The flavour of blood just adds a certain “pizzazz” to a sandwich and drink, dontcha think?
|“Oh my gosh, it’s the rape episode! When is it going to happen? Now? Now? Oh, he’s looking at her, it must be now! …Hmm…..WAIT, NOW!”. I admit I may have been a bit distracted while watching this episode thanks to the preview priming me so heavily to look for just one scene. I wouldn’t be surprised if a handful of you ctrl+f “rape” in this post just to get to the edgy bit. With this in mind, I might as well plunge right into the heart of the matter and start off with the assault(s) on Himiko.|
So far, Himiko is the only girl we’ve seen on the island. Himiko is hyper-aware of her gender since she’s surrounded by guys who are all bigger and stronger than she is, which is a very important fact to note when you’re stuck on an island where everyone has to kill each other. Unlike Ryouta, her memories are in tact, and she immediately knows why she is given bombs and what could happen if she comes across another player. She gets relatively lucky and meets a group of people who don’t throw bombs at her upon first sight (poor Ryouta!) and instead include her into the group. However, since she’s fairly soft-spoken and lacks any drive to kill or injure, they don’t even treat her as competition. She is casually threatened, then given the position of “leader” immediately after. Fortunately, she has one line of defense that makes her a little dangerous. She has a taser, and she’s not afraid to shock some dudes if it means they’ll let go of her and stop trying to either use her as a hostage or molest her. Even though she gets pushed around a lot and isn’t exactly a grade A female role model, at least she pushes back.
Being bullied by her “teammates” isn’t so bad and doesn’t bring up much to discuss, but getting sexually molested by Lardo Fat-Tits (a rather redundant, but very fitting nickname I have bestowed upon him) really turns things up to 11. It was a really uncomfortable scene to watch. Even with all the censoring, the boob-fondling/sucking scene made me feel disgust more than “awww yeaaahhh boobs and sexytimes.” Her aggressor was hideous, creepy and Himiko disliked it enough to try and blow the two of them up in a last ditch effort.
He even had to nerve to think that a woman not resisting means that it’s okay, which is probably the messed up mentality that got him on the island in the first place. Adding to that delusion is his initial comment suggesting that by being nice to her, he had accumulated enough “points” so to speak that he could cash in for sex. These are two faulty thinking patterns rapists often adopt to justify their actions. The way he says it makes it pretty clear that we’re supposed to key in to the fact that he’s a little crazy…especially with the copious amount of sweating and creeper eyes/voice. The whole ordeal is a lot less about fanservice than I expected as a result.
I was actually surprised BTOOOM! managed to have an overall positive message at the end of a scene I was expected to be handled with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop. The rape scene was featured in the trailer and the preview, as if they were showing off something. In retrospect, it was probably just to show off how edgy they were for including rape in the story. And boy, do they ever love going for the shock factor with rape because Himiko’s entire backstory is about raperaperaperape!
One rape scene would have been totally fine, but since the writers couldn’t think of anything else, they decided to just repeat the same thing. Ugh. Why? It desensitizes us to the upcoming rape scene, and makes it seem like Himiko’s very existence just causes men to want to violate her. It’s excessive. Himiko may have got away with her virginity, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s basically a TWO-TIME rape victim. This makes her past experiences with men incredibly bad from the get-go, so it’s not like getting molested a second time radically changed her views and gave her trust issues. She was already like that before. This makes the second rape scene almost pointless. Only one is needed! Not two!
Now that I think about it, I don’t think we’ve met a single decent guy in this show yet. They either rape schoolgirls, rely on their parents for money, slit people’s throats, or scream like a madman and throw bombs from the second we see them. Will BTOOOM! try to humanize these cold killers and emotionally hostile teenagers so that we sympathize with them? So far we’ve just been shown how horrible everyone is, or how messed up they are. There needs to be some contrast. A nice, normal character as a fixed point of reference. The guy who stops and says “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!” and freaks out when people try to backstab others.
The heart of BTOOOM! is most likely not in having strong characters for the audience to fawn over, but in oversaturating us with violence and explosions. Fine by me. I need a little mental cool-down every now and then. So far we’ve seen a few more facts about the survival game to spice things up. One is how the radar works, and the fact that it suddenly pops out when someone dies (presumably so they won’t be tracked anymore and cause unnecessary blips on the radar). We also learn that food is being dropped from the sky, which could be the cause of crippling stress in the future since it’s the perfect place to set up a trap to kill off any desperate, hungry people. This time the food retrieval went over smoothly since they either got their first, or anyone who wanted to spring a trap wasn’t dumb enough to go for a pack of four people. Two new bombs enter the mix too. A defoliant (anyone know what that does to humans?) and Himiko’s KA-BLOOIE bombs which don’t seem to be any different than Ryouta’s timed bombs. Not very exciting, especially since I have no real clue what they do. I’m still waiting for more strategy to take precedence in fights, but I suppose this was just another “set-up” episode so we have to wait.
As for how everyone got on the island itself, a chain mail sort of letter going around asking people who they’d want to be eliminated could be the method for choosing who gets dumped there. People who write down names in this social Death Note of sorts get money for a reward, so it’s easy to give in and do it even though it’s sketchy as hell. Himiko’s side was an interesting choice for episode 2 because it fills in a lot of the gaps left by Ryouta and his hazy memories. It ends in the same spot as episode 1, but the shift in perspective makes things pretty different. I wonder if she’ll trust him once she realizes Ryouta is her internet lover. Wait, scratch that. Based on the OP it’s more of a matter of WHEN she’ll realize it and team up with him. But once again, I don’t care much about them since they’re all jerks. I’m just waiting for more blood-letting and flashing lights to stare at as I lay on my couch.
Bonus Screencaps: Show ▼
Overall, not bad considering that I was expecting BTOOOM! to completely screw up and somehow support rape as a good thing. It didn’t, but it certainly shoved a ton of rape scenes at us like it was so novel and exciting to them they just had to use it TWICE. I generally enjoy BTOOOM! but I am fully aware that it’s pretty primitive in nature, and seeks to satisfy the simplest desires. I’m gonna stick around and see where things go from here. What did you guys think of this week’s potentially touchy episode, and do any of you actually like any of the characters thus far?
Preview: Himiko runs away and Ryouta runs into some other dude instead of finding her. He explains more about the survival game, although I’m not sure what else there really is to explain at this point.
Episode 3: some dude gets raped to make things fair