(warning: spoiler and adult situation within) Have you ever been shocked by a scene in anime, even as an experienced anime watcher? Well, I watched the first two episodes of Speed Grapher and I admit that there was a scene of a diabolically awful parent that even shocked me. I feel the need to tell all of you because I admit, I’m still kind of stunned by the whole thing. There are a lot of abused children in anime (I just watched Fruits Basket again and man, every person in that series has been treated horribly by someone) but this took it to some really disturbing level. Btw, the video above is the excellent OP of this series, which in Japan used the song Girls on Film, a perfect song to portray the fetishistic corruption of this series.
Speed Grapher is an anime series that came out in 2005 and is definitely made for adults It is about a journalist, Tatsumi Saiga and a 15-year-old abused daughter of a powerful businesswoman, Kagura Tennōzu. New Tokyo, where the series is filmed, is a den of corruption and the antagonists of this series are part of an exclusive fetish club, where in the midst of their fulfillment of their sexual fantasies, they can be kissed by the young Kagura who produces enzymes through her secretions that can give people supernatural powers related to their deepest desires. Makes you uneasy? That’s not what shocked me. Oh and btw, she’s given hormones to keep her from reaching puberty, when she would stop producing the enzymes. Again, this is not what shocked me.
In the second episode, they show Kagura being abused by her mother, who hates her and holds her responsible ending the relationship with Kazuki, Kagura’s father. Kagura is starved by her mother, being both lethargic and anxious at school. A female teacher intervenes and tells Kagura that she is going to her mother and demand that she treat her daughter humanely. She says that things are going to be better.
Kagura comes home, anxiously, eating berries from plants around her house since she is STARVING and hears something in her room. She walks in and there is her mother who is giving her teacher oral sex in her bed. Then her mother tells her teacher to take as much money as possible but she can’t have her clothes back. Her teacher, with her arms full of cash, runs out of the house naked. Kagura’s mother turns to her and tells her that everyone has a price.
I just don’t know what to do about that scene. I just don’t know at all. I mean, they really went there to show her mother’s awfulness, not using half-measures, so that you can really feel Kagura’s desperation. But still, I’m just shocked and I’m not some novice anime watcher. I’ve seen hentai but I think I expect weird stuff with hentai—this is more of a straight forward scene in a drama anime. And I’m not easily offended by sexual stuff either. In fact, it’s not really the sexual aspects that surprised me, it’s the brutality of the mother’s revenge and abuse of her daughter. It’s the total lack of empathy and the rage and manipulation. It’s the kind of shock that I get when I watch the Walking Dead and see something unexpectedly violent. I’m not offended; I’m just stunned. I am not sure I’m going to even finish the series.
What scenes have you witnessed that have left you stunned?