Manga Sutra 1

February 15, 2008

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.

5 Responses to “Manga Sutra 1”

  1. […] is Like a Hurricane and vol. 5 of Princess Princess. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie comments on vol. 1 of Manga Sutra, vol. 7 of Loveless, vol. 10 of Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 28 of Oh My Goddess, vol. 13 of […]

  2. Lianne Says:

    I love Katsu Aki. He’s so, so much better at making manga than one would think.

  3. Connie Says:

    Yeah, I was really, really surprised at the quality of this series. He didn’t have to work nearly as hard to make this work, but it’s so crammed full of little details and flourishes in order to get as much knowledge in as possible that it’s hard not to be impressed.

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    of internet so from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.

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