First Impressions: Diabolik Lovers

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Visual Novel Adaptation by Zexcs
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: A teenage girl ends up living with 6 sadistic vampire brothers.

Gee’s┬áVerdict: A miserable little pile

This anime is a fine representative of the worst aspects of Shoujo and the Otome game genre. Every moment of this show filled me with discomfort and disgust. Considering it’s a VN adaptation, you’d think the whole point was that the girl would be surrounded by hot attractive men, not verbally and physically abusive individuals who have basically kidnapped and imprisoned a girl in their own home. Some kind of twisted Stockholm Syndrome shit is literally the only way I could see this going anywhere, and if you think that’s a positive outcome, you seriously need to get help. The Twilight comparisons are completely apt, as both pieces of media happen to star pretty vampires who perform increasingly questionable acts while their vapid female self-insert protagonists somehow finds themselves falling in love with their abusers.

I’m going to be completely honest. If you legitimately enjoy this for the content and not for the sake of laughing at its terribleness, there might be something wrong with you. With all the accusations of misogyny flying around in modern media these days, the fact that something like this is aimed at a primarily female fanbase isn’t doing any favors. I can only hope most people are smart enough to stay as far away from this as they possibly can.

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Marlin’s Verdict: I feel dirty.

This is not a show for decent people. To be honest, this shouldn’t be a show for any people, and yet it exists. This is based on a VN, which ostensibly means the player is meant to be attracted to these characters, and yet in the first episode all but one or two of them are implicit in some kind of verbal or sexual assault against the lead. How this plot could continue on in any fashion that wouldn’t imply this main character is being forced against her will to love these characters beyond me. I mean, jeez, this is actually meant to be marketed towards women? How this has come to be is absolutely baffling.

Zigg’s Verdict: All that’s wrong

When you’re spending every second watching a show worrying that it’ll turn into a gang rape scene, that’s generally not a good sign. If that’s your thing, then seek help. Everyone else should probably stay the fuck away from this show.

6 thoughts on “First Impressions: Diabolik Lovers

  1. “If you legitimately enjoy this for the content and not for the sake of laughing at its terribleness, there might be something wrong with you” WOW A+ GOOD JOB KINK-SHAMING WOMEN WHO MIGHT WANT TO EXPLORE THESE SORT OF FANTASIES IN A SAFE FANTASY WAY

    The original drama cd series and game was marketed as an exploration of extreme sadism. People who chose to seek it out knew at least some of what they were getting into. If I sometimes want to listen to a monster pin me down and treat me nothing more than food, that’s my business. I can explore darker fantasies in a place where I can turn it off and walk away if I need to.

    • Of course, and nobody is denying anyone that right. But this is a piece which centres around *our* personal opinions, and for that reason we’ve expressed them in the terms here. I think there’s no doubt that the content shown makes us (three men for the record) extremely uncomfortable, and that’s why these pieces scan the way they do. We’re not trying to shame or humiliate anyone, but just as your fantasies are your business, our opinions are ours.

      • And your opinion is apparently that I have something wrong with me and need to seek help. Thanks a lot. Sure you’re entitled to your opinion, I’m allowed to point out that your opinions are harmful. You tagged this. You ensured that it would show up in the Dialovers tag. That’s like walking into… say a Doctor Who panel at the con and shouting “Hey this is crap and if you like it you need help” and then getting mad that everyone isn’t respecting your opinion. And the fact you are three men going into a space dominated by female fans doing this makes me about as uncomfortable as this series makes you.

        • We tagged this because it’s about the show and therefore relevant to the show. I’m afraid no feed is going to be 100% full of glowing praise and adoration – our critique is just as valid to the discussion surrounding it as any number of positive impressions.

          If you feel personally insulted by this post I sincerely apologise – that is not and was never our intent. Our language was hyperbolic, something we tend to do now and again. Obviously we are not the target audience, which is most likely predominantly female, and obviously our perspective is skewed by that. But we’ve tried to be honest and our honest opinion was the show significantly unnerved us. To have written otherwise would have been disingenuous.

    • Woah now, “kink-shaming”? Let’s not go overboard here. While I admit our reactions were pretty strong (though rightfully so in my opinion), keep in mind that the First Impressions posts are:

      A) First impressions, snap judgements based on watching something unfamiliar.
      B) Our opinions, not always unanimous nor popular.

      We try to watch everything that airs during the season; the good, the bad, and the ugly, because honestly, we never know what’s going to end up surprising us (see: Love Lab). This post was not some kind of malicious plot against the anime or its fanbase. It’s simply the same MO we’ve operated on since the blog started.

      While none of us particularly care for it, if you’re into this kinda stuff, I’m not going to personally try and stop you.

      Sorry we are defiling the Diabolik Lovers tag, but just like I won’t stop you from continuing to enjoy the things you do, we’re going to continue speaking our minds.

    • After talking with the other guys here I think it’s safe to say that any shaming in this post was unintentional despite the harsh language. A genuine dislike for the show translated into things that probably could have been worded better. For my own part I watched the first episode and thought it was actually fairly decent for what it was.

      I wasn’t able to watch this anime before our post, but we will be doing a podcast for the new season soon, I will try to get some good words in for it for it there. I suspect we will talk about the morality of it as well just because I know this sort of thing is something we don’t usually agree on here. I invite you to listen in and maybe give us some feedback. Personally I am curious to hear what fans of the original material think of the anime.

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