Feb 13, 2014
One of the reasons I read yaoi is that I rarely come across a female manga or anime character that I like. They tend to either have no personality, a bad/stereotypical personality or just a poorly-written personality. At least with yaoi, the characters usually have more meat to them (hehe, pun not intended), and if they are poorly-written, than at least it has nothing to do with their gender.
Now, when a mangaka adds a female character to a yaoi story, the writer is in a highly dangerous zone since the story usually becomes an example of the Smurfette Principle (one woman in an ensemble of
men), so we notice every little thing about that character. And that's what Sakuragi sensei did with this manga and she failed miserably. The first chapter was fine. It was a little silly and I didn't appreciate the implication a bride's role is to cook for her guy.
The second chapter was stretching it by giving Shibata (the "bride") an eating disorder. I switched to yaoi to escape gender discrimination and misogynistic ideas, but the purpose is defeated if the mangaka all but states that the protagonist is a woman with a penis and then goes ahead and throws every single girl stereotype at that character. And she didn't even handle the idea of an eating disorder aptly. Anorexia nervosa, which is what Shibata appeared to suffer from, is the most deadly psychological disorder. Analysis showed anorexia to be four times more deadly than clinical depression, three times deadlier than bipolar disorder and two times more deadly than schizophrenia. Anorexia puts a person at a six-fold increase for death compared to healthy persons. That means that anorexia is roughly three times more deadly than other eating disorders. People with anorexia most often die from one of two causes; either their body shuts down, or the person commits suicide (one in five deaths blamed on anorexia is the result of suicide). Anorexia is similar to starvation in that it deprives the body of nutrients over a long period of time, and this extensive malnutrition starves organs until they eventually fail.
Still, this manga treats anorexia like a joke.
But I guess it wasn't enough to stereotype girls through an effeminate male character, so Sakuragi sensei brings in an actual girl in chapter 3 to add to the fun. Hiiragi is Shibata's senpai, and she excels in just about everything. Not only is she smart, she is also very good at martial arts, and she is attracted to Shibata's, umm, cuteness (I guess? She says she wants to protect him). Oh, but guess what? She can't protect Shibata. Why you ask? Not because of arrogance or lack of awareness or a simple mistake. No, she can't protect him just because she is a girl. That's the only reason. Or as Yogi put it:
"Even if he looks unreliable, fundamentally, he's still a guy. If something happens and he can't protect you, isn't that just unacceptable? Although you've always been strong, when you're confronted with a dangerous situation, you're as helpless as any girl."
Thank you, Sakuragi sensei, for clearing that up for me. I wasn't really sure whether I was reading too much into the story, but now I know that I was right. I've read many of sensei's other works, and I was really disappointed with this one.
What did you think of this review?