In Leslie Charteris’ The Saint Around the World, a female character looks at Simon Templar after being threatened with gang rape and says, “Why is it always rape? And why is it so important to men?”
Every time I come across the use of sex as torture in any media, this line comes to mind. Why, indeed.
In Volume 2 of Ikkitousen, we come into the story as Ryomou is being defeated by Ten’i who, we learn, was sexually abused by her father, until in an act of self-defense she kills him – which does not, in fact, make her an object of pity, but of scorn and derision. And, ultimately, the victim of even more sexual abuse. Scapegoating is a truly terrible human trait.
Later, Kanu willingly turns herself over to Sousou in order to save Ryuubi and yet again we get a slavering male who uses sexual torture because god knows, we can’t just stay away from a woman’s vagina for five seconds.
The worst part of watching Ikkitousen is that *behind* the tediousness is actually a pretty great story. But gawd, do we have to spend a lot of energy craning our head around the pathological obsession with women’s crotches and breasts. I shouldn’t complain, I know what I’m in for when I watch it. But I’m complaining anyway – why is it so damn important to you guys? I don’t get it, I really don’t.
Aside from my petty and completely pointless complaints, this is a really interesting volume if the tenuous connection between this anime and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms is of any interest to you. Kanu’s deal with the devil inside Sousou, Shibai’s role in the various strategems and Koumei’s appearance are all pretty great. You just gotta sit through some serious obsessively-compulsive sexual dysfunction to get to those moments.
Aside from everything else, Ryomou and Kanu are still cooler than everyone else and Hakufu starts to reach their level, just before Sousou pounds her flat. ^_^
I forgot to mention the OVA episodes in my review of the first volume – I’m going to forget to do so again. ^_^