Plot: Yori and Iku have a falling out after Iku learns that Yori has slept with her friend Tomoka, who was being a stand-in for Iku in order for Yori to have a sexual outlet for his feelings. Iku starts dating a guy that has had a crush on her, Nakamura, in retaliation, but Yori won’t stand for another guy touching Iku. When the tensions come to a boil, Iku forces Yori to a love motel in order to know him in the same way that Tomoka got to, but will they really let this taboo reach a head?
I obviously ran into some trouble designing this week’s poster. I’m actually a little ashamed of it. See, I figured with clashes that went volume by volume I’d use the starter pic of each volume for the poster and find a matching or similar shot from the anime to go with it. I figured Yori and Iku never go to a summer festival, use fireworks or have this pose in either the manga’s canon or the OVA, but surely I can find a picture of the two of them smiling right next to each other……No. No I can’t.
I know I’ve already gone on and on about how miserable this show/manga is, but I never realized that there is an insane lack of any shots involving Yori and Iku smiling in the OVA, let alone smiling together in the same shot. They laugh once in the train, but I couldn’t use that because it’s a closeup panning shot. That was the only time they ever seemed happy together.
How horribly mismanaged is a romance anime where the main characters are never shown being happy together? Even in tragic romances there are plenty of moments where the main characters are smiling and laughing together. Even in the Star Wars prequels, with the most chemistry-less couple of Anakin and Padme, there were several shots of them smiling and being happy together.
All of the shots of them have their expressions in one of two modes: angry or crying. Or Yori’s default expression – the angry rapist pout.
Because of this, I had to settle for one of the few shots that at least has them in a similar pose. I hope I have better luck in volume three.
Nice to know that really stupid thing with the ‘Clover=c-lover=She is a lover’ thing is also in the original manga.
This volume starts out with Yori and Iku actually deciding to be lovers. Iku can’t stand the thought of losing Yori, so she decides to give into his feelings, which Yori gladly accepts. They’re enjoying the sights of the church that their parents got married in and they decide, hoo boy, what a great spot to have incestuous sex. I know this is in the OVA too, but holy crap is that a stupid decision.
Also nice that the pretentious and overbearing ‘God is watching us through the angel statues’ scene is kept. So, yeah, Iku calls it all off since God is watching them do it and Yori accepts her decision. However, his intense jealousy starts coming out when a long time classmate, Nakamura, expresses interest in Iku.
Hair sniffs: 7
Iku doesn’t pay him much mind, and actually seems to be increasingly lusting after Yori as well when he initiates more foreplay. Their advances continue to get jilted by the presence of their parents, but Yori stays insistent on sealing the deal with Iku and suggests they find a place, even a love hotel, to go to soon. She’s still very shaken by the close call, however, and worries that their parents ever finding out will mean them being separated forever. Tensions are very uneasy between the two the next day, and they come to a head when she discovers that Yori has slept with his girlfriend, Iku’s friend Tomoka. Enraged, she later decides to start dating Nakamura.
A couple of things to note so far; to a degree, Yori does admit that he’s a terrible person…..but that doesn’t stop him from continuing to be terrible.
Yori is really violent when people even get a little close to Iku or if they make the slightest crude comment in her direction. He is more than adamant about not letting any guy ever be her boyfriend or, worse, having sex with her. They dedicate a whole splash page to him yelling internally that it would be completely unforgivable for such a thing to happen.
We get a flashback of why Yori is dating Tomoka in the first place. She had a crush on Yori for a long time and continuously tried to get him to accept her feelings, but he wouldn’t. When she finally realized that he liked another girl, she decided to offer herself up as a substitute. Yori, filled with sexual tension and no outlet besides his handy dandy hand, decides to accept Tomoka’s offer and they go to a love hotel to have sex. The whole time, Yori is imagining doing everything to Iku and sadly admits that doing it with a substitute isn’t enough nor is trying to love someone else in Iku’s place. But he continued to date her for release and possibly to keep up appearances.
He doesn’t even get through this sex scene without being creepy. He clasps his hand over Tomoka’s mouth to prevent her from making noise since he knows hearing her voice and not Iku’s will ruin the illusion. Tomoka’s doing this of her own free will, so to each his own, but still.
Back to the present, Nakamura and Tomoka decide to have lunch with Iku and start talking about the physical stuff Tomoka and Yori have been doing. Yori interrupts them just as Tomoka starts explaining what Yori’s like in bed. Ya know, even if they weren’t romantically involved, who wants to talk to their lover’s sister about how good their brother is in bed? He tells her to knock it off since he broke up with her and that he has a girl he likes, one that is the only one for him.
He turns his attention to Nakamura, who has done absolutely nothing, and grabs him by the shirt. Nakamura calls Yori ‘Big brother’ I guess because he either sees him that way as a long time classmate or because he’s dating Iku, and Yori tells him if he ever calls him that again, he’ll kill him. I have no doubt he would really keep that promise. Yori grasps Iku’s hand so hard when he’s yelling at Nakamura that he visibly hurts her.
After this, he drags her into the science room, plops her on the floor with her begging him to stop and he just tells her to shut up and starts forcibly kissing her again.
Possible continued emotional manipulation; Yori says he can’t and won’t stop pursuing her, because if he let her go, he’d die. Like I mentioned before, on an emotional level, Iku’s main role in this relationship is fueled by her fear of losing Yori if she doesn’t respond to his advances. Saying he’ll die if he can’t be with Iku is a really extreme way of instilling that fear even further.
Also, is he even really serious? Because going to a faraway school and planning on likely never seeing Iku again is basically purposely ‘letting go’ of her. Unless he was going off to some fancy school to die.
After Yori and Iku talk some more, they make up and Iku even starts initiating some of the kissing before they nearly get caught and stop.
Oh, by the way, for anyone patting Iku on the back for dating someone else after all this, she was only pretending to date Nakamura for the sake of pissing off Yori as retaliation for him dating Tomoka. She is such a passive sack of useless.
Oh goody, now we’re getting to some Iku creepiness. We see Iku giggling and learn that she’s super excited because Yori said he’d die without her and only her, then she flips because the same can be said of her.
Being reminded of Tomoka, she drags Yori away to a love hotel and begs him to have sex with her, to make him hers, and to allow her to know him in a way that Tomoka knows him. Yori actually doesn’t want to have sex in the love hotel because he wants their first time to be in some place romantic and special…..Pbbbbbbtttttt Yori, what are you smoking? You delusional liar. He’s damn near had sex with her in –
- a church,
- their bunk beds
- the shower
- their bunk beds again
- a train
- the bathroom
- a science lab.
I’m pretty sure he’d plow her behind a dumpster at a Taco Bell up until this point. NOW he’s all picky and worried about making it special for her?
To be fair, she is actually the one initiating everything and Yori does ask her many times if she wants him to stop and she keeps saying ‘no.’….However, I am still very uneasy about this scene. She’s still very scared, which I suppose is normal for any soon-to-be-not-virgin, but I still feel like she’s just doing this to stake a claim on Yori. Like she still feels threatened by Tomoka possibly taking Yori away because they’ve had sex and Iku hasn’t done it with Yori yet. She likely sees it as Tomoka having a higher claim on Yori than she does, and she won’t have that. I’m not even reading too much into that either because she basically admits that as the reason. She’s jealous that Tomoka had sex with Yori so she wants to have sex in the same type of location doing the same things they did. That’s not having sex for love, that’s having sex for possessiveness.
In the end:
ROUND TWO WINNER: ANIME
I was really on the fence about this volume’s winner. The only major point of difference is the inclusion of Nakamura. Iku never gave a crap about Nakamura and was purely using him for the sake of making Yori jealous so that went nowhere. The whole thing with Yori and Tomoka and Iku and Nakamura at this point really just seems to be accentuating how frighteningly possessive Yori is, which just makes him look worse.
Yori really was bad enough in the OVA, but he cannot go one chapter without either thinking something incredibly creepy, doing something frightening or forcibly molesting his sister. He only had a couple of these instances in the OVA due to time constraints, so, by all means, the anime wins this round.
Next volume, do Yori and Iku do the do at the love hotel?