Home > Episode Review, Kamisama Dolls > Kamisama Dolls 07: Apparently some people think it’s okay that Chihaya was raped and killed

Kamisama Dolls 07: Apparently some people think it’s okay that Chihaya was raped and killed

“She was an adult who should have known better than to sleep around with her student’s father anyway.”

If you don’t want to be exposed to an excessive amount of vulgarity, you’d be better off not reading the rest of this post.

I’m not going to say where I read that comment, and it’s actually more of a paraphrase of separate comments, but let me quote what I was saying to my fellow writers after seeing said comments.

FUCK WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SOME FUCKING RELIGIOUS EXTREMIST? SHE SCREWS UP ONCE AND ITS OKAY THAT SHE GETS RAPED AND KILLED?

Let me be clear here – I don’t condone Chihaya sleeping with her student’s father. There are some boundaries that just shouldn’t be crossed, no matter how liberal society gets. And it was certainly tragic how it ended up, what with the kid getting hit by a car and being traumatized, possibly for life. That family isn’t going to be normal ever again.

That said, it’s not that Chihaya actively sought to seduce the father. She’s possibly an unreliable narrator, so she may not be entirely honest when she said “she was just helping out with some stuff, and the next thing she knew…” but just as a teacher should know better, a father should know better as well. You’re unmarried, you ask your son’s attractive teacher to help you with stuff, you invite her to your house?

And yet virtually everyone (I’m not fucking kidding, I can hardly find any opposing viewpoints), see it fit to lay all the blame on Chihaya.

There’s no mention on how much trauma Chihaya herself has had to go through. An incident like this would have been investigated. She definitely lost her job, her friends, possibly even her family who might have disowned her.

Then she tries to start anew in a remote village. Right from the start she offends the local ’emperor’, a thug who is worshipped only because he is the current user of a wood mecha. The whole fucking village’s mindset seems to be, “HE CAN CONTROL WOODEN DOLL HERP DERP RAPE IS OKAY”.

Let’s go through Chihaya’s experiences in the village, point by point shall we?

1. Chihaya is repeatedly physically coerced by said ’emperor’.
2. The villagers don’t help Chihaya – and think it’s only appropriate that Chihaya should submit.
3. She tries her very best to be a good teacher.
4. Her past is dredged up.
5. She tries her very best to be a good teacher.
6. Rumours spread around the village, people start shunning her.
7. She tries her very fucking best to be a good teacher.

Let’s stop for a moment. It should be obvious by now that Chihaya is fucking determined not to let her past misdeeds get to her. If not, she’d have resigned and left the village ages ago. It should also be obvious that she’s under a fucking fuckload of pressure.

8. Little ’emperor’ physically assaults her again.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if she gave in just to stop the torment. I almost thought she would have broken. Then Aki saves her. At this point, Aki has been the only person who she has connected with in the whole village – they’ve both been segregated, bullied, scorned. She’s a mental wreck. Is it really any wonder that…

9. She slept with Aki.

I know alot of people are saying, “this woman is fucked up, what’s with ‘revenge’ and having sex with a guy who looks like the unmarried guy’s kid?” And to that, I actually don’t have a rebuttal. Chihaya obviously has some deep psychological issues. But why is it so wrong that she slept with him? Because he’s a minor?

The idea of making it illegal to have sexual relations with a minor is because a minor is deemed too young to understand what they’re doing, and might result in lasting psychological damage. But this is a rough gauge. The exception does exist – that even those over 18, or 21, can still be exposed to psychological harm.

But it’s not like Aki is 9 years old. He’s probably 15 at least, since he and Kyouhei appear to be of the same age, and Kyouhei’s in high school. He’s been isolated and bullied from childhood. Just when he had a Kakushi to protect him it was taken away from him, and is now powerless and worthless in the eyes of the village again. His observations of the village are insightful and show that he’s far more mature in his mentality than that of a normal 15 year old.

Chihaya and Aki were both kindred spirits – a woman who suffered and continues to suffer from her past misdeeds, and a boy who’s practically lived through more hardship than anyone else in the whole village – who wanted some comfort and companionship in the village that scorned and abused then.

“HERP DERP SHE SLEPT WITH A MINOR SHE’S A SLUT”

10. She’s spied on and exposed.

No privacy laws here. Wouldn’t it be fun if someone spied on you, took a few photos of you bathing or something, and released it to your higher-ups? Say, your principal or your boss?

Oh look, it’s the woman who spurned our Emperor, where’s the cameraman, give him a fucking medal.

11. She’s fired.
12. And raped.
13. And killed.

I’m actually surprised that so few people want to talk about Chihaya. Maybe I shouldn’t be. It’s a very sensitive topic, after all. But it irks me that of those who do talk about her, the majority seems to harbour no pity for her at all.

One more thing. Chihaya is not weak. I did expect her to fall into the stereotype of merely confronting and ending up whining for help. But she proved herself not only by showing that she’s not afraid to get violent, but that she persevered even as the whole village began to turn against her.

And yet people seem to think that she was never strong, and she needed to be raped to be empowered. They consider this lazy storytelling – which I consider to be lazy reviewing. It’s so easy to sit back and go, “oh, it’s another rape scene, story is automatically overdramatic and crap”. So if I wrote an investigative piece on women in Africa getting gangraped and abused, it’s also lazy storytelling, and is overdramatic and crap? That rapists do what they do to empower women? There’s fucked up people everywhere, and they go after people regardless of how strong they are. It may be a storytelling device, but it’s also a fucking fact of life.

“I want to go somewhere far away from here.” – Chihaya’s last moments of happiness.
“I’m happy… you came.” – Chihaya’s last moments.

Maybe I’m the fucked up one. Maybe everyone else is right, that Chihaya is a slut and deserved no pity. Maybe she did deserve to lose everyone she knew, move to a new place to try to start a new life, only to find that the whole village would prefer if she ended up a mistress or a sex slave.

I don’t know.

But I do know that if it were my girl, knowing the amount of torment they inflicted on her, I might not have been as restrained as Aki was.

  1. musicalcroc
    August 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Oh man, I don’t watch the series or follow the discussion so I can’t confirm or refute your arguments here (mainly on the apparent consensus that the poor woman deserves her fate. I won’t and can’t argue against saying “rape is good for her” is messed up).

    From what I read here, they play the moral backlash and the herd behaviour depressingly straight and dare I say it, realistic.

    *mumble* anime is supposed to be sparkly and happy *mumble*

    • JohnnyYandere
      August 21, 2011 at 3:02 am

      I’m kinda grateful that you read it all the way through. This is probably the longest wall of text I’ve ever posted and definitely the least readable.

      It did occur to me that perhaps the act of labelling this episode as bad storytelling was a subconscious defense mechanism of sorts – that people don’t want to acknowledge the cruel treatment of Chihaya. In the vein of “a million deaths is but a statistic” – “a vicious, borderline immoral village is but a trite storytelling device”.

      Your use of the phrase ‘herd behaviour’ also makes me wonder if its yet another subconscious response to maintaining the status quo. In the village, if Chihaya is raped, the villagers go about their business – the viewers are influenced to think that the rape, while not justified, can be ignored. In the city, when Chihaya had her affair, a child is traumatized, a family is broken and Chihaya is scorned – the viewers are influened to scorn Chihaya as well, building upon the moral outrage.

      It just strikes me that the overall viewer response is apathy, either not wanting to discuss it or not willing to show the slightest hint of pity for a woman who’s committed adultery. It’s as if any support for Chihaya equates to a condoning of adultery and having sex with minors. Yes, ultimately this is just a work of fiction, and yet fiction is but a reflection of the world’s attitudes at that moment.

      Have we become so ethically polarized that compassion and sympathy are seen as the compromise and dilution of morals?

      Haha, anime can be sparkly and happy. But sometimes, certain issues ought to be confronted and brought to light, even if it’s through the weak prism of an anime storyline.

      • musicalcroc
        August 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

        I can’t judge whether the cruel treatment of a character is bad storytelling but the events listed here sounds strikingly prime for rape and murder. I mean, who can be a better target than a marginalized woman *shudder*.

        A while ago, the blogger ghostlining wrote an excellent post about guilt in watching anime. The focus is somewhat different from what we are discussing here, but the very first reaction about dealing with the guilt is to dismiss the story either as just fiction or as bad writing. I must admit I succumb to the first point a lot when I’m too lazy for a proper discussion (“anime is supposed to be sparkly and happy”). However, I do think that fiction is a place for thought experiments, stuffs that just can’t be done in real life for various reasons. To me, avoidance is not okay but it’s preferable to condemnation of the victim because at least it shows discomfort and disagreement with the situation (or so I hope).

        Here, I must facepalm when I read that some apparently have “she has it coming” view after the character, as you said, tried to reform. Forgiveness is indeed a virtue hard to practice. I said “herd behaviour” mainly to describe the in-story social sanction against Chihaya’s immoral act but as you pointed out, apparently it applies to the viewers too. I find it darkly amusing that fictional adultery can produce such a backlash against a fictional character, whose life events and actions are shown to the audience (aren’t we supposed to sympathize when someone’s life story is told?).

        Sleeping with a minor is a tricky issue. Like a friend of mine once said, just because some 20-years-olds act like 12-years-old does not mean that 14-years-old should be treated the same as 20-year-olds. Principles ought to be upheld even if the age threshold is arbitrary and I think you can find justifications for many cases barring outright rape if you try hard enough. On the other hand, there is hypocrisy in an uproar over a kid who had been in so far ignored and abused by the whole village.

        On an unrelated note, I find it interesting that bad storytelling can be used to “justify” an in-story event. Different meta layers mixed into one, you know.

      • JohnnyYandere
        August 22, 2011 at 3:01 am

        I wonder if pacing had anything to do with it. I watched 1 to 7 at one go, so my emotional engagement in the story might have been more than those who followed it week after week.

        I must concede that an arbitrary age restriction must be upheld because it’s impossible for every single case of sexual interaction to be evaluated. But all the same there are always exceptions.

        A hypothetical scenario: if one day we somehow manage to perfect brain/consciousness transfer, and the mind of an adult can reside in the body of a child, the child must be considered liable for his own actions. By extension of this thought experiment – a minor can possess the maturity of an adult.

        Although of course if the scriptwriters come right out and say that Aki was traumatized by having sexual relations with Chihaya, I wouldn’t be able to push for this line of argument any more.

        But in that case, the other question still stands – why is it so hard to feel pity for Chihaya, who has inflicted pain, and yet has suffered pain herself?

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