True, I opened up this manga because I saw a rather lewd one-off page from the manga and it peaked my interest. Well, it peaked something. Anywhosals.
This particular manga is set up as a romance. At least, it claims to be a romance. Maybe it’s just me and my perspective. I’m not against polyamory or poly marriages. My usually opinion on the matter though goes something like this: “Everyone in a room together.” Harem anime drive me a bit crazy because the guy or the girl always has to choose one and then there’s a bunch of jealousy and other drama. Why the jealousy and the choosing?
So, maybe I am not the market audience for this manga. I read through several volumes, hoping against hope that the relationships would improve. They did not. The art was good, but really, any of the “titillating” scenes made me feel gross and like a voyeur to a lot of coercion and gaslighting.
The guy’s a creep. All three of the women have issues. It comes off with low character development. They’re acting out their scenes like a cut budget soap opera. The only redeeming thing about the whole situation is if you literally cut out the steamy panels and white out the speech bubbles, it might serve some purpose.
Otherwise, the main female lead goes through trials, hardships, and in general plays off as the poor third wife that is bound to the relationship for money troubles. The forced “growing a backbone” phase of the character development is lukewarm and inevitable. This must be one of those types of story where it’s not the character driving the story but the story driving the character, and there isn’t much of a story. It’s a bunch of drama and cringey “romance” scenes. Sure, the main guy can be hot, but it’s very power dynamic by a guy living in his mother’s basement vibes. This guy just fits a body type that one might go “but it’s forgiveable for the eyecandy.” No. No it is not.
I wanted to like this one. I read a lot of yaoi and a lot of yuri and figured it was due time I went and spent some time really reading some hetero romance and you know what, give me back my yaoi and my yuri. This hetero thing sucks balls. I’m pansexual, so I figured I could go back to reading hetero like I did back in high school and college. *Shakes head vehemently*. Boy, was I wrong.
I remember reading somewhere, tumblr or twitter or somewhere once, when a section of the lgbtq+ community was getting all riled about ‘women’ writing ‘gay’ romance. Yes, I’m putting quotes on those. At me all you want. Make assumptions on who is writing the books and what their orientation is all you want, they do not owe you their coming out of the closet story.
This tangent about something I read, let’s come back to that though rather than listen to me rant. The comment went something like this: “the reason we like reading gay and lesbian romance is because the power dynamic is obliterated. A CEO and a waiter who are both the same sex have the same power dynamic. You don’t have to deal with sexism and fetishism, so you can actually escape into the romance. Control doesn’t have to be shaded with the nuances of real world situations that women face in a hetero-romance novel that always interrupts the storyline.” Sexism coming to the male CEO taking advantage of the female secretary (could she lose her job, health insurance, and livelyhood if she refused?), or a woman being “bossy” and the guy being “submissive” (does she border on being a villain and he has a sick fetish?). Yeah, that’s how it freaking comes off. That or the damsel in distress situation. Let me just sigh over that irritating situation. Or the woman who has to be couragous and strong and show that she’s powerful, but in the end the guy is still essential for her to save herself and for her to save him. I can go ONNNN about these tropes at length with a melodramatic flare for irritation, but you get the freaking point.
I wanted desperately to find a good romance with an even power dynamic and great art. This has the great art, but lacks an even power dynamic and by the end of it, I just felt really green around the gills. This is in my never again, do not recommend category.
Hence why I say, this particular story is most likely not marketed to me. I could see some women enjoying this. I can probably see more men enjoying it if the story was placed in the guy’s persepctive.
Verdict? I’m not reading it again. You have at it if you’re curious about it, but I’m backing out.
I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.