Check-in Station Dark Edition: Issue #1
Due to the heat at my house failing at the worst possible time ever, I’m sorry to say that I was horribly delayed in my ability to watch new anime and read current manga. I had to evacuate the fam as quick as possible to a relative’s place before we all turned into little ethnic popsicles. In consolation, here’s something I’m working on to bring the pervier titles back to the forefront of my blog. Think of this as the dark side of my AniFriday posts. And I hope you enjoy this, because I would really like to keep blogging about pervy manga and anime.
Here are the manga I’ll be covering in order:
- Nana to Kaoru ch63
- Yuria 100 Shiki ch54
- Happy Negative Marriage ch1
- My Lovely Ghost Kana ch14
- Octave ch8
- Girl Friends ch26
Nana to Kaoru
Wow! This episode is dense! There’s so much going on here. And I happily welcome these developments.
First we have all the hub-bub revolving around the track & field meeting now taking place. On Nana’s side, they’re all pretty excited and positive about the whole thing. Though she’s reminded of how nice it is to be cheered on by others, and to have other people cook for
you by her friends. She wonders happily about what it would be like to have Kaoru cook for her for the meet. A strange change in gender
roles, as Kaoru doesn’t look any less weird or creepy in her fantasies in an apron and looking all passive.
On Tachi’s side, we find drama. She doesn’t get along with her teammates despite being (or because of her) supreme talent. She doesn’t care to hang around them at all, and doesn’t get along with some of them either. This is made evident by her testimony and seeing her almost get in a fight with one of them over going to a pre-tournament meeting. This does introduce us to what appears to be an interesting new character in Haruka. She’s captain for the track team, and she has some choice words of advice for Tachi, words that appear ignored but stick with her later.
The events for Nana and Tachi both bring them to Kaoru, for the same reason. Tachi finds Kaoru first. He’s at the “novelty” store returning the leather bondage set he was loned when she finds him, and badgers him into coming along and bringing food. It helps that she has the events with the suppository hanging over his head to help get some cooperation.
Nana meets him outside his apartment, attempting to be nice doesn’t work. Tachi’s efforts have already left a taste in Kaoru’s mouth and he outwardly rejects her because he feels he’s being used. He changes his mind soon enough on his own. Meanwhile, Nana decides to tackle
her box lunch on her own – to disasterous results.
At the first day of the meet, Kaoru shows up with enough food for both Nana and Tachi and again runs into Tachi first. This happens just in
time for Nana to look over and see Kaoru next to her with the box lunch. Tachi can’t help but look back at Nana and grin. It appears she’s taken another shot and Nana’s precious man and source of relaxation.
It’s rare that I’m able to give that much of synopsis to a pervy manga. But it does seem that things are getting super interesting outside of the sexual arena. I’m glad to see that this series enjoys taking this outside more and more to the real world and real situations. I’m glad when the breathers come about, but this manga is so good. It’s good enough that I actually care about these characters and their interactions, loves, pains and joys. Tachi has slowly and surely been trying to wrangle Kaoru away from Nana, and though it’s not for romantic purposes, she’s gotten pretty far and involved with him on a personal level. I’d like very much to see this rivalry deepen, and this track meet is just the place to do it. On top of that, I really like Tachi as a character. Sure, I think she’s smoking hot and more attractive than Nana, but I just find her under explored so far in the series. I do care about her character just as much as I do about Nana and Kaoru. This will be a welcome test to see how much this series cares about her as a character.
Yuria 100 Shiki
Pretty basic set up for this series. One of the dutch wives learns of something in the real world, and somehow twists it into something perverted. In this case, everything involving Yurin (Type 108) is something that could get her master sent to jail… or potentially
killed given how the prison population feels about pedo bears. And now we don’t just have a perceived child involved, we have a real one
who decided to stick around while Yurin wacked off her master, because the little idiot decides to treat it like a bomb instead of an erection.
I’m just glad she didn’t decide to cover the “explosion” with her mouth.
Happy Negative Marriage
What an oppressive mess!
Poor Sato Keitaro! From what I learn here, it seems like his happy and content bachelor life has been marked for death, and there’s nothing he can do to save it. This manga wastes no time diving into what it’s about. Sato is a very happy and content newly minted thirty year old bachelor. He has a very good job, cool knucklehead bachelor friends and a decent pad that he shares with them. He’s basically going through life with only his own responsibilities and no worries. And behind his back, his mother has worked with his boss to get him sucked into an arranged marriage interview. Ugh! How formal! How heartless! How embarrassing!
It’s bad enough that this is something he doesn’t want, but just entering these things come with a stigma. He’s already a loser – socially anyway (I won’t make fun of someone with a good job in this economy), he doesn’t want to look like he’s given up on life as well. There’s no escape from this situation either, everything about this is tied to his job. He very well can’t blow off the meeting. His only respite is that the chick he’s meeting – is gorgeous!
Overall, this was a really nice read. Though I have personal issues with the whole arranged marriage concept, and I just hate the idea of some being forced to give up their innocent, content lifestyle for societal norms, I have no problem with how all of this is going down. This series has the same mangaka as Nana to Kaoru, so I knew I was going to enjoy the artwork. But the world of this series so far has interesting characters and an interesting set up. It touches pretty close to home for me, too. Not saying that I’ve been put in exactly that situation, but I do know what it’s like to have family breathing down your neck about personal issues. All of a sudden they start treating your life like it’s theirs, and they don’t know when to stop ordering you around. This looks to clearly be a pervy romantic comedy. So I am expecting it to get all three aspects right.
My Lovely Ghost Kana
Ah! I’m finally back to reading this lovely series about a guy, his ghost girlfriend, and their relationship that seems to involve lots of hot wanton sex. This is perhaps the strangest combination of love and lust I’ve ever seen… Well, there was Blue Drop. But no one ever speaks of Blue Drop…
Interesting. It’s been awhile since this manga got a new cast member. Though I certainly didn’t mind Daikichi and Kana’s intimate relationship until now. And it’s a ghost girl at that. I mean, it has to be a ghost girl. No human would be in that cold, wet place with almost no clothing on. This is something I could likely only blame on a cute Japanese ghost character.
I guess the other sub-plot would be the store manager’s love sickness over Kana. I am very much beginning to wonder when this series is going to start putting all its elements together. Will the store manager and his snoopiness expose the two lovers? Is this new ghost girl a sign of things to come? When’s there going to be more hot sex on these pages? So much to ponder.
I forgot how dense this manga was. There are Yukino’s hangups and her rough idol past. Her fears about men that stem from sleazy management, a cutthroat industry and being an idealized object of desire. Then there’s her struggle dealing with her blossoming sexuality and her still fragile and new relationship with Setsuko. There’s quite a bit for these two to work through, that’s why I’m not bothered by the generous amount of dialogue and flashbacks.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to read Octave (a shame I admit), so it took awhile for me to get used to the story again. In essence, what we’re getting is a good clear conversation between Setsuko and Yukino, as Yukino tells her partner about her day, but also about her life. She’s still reeling from her get together with a member of her old idol group, Nao. The main problem being that her former teammate is now doing full-on porn. That’s hard enough for her to digest, but she also has to deal with her sleazy manager opening the video Nao sent her and then hinting that he’s masturbated to it. I’m a guy and even I got pissed at reading that part. The sheer gall required to perform that action amazes me. It really does hit home clearly that Yukino is at the bottom of the food chain wherever she goes.
After this stomach turning moment, she then tells Setsuko about one of the members of her idol group going off on a rant about how disgusting guys were, and how they would probably use the hands they had shaken with the girls to go around the corner to masturbate. She actually claimed that 98% of men obsess over women’s butts, and that because men ruled the world the world was revolved around the butts of women. Pretty stupid, but good enough to get a laugh out of the normally straight-faced Setsuko.
Eventually Yukino is asked by Setsuko about why she even wanted to become an idol. Yukino had just gotten done telling her about how it annoyed her how people assumed she followed that goal to be popular and sexually promiscuous. The truth was actually surprising, and quite innocent. Yukino loved television. She loved watching it more than anything. And she saw that as a goal; to be what people watched on TV. It’s a bitter memory for her, and she makes sure to tell Setsuko that she’s never officially been on TV despite being in an idol group.
This is where Setsuko shines, with so little being said on her end, she always seems to say something appropriate and comforting to Yukino. It’s nice that after hearing about all these terrible experiences, Setsuko’s there to let her know that she thinks or believes isnt’ wrong or strange. Yukino shouldn’t be listening to the people who bring her down, she shouldn’t be letting past experiences ruin or haunt her. And Setsuko does end up saying a lot, too. Talking about her past, and her current contentment with her work and how she feels about Yukino. She admits that in the beginning she was no better than any of the guys Yukino feared lusted after her, but that she does now love her.
This would all be perfect, with a perfect ending for the chapter if Setsuko’s talk about her work didn’t bring up another woman she had worked closely with. Now Yukino’s timid nature and lack of self confidence are getting a hold of her again, and she’s uncomfortable with the thought of Setsuko having another female partner before her.
Like I said, this was a really dense chapter. And I’m not afraid to say that there were a lot of parts I did and did not like. On one hand, I did feel sorry for Yukino as she’s taken a hell of a bashing since her fall from her idol days. I’ve never liked the idol culture, especially Japan’s. It always struck me as way too focused on youth, unrealistic and harmful ideas of female image and roles, and pushing out a soulless musical product. And Yukino seems like one of the worser victims of that culture.
On the other hand, this chapter especially seems to bash men a lot. I find that annoying. I will grant that some of the opinions as being almost hilariously biased (that 98% comment for example), but this atmosphere sucks. It sucks to read something where guys are just getting trounced and there’s really no defense against it. Even if this is a manga focused on two lesbians, there can still be at least one decent guy around. Maybe Setsuko’s brother will count later on, but it’s too soon to be sure. For now, I just get the feeling this manga doesn’t like me very much. And that’s a discomforting feeling.
I’m not just gonna harp on the man-bashing though. The chapter did an excellent job of wringing out some good exposition from Yukino and Setsuko. Though there was a lot of conversation, this was also a string of good anecdotes and flashbacks that fleshed out the characters and their situations more. It will be an interesting journey to see if Yukino can overcome her issues and build a healthy stable relationship with Setsuko. I don’t imagine it will be easy.
Finally! I forgot how chatty this manga was. But at least after all this time I finally got to hear a confession in this damn series. Mari and Akko have been pussy-footing around so much (no horrible pun intended) that I feared they would try to elongate this manga out to InuYasha-like proportions. But it looks like maybe, just maybe we’ll get these two to properly acknowledge their feelings before the final chapter.
You have no idea the pain I’ve gone through trying to finish this manga.