Plot: Branching back to episode one, this episode creates the building blocks of Nao’s arc and Sora’s arc. Nao and Haru are developing feelings for each other again after being separated for four years, but a sin in Nao’s past from that last summer with Haru is haunting her. In addition, Sora does not support their budding romance at all to say the least.
Breakdown: I want to explore this topic all in one go since it’s so heavy and complicated, so be warned that this part of the review will spoil some parts of Nao’s arc, if you care.
One of the reasons I was very wary of addressing this episode wasn’t simply that rape is a part of it. I’ve talked about that several times already, and even though I still don’t like discussing it, I feel like I can do so without much hesitation. The actual reason was because 1) The rape is a big part of the backstory of the NaoxHaru pairing and 2) the rape in question is of the kind in which I have very little knowledge. It’s such an odd circumstance that I had great difficulty broaching the topic, especially in regards to any future relationship between the two.
I did my best, is all I can say. Which is at least better than what the writers did.
While episode seven does technically set the foundation of Nao and Sora’s arcs, unlike episode two which was pretty evenly set between Kazuha and Akira in regards to romantic development, episode seven is extremely slanted towards Nao to the point where it could technically just be a part of her arc entirely. In fact, Nao and Haru are officially together by the end of the episode, which is another thing that will make Sora’s arc all the more painful.
Haru and Nao knew each other from when he last visited the village as a child. One day, Nao ran away from her house after hearing her parents arguing again. She went to Haru’s house where he was laying in the doorway to the porch. Suddenly, we cut to her on top of him and she just….rapes him.
There is literally no more to that backstory. She was upset, she found Haru and raped him. She appears happy after it happens and only expresses guilt and shame after she sees Haru sprawled out on the floor with his shorts down with an empty look on his face.
Now…first and foremost, obviously rape is wrong. There is no arguing that. There is also no argument that boys can’t be raped for any stupid reason like guys are too strong in comparison to girls to be raped, or guys always want sex anyway so they can’t be raped. Those are incredibly harmful mindsets that only perpetuate the problem and stigma of sexual assault against men and boys.
What Nao did was wrong. She realizes this too late, but she does realize this.
The circumstances, however, and the lack of details make me question how drastically this skews my opinion on….pretty much everything involving Nao’s arc.
They’re twelve here (they’re 16 now and this happened four years ago), and she obviously knows what sex is because she easily does it (she’s on top) and is even guiding him to grope her breasts. However, is she too young to understand that forcing sex on someone is wrong, even when it’s a female on male situation? Is she even making the connection that Haru doesn’t want this due to his seeming lack of resistance? She understands afterward, and he didn’t really change his expression the entire time, so what dots aren’t connecting here?
Note – I’m not saying lack of resistance or negative response is consent, it’s certainly not, but is she at an age where she knows this and can process this?
I feel kinda shitty thinking about this so hard, because I think, if the circumstances were reversed (IE the genders were reversed), my knee-jerk reaction would be one of anger and blame without really taking into consideration the age or maturity level.
My position here is pretty frustrating, though, due to the lack of information. For all I know, she went there intentionally and planned to have sex with him because she saw him as a comfort to the arguing we heard for all of 10 seconds, I guess, instead of just stumbling upon him and making the quick decision to jump him for comfort. All I know for certain is that she had sex with him to make herself feel better about her home life.
Even the Wiki page is very low on details about this or her connection to Haru. “When the Kasugano twins last visited the area, their departure was particularly painful for Nao, who, for some reason, had grown quite close to Haruka, after having raped him on one occasion, about which she expresses guilt.”
I briefly flipped through episodes eight and nine to get a better idea of this situation. I did get a tiny bit more insight into why Nao liked Haru back then, but it’s super short and kinda stupid. He comforted her when she was crying once and, not lying, said she was prettier when she smiled. Plenty basis for a crush. Not so much on the rape.
This problem still extends into present time. Nao feels guilty about what she did, and has since that day, which is why she tries to shoot down any suggestion that Haru has feelings for her or that they should get together. However, she still starts a relationship with Haru. She is plenty old enough to know what rape is now, and she SHOULD be fully aware that she raped him. Starting a relationship with Haru, even if he seems game, should be the last thing she should think about doing. No basis of a healthy relationship involves rape.
In addition, once you reach the ending you get the idea that she moreso thought Haru hated her for what she did or that he simply didn’t like the sex or her, not that she wanted to avoid a relationship with him out of guilt and shame for, ya know, being his rapist.
I didn’t want to paint Nao as a monster if she really didn’t understand what she was doing, but I also DEFINITELY don’t want it to seem like I’m giving her a pass or over-sympathizing with her because she’s a girl – that’s completely unfair.
One of the main factors that helped clear the air for me was, oddly enough, Sora’s view on this.
In episode eight, we’ll learn that Sora was watching the rape as it happened. Two things are brought to light that solidified that I do indeed need to press Nao as badly as I would in any normal situation because of what was said regarding the situation in Sora’s memory of it.
Keep in mind, Sora is the same age as Haru and Nao.
The first was what Sora says about her view on the situation:
Sora: “I didn’t know what you were doing at first (Nao knew what she was doing) but I knew you were doing something bad.” It’s possible that she was just talking about sex being something they shouldn’t be doing, but in the end she knows that this situation is bad, which is something Nao should know. What they are doing is wrong. She’s ignoring Haru’s reactions until the deed is already done and never stops to realize he’s not actively participating or question why – she just keeps going.
The second was something Nao says in this flashback. You distinctly hear Nao say “I’m sorry.” while the rape is happening. She’s off-screen, but there’s no reason for her to say that unless she’s realizing that there’s something wrong about what she’s doing.
So, logically, her sudden mood shift after the act from happiness to remorse is either her delusion fading, something isn’t matching properly in continuity or she was satisfied with herself without realizing what she did to Haru or taking his feelings into consideration, which is very feasible. Remember, she only went into this to get comfort for herself and assumed Haru would be good with it.
Back to….I guess I’ll say ‘motive,’ I’m certainly not going to give her a pass for whatever fleeting emotional stress she was going through because her parents were arguing a lot at the time. Many parents argue a lot, some of which to point of physical violence and constant disdain, and their children don’t suddenly burst into the rape scene. Running away like she did? Gotcha. Understandable. Crying? Definitely. Rape? No. It would be a stretch to say any 12 year old in her shoes would even seek consensual sex (with someone her age) in this situation.
And lastly, when Nao finally apologizes for it (which is in this episode) it’s not treated as a rape. Haru says he didn’t dislike it. He was just nervous because it was his first time and couldn’t say anything or even react much, I guess even several moments after it was over too. And immediately after saying that, he says they can finally move on.
Fuck you, Yosuga no Sora. You just dropped child on child rape onto my head and made me damn near go insane trying to properly approach this topic and write about it with respect, fairness, and understanding while still maintaining the seriousness of the situation and attributing proper blame to it, only for me to find out that you took this same topic, wiped your ass with it and flushed it down the toilet.
Let me admit something here. I know the ED for this show is usually around the 20 minute mark because of the omake and the two separate EDs, and I jumped the gun a little writing this analysis because I had a lot to say and wanted to write it out while I was still in the proper mindset. So I stopped the video at 18 and a half minutes, right after they fall on each other in the locker room. I knew they kissed after this and what happened in the short scene with Sora at the very end, since I had seen it flipping through, so I thought I was safe to start writing. I got a bit out of hand before it was too late, because that’s just what happens with me sometimes.
I only had one and half minutes – count it – ONE AND A HALF MINUTES left on the runtime for this episode when I felt the need to start writing. As I was wrapping up this part, I finish off the episode and suddenly there’s the resolution to the rape plot – written away as if it’s not even a rape plot, so let’s move on. Fuck you.
Rape is such a difficult topic to be included in stories without feeling gratuitous for shock value or for the sake of sex and fanservice, and this one just feels like it was for sex and fanservice, which is especially disturbing because these are kids. Ultimately, the rape was a plot device written to give a reason for Nao’s initial reluctance to get together with Haru and an additional reason for Sora to hate Nao and be afraid of her relationship with Haru – both of which can EASILY be accomplished with even more weight without the rape.
Have Haru and Nao get really close and spend a ton of time together while Haru is visiting because her parents are always fighting and she needs a distraction, cheering up and comfort. Have Haru accidentally neglect Sora during this time because of all the time he’s spending with Nao. Maybe break a promise or something. Then have Nao think Haru hated her because he broke a promise to do something with her too because he went to do something with Sora to make up for neglecting her or something. Haru was unable to figure out anything was wrong or mend bridges with Nao before he left for home that summer. Then Haru and Nao clear up the misunderstanding four years later when they’re lead to the pool by Ryouhei and Akira.
Boom. Done. A rapeless equally effective setup.
I’m done talking about this stupidity. I am legitmately angry. Partially at myself because I wrote this much for a plot that is basically swept under the rug, but I didn’t want to blow by it either. Unlike the writers, I actually give a few shits.
As for how this affects my view on what happens between them in Nao’s arc, well, I don’t support any relationship where it’s a rapist and his/her victim getting it on. Even if this circumstance in particular is iffy, I don’t support it. The resonance this should have with Haru and Nao won’t come to pass. It will not be felt at all beyond this point other than with Sora, and I couldn’t give a frog fart about Sora’s feelings.
Oh yeah, I have to save some anger because we still haven’t talked about Sora’s role here.
Sora’s still a useless inactive waste of molecules. Since this is also the foundation of Sora’s arc, we get more fanservice with the continuation of the uncomfortable undressing scene from episode one that stupidly results in her asking him to get her measurements (neither version explains what the hell she was talking about with the ‘Let me come’ stuff.)
In this version, she actually kills the mosquito she was chasing in episode two by slapping it across Haru’s face, which is at least better than creating a bomb out of her room with endless hair spray. However, we also get more fanservice as she itches a bug bite on her upper thigh.
Since there’s so much focus on Haru’s relationship with Nao here, Sora obviously gets very jealous, childish and pissy. I can’t believe I had to hear Haru tell Nao that Sora is ‘cranky because she just woke up.’ Keep talking about her like the toddler she seemingly believes she is – you’re just going to make me more uncomfortable during her sex scenes in her arc.
She gets mad that Nao sews her uniform buttons on (It’s a school tradition for girls to do it themselves, like I mentioned before, but Sora and Haru both don’t know how, so in this version Nao did it.) This does drive Sora to teach herself how to sew, but it’s never made clear if she actually succeeds or not.
And, uh, that’s it.
I did mention that there was a tiny bit with Sora at the very end of the episode. Yes, yes.
After Haru and Nao make up about the rape and make out at the pool, we cut to Sora who is typing at her computer.
Guess what she’s doing.
She’s typing “I hate Nao.” obsessively, over and over, like she’s in The goddamn Shining.
How can anyone with an ounce of sanity or intelligence in their bodies like this insane possessive little leech?
Oh and the cherry on top? The Motoka omake today also basically includes a rape scene on Haru. She rips his clothes off out of nowhere, literally jumps him while stripping, and after that we hear non-sexy screams from Haru coupled with very fast bed squeaking sounds before cutting to them sleeping naked in bed. Then Motoka feels deep shame for taking advantage of Haru while she was in a drunken rage, calling herself a terrible person….
…..THEN HARU BLAMES HIMSELF FOR IT. Because he was busy or neglecting her or whatever (They’re dating at this point).
In any other episode, I probably wouldn’t have gotten too angry at this, but this piled on top of the Nao stuff just cemented the insulting feeling all the more. So, one more time, fuck you, Yosuga no Sora.
Oh and yeah, can’t forget the lovely people in the comments section of the website I watched this on, where any time someone pointed out the rape it was met with either wishing they were Haru or acting like it wasn’t a problem because it was girl on guy, or acting like it wasn’t a rape because his lack of verbal or physical resistance and response basically implied consent to them.
Remember, kids. Never read the comments section if you treasure your brain cells.
Next up is Nao’s arc. I can’t promise I’ll be any less angry. I hope I got most of it out here. If Nao’s arc requires just as much of my anger reserves, I’ll probably die trying to do Sora’s.
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