Jyger’s Rant 500th Blog Entry – Bible Black (WARNING – MATURE SUBJECT MATTER AHEAD)
WARNING! The following article is a general review of the plot of a hentai series (Japanese animated pornography), that also deals in controversial and disturbing adult subject matter. While there will be no pornographic images posted, the story includes moments of rape, ritual sacrifice, and forms of torture, none of which the writer of this blog personally endorses. Reader discretion is heavily advised.
…So, here we are. 500 articles, ranging from Pokémon, wrestling, various anime and video games, comic books, movies, and other forms of nerdom. However, one thing I’ve been kinda trying to avoid delving into is hentai…I know, I’ve been very careful about that (and to kinda spoil my own joke, if you looked up the uncensored pics from that last link, you’d know she’s not actually naked in any of them, tee hee). However, given the number of times people keep coming to this blog looking for porn, I figured, what the hell, I’ll get it out of my system and milk it for everything it’s worth. LOL
Now, I should clarify a few things before we get started with this ‘review’, a term I use loosely.
- There will be no images with any kind of nudity present. I’m being extremely careful not to show any of that.
- I’m not gonna be talking about the games, or any of the sequel seasons/series, just the original six episodes.
- I’m probably gonna be skipping over a few details here and there, as to present a GENERAL synopsis of the plot, providing one paragraph per episode. However, after the synopsis, I will be going over my general thoughts on the story, so some details may be saved for then.
- I cannot and will not provide links on where to find the series. That said, it probably wouldn’t take much effort to find it on your own.
- YES, despite my proclamations of not watching and enjoying porn, I HAVE watched this series before. As such, I suppose I should probably define and specify my terms when I talk about porn: Specifically, I don’t watch live-action pornography. I do, however, read adult fanfiction (and have tried my own hand at writing some), I have watched movies with sex scenes (I typically blame Basic Instinct for my warped little mind, lol), and again, I have watched this series on a couple of occasions (and have had to watch it again for this review). So why don’t I watch porn? Honestly, it’s got nothing to do with any kind of moral standing or feminist views. Hell, as College Humor once pointed out, girls watch porn too. Really, it’s more of a personal issue: When I’m watching something that has sex in it, it kinda has to serve a point. I can’t just watch two people screw for the sake of screwing. There has to be a story involved. And yes, I know there are some porns that have plots…it’s just they’re usually REALLY bad. Don’t believe me? Ask Brad Jones. lol
So, after all that, I’m sure the most obvious question on everyone’s mind is “Does Jyger like Bible Black?”. Well, that’s the question I’m gonna try to answer when this is over. First, let’s take a look at the story, and save my overall thoughts on it afterward. So, for those that can hang onto their sanity throughout this review, let’s go ahead and dive into Bible Black…
The first episode opens with pretty much what this entire series is known for: Religious symbolism, occult rituals, and a shit-ton of nudity, as a girl is used as a sacrifice by a group of women in dark robes. The leader stabs a sword that’s so obviously supposed to look like a cross into the girl (because SYMBOLISM), and the screen fades to white. We then cut to a high school drama series already in progress, with pretty much the exact stereotypes of the boy and girl who are longtime friends and obviously crushing on each other, except that the boy, Taki Minase, has a book hidden in his desk that he won’t tell the girl, Kurumi Imari, about. He’s also apparently been practicing making some sort of magic charms, despite his apparent disbelief in magic. However, something otherworldly DOES seem to be at work, since not only do these charms seem to make the people they’re made for want to have sex uncontrollably (including president of the student council, Rika Shiraki, who is now madly in love with Minase), but the school nurse, who can use some strange ability to grow male genitalia, seems to be seducing the girls in the school in her search for a virgin. All of this is noticed by Kaori Saeki, who has a keen interest and talent in black magic, who seduces Minase into giving up information on the book: That he found it in the same room that the ritual from the opener was performed in.
Episode two opens with Minase hitting Saeki HARD (what a nice man) when her interest in the book becomes more clear, leading her to warning him that he’s likely being possessed by a demon. He finds that his cousin, Yukiko (who he calls ‘sister’ for some weird reason, I don’t get it), is out, but little does he know that she also asked Imari to come over later to cook for him. Unfortunately, Shiraki comes by, still obviously under the love spell, and Imari ends up walking in on the two having sex. The next day, Minase tries to explain that Shiraki’s feelings for him aren’t real, but she doesn’t believe it, thinking he’s rejecting her for Imari, and jumps off the roof of the school…and lives…I honestly don’t know how. I think it’s suggested that the fall was cushioned with magic or something, but I’m not sure. Anyway, this is enough for Minase to decide to quit magic, despite Saeki asking him to join the new magic club. However, when he goes to the room in the school basement where he found the book, probably planning to return it, he’s intercepted by the school nurse, Reika Kitami. She tells him about the book, Bible Black, and what happened on Walpurgis Night twelve years ago, that she was the girl who was to be sacrificed, but survived by making a contract with the devil. She also tells him that once people start to use magic, it’s impossible to give up the temptation, and thus seduces him with her powers (and a good ol’ heaping of sex) to join her. After Minase uses these powers on his cousin to make her unable to control her sexual urges (ah, that’s why he calls her sister: Because incest with one’s cousin wasn’t creepy enough), he and Kitami go to do the same to Saeki and the magic club, bringing them over to their side. The next day, Minase’s art teacher, Hiroko Takashiro, confronts him, seeming to know that something is very wrong, but is knocked out by Saeki. That night, Minase tries to call out to Imari for help away from this path, but she shuts him out, and thus he continues into darkness.
During episode three, we learn more about the botched ritual from twelve years ago. I’ll summarize for ya: The ritual required Kitami to be a virgin, but the men that the head of the cult (now revealed to be the school’s old magic club) left her with raped her. The leader, who had already been on a downward spiral into bonkersville, completely lost it, and decided they needed more blood, murdering the other members, and thus turning her back on Kitami, who killed her. The devil then gave his offer to preserve her life, but clearly, these events took the once kind and gentle Reika and turned her into a demon of her own sort, as she proceeds to torture and violate Takashiro, who she believes (correctly) is a survivor of the magic club. Shiraki is also brought into the fold, but during an orgy the next day in the art room, Imari finally comes back to school and walks in on it, horrified by what she sees. Kitami has her taken prisoner, but not before she slaps Minase across the face during an attempted spell. Kitami later has Minase held by thugs, believing he’s hiding something, and it’s revealed that he had Takashiro moved to his apartment in secret, away from Kitami’s clutches. However, it seems that Kitami has something more valuable to her: Her new captive, Imari.
Episode four spells out why Kitami needs a virgin: Apparently, her contract with the devil is running out (musta been the fine print. They ALWAYS get ya with that), and she needs to transplant her soul into a virgin’s body in order to trick him and continue walking among the living. However, it seems that slap to Minase knocked some sense into him, as seeing Imari being violated (not vaginally, mind you, as that would ruin Kitami’s plans) makes it clear to him that he needs to save her. Unfortunately, he’s powerless against Kitami and is tossed out of the group, all while warned not to interfere. Back at his apartment, Takashiro tells him that the ritual will take place tomorrow, on Walpurgis Night, but it seems the aphrodisiac pills are still in affect, so she has Minase ‘relieve her’. I’ll get more into that later.
In episode five, Minase goes running back to save Imari, but finds that they’ve all left, save for Shiraki. In a jealous rage, she stabs Minase, then begins to rape his slowly dying body, only for Takashiro to come save his stupid ass. It’s revealed that only something called the Forbidden Spell can stop the ritual. However, as shown in flashbacks during episode three, when one of the magic club was going to use it to stop their leader, she was murdered and her blood spilled onto the pages with the spell on it (I’ll ignore that this somehow doesn’t ruin the whole book, since magic and shit). So, Minase and Takashiro decide to try and use the latter’s memories and some translations to try and recall the spell. As such, they go to interrupt the spell, but it seems that Kitami was prepared for this. She begins to show Minase images of her men assaulting Yukiko and Shiraki, with orders to kill them after they’re done with them, but Minase tries to press on despite the horrific images, all while Kitami continues her own spell…
As episode six opens, Kitami seems to take Imari’s virginity, but despite the images of his cousin and Shiraki being violated (and Takashiro being captured and raped, because that’s what she does when she isn’t saving Minase herself), Minase finishes the Forbidden Spell, and it seems to work, stopping the ritual and banishing Kitami’s soul to Hell. Afterward, everything seems to go back to normal, as the magic club have their memories erased of the events, and the police believe that Kitami committed suicide. Minase and Imari hook up and have sex (which can’t even avoid having kink involved for what is SUPPOSEDLY the most romantic of the encounters in this entire series, which I’ll get to later), after which Imari muses over some memories of Kitami’s that found their way into her head, the two realizing that Kitami was, in the end, just another victim. However, as the episode draws to a close with Saeki finding Bible Black in the school basement, before it was supposed to be sealed, she’s confronted by Imari, who burns the book in blue flame and proceeds to rape Saeki as the horrible truth is revealed: The Forbidden Spell failed, and while it’s clear that there’s still some of Imari in her, Kitami’s soul was transplanted into Imari, who proceeds to enjoy the benefits of her new body.
So, let’s talk for a second about what is easily my least favourite element of this story. No, not the rape and various forms of exploitation, since at least this series (and the game it’s based off of) knows what it is and sticks to that. No, my least favourite part of the story is the protagonist, Minase. I HATE this guy. He knew, whether he wanted to admit it or not, that Shiraki was under a love spell, and had sex with her anyway. It was suggested by Saeki that he was under the influence of a demon, but that didn’t actually happen until after he had sex with Kitami, when she bestowed the lesser demon Rasha onto him. However, we see moments when he COULD very easily resist it. He only ever strays from the path of evil when Imari gets involved, and even then has to be thrown out of the group rather than leave it, and even then, he ‘relieves’ Takashiro when she’s under the influence of drugs, AKA he TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HER. Now, I think part of the problem is that Minase is based on the player character from the video game, and in the video game, his morality and the choices he makes are up to the player. As such, since this is an adaptation, several of his decisions are from different points in the game based on different paths the player takes. However, when put together, they don’t add up well to make a good protagonist, and he instead comes off as confused, bland, and unable to control his hormones, even in the face of evil. And, yeah, I know, he’s a teenager, clearly at the point where your hormones are raging the most, but it’s just taken to a level that I find horribly unlikable.
Conversely, Reika Kitami is a horrifying villain in all of the best ways, both in what she does and what she’s become in comparison to who she was originally (see Bible Black Origins for more on that). She shows how we could all be turned into monsters if we allow ourselves, and serves as a great cautionary tale. But, as I’ve mentioned before, the most horrifying aspect of her character is how she makes people want her, that they know she’s bad news and still get drawn in by lust for her body and/or power. And just the fact that she believes she has to be this way because it’s the ultimate resolution of a person in this day and age accepting the truth of who they are in the world they live in is just nuts and terrifying. It’s kinda like the Joker, when he said he wasn’t a monster, just ahead of the curve, except that she believes that we’re all inevitably monsters. And just like all good horror villains, just when you think she’s gone forever, she comes back with a vengeance.
But let’s get right down to the controversy of the story: All the rape. Because let’s be honest, it’s not that this series has a ton of sex in it that makes it truly controversial. It’s not even really all the religious symbolism, or at least not to me anyway, since it DOES paint for some truly horrific villains. No, the problem is that pretty much every single sex scene in this series can be seen as a form of rape. The people involved are almost always pressured, drugged, or magically influenced into having sex every time. The only person I can think of who had any kind of sexual act performed on and didn’t resist was Minase, albeit he did a couple of times after he started to ‘break away’ from Kitami. He’s even a perpetrator of said sexual violence, even when he ISN’T possessed. And again, he’s supposed to be our main protagonist. With that said, though, even he becomes a victim once or twice. Hell, when Minase and Imari are having sex in the last episode, that can be seen as sex under false pretenses if it turns out Kitami was in the driver’s seat at the time (it’s honestly a little hard to tell, though). With that said, one can at least make the argument that the sexual violence is kept gender equal, since it DOES happen to him…except that he’s the ONLY guy it happens to, other than one guy under a love spell. In fact, aside from him, Minase’s the only guy that plays a part in the narrative. And frankly, the men in the other series don’t exactly do much better…Anyway, moving on…
As for the religious symbolism present, and all the occultism at work, the rituals, and so on, do I find this story blasphemous? Well, first off, I should explain that I’m not the most committed Christian around. While I believe in God, I do have a lot of questions, concerns, and even disagreements with certain aspects of my religion. But even if I didn’t, the satanic rituals are presented as being just that. These ARE the bad guys doing these horrible acts, so if you’re offended by what they do, it’s only because you’re supposed to be. If anything, I’m more concerned that people who do read about magic, belong to magic clubs, and so on may feel horribly misrepresented as evil sadists who like to lure people in with drugs and magic, violate them into wanting to join their cause, and commit virgin sacrifices to talk to demons. And frankly, I feel like the cautionary tale of being overcome by the desire to do magic was done better in Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
So, that ultimately brings me to the question of if I like this series, to which I respond……hard to say? As I said, the biggest problems are the mass amount of sexual violence toward women and the fact that our protagonist is more than a little bit defective. If the sex involved in the story wasn’t pretty much 99.9% non con, I’d probably enjoy that aspect a lot better. Really, what I enjoy are some of the more frightening moments, and some questions it raises. What WOULD the average person do in this situation? How would they react and respond? It’s easy to judge how these people do so negatively when we’re not actively in the story, but what if we were? How easy would it be, if we were in Reika’s position, or Minase’s position, to do as they did? Maybe a story like this needs to exist, so we can look at these horrible acts and find ways out of their predicaments that they didn’t, so we can say that we can avoid falling into the same traps of darkness and evil…….Or, maybe it’s just shameless smut trying to pass itself off as something more meaningful. Either way, though, it clearly has found success in that, and whether I agree with its content or not, I can’t argue that it’s left an impact. You just have to judge for yourself which you think it is, and if you like it, that’s okay, as long as you see the acts perpetrated in this story for what they are and don’t practice them yourself.
Anyway, whether you agree with my views or not, I wanna thank you for reading my 500th article on Jyger’s Rant. Leave a comment below, and hopefully, I’ll see you all again for my 1000th. Ja né, and let’s all try to be better people than Minase…who, thank GOD, wasn’t in the sequel. lol
Posted on January 13, 2015, in Jyger's Rant - The Series and tagged 500th Blog Post, Anime, Bible Black, Controversy, Hentai, Hiroko Takashiro, Kaori Saeki, Kitami, Kurumi Imari, La Noche De Walpurgis, Minase, Occult, Pornography, Rape, Reika Kitami, Review, Rika Shiraki, Sex, Taki Minase, Walpurgis Night, Yukiko Minase. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.