Last week was the most uncomfortable episode yet of Happy Makings Of A Predator, as Satou reveals to Shoko the origin of her hidden, dark demeanor. Episode 8 picks up with Satou as the model of a painting and the artist is the original tenant of the apartment she currently resides in with Shio. Elsewhere, Taiyo wants to change his obsession with Shio and Shoko feels regrets about her actions towards Satou’s revelation.
Last week held views in the air of supreme horror on the levels of Higurashi: When They Cry and this week, we stayed suspended in that cloud of darkness. Most of the episode is spent with Satou as she speaks almost in a monologue to a male painter we never hear nor see. Satou’s modeling isn’t sexual in nature as one might have expected however that doesn’t keep Satou from suggesting it and second guessing his intentions. Oddly enough, it is rather suspicious that he chose her to begin with and implies he is different in a sexual nature whether he is a homosexual or something else that makes Satou smile and say, “I don’t have a problem with it.”
This monologue-like tactic works and carries even more suspense as Satou eventually reappears with Shio in tow. He realizes that Satou was beautiful only without realizing her capacity to love someone else, which he captures her emotionally void eyes beautifully in his painting. This realization prompts him to attack Shio out of jealousy or in an attempt to make Satou beautiful in his eyes again, which of course leads to his murder. The veiled identity of the painter makes me wonder if his identity eventually will be crucial to the storyline or maybe the opposite; his identity is unimportant, perhaps the fact that Satou is more than willing to kill is the truly the only important part.
Later, Taiyo earns a bit of my sympathy. He is confronted by women who touch him innocently since they are concerned about him but the touch catches him off-guard and instantly triggers his memories of the sexual assault he endured for days, (Episode 1 gives full context). Since then, Taiyo developed a fear of women that he wants to eliminate however he feels Shio is the one to cure him. It’s made clear that his obsession with Shio is actually an obsession with sexual purity. He longs for his own sexual innocence and a lack of fearing the world around him thus the picture of Shio makes him believe she possesses what he once lost. Meeting her made him forget the pain of his rape and torture which Satou, (in one of the most effective jump scares to date!!!), begins to use to her advantage. However, Taiyo’s attraction to purity is very clearly not entirely innocent in nature as he sniffs one of Shio’s socks.
But if Taiyo is attracted to Shio’s purity and maybe not entirely of a sexual nature, then could Satou’s reason for kidnapping her, (or rescuing her depending on how she got ahold of Shio), be the same? Satou has experienced sexual misconduct on some level whether by the aunt who is nearly nude and implying sexual abuse or the implications presented that men may have had sex with Satou against her will. Maybe she is obsessed with Shio for the same reasoning but that doesn’t excuse neither Taiyo’s or Satou’s behavior.
Episode 8 of Happy Sugar Manipulator covers so much ground this week that I could keep going on about and implies that next week will be another explosive bombshell as Satou conjures up a plan that may leave no one safe.
Rating: 9 out of 10