People are hating on Mink because he raped Aoba in his route, but love Virus and Trip who do so much worse and it makes no kind of sense to me, and really the only thing I can come up with is that people just like them more because they’re pretty and charismatic where Mink… isn’t. He’s not stereotypically pretty by anime/game standards. He’s rough and crude and antisocial and completely unapologetic about it.
In his route, Mink rapes Aoba, not because he wants sex, but to break him down and dominate him so that he can use him, and his power, to get his revenge. He knows what he’s doing is wrong, but he’s given up on himself and his morality and is only searching to avenge his people and join them in death. Even still he tries to keep other people from getting involved and hurt by him, but he needs Aoba’s power. And sees Aoba as someone not-unlike him. What he does to Aoba is clinical. It’s about power and breaking down his will (and to be fair, the ‘other’ Aoba was completely game and egging him on at points). And later on it’s actually an issue that is addressed between them. Aoba didn’t like being hurt, but he understands Mink’s reasons, and knows he’s not the kind of person who would do that without it. And reassures Mink later that it does feel good for him even when he’s not just submitting to him. That it feels good being with him properly. It’s a wonderful touching scene and beautifully done.
As for Virus and Trip, everything they do is out of fanaticism and sick sick, sticky sort of love for Aoba. (and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Virus and trip to death) They tell him how much they love him while they rape him. They abuse and punish him, and break him down pyschologically until he can’t resist them. They break his will and condition his body to respond to them regardless of what he actually wants. And it’s all in the name of love. Selfish, gross, obsessive love. They turn Aoba into their pet and toy and use him shamelessly. They take away his will, his life, his identity. Nothing exists for him anymore outside of their beds. It’s horrible and it’s wrong and the worst sort of perversion of the meaning of love. And it’s a great story and side route and I enjoy it immensely.
My point is, I find it horribly hypocritical that there are people out there who HATE Mink (not simply dislike his character because that’s perfectly fine because everyone has their tastes) because of what he did to Aoba, but still love Virus and Trip, who do the exact same thing, and worse, without any reason other than that they wanted to.
Mink is an incredibly complex and wonderful character, and the creators of the game obviously put a lot of time and thought into him and what he is. It’s fine not to like that sort of character, but to hate him for his actions, and not hate other characters for the same actions is just… unfair to the spirit of those characters. Mink may not be a pretty boy, or amusing and charismatic. But he’s deep and fascinating and there’s a lot to enjoy about his route, even if you don’t like him personally. I just wish people would give him more of a fair chance when it comes to enjoying his routes and story.
the reason I hate mink is not what he does, but what he represents.
virus and trip are rapists, and so is mink. this is not disputable. they’re all complete garbage, and I’m really not going to talk about whether or not just being a rapist is enough to make someone a bad person (it is); that’s not what this response is about.
rather, I’ll get right to it—this is the difference between mink and v&t:
- all v&t endings, ALL of them, are depicted as blatantly BAD. they are not good endings or routes. they are unapologetic + monstrous storylines featuring even more monstrous humans, and this is made very clear within the game.
- mink, despite being a rapist pile of shit, has a “good” ending in which aoba falls in love (???) with him and shows pretty much all the signs of a thoroughly-manipulated abuse victim. this is, canonically, depicted as a GOOD ENDING. that’s some rape culture crap.
therefore while there’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying an erotically-charged rape narrative, it’s important that that rape narrative is named and recognized for what it is: unhealthy, trashy, horrible.
to call any of mink’s routes healthy is laughable. to try and justify his actions is doubly laughable; I really won’t entertain even the slight notion that his actions are in any way excusable. a revenge plot is justified in its retribution towards Bad Guys, but never in its casualties of the innocent.
and all that’s not even touching upon the problematic aspects of mink’s character design, which utilizes various racial and ethnic signifiers to blend into one big blob of exotic-mystic colonial bullshit. seriously, no, it’s not okay to just grab visual aspects from multiple + highly varying cultures and blend them as though they’re one entity. (dreamcatchers are an aspect of ojibwe culture, and the decorations of mink’s cabin are lookalikes of navajo textiles, and the parrot+dreadlocks are heavily indicative of a cheesy afro-caribbean profile.)
so in summary: if you’re going to have a morally-garbage character, at least have the decency to honestly show them (and their routes) as complete garbage. also, racism.
I debated a bit on whether or not to respond to this, and what stand to take. I’m not going to argue your fairly justified aggressive feelings towards Mink, Virus and Trip. You’re more than entitled to them. Though I’m not really seeing this as any kind of rape culture promotion.
One of the things that makes rape so horrible is the intimacy of it. It takes something that represents love and affection between two people and turns it into something dark and horrifying and perverted. It’s turning physical love into a weapon to hurt someone. V&T represent the worst incarnation of it, breaking Aoba down and claiming it’s done out of love.
With Mink, it’s not about that, it’s about torture. It’s plain and simple torture. And to a degree, Aoba, at least the other Aoba, wants it. He’s egging him on, pushing his buttons. And it’s clear, especially in the elaborated version of Mink’s bad end in Re:Connect, the other Aoba is very, VERY good at pushing his buttons. He wants Mink to break him apart and destroy him. And he wants to have sex with him. He wants to die with him. Though it wasn’t his original plan, he was happy to end up trapped in the recesses of Mink’s mind.
Mink was a fatalist. He’d already damned his soul, and why he tried to avoid most casualties, and getting others involved, he needed Aoba as his weapon, and needed to break him down so he could use him. (I’m not defending that, I’m just laying it out) He never expected to live beyond his revenge and was willing to be condemned to hell. But he developed feelings for Aoba along the way, and Aoba developed them back.
And the core point is: Aoba forgave him. And that’s in character for Aoba. He thought about everything Mink did, a lot, and wanted to understand him. Wanted to meet him. To figure out if what he was feeling was real, or just in his mind. Aoba forgave him, understood that he had reasons, what he perceived as good reasons, and they both made an effort to start over and move on. I don’t see that as any sort of rape culture narrative. I see it as good storytelling.
Plus, this is a japanese game. And the japanese see fictional rape as a kink, not as any sort of social injustice. Because there is a very bold line between rape FICTION and rape reality. People who write murders, for mystery novels, and television shows and movies aren’t writing how these horrible, grisly scenes play out and creating these complex characters because they endorse murder and violence and gore. It’s because horrible things give people a rush. Like train-wreck syndrome. You see something so horrifying your brain starts producing adrenaline and it gives you a rush. And because it’s fictional, you don’t have to feel any sort of guilt for enjoying that rush. Even getting off on it.
In any case, this is a N+C game. The idea of anyone having a healthy relationship is laughable. Good end or bad end, we see the full nature of all the characters, and what they’re capable of. Koujaku is a murder. That’s fact. Clear is a robot. I don’t care how well-made he was, he’s a robot. That’s never going to be a healthy relationship. Noiz has a lot of deep-seeded psychological trauma, and in Re:connect, in the alternate good ending, shows the signs of being potentially abusive and lacking conscience to a degree. Ren’s route is twist in weird chains of Narcissism, incest, and bestiality all wrapped into one strange and complicated mess. This game isn’t about sweet happy healthy relationships. It’s just about relationships, from different angles, with different troubles and issues. Aoba himself is fatalistic, schizophrenic, and to a degree naturally submissive, wanting to be taken over so he can just go along with things and not have to act for himself. And half of him wants to destroy everything. There are no innocents in this game. It’s dark and psychological and fascinating.
As for the racism, I’m not really buying it. This is a game set far far into the future, so to expect any culture to be accurate is stretching it. And being that it’s a japanese game, you can only expect so much understanding of western subculture. And as my best friend put it “There’s a fine line between culture appropriation and using elements of the real world to “create” another ethnicity.” They never label Mink as any sort of tribe or race. They simply play off certain elements of various cultures. Noiz himself doesn’t exactly scream German, and the only character that makes an effort to appear stereo-typically Japanese is Kojaku, and even that is twisted around a bit.
So I can’t really agree with your stance on these characters or see them as garbage, as you put it. Even Virus and Trip, who are twisted and depraved and perverse, are wonderfully crafted characters and deeply fascinating on a psychological level. This game isn’t trying to make a point, or send a message, or endorse anything. It’s just telling a story. And I really like the story, the whole of it.
「Desire, Reason and Deterrence」
I personally love the sex scene in the night club on Mink’s route. It was amazingly hot seeing Aoba lose all his inhibitions and feverishly begging Mink to fuck him senseless.
Connie is the choosen one
you tell them Mink
now dont stop….please…continue.. *cough*
make-out sessions are the best! :D
an attempt to mimic isayama style„
i need this right now………………………………………………….