After the gore, and after the fanservice, and after Yuka, the next great (and IMO misguided) broadside against this series comes from the sad tale of Mayu's backstory. In short, the girl was raped, and any fan knows that this is not even the worst of the situation she fled from. Both manga and anime feature depictions of exactly what happened, and some rip the series on this alone. They somehow put these soul-leeching scenes in with the fanservice, or else regard them as a cheap attempt to shock the audience. Some even call it fetishist or porn.

From one POV, it is the only scene of--let's say 'intercourse'--in this dark series. What we know Unknown Man did to Number 28 and the other girls, what we know Chief Kakuzawa likely did to Kaede's mother, what Professor Kakuzawa may have done to some of his students -- none of this is shown. No Kouta/Female love scene of any kind. Three comically-presented 'hand-based arousals' occur, again for want of a better term. The only sex in the series is Mayu having her childhood destroyed by someone her cold mother met in a bar and brought home, and who may have only married her mother to get to her.

But to dismiss this as porn? Mayu's dim cousins in the hentai world are typically dumb as dirt, trusting insanely wrongly and not running or fighting back. Those taken unwillingly berate themselves, and some eventually enjoy it--which goes back to the whole dumb as dirt thing. The willing ones almost never get pregnant, despite openness, position and repetition that should have each one of them becoming mothers of a small nation-state. Mayu has as much in common with them and their lot as Lucy's imprisonment did with Belle's from Beauty And The Beast.

Yet if these folk are disturbed by the images of Mayu's sleazy stepfather standing behind her, who can entirely blame them? It is a primally disturbing scene, not only rape but betrayal on so many levels. Why does the series, in both versions, so explicitly show this god-awful and very real-world atrocity?

I can't answer the exact whys and wherefores, but I can offer up this theory : Most shows/movies that have this sorry, again very real event in them depict this by the child being hushed up suddenly, crying for no reason, and eventually emoting simple stark words like 'They Hurt Me'. Elfen Lied, which did not flinch from showing its rightfully angry heroine brutally and pointlessly killing a complete likable innocent in her first appearance, did not flinch from this either.

What we saw in 'The Girl's Past' and in 'Receipt ~ Empfang' and still later in 'Animal Scent' was what we all know happens when this sickness is allowed to drain young souls. But now, there is no cut-away, no hope that it was somehow a wrong but gentle thing. Even the more extreme Narataru-Shadow Star does not directly depict the rape of its most tragic character by her father, and that series makes Elfen Lied look like Dragon Ball.

So why do we see Mayu's great shame? Because there are no horned girls, no vectors, no clones. But there is this, happening every day in the world we know. We see it because as we watch in horror, we can wish some of our strength to this terrific kid, and tell her to hold out for better days to come. Mayu gets those better days. Not every kid like her does in real life. Tell them that scene is just porn, a fantasy. They might well say that it is Mayu's new life that is the unrealisitic thing.

As a late edit, I will now add a story of my own, second-hand but real for as much as I can confirm it. My late father (himself, not a friend or relative) sat on a jury where a young girl had been raped, and testified to that fact in no uncertain terms. My father described his bewilderment as virtually none of the other jurors would or could believe her, that such a thing would ever happen. Sometimes, as we saw this week (2/10/2018), it takes visual evidence to crack the shock-based disbelief that follows such a crime. This is why I feel Mayu's shame needs to be seen, even in this semi-explicit style.