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
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.
And then in chapter 22, when he finally nerves himself up to kick out Mizutani-sensei (at Oozori’s instigation),
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….