The photo our heroine would come to regret

Erika is an enthusiastic, clumsy high school first year who is terrified of not making any friends in school. In order to gain friends, she lies about a number of things, including creating an imaginary boyfriend with whom she has an active sex life.

Two months into the school year, her new friends have realized that Erika is likely lying, as they’ve never seen even a picture of her boyfriend. To avoid getting kicked out of the group, she snaps a picture of an attractive boy she notices on the street. However, it turns out that the boy is a classmate, specifically the school’s ultra-popular “prince,” Sata Kyoya.

Her wolf ears randomly appear and disappear. I found it kind of distracting.

Fortunately, Sata agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend after she explains the situation. However, Sata turns out to be a sadistic individual who wants something from her in return: for her to be his “dog”. He demands that she do embarrassing things like bark and spin around. He constantly texts her demanding that she buy him things and run errands for him.

Erika’s “friends,” jealous of her popular boyfriend, embarrass the pair by ‘revealing’ in the middle of the cafeteria that Sata enjoys bondage. To their surprise, he willingly admits it. He tells Erika that he does not care if the ‘revelation’ ruins his reputation, because she is his girlfriend, causing her to question whether or not he is actually as bad as he seems.

There were a lot of scenes of legs superimposed over various locations. It reminded me of really bad Photoshopped images.

Watching this episode made me very uncomfortable. I can sympathize with Erika’s desire for friendship (though the two girls she hangs out with don’t seem to be particularly good friends or worth all that effort). While I do think she went a bit far with her lie, especially passing off a random boy as her boyfriend without even seeing if he was someone her “friends” might know, her behavior was for the most part fairly believable for a high school girl.

The problem with this series is with the “dark prince,” Sata Kyoya. While Erika should not have taken his picture and called him her boyfriend without his permission, his response crossed the line so, so many times. His treatment of Erika is consistently sadistic and creepy. Demanding she perform demeaning acts and buy him whatever he asks for, as well as several scenes of him literally dragging her around (clearly painfully) by the arm or cheek, qualify as abusive behavior. Him loudly talking about his and Erika’s (fake) interest in bondage in front of the entire cafeteria also made me highly uncomfortable, even if Erika’s “friends” started it as a prank.

….I want a flying Yorkshire Terrier!

Sata’s supposedly ‘sympathetic’ moments, such as saying “I love dogs” while tenderly smiling (after telling Erika to be “his dog”) or explaining that he defended her in the cafeteria “just because she’s his girlfriend” did not succeed in redeeming him for me. Knowing next to nothing about this series, it is possible that he improves his behavior or that Erika realizes what is going on and distances herself from both him and her mean-spirited “friends” (though, based on the OP, that doesn’t seem to be what will happen). However, watching this made me uncomfortable enough to have no interest in continuing or blogging this show.

I know I’ve made this point multiple times, but as Sata seems to be the character type that is often beloved, romanticized, and forgiven for everything by the fandom: His behavior in this episode was not romantic, nor was it comedic. It was abusive and cruel. This is not a portrayal of a healthy relationship, and I am concerned that something like this is portrayed as romantic or desirable, especially in a genre aimed at teenage girls.

Out of five:

Half. Not even a full Dio.

Sata’s “dark prince” side revealed

Erika’s friends are kind of jerks, but I like their designs