Review: Taboo Tattoo, Episode 2: Surprise Attack


It’s difficult finding pictures of this series that aren’t from the manga.


I must amend what I said before when I called this a Shounen series. I did absolutely zero research prior to watching the first episode, so I was not aware that this was formed off a manga (which has been going for over half a decade), or that the themes were most certainly going to be more representative of Seinen than Shounen. For the layman, this means the material is generally created for an older audience.
Our episode has an ominous start, with our protagonist, Seigi, plagued by a dream of a Tattoo, and then a dark, monstrous apparition. When he wakes, we learn that Tom and Izzy, members of the US Army, have extended an invitation to Seigi to join their ranks. In doing so, they promise to help him learn to control his power. We already know from the last episode that this is something he really needs, as his Tattoo’s ability is highly dangerous. Izzy is given more character development throughout the episode, as we learn she apparently can’t age and has a locket which she addresses with fondness, showing a picture of a girl inside who looks like it could be her sister.
Izzy pulls the tired manga/anime plot development of spontaneously joining Seigi’s class. However, I found myself not hating this trope for once, as it was captured in a better way than most series manage. We learn her full name is Bluesy Fruesy (c’mon that’s hilarious) and she immediately upsets the status quo by deliberately (and falsely) suggesting that she has a romantic relationship with Seigi. This she seems to do almost entirely for her own amusement, as it turns the entire male populace against our hero. We learn more about Tattoos, that the name of Izzy’s unit is called “Blue Moon,” and that Seigi is accepted into the ranks.
Meanwhile, in a separate nation, a powerful and corrupt princess has staged a coup d’état against her own parents, annihilating the royalty and seizing the throne for herself. The full ramifications of these actions are yet to be realized, but we are given a taste of her intentions when she sends two of her elite Sealed to kill Seigi, Tom, and Izzy, concluding the episode with their attack.

Christian Perspective:

1 Timothy 6:15 – “For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.”
I chose this verse because it is a reminder that, regardless of whomever is ruling in our mortal world, Christ still reigns. This principle is not only relevant for the election campaigns presently taking place, but also for the events of this episode wherein we see the corrupted soul of a young girl, and how it leads her to kill her parents (the monarchs of a land) and superimpose her will upon the nation. Regardless of whether the highest authority is one of benevolence or malevolence, and no matter how much influence they have on the affairs of the world, they do not have the final say. In the end, God is calling the shots, and those with great power and authority will be judged on how effectively they lead with those things.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: With Seigi’s dream at the start of the episode, we are given a little more reason to believe that there’s a spiritual element to this show, after all. There’s definitely some kind of ancient power behind the use of the Tattoos, though the how‘s and what‘s have not been extrapolated.
Violence: Tom and Izzy threaten Seigi with the idea that if he declines their offer to join the US Army, at the very least, they’d have to cut off his arm and take it with them, since it’d been bonded to the Tattoo. A character gets stabbed, producing a fountain of blood. We see several bodies in the wake of the coup d’état in a moat of blood, with one locked in the jaws of an unnaturally giant cat, which then proceeds to swallow him whole after visceral bites.
Language/Crude Humor: None in this particular episode, though we know from the last episode that this is not likely to continue.

Touko (alternate spelling: Toko)

Sexual Content: There’s several new concerns to address with episode 2. For starters, Izzy cannot age, meaning she is a mature woman stuck in the body of an adolescent, a contrived sexual fantasy which is brought to prominence with the introduction of a self-appointed, sexual sadist working as an assassin. This man is quite conscious of his uncanny perversion, going so far as to wield a whip for his weapon and make multiple crude remarks and hip thrusts when talking to Izzy. He also manages to lash off chunks of her upper clothing.
Tom, in the midst of rummaging through Seigi’s personal belongings, makes some off-handed comment about being a gentleman for trying to find (and thus expose) porn in a teenage boy’s bedroom. There’s also an incredibly racy scene in the classroom where Izzy comments how Touko, Seigi’s closest friend, has an unbelievable bust, followed by a groping scene. Izzy reflects on this later, realizing she’d taken it too far and half-heartedly condemning her own actions, for whatever consolation that’s worth. Read: not much.
Drug/Alcohol Use: Tom smokes a cigarette.
Other Negative Themes: While we don’t know exactly what or how this happens, there seems to be one character capable of some measure of mind-control or possession. I would chalk this up as just being a power, but it’s worth mentioning here because of how creepy they make the girl with this ability. She never blinks, has a deathly wide expression at all times, and is draped in chains.
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Cooper D Barham

Aspiring author, marriage and family therapist, and active behavioral health technician, Cooper fills his world with God, music, videogames, anime/manga, drawing, reading, writing, and some physical stuff in between. If you ever want to talk about the big or little things of life, fire him a message. Helping others through tough times is both his passion and way of living. 'Got it memorized?'

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