Katsu Aki – Tokyopop – 2008 – 47+ volumes
this is the end of the Tokyopop translation
I reviewed this over at Manga Village, so you can check it out over there.
Really, all I have to add is that every volume of this series was unique and an absolute joy to read. I laughed and learned. It’s horribly 80s/early 90s, but at the same time taught me all sorts of naughty things in great detail. It wants more than anything to teach. It sort of fails when it comes to plot and characters, but that’s okay, because its tremendous strength lies in its lessons and the unique way they are framed.
I am sincerely sorry that Tokyopop didn’t have more success with this.
My review for this volume went up at Manga Recon today.
I have a kind of love-hate relationship with this series while I’m reading it, but what it comes down to is that whenever I think to myself “wow, the plots to these stories are bad,” I find myself learning something new about… oh, I don’t know, why most women masturbate or something like that. There really is just nothing else like this series, and it pleases me (mentally) every time I read it.
I read this to follow one of the last volumes of Berserk I read. They run in the same magazine, and reading them back to back just blows my mind because they’re so different.
The novelty is already starting to wear off for this series, unfortunately, but it is still extremely informative. The lack of story is a bit grating, and the constant jump to sex sex sex, while expected, gets a little tired towards the end of the volume, and the fascination that drove me through the first volume just wasn’t here.
You gotta give it an “A” for technique, though. There’s a section of the story that focuses on Makoto not being able to get it up and Yura trying to learn different ways to help him. Blowjob techniques for penises are discussed in depth several times, the longest part of which tells you how to go at it from start to finish. It’s good for letting you know whether or not you’re doing it right.
There’s also a section of story about the first sex of the new year which is kind of funny. There’s a Japanese word for this, and the characters struggle with being questioned relentlessly about it by Makoto’s older brother as well as having to resist temptation being under the same roof with a bunch of family members.
Going hand in hand with this, quite literally, is a chapter or two about handjobs, specifically how to give one to a woman. This is employed in the New Year’s situation in lieu of real sex, at least at first. If I’m not mistaken, this may be the section where Makoto’s brother discusses what makes for the “perfect” vagina, a talk which includes several diagrams. He doesn’t appear very often, which is a shame because I like his blunt and inappropriate questions, but this is discussed during one of his appearances.
There’s also a chapter or three dealing with Makoto’s sister’s first time. It goes over her relationship with her boyfriend, things you have to consider for the first time, what the signs are that it’s okay, stuff like that. I was actually very surprised by these sections of story since the characters are taking it so slow, where everyone else in the series is very whole-hog about it. It struck me as strange that the sister felt obligated to have sex with her boyfriend when her older brother kept his virginity until he was married. It seems like holding off wouldn’t be that out of the question for her, but her opinion is given very fairly in the story.
What else? Yura’s sister is shown trying to abstain when her favorite boyfriend tells her not to cheat on him. This is kind of funny, actually, but not… not really.
It’s still informative, and it still makes me laugh, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read the other volumes in one sitting. To be fair, it’s two volumes in one, so maybe I should go half now and half later anyway. And I still really like the excellent presentation.
I suddenly realized I needed to do a Valentine’s Day appropriate entry, even though it’s like 11pm CST and not really Valentine’s Day anymore. Well, if it’s a good enough V-Day series for Tokyopop (they had a themed giveaway today), it’s good enough for me.
I want to say, first off, that this is the nicest book Tokyopop has ever made. This is coming from someone who enjoys the new Ultimate Editions and owns all four volumes of Clover. This may not have a vellum dust jacket, but it’s got plenty of bells and whistles to justify the high price point. In addition to being oversized and two volumes in one (which is really what I care most about), it’s also got a nice slipcase, a recipe card, an article in the back called “Ask Dr. Manga Sutra” where readers are invited to write in and ask questions about having sex, and there’s also a few pages of statistics which are updates to the dated figures presented in the story. Clover may be prettier, but nothing can hold a candle to this volume. I’m sorry.
Also, in case you aren’t aware, this is a really detailed manga series illustrating the best ways to have sex. If you’re not into that sort of thing, than you should probably stop reading right about… now.
This volume also has the advantage over Clover because instead of ads for other Tokyopop manga series in the back, there are condom ads. HELL YEAH. It’s also got a promo quote on the cover from the Journal of Sex Research, which is also new and different.
I was a little surprised that the sex starts right away in chapter one. I was kind of under the impression that the story would go a little more through the courtship before Yura and Makoto got married, but all of that is crammed into chapter one, and it starts to approach sex awkwardly right away.
You can read about a thousand reviews for this volume on various other sites online right now, so I don’t really want to rehash what’s been said elsewhere more eloquently. Yes, there are sex ed-like diagrams to show what’s happening in Yura’s vagina while the act’s going on. Yes, there are little factoids constantly popping up about things like what women think of their partner’s penis and where most women’s erogenous zones are. My favorites are the charts that show you things like different shapes for penises and breasts, different and erotic ways to kiss, and what goes on when you use your hips or ride cowgirl during sex. But you can read about all this elsewhere.
The single most impressive thing about this series for me is that these characters do not talk about anything at all other than sex. These are grown adults, in their 20s and 30s, who can get sex whenever they want. Yet… they never talk about or do anything else. It never gets old for them. Makoto’s brother in particular has the gift of starting any conversation with a question about whether or not his little brother has gotten around his fast ejaculation problem. I understand that this is Futari H’s thing, and that it isn’t meant to be anything other than a sex manual, but still… damn. It’s presented in the form of a story. It’s just amazing to me that I couldn’t put it down when it was absolutely nothing except the two character’s sex life. I think it’s because I’m so used to the topic being skirted in other series that 400 pages covering every aspect of sex blew my mind.
Most of the instruction in this volume is geared towards helping Makoto overcome his problem with premature ejaculation. After receiving the world’s most hilarious spam e-mail about a year ago, I still refer to this whenever I can (read: in many inappropriate situations) as “squirt squirt whoops love,” so the fact that it was covered so extensively here was just icing on the cake.
Obviously I enjoyed this a hell of a lot. There’s not too much story other than the sex manual stuff, but it’s so thorough, and there’s so much technique discussed and statistics interjected that I can’t help but be impressed and fascinated. I must admit, this was a series that I thought we would never, EVER see in English. The fact that this got picked up gives me hope for anything else I may ever wish for in the future. Hell, my poster child for series not being picked up was Happy Mania for awhile… I read an article about it in Animerica Extra and immediately thought how it was a shame that nothing like that would ever come out in America. Just goes to show.
I need to end with the quote from Katsu Aki from the first page. This has been quoted in every single other review for this book, but it’s just too good not to share:
“This isn’t just a hentai manga. It’s about love, sex and how-to… I wrote this with the hopes that it would serve as a bible to those who dream of having the best sex ever! And I really mean that.”
He really means it, guys. He’s done a fine job so far.