We send Colons in to start catching up with one the great animated masterpieces of our generation. I promise he chose to do this on his own.
There are moments where Souji is forced to confront the way the Internet and society at large is treating Tail Red, and it always makes him immensely uncomfortable. He is objectified, picked over, worshipped, and presumably much worse, and he doesn’t like it.
The plot for the first half of episode five involves Aika being told by a rapist that her boobs aren’t big enough. This makes her insecure enough that later, at home base, she breaks down in tears, begging to be given an opportunity to have a larger bust. Tuaaru, who is able to take her up on the request, unquestioningly indulges her. At no point does any present character make any effort to reassure her about her body.
I’m going to try to be generous. I am going to try to assume that Souji is slowly going to realise how gross but systemic and predictable the treatment of Tail Red on the Internet is. That the next time Aika has insecurities about her body he will tell her that her body is fine just the way it is. That Souji’s mother will stop advocating for the assault of her son. That the paedophiles making up the Council of Monsters of the Week will show themselves to be capable of even a modicum of restraint.
I will probably be disappointed, but it’s fun to try anyway.
Even if I turn out to be wrong, though, this show is still delightfully silly. I caught myself giggling with upsetting regularity. Also, they’re getting the parody right. Down to the red protagonist, the inclusion of spoilers for who’s going to join the crew in episode 5 in the opening credits, the flamboyant transformation sequences, the use of new powers or team members to defeat some otherwise unbeatable enemy every episode, the skittle-like henchmen, and the ridiculous regularity of trivialised sexual assault.
And hey, the preview for episode six has tentacles in it, so it can only get better from here.