Diabolik Lovers

(12 15-minute episodes)

What’s it about ?

This season’s token “otome game” adaptation : it’s a well-defined genre where the female protagonist can romance a variety of boys.

Trigger warning : rape. Plenty of it.


Yui, our teenage female protagonist and audience surrogate. Her father has sent her off to live in this mysterious creepy mansion, without much of an explanation. There are hints that she may unknowningly be more than an ordinary teenage girl (at the very least, she didn’t know she was adopted), but that’s news to her. She has enough sense to try and run away (as well as phone for help) once she catches on what kind of place this is, but of course it’s all for nothing.

The mansion is inhabited by six creepy prettyboys, covering the usual stereotypes : the angry one who casually punches walls, the childlike one, the one with glasses, the aloof one who seems to be in charge, the borderline rapist… Wait, scratch that : since those brothers are all vampires, they all take turns invading her personal space. Their casual ability to teleport makes it even creepier.

Production Values

This may be an effect of the reduced running time, but this looks quite good : it’s got lots of atmosphere, and sells the spookiness of the setup all too well. The character designs aren’t particularly original, but they’re not offensively generic either.

Overall Impression

Are there any otome games that aren’t about rape ?

Okay, there may well be, but this certainly aren’t one of them. It takes all of three minutes for Yui to be assaulted, and the guys keep going at her throughout. No actual sex yet, of course, and I doubt there will be any, given the transparent vampiric metaphor. But there’s no mistaking what this is all about. The characters are shallow and the plot a mere excuse for as many assaults as possible in the short running time.

It’s a relatively pretty package, but there’s no disguising that it will only appeal to a very narrow audience who enjoys this kind of stuff. I’m not part of them, so I’ll pass.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013.