My thoughts on rape scenes in lieu of Goblin Slayer

Warning:  This may be be difficult for some to read.  If discussion about rape is too much for you, please go ahead and pass on this.  I will always support mental health and taking care of yourself.

The anime adaptation of Goblin Slayer has come out this season and it’s raised a lot of discussion in the community due to some of the material in it with one scene in particular I’ve heard about.  I haven’t seen the scene in question, nor have I sat down to watch a lot of shows this season but I wanted to take time to post my thoughts on rape scenes in general in media because I feel there are a couple of important things to think about when it comes to this discussion.  Once again, this isn’t a direct commentary on this anime as I can’t do that.  I’ve not seen it so I won’t say Goblin Slayer is completely acceptable or to burn it as filth or anywhere in-between.

So to get into it, while I think there are a ton of other factors to consider, I believe there are two big questions to always ask when creators put a rape scene in a series like this.

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Youjo Senki Episode 7 – The “Duel”-ality of War

In previous episodes, we’ve seen Tanya constantly struggling to have more influence over “Being X” than it does over her, and episode 6 was yet another beautiful example of this. Youjo Senki seems to definitely be letting the viewer decide which side is actually the “good” or the “evil” sides, as both sides have their own stories to tell. This can be seen throughout most of the show, with “Being X” forcing these continuous brutal punishments upon her for just merely not believing in a higher power, and also in the past two episodes, seeing a more light-hearted and less merciless side of Tanya than ever before. Similar things could be said about the escalating war between nations. Which side is actually the “evil” one and which side is “good”?

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Youjo Senki Episode 6 – Smoke ‘Em Out

And now we reach that wonderful halfway point in the series.  In my experience, it’s when things start to make sense or it’s usually when I drop an anime.  Luckily for our adorable little salary man, this show has grown and developed significantly since that first episode, with episode five definitely ending on a high point.  Tanya has risen through military ranks and has combated hardships brought on by a controlling deity to now be in charge of her own battalion.  With their first taste of action in their last battle (although you could call it a slaughter), Tanya and company are off to where the real fighting is, ready to show the world who the hell they think they are.

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Youjo Senki Episode 5 – Tanya’s Wrath of God Battalion

If previous episodes have been any indication, Tanya has had a bit of a rough time trying to balance out world events in her favor. Being X is definitely not doing her any favors, and Strategy and Operations Vice Director Hans von Zettour has been making sure that Tanya is advancing through the ranks in the way that is most beneficial to the Fatherland, not necessarily in the way that she would like. With her being placed as the head of the Rapid-Response Mage Battalion, which some might consider being tantamount to suicide, Tanya’s plan to spite Being X by surviving in a safe administrative position seems to be flying further out of her grasp with each passing episode. With this simultaneous advancement of position and wresting of power from Tanya seeming to be the show’s running theme for the last four episodes, I entirely expected episode 5 to give us much the same, and in some ways, it does. However, it also shows us a view of Tanya at the most powerful that she has been for this entire span so far, with no intervention from military or metaphysical forces.

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Youjo Senki Episode 4 – Cult of Personality

Before I began writing these episodic articles, I never realized how much a show could change over just the course of a few episodes. From episode 1 to episode 4, Youjo Senki has gone through an unbelievable transformation from a show with a disorganized lack of information to a more thrilling show about politics, religion, and morality. Some of the original complaints I had in episode 1 were only those of that episode, and others weren’t really relevant to the upcoming story, if only because I had no idea what kind of story this was. While I think the show’s themes are still a bit mixed, episode 4 has started really delving into Tanya’s personality beyond the fact that she’s an evil militaristic girl that just wants to follow the rules.

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Youjo Senki Episode 3 – Jigsaw the Deity

How about we play a game?  I transport you to an alternate dimension with amazing powers and then do you promise to learn your lesson?

I’d have to say that the second episode of Youjo Senki was a very interesting twist from the first. The idea of God (or Being X as Tanya calls him) giving our salaryman protagonist a second chance through trial by almost literal fire was a nice way to take what I initially thought was a simple but interesting idea and layering more and more interesting levels onto it.  However, while we did get some much-needed explanation and characterization, as GeneralTofu pointed out, we also had more questions.  What is The Empire and how does it function?  What changed Tanya to invoke God’s name even through she adamantly has been against him, even denying the existence of a God.  Well luckily, we’re starting to get the answers.  Episode three explains to us primarily two things:  That The Empire is a meritocracy and that Tanya has been forced into her newfound religious slogans.

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