Still Reading Manga

Several months ago, I read the first issue of a manga called No Bra which sounds like it ought to be about a sexually liberated woman… but it’s not. Not even close. Somewhat squicked by the content, I ignored it until a few days ago. After reading all of the Ah! My Goddess chapters and over 100 of Negima, I was looking for something else, and discovered that the translations were now up to chapter 22. So I checked it out again, and ended up reading them all.

The reason there’s no bra, is that there’s no there there. But there sure is down lower. In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” We’re talking past Otoboku level here, only flat chested. Yuki’s act is perfect, right down to the shrieks when Masato walks into the bath while she — uhhhhh, he is in just a towel; Yuki never breaks character, not in the least. Of course, the manga-ka ignores little details like an Adams apple, and the fact that her, uh, sorry, HIS panties (!) have no bulge.

The poor guy in the middle of his very own sexuality crisis is Katoka Masato, a freshman in high school when this begins. He’s living by himself in Tokyo, when his absent father mails to inform him that an old childhood friend (whom he doesn’t remember) will be coming to stay in order to attend school in Tokyo. This is what shows up. Hilarity ensues before the misunderstanding is sorted out.

Masato spends several days being whiplashed by his hormones and knowledge, suspecting (despite talking to Yuki’s parents) that Yuki might really be a girl. But when they go to school (s/he’s attending the same one, in drag, of course…) the teacher takes one look, misunderstands Masato’s explanations, and changes the “obvious error” in the records to indicate Yuki is a girl. Worse, personality-wise, s/he’s Belldandy lite and becomes an instant hit at the school. Anyone Masato tries to tell the truth to, thinks he’s just making a bad joke. Somehow, no one ever notices Yuki is really a boy; things like P.E. get handwaved.

What makes it really difficult is that Yuki is really attracted to him, owing to memories from 10 years ago, when they were pre-schoolers. Memories that Masato doesn’t seem to share, though he conceals this to keep from upsetting Yuki. And so Yuki is constantly flirting with Masato, cooking him dinner, giving him massages, basically, being a live-in girlfriend, which just confuses the hell out of Masato, because she (argh!) is so damn cute. Believe me, the reader can sympathize, because Yuki is one big bundle of fanservice (NSFW), despite the lack of a bust.

Now by itself, this would be a one trick pony, and it would get old after a bit, or turn into slash porn — although it technically flirts with it on several occasions, it never quite demands the brain bleach because Yuki is such a girl… Naturally, that means things are going to get more complicated… boy, howdy do they ever!

And the rest is pretty spoiler-ish, so it goes below the fold.

One of the top girls in the school, the beautiful and athletic Oozora Kaoru, starts showing an interest in him. It seems Oozora likes him because of some help Masato gave her on several occasions in the past.. which he doesn’t remember either. Masato’s best friend, Hidepon, gets angry because he thinks Masato is cheating on Yuki; meanwhile at a party, Yuki gets drunk, and as Masato takes Yuki home he gets a drunken wet kiss in return. (!!) Yuki’s so feminine, the act is so perfect, that he can’t help but physically react, but Yuki passes out before anything happens. Masato’s being whiplashed in regards to his own sexuality, denying any involvement with Yuki to the other students, while starting to date Oozora, and Yuki is coming onto him more and more at home.

Meanwhile, their busty, but ditzy homeroom teacher Mizutani-sensi, who tends to live way beyond her means, has discovered that Masato’s and Yuki’s addresses are the same, and goes to visit. Finding out that they’re cohabiting, she starts to remove Yuki, but the imposing Hidepon refuses to let Yuki be removed (he’s a bigtime Yuki x Masato shipper). Hidepon threatens to reveal to the school that the two had been living there for months without her knowledge. Mizutani, thinking she”ll be fired, and already unable to pay her own rent due to her shopaholic habits, decides that the best thing to do is for her to move in also, in order to provide “proper chaperonage” — but at the same time, she is blackmailed by Hidepon to promote Yuki and Masato getting together! Making matters worse, she’s a heavy drinker, and a bit… out of it in the mornings, unconsciously giving Masato the (NSFW!!!!) show of his life on the way to the bath one morning.

After sensei tells Oozora that she should dump Masato, Oozora gets suspicious and follows her back to Masato’s apartment. Yuki hides, so Oozora doesn’t realize she also lives there. Assuming that sensei is a sexual predator taking advantage of Masato, she redoubles her campaign to win over Masato. You think she could just inform the school…but she’s afraid that Masato will be “ruined” and expelled. In turn, he is becoming ever more confused by Yuki, who has declared that she (argh!) will be his girlfriend only at home, to avoid problems at school… and then intensively tutored him, so he can be in the same classes with Oozora in their second year. During the inevitable hot spring episode, Yuki and Masato accidentally share a late night soak together, which goes from merely awkward to hilariously and spectacularly wrong on so many levels when they get interrupted and have to hide in tight quarters.

Then, after a year of this, Mizuki shows up. She’s Yuki’s very female, very sexually aggressive and mind-game-loving cousin. She tricks Masato into making up more and more contrived lies to explain senesi and then trapping him in the mens room of a restaurant and engaging in some no-holds barred sexual harassment (completely totally utterly NSFW!!!!!! oh, hell — sex, of a sort, actually) before revealing that she’s about to start attending the same school.

Despite that, Masato engages her as his only possible ally in researching the events of 10 years ago, and why he doesn’t remember Yuki from back then. The results of the research fit and defy so many tropes as to almost qualify as a mind screw on it’s own. They find proof that Yuki and Masato actually did attend the same preschool — for about a month before Masato moved — but in the end the “Maa-kun” that Yuki remembers is actually the tomboyish Oozori, who was also there! At that time, her last name was different as it was before her mother remarried. So Masato realizes he’s dating two “women” under false pretenses, since he’s fairly certain that Oozora is mis-remembering his identity as her benefactor also. Of course, Mizuki never stops sexually harassing Masato the entire time.

And then in chapter 22, when he finally nerves himself up to kick out Mizutani-sensei (at Oozori’s instigation), everything goes horribly wrong when she eventually responds by offering him sex in return for continuing to stay at his place. “Does Oozora do these kinds of things for you? She might be a late bloomer.” To his credit, he refuses despite her naked breasts in his face — so she sets out to rape him anyway, only to be interrupted (again, with the completely NSFW). In the end, she declares shes not going anywhere and will provide sex in exchange for the rent — whether Masato wants it or not.

So at this point, the harem is: One trap, one athletic classmate, one kouhai, and his sensei. I am so seeing a “nice boat” ending to this….

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3 Responses to Still Reading Manga

  1. I think I’ll pass on this one.

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    I understand that! It’s better than it sounds, but OMG it’s so wrong…. I mean by this point Masato is in a relationship with four women, two of which live with him, two of which are cases of mistaken identity (involving each other), two of which are (lets face it) sexual predators, one of which is his school teacher, and one of which is actually a guy! Yuki’s enough to make a monk question his sexual orientation. Masato isn’t a weakling or child like Kouta in Kanokon, but it’s just too much for any teenager to cope with. This can’t end well….

    I have this strange facination with watching train wrecks as they occur. That’s my only explanation. Well, that and the manga-ka draws and writes Yuki 100% as a female — even when confessing to actually being a boy, he never breaks character. It not only keeps the squick to an absolute minimum, the reader (at least this one) can’t help but feel on some level, despite the confirmation from his family, that Yuki is really just a deeply screwed-up double trap. I mean, hell, I’d tap that if I saw it IRL, and I’m het as they come.

  3. Pingback: Mahou Meido Meganekko » Blog Archive » Not a surprising discovery

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