of a fancy title to affix to their name.

AntiMagic 5 Img009In light of the fact that this is all supposed to be getting darker, I was disappointed by how much fanservice there was. I guess they couldn’t avoid the scene where everyone dresses up for that one picture at the end, but the ‘happy’ half of the arc this time is dampened by the fact that there was no awesome, cool and funky new character like Mari who waltzed in and stole the show. I mean, there was Usagi coming out of the bath in a scene that mirrored the last time it happened, but even Takeru’s reaction proved that it wasn’t as good this time – he couldn’t stop staring at Mari, even after she told him not to, but with Usagi he just did the standard stammering routine you’d expect by now. So the objective conclusion is that Mari is better. But I digress – they blasted through the set-up for this arc so fast that I was hoping we’d get to see some despair this episode too, and we didn’t. It’s not like the student council wanted help from Ouka putting up decorations for the festival or any shit like that. Instead, they want help getting revenge for the now-dead student council members who all supposedly killed each other, because you know, Ouka has a reputation for murdering witches in cold blood.

As you can probably guess, the festival (like the tournament from the last arc) is just some background noise to the suffering. It’s just the gateway that sets it up. In reality, the festival means nothing, and neither do the dropout alliance. In fact, precedent would suggest that the other platoon this episode end up dying horribly – although we’ve technically already fulfilled our death quota with the student council members, who by the way are in the positions they’re in because of their strength. In other words, the strongest students at the school have been killed.

But I will say, amidst my criticism, that just like last week there was one aspect of the episode that I loved. And that would be this girl, Hoshijiro Nagaru.

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I cannot describe how perfect her voice is. In fact, that is exactly how I imagined she would sound! I think she’s even more perfect than Hayato, and I was already ready to marry his voice a couple of posts ago. Nagaru is lazy, very comfy, possibly high and probably counts as a loli. She’s like a dazed, permanently-drugged senpai and it’s awesome. I want to buy a kotatsu and share it with her all through winter. And feed her oranges. It would be the functional equivalent of marriage for her. How comfy would that be?! If you want a fun fact, her name was translated as ‘Nagare’ up until recently, when it was changed to ‘Nagaru’, so it’s still a bit strange for me to call her by the latter. It’s because her voice and personality were adapted so well that it was a pity that the background behind Mephisto wasn’t. A scene was skipped in which Mephisto was shown committing her acts of evil, so that it’d be easier to understand exactly how her power works – ‘devours human minds’ is very vague, as is ‘possession’. Mephisto is also not Laugh Maker, as actual possession (i.e. she is inside her victim’s body) is different from controlling someone’s body movements like a puppet, which is what Ouka had to endure. I’m also not sure why they changed the way the student council died – Nagaru said that one of them was possessed and killed the rest of them, whereas in the novels, Mephisto kept switching between the bodies of the whole student council. All of them got paranoid, and in the ensuing panic they killed each other. The last person standing was terrified that he might be Mephisto without him knowing it, and so he killed himself.

AntiMagic 5 Img043So in general, I think we’re seeing a move away from darkness and towards fanservice, which is not a happy development from my point of view. I’m here for the suffering because it’s exciting and different, and I’ve said that from day one. A lot of the ecchi scenes with Usagi, for example, could have been cut down and replaced with a Mephisto scene, or at least one with the comfiest senpai ever narrating her tale in a bit more depth – I’m not denying that fanservice should be a thing at this stage in the arc, but what I’m saying is that there’s too much of it, and at the wrong sort of cost. It might actually be the very last episode with fanservice in it, but my memory is fuzzy so I can’t be sure. At any rate, I can’t really complain in the sense that I knew something like this would happen if they continued adapting at a pace of two episodes per volume, but still. At a base level, it might be because I’m not particularly inclined towards big-breasted lolis (unlike the author himself, if you’d care for some trivia) and so my reaction to the Usagi fanservice episode isn’t as bright as it was for the Mari one. But that’s only a relative comparison to pettanko lolis by the way. I love all lolis equally! It’s just that some are more equal than others.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. valkirie08

    Hmm…so they went with vol. 4 first then gonna go with vol.3 and vol. 5 in that order…well the next two volumes will be the serious ones so they took out the volume with a lot of fanservice first.

    1. Vantage

      It’s an odd decision, but it’s not as bad as some of the other choices Silver Link have made with regards to choosing what to adapt given a limited amount of time. I see a massive problem with doing Volume 4 first though, and it’s this:

      [spoiler]Reima gets killed by Kyouya at the end of the arc, which will be next episode. But so far, we haven’t even seen him anywhere, let alone the very important scene where pro golfer offers him Nero to make him fall into darkness. And if they don’t do Kyouya and Nero soon, Volume 5 will be ruined – in fact, you can say next week is already unsteady given that Kyouya would basically have to appear out of nowhere, from being a fodder character to having Nero with zero foreshadowing. And yet the anime even depicts Nero in human form, which I don’t remember her doing at all until around Volume 7 or so.

      I’m also sad I have to wait a few more weeks to see loli Kanaria, she’s probably my favourite side character (either her or Nero). [/spoiler]

  2. The Traveler (@IWHBYT)

    Well… that’s a disturbing implication. I had thought that Reima was going to treat Usagi like an ‘important belonging’. Not already had. I even hoped that perhaps he hadn’t always been this way and only became this way because of what I’m afraid of, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

    Speak of Usagi, I have to admit that I admired her straightforwardness and would have even if she hadn’t come out in just a towel. The thought of her following through on these genuine feelings(?) for Takeru was very convincing to the point where I wouldn’t mind it happening :3 Well, more specifically, I wouldn’t mind them getting married and having a child… later. Best not to have a child while you’re still young members of the Inquisition after all. Also, the similar reactions from Mari, Ouka and Ikaruga were great! xD


    I’m scared that the white-haired demon currently tormenting Usagi is or rather has been possessed by Mephistopheles. Originally I thought ‘devours human minds’ meant the victim became an empty shell afterwards, which admittedly would be good for eliminating the marriage. That could still happen if Ouka and the student council kill or arrest Reima.

    Turning back to Mephistopheles, I’m scared that (s)he’ll be taking over Yoshimizu’s body or yet another clone of her (providing that Haunted replaced the one he seemed to kill at some point, to keep his “spy” in play).

    For almost a whole platoon to have their minds “devoured” would be terrible. It’d turn into Kyoka’s personal hell watching them all lose their sanity, either at once or one by one. At least, that’s if it doesn’t end in another fight like with Nagaru’s platoon. Granted, from a story perspective it would add quite the close-to-home conflict and possibly even cause some interesting infighting among ‘Witches’ if Haunted is less than pleased about having his spy used by another ‘Witch’ (especially if Mephistopheles doesn’t side with Valhalla).

    1. Vantage

      No, he was always an incorrigible douchebag. It’s not worth hoping people like him are nice, just treat him in the same way you treat Matou Shinji. I won’t say anything about your views on who Mephisto is currently inhabiting, because that would give it away too easily. I can see why you think Mephisto takes over Yoshimizu though.

      But I will say that it’s not possible for the whole of the 15th Platoon to become Mephisto’s victims, because Kyouya’s personal hell should have already happened – the whole platoon died to Haunted in the light novels, so they should already be dead. Kyouya now knows Yoshimizu is dead. I was surprised there was no follow-up scene with Kyouya actually, it’s very important.

      It’s interesting you mention in-fighting amongst witches. Mephisto is indeed with Valhalla (the anime skipped out a scene in the prologue of this novel where a Valhalla leader gives her instructions – the same higher-up ordering Haunted, actually) but at the same time, you shouldn’t assume that Valhalla is monolithic. The anime will likely never get on to this, but Valhalla isn’t just an evil, united society of doom all with the same goal – who says everyone in it has the same goal? In fact, who even says they’re evil? They’re just presented as evil because this story is from the perspective of Inquisition, and because Inquisition won the war (it’s the winners who write history). If we say they’re evil, that’s like saying Inquisition is therefore ‘good’, which is just plain wrong. There are many shades of grey like I said in the post, and both Valhalla and Inquisition is part of that blurry area in the divide. We’ll never get on to this in the adaptation, because they seem intent on making ‘Valhalla’ an organisation comprised of just Haunted and Nacht alone.

  3. zztop

    Speaking of Rakudai, are you watching it ATM? If you are, how do you find it? Despite being visually rougher than Antimagic, some reviewers have been praising Rakudai for its boldness in subverting the usual harem/relationship tropes (ie. the main relationship is established early on, unlike the faffing-around of Nisekoi).

    1. Vantage

      I’m caught up with it, yes. Which is ironic, because I’m three episodes behind with Asterisk and that’s my preferred poison of the two. I think the whole ‘subversion’ is pretty gimmicky – yes, it’s an attempt to separate itself from tropes, but ultimately we still have the same few lewd jokes and the harem still hasn’t given up. It’s like a really bad Ore Monogatari, except the best girl is Alice who is actually supposed to be a guy (I don’t like Stella, and I’m not into imoutos). Just the subversion isn’t enough to make it automatically good – it’s like saying Monogatari is not a harem because Araragi is dating Senjougahara, when in reality it is a harem for all practical purposes, but is really good for completely different reasons.

      The sandbox tournament structure basically means its storyline is shooting itself in the foot, which is the same issue Asterisk has (except Asterisk has money). And between Ikki and Hayato, Ikki is definitely not the strongest Kurogane of the two. I do wonder if Rakudai’s visually rougher than AntiMagic though – there’s far too much CGI in all the fights, and in episodes like this the QUALITY!!!11! really becomes apparent. I actually preferred Rakudai’s latest fight over the Haunted one last week in AntiMagic, which is really hard to admit because based on the novels the latter really should have been the better one. Silver Link made a pretty crap decision in producing this, Rakudai and Shomin Sample (which is funnier than I thought it was five weeks ago, Aika best girl) in the same season, especially as they’re a budget studio.

      1. Wanderer

        In point of fact, the harem in Rakudai HAS given up. Any further actions by Shizuku or anyone else at this point are spawned by attempts to push Ikki and Stella into more firmly establishing their relationship, or taking actions they need to take (or both). While some jealousy may still tinge things, Shizuku’s objective is NOT to claim her brother for herself, but is in fact to MAKE HIM HAPPY. She simply didn’t know how to do that before now, so she focused on trying to personally provide him with all the love he had never received from anyone else before.

        1. Vantage

          Holy crap, really? I was convinced it’d be more of what we saw last week, i.e. petty ways of getting Ikki to notice them, like how Shizuku offered him a drink knowing Stella wanted to give him one too (I thought there was going to be an indirect kiss joke somewhere in there). But okay, my opinion of Shizuku has improved slightly. The only person who has really has tried to push Ikki and Stella closer up until now has been Alice, which is why I’ve found him cool so far.

          1. Wanderer

            I can’t guarantee that the anime writers won’t change things, of course (they did some rewriting of stuff in this latest episode, one of the minor parts of which included moving Shizuku’s talk with Alice about it being strange to love her brother from way back in her introductory chapter up into this episode), but while she does do a couple of things to make Stella jealous after this, her REASON for doing them is because she thinks Stella is taking too much time in firmly establishing her relationship with Ikki, so Shizuku is trying to “push” her by making her think Shizuku will steal Ikki if she doesn’t become more proactive.

            Shizuku is jealous of Stella, but she’s not cruel, and her brother having found someone who can really make him happy is the most important thing in her world.

  4. zztop

    Have you had problems catching up with Asterisk?

    1. Vantage

      I have – I haven’t even watched anything past what I’ve blogged yet. It’s never the writing that’s a problem, it’s finding a block of time to sit down and actually watch the episode plus take screenshots. I’ve only really managed to fit in Owari and AntiMagic into my schedule so far, and stuff like Rakudai when eating, but I do hope to phase in Asterisk at some point given that I’ve read the light novels in the past and have liked what I’ve read (even though objectively it’s not even that good).

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