「ラブホテルにいます」 (Rabuhoteru ni imasu)
“I’m in a love hotel”
I had some warning that Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru gets rather racy at times. So developments this week didn’t come as a total shock to me. That said, well – that was pretty raunchy to be sure. In a sense it’s kind of refreshing to see a series that’s pretty open about teenage sexuality, so kudos there. The teasing gag honestly stopped being funny for me weeks ago (which is a bit problematical as it’s been repeated pretty much every episode). But at least here it showed some “progress”, if you want to call it that.
Things start off innocently enough (in relative terms) with a trip to a manga cafe. This is teasing in the “Groundhog Day” sense, as it more or less recycles all the earlier examples. The booth is too small, Marin is too close, Wakana gets worked up. Rinse, repeat. We segue into the otaku weeds when the reading material leads to a discussion of slice of life (among other things). The series in question is once of those titles that basically tells the entire plot, so even though this was a manga I’m assuming it’s adapted from a LN. It’s called SUCCIDK for short (tell me that doesn’t read just wrong) and concerns a succubus trying to get an insomniac teenage LN author to go to sleep so she can drain his precious bodily fluids (and kill him, presumably).
The cosplay here is Rizu-kyun, the succubus in question. Marin would love to cosplay her but thinks she’s not pixie enough to pull off the half-twintails and overall cute look. Gojou-kun assures her she’s wrong, she swoons, and the decision is made to give it a punt. Since the art is beyond basic he has to wing it, but that’s good training for a costumer designer so no harm done there. Marin finds a “studio” she can rent for only ¥5900 which looks sufficiently like the protagonist’s room to serve, and the stage is set. And boy, is it ever.
Love hotels are certainly a big part of Japanese life. The rooms are strongly soundproofed but let’s chalk that part up to dramatic license – the rest is pretty accurate. There’s really nothing stopping teens from using them (we saw middle schoolers do so in Tsuki ga Kirei, in fact), and the overall picture painted here is pretty accurate. Again, it’s kind of absurd to imagine that Marin could drag Gojou to a love hotel room (I’ll take her at her word that she didn’t know when she booked it, but – really?) and imagine he isn’t about to pop like a defective balloon. But at least things moved to the next level.
Let me just state for the record that I would have had no problem with Wakana and Marin doing whatever they wanted to in that room (as long as they were careful). They paid for it, they both know what it’s for (if Gojou wasn’t sure, he had the porno for research), and they’re clearly into each other. I would have no moral or narrative issues with that, so what we did see doesn’t especially bother me. In fact it’s kind of frustrating that we fell back on that old “phone ringing just as they’re about to kiss” saw – the episode would have been a lot more interesting if we’d seen what would have happened if the phone hadn’t interrupted.
So what would have happened? They would have kissed, certainly – after that I suspect one of them (probably Wakana) would have hit the eject button and bailed out. But either way the dynamic of this relationship is certainly changed now – that genie can’t be stuffed back into the
pants bottle. In a perfect world, I’d like to see this make Marin display a little more self-awareness when it comes to the situations she creates with herself and Wakana – she felt the change (literally) in that love hotel. Again, if she decides she’s ready to take that step I would have no issues with that. But if she’s not and she remains as oblivious to the impact she has on Gojou as she has been, that would strike me as a bit of character regression.