You know what I kind of think is interesting about Mink?
I don’t think he changes that much at all.
A lot of people think he goes from DMMD Mink, and morphed into Re:Connect Mink.
I personally think he always was the man we meet in Re:Connect. Sure he grows a bit, but I think deep down, re:connect Mink was always the real Mink.
That is why he never apologizes to Aoba for what he did. I mean, he more or less says “I would hate me for what I did to you, if I were in your shoes” but he still never says sorry. How can he? He was avenging the massacre of his family. He cannot apologize for anything he ever did to avenge them (no matter how wrong his actions were).
Still, Mink is not proud of what he did. He did what he felt he ‘needed’ to do in order to get his revenge. The plan from there was to die. A man who is prepared to die has nothing to lose. He will do anything, no matter how terrible.
But he didn’t die.
After Scrap, Aoba gets Mink. He sees Mink’s true face.
So when Mink vanishes, AOBA HAS TO FIND HIM.
Aoba wants to dig deeper and learn more about that man buried deep beneath the chains of hatred…
But when he finds him…
Mink thinks Aoba deserves better than him. That is why he ignores him and pushes him away.
At last, Mink breaks.
At long last, Mink decides to step up and care for this beautiful soul that has fallen into his lap.
So many feels.
I love them.
A man who is prepared to die has nothing to lose. He will do anything, no matter how terrible.
If you want to see an example of what it looks like when this backfires?
This is 100% true.
This is the CG which shows the moment that he decides to rape Aoba:
This is not the expression of a man feeling triumphant, or power-hungry, or in any way gleeful or pleased with his own choices.
This is an expression of resignation. He sees another atrocity in front of him that he’s willing to commit in the name of breaking Aoba — with the goal of getting the best ace he can in his fight for revenge against Toue, and knows he’s going to do it.
This justifies nothing about him or his actions, and I absolutely don’t mean to imply it does — rather, imho, the key to understanding how Mink can become the person he is in re:connect is because he knows that it isn’t justified, that it’s inexcusable, and we’re shown that knowledge at his moment of decision to do it anyway. At no point is he under any delusion that he’s doing something acceptable, but he’ll commit absolutely any crime anyway.
This CG was, I think, a really, really interesting choice in how they set up Mink’s characterization and arc.
Harukami hits it out of the park as usual, and the script supports this, even with the shitty translations of Mink’s route.
As the barrier between Reason and Desire thins and crumbles, more and more of what Aoba says can be interpreted as Desire, not Reason. Mink already knows that this power can only be obtained when inhibitions are gone: such as during fight-or-flight moments. He seeks to reproduce that effect under the influence of drugs.
Even so, he remarks on this once Desire actually becomes able to influence Aoba’s speech: “So this is your true character/nature?” This is a man who has just been told by his trump card how to get the power he needs. He’d hoped that he could just brainwash Aoba into giving him the use of Scrap with the lights. Instead, he found that he was just going to have to continue to do even more horrible things to get what he wanted.
He forces Aoba/Desire to commit to this course of action when Aoba begins begging for his dick and Mink says, “Do it yourself.” He’s not saying this because he’s too goddamn lazy to get his cock out. He’s trying to put decision gates in front of Aoba, and Desire hits every single one of them.
During the sex against the club wall, he even asks "Satisfied yet?" He is speaking to Desire: is your lust for destruction satisfied? Have I done enough destruction yet? This is not a question someone asks when they’re eager to continue with their work.
At the end of it, I think Mink realizes fully that he’s going to have to break down the barriers between Reason and Desire to gain unrestricted, dependable access to that power. It’s during the third rape, when Desire says that he’ll have to do “more, more, with the intent to kill,” that Mink can’t go any further with this destruction of the walls between Reason and Desire. Desire asked him to kill, and more than anything, Mink is not a killer.