In Episode 37 of “Terrace Home,” titled “Another Terrace!!,” Toshiyuki Niino and Yume Yoshida go on a date in Kyoto. Sitting facet by facet and admiring town lights from the remark deck of Kyoto Tower, Toshiyuki asks Yume to show towards him in an apparent try and kiss her. Yume declines, repeatedly, saying “no” over a dozen instances, however Toshiyuki responds by making an attempt to place his arm round her to convey her nearer.
As a actuality present identified and liked for its atypical lack of drama, “Terrace Home” would do higher to make an even bigger deal over the problem of consent. One of many primary attracts of the present is seeing relationships develop between housemates, and the flirting and fumbling that include the territory of blossoming romances. Toshiyuki’s “pursuit” of Yume has at instances, nevertheless, crossed a line for a lot of viewers watching the present season.
In an earlier episode, “Angel,” Toshiyuki smears lip balm on Yume’s face earlier than diving in for a kiss. What he maybe believed to be a romantic transfer got here off as presumptuous and sudden, with Yume later telling a housemate, “I don’t suppose he would have finished that if he revered my emotions.”
The conduct of a number of the housemates is simply a part of the issue, nevertheless. The present’s panel members — six actors and comedians who present commentary and routinely mock the housemates from a studio — are inclined to method such conditions by first sympathizing with the lady concerned earlier than sometimes ending up on the outdated sentiment: She was asking for it.
Comic Ryota Yamasato likened Yume’s conduct to that of a “gold digger working at a hostess membership,” whereas fellow comic Azusa Babazono stated, “I imply, they held arms. … You possibly can’t blame him for having hope.” Yamasato added gas to the hearth by saying, “Yume’s been fairly flirty, too. That’s why I type of really feel sorry for (Toshiyuki) for getting performed with.” Ultimately, Yume is the one at fault for saying “no” and standing up for herself.
Whereas watching Yume on her awkward date in Kyoto, I couldn’t assist however consider the episode “Kiss Out of Nowhere” from 2018’s “Terrace Home: Opening New Doorways” season. In it, singer Shohei Uemura makes use of his hand to rotate his tipsy housemate Seina Shimabukuro’s head towards him in an ungainly headlock earlier than getting in for a kiss. The normally assured and brash Seina was noticeably affected by Shohei’s actions, instantly muttering “what?” a number of instances earlier than sinking right into a surprised silence.
Once more, the panel noticed little flawed with the state of affairs and as a substitute praised Shohei’s transfer as admirable.
“That first arm transfer was spectacular,” stated comic Yoshimi Tokui. “Usually, you would possibly tilt her head till she turns to face you on her personal.”
By that point, the present had begun to realize reputation abroad, and the incident was criticized by a number of media retailers, resembling Decider and Vulture. For the latter, author Emily Yoshida stated the present reminded her of “all of the issues that also suck about Japanese tradition.” There have been additionally loads of Reddit threads during which superfans harshly criticized the present, with one publish merely titled “Weird rape culture on the show?”
This wasn’t the one time the panel on “Terrace Home” cheered on a questionable kiss. Actually, it wasn’t even the primary time that Seina was forcibly kissed on the present.
Throughout the first season, “Terrace Home: Boys x Women Subsequent Door,” the housemates throw a celebration at which issues shortly get out of hand. Throughout “The One She Really Longs For…?,” Seina drinks a bit an excessive amount of and finally ends up on the ground, leaning towards a wall for assist, when a sober Masato Yukawa crouches down and kisses her. Lots of viewers noticed this as Seina being taken benefit of whereas drunk, however the present framed it as step one in a brand new romance.
The panel members to this point haven’t confronted any backlash in Japan for his or her remarks — or silence — on consent. Nevertheless, Yamasato has apologized a number of instances on the present for leaping to conclusions about the home’s inhabitants, saying they had been boring after they turned out to be humorous. The three cases of ladies being kissed with out consent had been as a substitute greeted with the gleeful tone of a highschool gossip session: The man is the hero for making a transfer, or not less than making an attempt to kiss, the woman he likes. The lady is an effective sport if she kisses again or not less than doesn’t complain.
The dialog on consent in Japan hasn’t progressed so far as it has in some locations overseas, however these locations are exactly the place the present is widespread. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see the reactions of abroad followers when the remaining episodes of “Terrace Home: Tokyo” are launched.
The latest season of the present has gone on hiatus to guard the solid and crew from getting sick amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s unclear as of now when or if it should return. If it does come again, nevertheless, it might be nice if “Terrace Home” may acknowledge the issues it has coping with the problem of consent in order that audiences can proceed to see the present as a supply of consolation, not creeping discomfort.