Confidential Confessions is a shocking new manga series that deals with many of the hard-hitting issues that teens face today. Using emotionally moving story lines and multi-dimensional characters, each groundbreaking volume tackles such topics as teen prostitution, rape, HIV, stalkers, suicide, and sexual harassment.
This is a manga that very few seem to have read or even heard about. It's only got around 300 votes on MAL (which is low when popular stuff can get over 10,000) and only the contents of volume one have been put on the internet for e-pirates like myself. This isn't really that shocking when you consider what the series is about and the audience it's aimed at, but it's still a shame that it, a series Tokyopop have released in English, hasn't received more love when it's a very well-written, very realistic series.
Each of the six volumes of
Confidential Confessions (CC) provides 1-4 stories that focus on a different set of characters and problems. The main character of each each story is always a junior-high school female. As the covers of each volume indicate with words such as "rape" and "suicide" being spread across them in large, faint letters, there's none of the joking or silliness that's often associated with manga/anime included - it's as close to reality as manga can get.
Volume one opens with a story about a pair of suicidal high school girls who hate living meaningless, lonely existences. The female lead can't handle the emptiness of life as an adult, her mother making her problems worse by putting on front to the world; acting like her husband hasn't left her. The other girl suffers from bullying, and has done for years. Both end up coming together, drawn to each other by their feelings of depression, and what follows is an insightful look into the minds of people who wish for death and what it means to be truly suicidal.
The second story is about a girl who, having left home to live on the streets, selling her body for money, is changed forever by an encounter with someone who sees her as more than just an object to be used. Although it was really just there to fill the space the first story of volume one didn't fill, it was very good and the author got her message across.
The third story lasts for the entire second volume (the longest story in CC), it being about a girl who has to decide if she should keep quiet about the sexual harassment of the famous tennis coach that works at her school. Given the way Japanese men grope girls on trains in Japan, the story about a famous high school tennis coach molesting and talking dirty to his students, who feel forced to go along with his actions out of fear of losing their places on the tennis team, never came across as unbelievable.
Moving onto volume three, the fourth is a 150 page story that deals with a girl who, due to the pressure of her father, enters into the world of drugs and becomes addicted to the point of selling herself. The way an ordinary school girl slowly went from pressured but happy to selling herself for the money to buy more drugs made it one of the most emotional stories of the series, and the way the author detailed what happens when someone takes different drugs made it yet another highly informative story for people who want to know a little more but don't want to read lifeless text to find out. The final story of the volume was just there to fill the remaining 50 or so pages left by the first story... It was neither excellent nor awful, instead being somewhere in-between.
Volume four is a collection of four short stories. All of them remained interesting until the end, but none of them were able to match up to the first three stories in volumes 1-3, all of which had far more time to develop and were far more moving as a result. I prefer having one long story in each volume, with an extra story added to fill space if needed. Also, a few of the stories in the volume were a little hard to swallow, the most difficult to view as something that could happen in the land of the real being a story about a school teacher beating and dragging a school girl by her hair in public, and another involved a girl getting away with murder.
Volume five was a big improvement and the best volume in the entire series, returning to the high quality shown in the first three volumes. As expected, the first story, involving the gang rape of a girl and how she had to continue living after that, was the most moving and best story of the lot. Everything was handled excellently by the author, with her going into detail to explain how, no matter how you think you'll act in any situation, you don't know if you'll be able to do the brave thing until fear has got hold of your heart. I found the relationship between the female lead and her boyfriend touching: it was totally believable how he reacted initially and later tried to make amends. There was a rather dodgy piece of dialogue, though, which I'll quote...
"Because it was made with the "knife" called a penis."
The other story included, which lasted the same length as the rape story, wasn't far off the quality of what came before. The story was about how a high school girl had to deal with having AIDs and slowly becoming weaker and weaker. It was both informative (no-one wants to read about deadly diseases until they need to!) and, like just about all the stories in CC, was very moving. It gave me a warm feeling to see someone with such a horrible illness fighting against it with the help of her best friend and boyfriend.
Volume six was, sadly, the weakest of the collection. The first story was an unusually dull tale about stalking, it taking a lengthy period to reach a conclusion of no real interest. Reading the story made me dislike the weak and submissive main character. The last story was on improvement, it being about how a victim of bullying turned into a bully, but it was short and, like the stories in volume four, lacked the detail of the more detailed stories that make up the series.
So, what do I think of it after finishing? I think it's one of the best series out there. The quality goes up and down depending on the chapter since each chapter has a totally different story but very few of the stories were poor. Only the long and boring stalker chapter in volume six, which had a terrible lead character who kept messing around over a nutjob ex-boyfriend, was truly disappointing. The other lower quality stories weren't so bad because they only lasted 50 or so pages, where as the stalker story dragged on for 150.
Confidential Confessions is the perfect manga for young women and/or manga readers who want to see realism after seeing one too many mecha series. The author doesn't force the rights and wrongs of the world down your throat like parents tend to: she tells totally believable (for the most part anyway), non-preachy and hard-hitting stories from the perspective of young women who encounter many of the problems, varying from suicidal thoughts to dealing with rape, that people have in the land of the real. The author is able to tell interesting stories and, at the same time, provide information and help people with similar issues to those depicted in her stories.
Overall, my feelings are that, despite having the odd average story, CC is up there with the best manga has to offer. The only real flaw I spotted aside from the odd poor chapter was the similar character design of all the characters in the stories: there was too little variation between each character and that made it hard to remember the characters from each story. The only other 'flaw' would be how nearly every story ends on a semi-happy note, but there's no rule saying that realistic stories have to end in depressing fashion and it would've kind of defeated the purpose of the stories if they started and ended depressingly. But, ignoring those issues, anyone who likes their manga realistic should seriously consider splashing the cash to get the full series - I promise you won't be disappointed!
Well, let me start by confessing that fact that I’ve only read the first volume. Not out of a lack of interest, but out of a lack of access. I’m still trying to either hunt down the others or save money and get them shipped.
I love what I’ve seen so far though. The mangaka seems to be trying to provide an unbiased view on things like sexual harassment, drugs, and suicide. The cold, brutal, truth, so to speak. None of that Moral Ed stuff where they practically brainwash you and tell you exactly what to do in what situation, but the things that really happen
to teenage girls, and from their point of view. It’s a bit melodramatic at some points, but the characters are great and easy to sympathize with.
It’s a collection of short stories, each handing a different issue, so there’s not much I can say about the plot. But if you like oneshots, then this is great.
It’s something you should read if you can ever get your hands on it. I’d recommend this to just about anyone actually, because it’s awareness stuff people should know about.
I guess that this Manga is abit unknown. Such a shame, because it's a very nice Manga. It will mostly attrect girls, because it is written in their point of view. Drugs, Sexual Harassment, this Manga will show you it can happen anywhere, any time and any place, but that it can also happen to you. This makes it realistic and pulls you into the story that is written on an interesting way. You should really try reading one(: I can recomment volume 2 and 3.
Confidential Confessions chronicles the lives of corrupted adolescents as they deal with their complex struggles. The interventions of fate has carved a path of destruction for the youth. This manga illuminates what is seen in our post-modern society. Teenagers young and old are encountering issues dealing with civil rights, economic dilemmas, and social pressure. We've seen it all before. The suicidal tendencies of teens and the clash of the sexes. However, this manga is capable of causing an emotional impact in its audience by using fine examples of what we've seen in the past and what we
see now in the present time: the corruption of tomorrow's youth.
~[S T O R Y]~ 
The length of the chapters was acceptable and utterly satisfying. The proper length was able to allow the drama to develop. You could taste the tears, the anger, and the vehement frustration in the expressions of each character - particularly the main ones that each chapter focused on. Manatsu's suicidal tendency, Satsuki's tug-of-war between her duty as a "woman" and her privilege as a Woman. Suzuki's discomfort with sexual harrassment, Ayumi and Hiro's indecision between what they want and what they need to do, and Kyo's drug addiction. We encounter the troubles with love, lust, dreams, fame, fortune, self-esteem, gender rights, the future, the past, and the present. Indeed, the complex stories presented within the manga display slices of life that the reader can understand or even connect to. The streaming of the plotline was not choppy at all. It ran well enough to tug the heartstrings and spur great thought as to the valuable of every minute that this life grants us.
~[A R T]~ 
The art is not impressive. It merely implies the general designs you would often see in most cliche animes. However, the expressions of the characters were drawn well. You could feel the drug effects, the emotional agony, and the intense feelings of violation within each character. Though it would have earned a higher grade if there was more detail added onto each character. Then again,the art does not need to overpower the story whatsoever. The words and the feelings express speak crystal clear as it is.
~[C H A R A C T E R]~ 
Because of the lengthy chapters, we are able to understand the character's background fully. Parents always make an impact. Our peers always make an impact. Strangers in the street always make an impact. The manga clarifies that social pressure is inevitable. The reader is able to acknowledge the emotional corruption of each character due to a certain substance they are consuming - whether it be suicidal thoughts, depression, obsession for perfection, or terribly high hopes for a brilliant future. Truly, the characters in C.C resemble the characters that walk across our streets, sit in our classrooms, and even linger about in our homes. That's what makes this manga special. The proper plot development has enabled the reader to acknowledge the origins of the characters in order to understand why they do what they do.
~[E N J O Y M E N T & O V E R A L L]~ 
In all its entirety, I award this manga a 9. It's not everyday that we see a controversial yet striking manga released into the Japanimation realm. What makes the manga attractive is that the issues presented do not only occur in Japanese culture. They can occur to diverse cultures around the world. The cultural and emotional impact of the series been given a high rating for releasing a train of thought that may forever run in everyone's mind. Why do people talk, act, and think like they do? We are not in the position to say, but we still have the privilege to wonder just as we, according to Manatsu, have the privilege to take control of our own fate.