Plot: Who are Iku and Yori’s real parents? Is it possible that they’re still twins?
Can they create groinal friction without judgment? Can I find it within myself to care about these horrible, horrible characters?
Breakdown: The first chapter shows Yano taking Iku to an amusement park to distract her from Yori seemingly making eyes at Mori. Meanwhile, Mori, for some reason, heavily flirts with Yori even though she knows they’re half-siblings – guess incest runs in the family…..That was more of a joke than I intended.
She brings him to her house to see some photo albums of her father as a younger man and to basically confirm that her father and Yori’s mother had an affair. Her father comes home and confirms her suspicions, knowing Yori would notice quite soon after meeting Mori.
The next chapter has Yuugo denying that he’s Yori’s father, acting like he was joking about him being his real father. He tells him the story about his and Saki’s relationship. He was a bad boy, she was a very strict kinda manipulative person who would purposely push his buttons. He was annoyed with her at first, but quickly fell in love and started doing bad things on purpose to get her to scold him.
However, in spite of his feelings, she was already engaged with Shunpei since before they even met. He admitted his feelings toward her, but she refused him on those grounds, despite seemingly loving him back. He states they were never together so it’s impossible for him to be Yori’s father.
Yuugo admits that he’d love to be Yori’s father, and he is affectionate toward Yori because he’s Saki’s image…..even though….you’d think it’d be more understandable to be affectionate towards Iku. I mean, Yori’s been noted as looking exactly like Yuugo, not Saki. Iku’s more Saki’s image.
Anyway, he’s lying. He takes a hair from Yori before he leaves and intends on using it for a DNA test. Turns out, Yuugo and Saki did bump uglies once….On her friggin’ wedding day. She’s even in her wedding dress when they do it. That’s fucked up.
The next chapter starts with Yano and Iku coming home from the amusement park. Yano stops the car when he sees Yori and Mori together and freaks out at Yori telling him Iku’s been worried sick. He begs him not to hurt her again. Yes, Yano, yell that out as loudly as you can.
Mori explains the situation, and Iku is shocked.
Iku: “But then Yori….wouldn’t be my brother?”
No, not exactly. Half-siblings are still siblings. Their situation would only be slightly less squicky.
Yano kidnaps Yori to talk more about what happened. Yori explains that, even though Yuugo stated he wasn’t and couldn’t possibly be his father, there’s still the odd issue of Iku’s paternity booklet with the missing sections about her parents. He’s struggling because, even though he’d love to find out she’s not his sister, telling Iku that her mom and dad aren’t her biological parents would crush her.
Wow, an understandable and heartbreaking revelation and normal mode of thinking. Good job, Yori!
They bring the information to Yano’s personal family doctor for analysis, and she says that, with both the mother and the father information left blank, she was likely abandoned and the Yuki family adopted her.
Yori: “Is this a dream come true?” Wow, a single page to go from ‘Good job, Yori!’ to ‘Go to hell, Yori!’
Giving him some credit, even though he also says he now feels like he might be the luckiest man in the world, he’s still conflicted because the news will hurt Iku. Yano tells him to not feel guilty because now he can freely tell Iku he loves her in front of everyone without judgment.
Uhm, Yano, first and foremost, please don’t tell him to not have even a semblance of healthy character development.
Second, no. No, he can’t.
Even when you’re not blood related, it’s still a social taboo to date your siblings. Even though he can be a little more free about it, they’ll still likely get whispers and snickers and even harassment. I also can’t imagine their parents would be cool about it. Their mom seems to be aware that they’re not fully blood related (maybe their dad too?) and she is having panic attacks left and right whenever she believes the two might be romantically involved.
The chapter ends with him dreaming about the happy life they might have a chance at having – being able to hug, kiss and tell Iku he loves her, but most importantly, make her happy.
The start of the next chapter has Yuugo confronting Saki explaining that, via a DNA test, he has proven that Yori is his son. Saki doesn’t seem surprised, and Yuugo demands to know why she never told him if she knew. She begs him to not say anything because it would destroy her family.
Yuugo relays to her that Yori visited him, investigating whether Yuugo was his father or not and seemed disappointed when he told him he wasn’t. Saki is shaken, but seemingly not for this revelation. She’s moreso putting two and two together and believes he was disappointed because he wanted to not be fully blood related to Iku so they could be romantically involved.
Flashing back to more proof that Iku’s a dumbass, we’re shown Yori teasing Iku for not even getting up to a 20 on any of her quizzes in any of her subjects. How the hell did this girl even reach this level in school? How is she not flunking? Yori can only do so much. What does she do all day? She’s has no skills or hobbies, and she doesn’t seem to spend much time with anyone outside of Yori and Yano, yet apparently studying never crosses her mind. Even people pretending to pay attention can eek out scores twice as good as hers.
Don’t tell me it’s all the fooling around with Yori because she was getting these grades long before she hooked up with Yori and when he was at the other school.
This is meant to depict another one of many instances where Saki has been suspicious about their feelings for each other.
Back in the present, Saki says she won’t give into Yuugo’s blackmail, though we never learn how he blackmailed her. I get what he’s holding over her, but what is he asking for?
But speaking of blackmail, Saki straight out asks Yori when he gets home if he loves Iku. Yori coolly, and without missing a beat, blackmails her, stating he knows everything about her and Yuugo and Iku’s adoption. If she so much as breathes a word to Shunpei or Iku about it, he’ll tell them everything and destroy their family.
He goes even further explaining just how much he loves Iku and blames Saki for his deep feelings of guilt all of these years when he could’ve been free to love her like he wanted if she just spoke the truth.
Later, he shows that he’s flaunting his newfound freedom in front of his mother, knowing he has her in a vice. He takes a barely dressed Iku into their room to get freaky under the guise of ‘studying’ and Saki collapses on the stairs in emotional agony, knowing she can’t do anything about it.
I know Saki’s definitely guilty of a lot of things, but Yori is a stone-cold pile of shit.
The next chapter starts with Yori and Iku about to get it on in their bedroom while their mother sits in the stairwell, debating what to do. As Yori’s about to get down and dirty, their mother bursts into the room to stop them, no longer caring what Yori does because she feels her duty to protect her children from a mistake is more important than the happy lie she’s created in their family.
She tells Iku that, despite the odd paternity booklet, she is 100% Iku’s mother and Shunpei is her father. She is also Yori’s mother, but as Shunpei walks in the room to see what all the fuss is about, she admits that Yuugo is Yori’s father.
The last chapter of the volume shows Saki on her wedding day. Yuugo tried to convince her to run away with him and elope, and she was actually extremely happy to hear him say that. However, she was too dedicated to Shunpei. She couldn’t break his heart.
For the first time and the last time, they decided to have sex. She slept with Yuugo on her wedding day, and Shunpei on her wedding night. Having sex with two men in a 24 hour period and getting two of her eggs from the same cycle fertilized by each of the men resulted in the previously discussed heteropaternal superfecundation – the creation of twins born of two fathers.
She tells Shunpei, who should really be wondering what the hell half-naked Yori and all-naked Iku are doing in bed, that she’ll accept a divorce if he wants one, but he refuses. He actually knew about Yori’s parentage all along, but he didn’t say anything and continued to keep up her lie because she chose to stay by his side all this time. He knew this whole situation caused her great pain, but she kept through it to be by his side.
So, before I continue, some side notes tell us that Yori’s next dialogue is knowingly horrible and he feels guilty about it before he even says it. Keep that in mind.
Shunpei tells Yori that it doesn’t matter if they’re not blood related, he will always be his precious son. Yori says, and I’m directly quoting here.
Yori: “I’m sorry, Dad. I am not happy at all. I like mom and dad, but I have thought about how good it would be if dad wasn’t my dad and how great it would be if mom wasn’t my birth mother. Just now, mom said all of this is my responsibility. Therefore, can you give me Iku?”
Yup. Garbage person. He basically told his parents to their faces that he enjoyed the idea of them not being his real parents and started a negotiation to be ‘given’ Iku, like she’s restitution.
And don’t give me anything about this being less bad because he realizes it’s a shitty thing to do.
To quote Todd from Bojack Horseman – “You can’t keep doing this! You can’t keep doing shitty things and then feel bad about yourself like that makes it okay. YOU NEED TO BE BETTER!”
But we’re not done.
Yori: “I don’t need dad or mom. That’s why….I’m taking Iku! Because I only need Iku!”
The volume ends with kidnapping. Swell.
This volume is horrible. Yuugo’s being a dick. Mori’s being a creepy bitch. Yori’s being a dick. Saki’s a terrible person who got off too easily. Shunpei’s a bit of a doormat. Iku….Iku is literally not doing anything. She’s responded to everything in this volume with the same look of blank surprise. She seemed slightly upset when Mori told her Yori might not be her brother, but that was about it.
Yori uses his manipulative garbage person ways to more freely boink his sister and then uses them again to get Iku, acting like he’s entitled to her, and Iku just goes with it. Iku you are one step away from being a prop, but that’d be a compliment because props actually have functions.
Some people have this weird view on love that it’s romantic to seem like you care about literally no one else but the person you love, but that view always struck me as toxic and horribly unhealthy. Love should make you a better person, not further drive you into dickery. You shouldn’t feel like you can be a heartless monster to people, especially your parents, just because you love someone and want to be with them.
There’s not much else to say about this volume. Everyone is terrible. Everything is terrible.
Next volume is our finale! Can they clean up this mess of glorious proportions and somehow make me not want to throw my computer out a window?
Plot: Filler, talking dogs, a dog propositioning Yori, more filler.
Oh and possible gang rape. I should mention that.
Breakdown: The first chapter has little happening in it. Like I mentioned at the tail end of volume six, Yano kisses Iku while she’s sleeping, because we haven’t had enough sexual assault in this series. She was dreaming of Yori kissing her, but she doesn’t find out that Yano was kissing her in real life.
We also get some odd scenes with their dogs. Inu-Yori growls at Yano for kissing Iku and then bites him, then Inu-Iku smacks Inu-Yori to avenge Yano, then Inu-Yori is kissing Inu-Iku….it’s really strange.
Yano meets up with Yori later that night at his gas station job and admits straight out to Yori that he kissed Iku while she was sleeping. Yori rightfully attempts to kick his ass, but stops himself because he knows he’s more in the wrong given what he’s done…..Oh….Oh! He’s growing as a person! Quick! Someone document this! We may never get another chance!
He then also says he’s in the wrong for loving Iku at all because he knows he can’t give her the type of future she deserves. You’ve already kinda been over this revelation in the past, but yes, keep going with this.
The next chapter starts with………Inu-Iku…..sexually propositioning Human!Yori?…The first frame is Inu-Iku laying flat with her butt towards Yori, then she lifts her butt up towards him and shakes her ass, then she turns around and her eyes are all sparkly…then Yori kisses Inu-Iku while calling her Iku…..
…I don’t know what to do with this…..
I’m sparing you from the actual image, though. You’re welcome.
Yano tries to convince Yori to come back home since, without him around, he feels free to keep pawing at Iku. He also wants to ‘steal Iku from (him) fair and square.’ We get fanservice yaoi prodding by having a near-kiss with Yano and Yori since Yano tries to give back the kiss he gave to Iku to Yori. *shrug* I’d ship it. Better the two of them be together so they can sexually assault each other than letting them loose onto innocent people.
Yano reveals that he brought Iku with him to receive Yori’s kiss properly. They’re about to reunite when Yano stops them and tells them to solidify an alibi before doing anything. Iku agrees and calls home only to have Yori, for some dumbass reason, start distracting her by kissing and licking her fingers. I thought you were trying desperately to keep your relationship a secret, especially from your parents, yet you’re almost purposely sabotaging her alibi while on the phone with your father. What is wrong with you?
Yano, seeing that Iku is breaking, grabs the phone from her and talks to her father. He explains that he’s with her, apologizes for keeping her out late and begs that he let him stay with Iku for the night.
Her father, quite shockingly, agrees, as long as he promises not to do anything indecent or irresponsible. Because teenage boys are so trustworthy to keep promises about not doing questionable things with teenage girls, especially ones as naïve as Iku. Father of the goddamn year.
Not that he knows this, but she’s spending the night with two guys who have sexually assaulted her in some way. Fun.
Yano gets off the phone and pauses when he sees Yori’s somber face. He admits that he’s always wanted to say those same things to their father. He says he wants to be Yano, able to admit these things aloud without judgment or prejudice. Yano claims he wants to be Yori, since he’s the one Iku really wants.
Yano leaves, and Yori and Iku kiss, reminding each other that the last time they talked they said the next time they’d meet they’d make love.
Chapter 38 is actually not bad given the interlude. Yori and Iku try to have sex, but Yori is increasingly nervous. He even asks if they can turn the lights off, though Iku refuses because she wants to see Yori’s ‘cute face.’ Yano has the hotel room next door so he can hear them, and he is even able to see them a little through the open window.
It’s actually a little sad. The poor guy has to listen to and see the girl he seemingly loves having sex with her brother, and even Inu-Yori and Inu-Iku are getting lovey-duvey right in front of him.
If he wasn’t so creepy, I might actually feel emotion right now.
The dean reports to Yori’s parents about the fact that he’s out past curfew now and previously had an incident where he brought a girl from another school into his dorm room. Their mother is quite worried, even though their father tells her that Iku’s with Yano…which, shouldn’t sate her worries either way, but still. She’s obviously concerned her children are squeaking bed springs together.
The next morning, Yano gets them up and finds that they actually didn’t have sex. Yori was so nervous, he only got some of their clothes off and then chickened out at the last second. This is kinda weird. I can’t imagine Yori being nervous just because they haven’t seen each other in so long. Is he reluctant to keep banging the bongos with her when he knows they can never be together? Is this….more character growth? What is happening!?
They bid farewell at the train station, but this time Iku begs Yori to come with them. Yori pushes her on the train and tells her he can never go back because she’s his sister. Yori tearfully watches the train depart.
The next chapter is uneventful and kinda boring. Yori is getting heat from the school for his behavior, and right before he’s about to be punished, Iku and Yano show back up at his dorm. They got off at the first stop on the train and doubled back because Iku wanted to be with Yori.
Yori gets his punishment – one day’s worth of being grounded to his dorm…..You all are so strict….Have mercy on the poor guy….
Tomoka has a spy now who ratted out Yori. His name’s Ogura and they treat him like I should know him, but I don’t. Is he Yori’s roommate? I forget.
Iku and Yano disguise themselves as students and wander the grounds because they’re stupid. They instantly bump into both Tomoka and Yori. Tomoka catches up with Yano, admitting she knows of their incestuous relationship and has been trying to sabotage it. Yano slaps her for calling Iku stupid, even though he agrees with her. *shrug*
Yori takes this opportunity of Iku being in their school uniform to announce her as his girlfriend, which could go wrong in so many ways I’d go braindead from facepalming.
The next chapter…acts as if the previous chapter end didn’t happen because now we’re back home with Iku. I guess this is….a special chapter or something. I didn’t catch it at first, but…okay. Shouldn’t you put special chapters at the end of a volume?
She’s being chewed out by her mother for outrageous phone bills since she won’t stop calling Yori. Iku can’t say that Yori’s the one she’s calling (even though that number should appear on the bill) but her mother tells her to cut her bill in half or they’ll cancel her contract.
I have a better idea. Make her pay for the phone bill. She had a job…once….If you want to make her self-sufficient, make her pay for her own phone bill.
So….there was a…very odd…addition to this chapter…
The dogs can talk.
Yeah….that’s a thing that’s happening. Okay, let me clarify – the dogs don’t “talk,” but they do have inner monologue that we can read and it’s played off just like normal dialogue. They ‘speak’ in thickly lined text boxes that are footnoted by a pawprint. They make observations about the situation going on around them while also talking to each other.
I have absolutely no idea why this is a thing. Why is this even slightly necessary besides maybe to spoon-feed the audience implied emotions? Inu-Yori sees Iku crying over Yori not being able to talk to her as much. He claims people die of loneliness, and he’s worried Iku will die. He restates this later on too.
Can they seriously not just get the emotional impact out enough through the art and dialogue? Do they really need a cute little dog claiming his master will die of loneliness for us to understand that she’s really really sad?
Yori calls her, and Iku explains what their mother said. She also reveals that she got zero points on her latest exam, because of course she did. Even stereotypical ‘stupid’ thug characters usually at least get a handful of points on tests. Hell, you could probably get a few by just blindly guessing, but Iku’s a unique butterfly of a person in that she just doesn’t try and has the IQ of used underwear.
I know I keep bringing this up, but I really can’t understand the appeal of this girl. She’s stupid (several characters even flatout say so, including Yano and Yori) she’s lazy, she cries at the drop of a hat, she’s irresponsible, she’s codependent to the point of a crippling handicap, she’s naïve as hell, she has absolutely no skills, and she has no desires in life outside of seeing Yori. The only positive things you can say about her are that she’s nice and pretty, and if that’s not lazy character writing in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.
Yori calls and tells her later that he’ll be able to visit for a day during the summer holiday. They’re going to a summer festival, and Yano is tagging along, but when they get there, Yori calls and says rain has made travel on the bullet train impossible so he can’t visit.
Yano and Iku have a pretty good time at the festival, but Yano pulls her aside and tells her that she’s obviously holding back her tears for his sake and feels insulted that she can’t show that side of her around him. She says she’s not doing it for his sake, but she knows if she starts crying she won’t be able to stop.
Suddenly, Yori appears. He caught a different train, putting him off schedule for over 12 hours, but managed to catch her at the festival. They start kissing in the tree line, and Yano grumbles as he walks off by himself.
The last chapter of the volume starts off with a completely unnecessary recap of everything that’s happened in the manga up until this point. When we reach present time, we learn that the slap wasn’t the end of the confrontation with Tomoka.
After she was slapped, she called Yano an idiot and instantly cried out. She claimed that Yano was a stalker from her previous school and now he’s dressed up in their uniform and followed her to her current school to harass her even more. Fellow students drag him away, even threatening to have him arrested. All Yano can do is laugh and commend her for setting a trap he so easily fell into as Tomoka looks on with a smile.
Ogura shows back up to talk to Tomoka about it, and she uses her feminine wiles to coerce him into finding Yori and telling him to meet with her. She claims Yano and Yori are friends, and wants to ask him a question about the situation.
As he leaves to do just that, Tomoka looks back with a smirk, verbally expressing how much enjoyment she gets out of manipulating men. She is working the villain angle so hard I’m waiting for thunderclaps whenever she appears. Wasn’t there a point where she was a nice character or am I imagining things?
Meanwhile, Yori and Iku take advantage of the ruckus caused by Yano and Tomoka to have some time alone. Yori tries to kiss Iku since she looks cute in her disguise glasses. Even though he asks permission, he doesn’t wait to get it. Even Iku, surprisingly, points out that she never said ‘okay.’
He brings Iku to his dorm room and he’s about to…Hmm what’s a super clever innuendo for this?….Uhm….do an oral report on Iku’s southern hemisphere.
Ogura interrupts them and calls Yori out of the room. He tells Iku, who’s concealed by the curtain on his bed, to hide herself until he gets back. She’s a loyal puppy about it (Not my words. They put the puppy ears and tail on her and everything) until Tomoka enters the room. She knows Iku’s in there….and….
Okay, so if there was any doubt Tomoka’s a full-on villain now, let me dash it – she recruits a bunch of guys from school….and brings them into the room. The cliffhanger of the volume implies that Iku’s about to be raped by these guys and she can’t make a peep about it because she’ll be betraying Yori’s command to stay quiet and, additionally, Tomoka will tell her parents about their relationship.
That volume went from zero to holy shit real quick. Seriously, I was just about to write off this whole volume as being basically filler. What really happens in 99% of it? More Yori and Iku fluff and making out, Yano feeling like crap because he can’t stop babysitting a girl who’s boning her brother, their mother yells at Iku for a high phone bill, the dogs talk for whatever reason, but not really, then BOOM the start of a gang rape.
Tomoka is just pathological at this point. Blackmailing Yori was high-level bitch stuff, but smiling as she’s about to blackmail Iku into getting gang raped? What the unholy fuck?
What does Tomoka even hope to gain at this point? Is she really so messed up in the head that she believes she still has a shot with Yori? Because, oh yeah, getting his sister/lover gang raped (She never said Iku couldn’t tell Yori about it) will no doubt put her in his good graces.
Or is she resigned and fueled by a sick desire for vengeance on the person she believe stole Yori from her? Because from the very beginning their relationship was built on a lie. She knew she was just being used as a sex doll in place of the person Yori really liked, and she seemingly had no issue with this. Was the fact that this person was his sister the thing that made her fly off the rails?
Even if she was angry at that, this is going too far for her character. Then again, you could argue that, since she was blackmailing Yori before and had every intention on coercing him into sex through that blackmail, that she was fine with rape even that early on.
I don’t know what they could possibly do to her character in future volumes to make her pay for these horrible acts. How would they even get her to stop? She seems like she’s getting some sort of sick pleasure out of it now. Don’t say this series doesn’t have character development because Tomoka has somehow edged out both Hair-Sniff McRape and Molester Sexualassaultberg.
Outside of that final moment, this whole volume is nothing but filler. Nothing was gained, nothing was lost, even the consequences for Yori’s actions with Iku are laughably minor. He’s grounded to his dorm room for one day. Just one. His parents are notified, but who cares? He doesn’t live with them anymore.
It doesn’t even negatively affect his social status. Wanna know why? Because Yori was right. The student body is mostly just impressed that Yori’s getting some tail. Ogura is annoyed by him, but who cares about Ogura? If he is Yori’s roommate, he’s been an annoying little shit since day one. Yori was curt to him upon greeting, and I guess that was enough to continuously rat him out. Snitches get stitches, and then they get bitches. Have fun with Tomoka, Ogura.
Iku seems like she gets into more trouble for sneaking around, and even that’s unrealistically lenient. ‘Oh sure, Yano, you can have a sleepover with my teenage daughter. I totally trust that there won’t be any genital interaction on this innocent get-together.’
Next time….we find out what happens next….Sorry, I feel super awkward saying something like ‘Next time, is Iku really about to get gang raped? What will this mean for her incestuous relationship with her brother?’
Plot: Blackmail, pregnancy, unknown parental origins, and Yori having a human moment?!
Breakdown: The first chapter leads us to believe Yori will have emotionless sex with Tomoka as long as she keeps his relationship with Iku a secret. He’s being pretty damn aggressive about it, even throwing her onto the bed. But not but four pages later, before they even get undressed, it’s revealed that he was formatting her computer the whole time, meaning the pictures are gone and she has no pull now.
That’s either the fastest computer format ever or they were having the slowest non-sexual foreplay ever. Either way, Tomoka’s a dumbass for leaving her computer alone with Yori (at least password protect it, for god’s sake.) If you’re using anything for blackmail, you can never have too many copies and backups. Worst antagonist ever.
Yano teases Iku some more at her house, Yori comes home and, despite the fact that their parents are still home and Yano is there, Yori suggests doing naughty things and the chapter ends.
The next chapter has Yori getting slightly rapey again as he and Iku start doing the naughty things mentioned before because he states to himself that she needs to tell him what she wants, otherwise he won’t be able to stop himself. Neat.
Yano sits and watches them, but who cares? He already knew about the two of them and we already know he’s a creep. Either way, Yori gets possessive and tells Yano to forget what he saw. He thinks to himself that he’s the only one allowed to see Iku’s cute face like that. If he doesn’t forget it, he’ll never forgive him. At least Yori is seeming a little less aggressive lately, even if he was being damn near assault-y with Tomoka earlier.
Yano leaves, they eat dinner, and Yori passes out because he was caught in the rain earlier. I hate that trope. Getting a little cold and wet for a bit does not give you insta-flu.
We learn that their mom is actually legitimately concerned that Iku and Yori have a thing for each other. I thought she was joking before, but nope. They even clearly state that she’s noticed that Yori is in love with Iku. It’s interesting that it doesn’t say that they’ve fallen for each other. It’s clearly just saying that Yori loves Iku.
She even hears what sounds like Yori about to force himself on Iku, which turns out to not be true, but I really wouldn’t be surprised because these two dumbasses are about as stealthy as a moose made of pans.
The next chapter is mostly pointless. It’s a day in the school life of Yano and Iku. Yano gets turned on by Iku in her pajamas, Yano states that he likes Iku even though she sleeps late, makes other people do her homework for her because she’s too dumb, has no common sense and sleeps in class. Okay, he doesn’t directly say that, but basically. We learn that she and Yori never did anything while he was home because his fever was so bad the whole time that he couldn’t get hard. Lovely.
The only important information in this chapter is given at the end, where…I’ve kinda cheated. Way back when I watched and reviewed the OVA, I read some information on the manga and learned that Yori and Iku are only half-siblings through heteropaternal superfecundation. When a woman has sex with two different men in the time frame of, at most, one week, she can get simultaneously pregnant from both men.
Don’t think that I’m spoiling you early because this chapter is not that subtle about it. In this chapter, we learn of a man named Mori Yuugo, an old friend of theirs that they haven’t seen in 17 years. Iku and Yori’s mother flips out when she hears their father has met back up with him and is especially outraged to hear that Mori has a daughter about Yori’s age, and that they promised to have them get married when they were old enough.
It was probably said in jest, even if he explains how much sense it makes, but Iku and Yori’s mother has an extreme outburst, demanding to know why he believes Yori and the daughter are similar and how similar they are in what ways. She then says it’s ridiculous to even suggest that they should live up to this stupid promise they made years ago and tells him to never see him again.
Yano puts two and two together and calls Yori, telling him that he and Iku might not be twins. Though, at this point, shouldn’t the suspicion be that Yori and Iku aren’t their father’s children? That’s a lot easier to believe than the incredibly rare heteropaternal superfecundation.
Next chapter, Yori doesn’t know what to make of what Yano has told him, but believes it to be too good to be true. He sleeps in class and slacks off, basically in a deep legit depression that Iku’s not around. He states that he only tried so hard in school because Iku once told him that she liked brainy guys. Now that he’s not with Iku anymore, he feels he doesn’t need to put in such effort. Not that that matters anyway because super shoujo manga love interest main character powers activate! He still gets first in the class in exams.
Iku later tells him that Yano’s being nice and helping her with her homework, which Yori couldn’t do the last time he was home because he was sick. He feels bad about it, and Iku feels the need to ‘punish’ him since he wasn’t able to help her. His punishment? You’ll never guess.
Damn, girl. You harsh.
I will say this is a bit of….nice….development? Because she’s actually the one suggesting it this time. I’m feeling less squicky. Who knew that Yori being away from Iku for a bulk of the manga would make it more tolerable?
Meanwhile, Tomoka, not done with Yori yet, calls up Iku and drops the bomb. She’s pregnant!
Dun dun d—no. No. That’s impossible. Yori hasn’t slept with Tomoka since they were ‘dating’. Why should I care about this? Fake pregnancy tricks always seem so stupid because the person never seems to realize that, come nine months from now, they’ll notice there’s no kid. You could fake a miscarriage, but then you’re back where you started. The only reason I could ever see anyone doing this is that they’re evil enough to want to screw up someone’s life that badly, even temporarily, just to soak up their suffering.
The only other way this could work is if Tomoka purposely got herself pregnant by someone else and is accusing Yori of being the father, which is insane, but Tomoka’s gone far down Insane Lane by now. However, DNA test…..that’s all I have to say in that regard.
Even if I sit here going ‘Oh mon Dieu. How will Iku react?!’ I know that everything would revert back to normal once the truth was given, especially since dumbass Iku takes everything Yori says as gospel.
I wouldn’t care anyway because this manga still gives me no reason to root for them as a couple….or people…..or living creatures.
Next chapter is…..good?
Dun dun du—well, actually, every part not including Iku is good…surprise!
Yori is sent on a punishment game, which is tradition for anyone who gets first place marks on exams. His task is to go into the girls’ dorm and retrieve a specified item. The item is a tie from the girls’ dorm residential adviser, Mayu. Remember her? She’s still here.
The boys also make him dress up like a doctor and tell him to play doctor with the girls, which he doesn’t do, thank god. You’d think this would involve being secretive, but for Yori, it’s not. The girls actually line the halls, taking pictures of him with their cameraphones, telling him that they’ll let him go if he tells them what girls he likes. He says he likes girls who are kinda dumb, and they all collapse in despair because they’re smart. They actually collapsed because they realized they dodged a huge bullet.
When Yori arrives at Mayu, she agrees to just give him the tie and shares a story about Takuma’s experience doing the punishment game. Remember Takuma? The boys’ dorm residential adviser? He’s still here.
When he did it, the girls did try to hunt him down, and his task was to retrieve a garment from the girl he liked while wearing a girl’s sailor uniform. He was planning on taking Mayu’s underwear and ran into her room. He had a mild attack and dropped an exposition bomb that he has until he’s 20 years old to live, so he can’t pursue romantic relationships.
She used a stethoscope to listen to his heart, which was beating wildly. He explained that it wasn’t the running or the illness doing that – it was her being so close to him.
The flashback ends and it’s shown that Yori has the stethoscope that she used that day, and he’s returned it to her. Mayu suggests that this might mean that he doesn’t feel the same way about her anymore, but in a shocking turn of humanity, Yori smiles and tells her that it’s just the opposite. He wants her to hear what she heard that day again.
He returns to the boys’ dorm, gives up the tie and teases Takuma by giving him a pair of panties, claiming he played doctor with Mayu.
Alright, let me stop right there. This right here. This. This one little splash of a moment for Yori…..is positive character development. He’s socializing – positively. He’s smiling. He’s playfully teasing someone. He’s laughing….in a non-creepy way. He’s cheering someone else up. He’s listening intently to someone else’s stories. It may have been just a flash in the pan, but this little moment is proof that Yori can be a better person.
This is also proof that his relationship with Iku is toxic.
I mentioned earlier that Yori seems like he’s more tolerable when Iku’s not around. He mopes, yeah, but he’s slowly breaking out of his shell and becoming a better person. In the ten some odd years of being in love with Iku, he became a horrible, malicious person who never showed any sort of emotion towards anyone but Iku, and the emotions were always extremely aggressive and creepy.
Being away from Iku just for a few months, even taking into consideration phone calls and visits, has made him significantly more tolerable. He still has his creeper asshole moments, but, shocker, these are almost now entirely relegated to anything involving Iku. And, honestly, even those moments aren’t on the same level anymore as the moments they had when he was still living with her.
I can say the same thing about Iku. Using Yori as a crutch, Iku has become an incredibly needy, dependent idiot who is not good at anything…at all and doesn’t even seem like she tries much at all at anything she does. She flops around on the ground like a fish, gasping for air, until Yori or Yano put her in her tank and shake fish flakes over the surface of the water. Then she hides in her ceramic castle until Yori comes to boink her.
Despite getting a little closer with Yano now, Iku is not experiencing the same character development that Yori is having because she’s too preoccupied with him. Rarely a page goes by with focus on her that she’s not thinking or talking about Yori.
Yano is not helping. He’s basically a stand-in for Yori as a crutch. He finds her stupidity and neediness to be adorable and is more than willing to lug around her tank and a backpack full of fish flakes, chasing her flopping stupid body all around town just hoping that he can flop around with her.
This is not a matter of taboo. It never has been. It’s been a matter of two people being in a very unhealthy relationship and not realizing it.
Besides that, this story with Mayu and Takuma is very nice, and every time these two are brought up I wish I was reading a manga about them and not these creepy morons.
But that’s not all this chapter. Iku actually manages to have a brain and states that Yori hasn’t slept with Tomoka since back when they were dating, so she has to be lying. Good girl, Iku. Way to think! I’ll tell Yano to put extra fish flakes in your tank.
Tomoka admits that she was lying. Oh, good. I’ll just take these couple of paragraphs from the previous page and just flush them down the toilet. However, she states that her outburst is proof of jealously, which means they must be in an incestuous relationship, and she threatens to tell everyone about it…..Uh…what? Iku didn’t indicate jealousy. She freaked out at pregnancy news involving her brother and stated the obvious fact that it was impossible.
Even if this did indicate jealousy, how is that proof that they’re currently in a romantic relationship? At most, it just proves she has romantic feelings for him, and even that could be a stretch.
Hey writer! Why not just have Tomoka say ‘I know you and Yori are screwing’? That’s basically what she’s driving at anyway. This pregnancy scare had no purpose but to make an end-of-chapter cliffhanger, which is dumb, because her telling Iku that she knows about the relationship is a very suitable cliffhanger. Or did you just want to drum up fake drama?
Yano now has a puppy he names Inu-Iku…..*sigh* Iku is freaking out about what Tomoka said, but Yano easily quells her fears by stating she’s stupid to believe her since she has no evidence, and most parents would find such a claim to be ridiculous. Even with her mother’s suspicions, he knows he can keep convincing her that he’s dating Iku and not Yori. She cheers up, falls asleep on a bench, Yano says she looks like an idiot, he hears her say Yori’s name in her sleep and kisses her, wishing to be the one to replace Yori since all he will do to her is make her cry.
Soooooooooo, nothing happens then suddenly a wild sexual assault appears. Ah, I’m getting early volume flashbacks.
And that’s volume six. Outside of one good moment for Yori and quickly wrapping up several hanging plot threads ridiculously quickly (“I’m blackmailing you with photos! Make love to me!” “Formatted computer. Bye, bitch!” – “You might not be twins!” “Eh, forget about that by mid next-chapter” – “I’m pregnant!” “No you’re not!” “You’re right! Lol” – “I still know you’re porking your womb roommate.” “Oh god!” “She has no proof.” “Thank god!”) this was a pretty uneventful chapter.
This volume really just made me want to keep rooting for Iku and Yori…to find other people. If Iku really needs a crutch, fine, go with Yano. He’s a creepy sexually assaulting weirdo, but at least he’s not as bad as Yori can get with her. Yori definitely shouldn’t be with Tomoka, but anyone else but Iku. I keep finding more and more proof that their relationship is terrible and that they’re better people when the other isn’t in the picture (well, Yori is anyway).
Next time on ‘Wow, You’re Still Reading This? Why?’ Dogs can talk, Tomoka’s a bitch and suddenly gang rape?!?! WHAT?!
Plot: Iku and Yori start high school apart, and that’s not all that’s changing. Tomoka has somehow managed to get accepted into Yori’s school, and she has every intention on winning Yori’s heart. Iku and Yano have started new jobs as wait staff at a restaurant, despite Iku’s inability to do anything without destroying everything. Iku is doing her best to save money for trips to see Yori, but a new problem has emerged. Yano has fallen in love with Iku and declares war on Yori for Iku’s heart.
Breakdown: I will admit that the first chapter starts out fairly well. In a sitcom manner, Iku goes to where Yori lives to visit him just as Yori goes back home to visit Iku for their birthday. The comedic back and forth between both Yori and Iku and Yano and Yori is nice, but it’s quickly ruined.
Iku, the easily lead dumbass she is, goes to a hotel room with Yano under the excuse of them getting something to eat, which they can’t do in a restaurant with Inu!Yori. She chows down then passes out in his bed because of course she does. I should mention that Yano was teasing Yori on the phone by saying if he didn’t get there soon he’d start doing perverted things with her. This seemed like innocent teasing between friends until he lead her to his room….where he proceeded to lick her ear as she was sleeping.
Knowing this series, I can bet if Yori hadn’t burst into the room shortly after, Yano would probably molest her much further. Looks like my predictions on his character being ruined from subtle hints in the OVA may have been correct. So far, he is the most likable character, though, outside of Nakamura. I don’t know what that says about the quality of this series.
When Yori arrives, he puts the ring on Iku, but they can’t even do that simple gesture without making Yori into a possessive creepy jackoff. The instant he puts it on her, he calls the ring a ‘collar’ and says he bought it so that other men would stay away from her. He even seems to state that Iku is so dense that she probably doesn’t realize their relationship is incestuous…..
Well, that was a chapter alright……oh, yeah, it ends with Yori pretending to start to rape Iku as she pretends to sleep. Aw, how romanticreepy.
The next chapter, thankfully, doesn’t go any further than him licking, sucking on and biting her finger. We’ve gotten to the point where that’s restraint…
They have some nice banter again, this time about the gifts. She loves her ring, though feels guilty that all she got him were some miscellaneous items you could buy at a drug store like a shampoo hat and an ear cleaning kit….Though, again, they even have to make that creepy, because we then see Yori getting a hard on because Iku’s cleaning his ears. I know there are many fetishes out there, to each his own, have at it….but none of them, zero, should involve ear wax.
Surprisingly, again, though, despite the temptation, the chapter just ends with the two sleeping on the floor.
The next chapter opens with Yori and Iku showing each other how they look in their new school uniforms through email, and Yori fumbles with trying to take a picture of himself with his phone.
Again, starting out cute and innocent enough. Iku is attending a high school with basically everyone else she was with in junior high, such as Yano and Nakamura. Meanwhile, we get a twist in Yori’s story when Tomoka suddenly shows up stating her father transferred to the area recently and, using her connections to Yori, somehow (since he’s the only one who passed the entrance exams) she was accepted into the academy.
She quickly tries to get her mitts all over him, though Yori wants none of that. A blackened text bubble indicates that Tomoka’s not giving up so quickly, though…..
….Okay, Tomoka was a bit bitchy before and undoubtedly possessive….but this whole job transfer is fishy as all hell. If I wanted to be this paranoid, it sounds like Tomoka somehow coerced her parents to move there when she found out about Yori’s decision, somehow screwed with the exams to get her entrance, then she could take advantage of her close proximity to Yori to rip him from Iku.
If that’s even slightly true….holy shit….that is some soap opera level insanity.
The rest of the chapter is pretty benign. Iku has conflicted feelings about Tomoka not going to her school, but she’s unaware Tomoka is at Yori’s. They meet a new girl named Mori, though I haven’t gotten a good hold on her as a character yet. They note her strong personality, but if anything she comes on a bit too strong for me. Finally, we get more indication that Yano is romantically interested in Iku.
Next chapter……You remember what I quoted in volume three? “Iku, who cannot do anything.”? I always thought, despite evidence to the contrary, that such a statement couldn’t be completely true. Iku has to be competent at something. She doesn’t get good grades, she’s needy and dependent to the point of a vague mental disorder, she’s clumsy, she’s incredibly naïve, she has no backbone, she doesn’t seem to have any talents – but she has to be competent somehow.
No, no, not really.
The start of this chapter has Iku getting a job as a waitress at the restaurant in which Yano works. I assume he pulled strings to get her hired because she….cannot do….a God. Damn. Thing. She can’t take orders, listing off tons of foods when the customer merely ordered one thing. She can’t carry a tray of food without dropping it because it’s heavy and hot. She can’t bus a table without breaking every dish on it. She can’t wash dishes without breaking them. She cannot complete a single waitressy task without a complete disaster.
She, rightfully, gets fired, but Yano saves her job since their boss is desperate for the girls that Yano is attracting to the place, and he threatens to quit if she goes.
Despite getting her a job and saving her from getting fired, Iku treats Yano like crap just because he playfully teases her every now and then (She doesn’t know about his true creeper-ness at this point) She tells him to go away and says she’ll ignore him, except when he asks about Yori because Yori is the moon, sun, stars and earth beneath thine feet. You’re kinda lead to believe Yano’s being a bit pushy here, but apparently Yori actually asked him to escort her home because she’s just too much of a naïve dunderhead to come home on her own too.
Iku has gotten this job because she’s trying to save money to pay for the train fare for her and inu!Yori to visit Yori, despite him saying he’d pay her travel expenses.
The chapter actually goes fairly well for the most part. Yori longs for Iku, Iku tries her best to work hard to get to Yori on her own, and Yano’s not being a creeper either….but of course we can’t end the chapter without something creepy and terrible happening.
Iku tries her best at her job when, of course, a fat, disgusting, sweaty pervert comes in. He purposely spills his water so Iku will lean over the table to clean it up, and, when she does, he gropes her boob. Iku freaks out, spilling food all over him. He pretends he didn’t do anything and becomes outraged that his supposedly expensive clothes are ruined. Yano tries to intimidate the man and defend Iku, but Iku’s boss believes the customer and demands Iku pay for his clothes and apologize or else she’ll get fired.
She gives in because she has to keep the job to visit Yori, and she ends up losing all of the money she saved, making her start all over again. Even though, again, Yori said he’d be more than happy to pay for her travel expenses. After the incident, Iku starts crying and calling herself an idiot, and Yano suddenly hugs her, much to Iku’s surprise.
Let me be clear and state that I don’t blame Iku for what happened nor am I mad that she didn’t stand up for herself and tell this pervert and her unsympathetic boss to fuck off. I am, however, annoyed at why she buckled.
Other than some sort of weird sense of pride or something, Iku has no reason to want to keep saving her own money to visit Yori if he’s financially capable of paying her way. Her paying the pervert and apologizing is basically her saying she’s fine with coping with the random groping pervert and doing horribly at this job to save money that she doesn’t really need just so she can snort a couple hits of Yori to get her fix.
The next chapter starts with the continuation of the hug, which is brushed off rather quickly as Yano cheers her up and then gives her some playful ribbing. Yori suspects that Iku is starting to like Yano since she brings him up in conversation more and more, which makes sense considering they both go to school and work together. Iku completely denies it, however. Yori is fed up with Iku trying to work and get the money to visit him, so he decides he’ll get a job and visit her instead….
Wait, I thought he had no money troubles, which is why he offered to pay for Iku’s travel fare whenever she wanted. He didn’t seem to have trouble buying that seemingly expensive ring or visiting home at the start of the volume. Now he needs a job?
He tricks Iku into believing he’ll get a job as a host. When Yano visits him to see what’s up, he discovers Yori’s actually a gas station attendant. They spend the rest of the day on amusement park rides and teasing each other when, on the Ferris wheel, Yano drops the bomb on Yori that he likes Iku. The rest of the conversation is not shown, but Yori doesn’t seem to react much, and the next page doesn’t show a newspaper headline of ‘Teenage Boy Viciously Murdered in Ferris Wheel.’
The next day, Yano gives Iku a bracelet he got at the amusement park that has a little inu!Yori-esque charm on it and tells her Yori got it for her, when that’s not true. He’s about to tell her what they talked about and the chapter ends.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……This volume has gone on way too long without something horribly creepy and borderline rapey happening. Oh whatever will I do if this volume ends without me feeling the pure darkness of hatred in my soul?
The final chapter starts with a continuation of Yano and Yori’s conversation. Yori takes his confession extremely well. He doesn’t get mad, he doesn’t even react much at all. Yano says he’s not backing down and he’ll declare war on Yori for Iku’s heart, and Yori accepts his challenge with a non-threatening smile. Half of this scene is done in comedic chibi-style, by the way. Quite the contrast between this and how he acted around Nakamura.
Back with Yano and Iku, Yano drops the bomb on Iku that Yori told him that their relationship is incestuous. Iku flips out in panic, worried she won’t be able to be with Yori anymore, but Yano says he’ll keep her secret.
He’ll keep her secret……
Under one condition……….
She has to love Yano. She has to be his. She has to give all of her love to him.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally broken out into creepy sexual abuse blackmail!
Yano is completely serious about this threat, physically intimidates her and even licks her neck to get her to agree to it.
Do I need to replace the hair sniff counter with a lick counter?
To Iku’s credit, she does slap him, refuses his advances, says she hates him and storms off into the house without agreeing to his terms. It seems Iku does have a backbone if you threaten her Stockholm syndrome.
And that’s the end of volume four. Final thoughts?
It’s actually the most tolerable volume so far, and that’s probably because Yori’s away from Iku for most of it so he can’t be a creepy pseudo-rapist. However, Yano, despite being the most fun character, is pushing the gas pedal on his creepiness, peaking with, of course, the blackmail.
Iku continues to be a huge ball of dependency issues, now compounded by an unwilling dependence on Yano since she literally cannot do a damn thing for herself, but she impressed me in the finale a tiny bit.
Story-wise, this volume doesn’t advance much. Iku and Yano get jobs, they all start high school, we get a brief glimpse at Tomoka who seems to have gone rogue, but the only important progressions are Yano admitting to Yori that he likes Iku and the blackmail.
By the way, I know all’s fair in love and war and stuff, but blackmailing Iku into a relationship isn’t fair in this little competition they have going. If she ever does show affection for Yano or start dating him, it will be because of the blackmail not because she legit loves him.
Plus, having a competition for Iku’s heart just further trivializes this whole situation and turns Iku into a prized possession……and she is actually described as a possession in the final chapter. Lovely.
It’s a damn shame is all. Yano and Iku would actually make a fairly good couple if Yano didn’t devolve into this creepy son of a bitch. I almost feel like this competition is less for Iku’s heart and more to see who can be the creepiest asshole.
So, how will this blackmail go? Will Tomoka turn out to be an even bigger major bitch? With Yano out-Yori Yori? Will I ever figure out why anyone would be attracted to anyone in this story? Find out next time on the manga I wish I weren’t reading!
Plot: Yori has been in love with his twin sister, Iku, for as long as he can remember. When he finally reveals his feelings to her, Iku is shocked and their lives get increasingly complicated. Does Iku feel the same? Can this relationship ever work?
Breakdown: I want to make one thing clear right off the bat – I’m not against anime or any other form of media that explores taboo subjects. When done well, these stories can explore something risque that opens entirely new views on the subject at hand. Even particularly squicky topics like incest can be handled well and made to be interesting.
It’s important to address these topics. They may be uncomfortable to discuss, but they’re a part of life. Learning about and understanding something that many people don’t talk about can be incredibly valuable.
When done wrong, however, they can turn what would’ve been a meh or bad show into a horrible show.
That being said, I’ve been wanting to review this OVA ever since I watched it a few years ago. It is a shining example of how to tackle taboo subjects in the wrong way.
The biggest issue with this show is the main character, Yori. He is in love with his “younger” twin sister, Iku, and has been since he was a small child.
It was a little sweet to see Yori be so nice to Iku as kids. Even though he obviously had aspirations to make Iku his bride some day, it was still cute because that can really be brushed off as the musings of a child who simply doesn’t understand the norms of society and even, to a degree, nature. When we see Yori grown up, however, basically all sympathy and understanding for the guy goes up in smoke.
He’s a mean, jealous, angry little sack of crap who seems more in lust with Iku than he is in love.
Case and point, he uses some girl that has a crush on him, Tomoka, for sex in order to release some of his sexual tension geared towards Iku. But don’t worry, it’s not an asshole-ish thing to do because Tomoka is fully aware that he likes someone else and even asked to be a proxy for this girl, hoping that one day he’d fall in love with her, just because sex.
In regards to his jealousy, he flies off the handle at even the slightest hint of another guy showing interest in Iku, or Iku even contemplating having a non-descript boyfriend to the point where he’ll go into rage-fueled rants about who she may have in mind for this, even grabbing her and yelling in her face about it. After having a fantasy of him having sex with her, of course.
When he’s not doing that, he’s being overall unpleasant, never smiling and constantly being mean to basically everyone.
I believe the writers want us to feel like it’s understandable that Yori is such an undeniable douchenozzle because he’s been so frustrated for years that he loves/lusts after his sister yet can’t admit to those feelings. And if he does, not only does he have to worry about rejection, but he also has to worry about changing if not destroying his relationship to Iku because of this incredibly awkward situation.
I understand that loving someone and even lusting after someone for years and not being able to tell them has to be frustrating, but Yori is an unbelievably huge asshole about it. A ‘normal’ person would still try to be kind and friendly to the person to not harm their relationship.
You could say he’s being an asshole for the sake of keeping her at arms length to help stave his feelings, but he’s an asshole to everyone yet especially to Iku. At a certain point, it seems less like he’s doing this to prevent heartache and break, and more like ‘I want to stay as far away from you as possible because I’m afraid I’ll rape you.’ kind of thing. This is only further enforced by the fact that he’s constantly grabbing and restraining her against her will.
It’s possible that whatever love he had for Iku as a child mutated into whatever rape-y person he’s devolved into today, but that doesn’t give me any sense of sympathy for him or connection with him. The exact opposite is true. I severely dislike this guy from practically the first frame of his scowling face, and that turns into hatred before we even get to the halfway point.
You might be asking ‘Well, what of Iku? Surely she’s better.’ You’d think so, but honestly, no. She’s a crybaby and an idiot. She cries every five minutes over every last thing and has a really unhealthy dependency on her brother.
Despite showing zero signs of being romantically interested in Yori during the first fifteen minutes of the show, after he jumps her, suddenly professes his feelings and gives her an ultimatum in romantically loving him or not, a quick clip show of all the times in the show where he’s been a cold asshole to her, which are pretty much the only moments where they shared screentime so far, makes her reciprocate his feelings. Not only that, but when she realizes there might be something between Yori and his FwB, Tomoka, SHE starts flipping out and being an even bigger idiot.
Even after this, it becomes clear to Yori that Iku doesn’t really love him and that she might be forcing herself into it to make him happy, which pretty much makes her a big ol’ doormat.
Iku offers her body to Yori after she finds out that he plans to go to a high school that is very far away, likely to keep him from leaving. However, when he realizes she’s forcing herself into it for his sake, he stops and says he wants her to love him first.
Okay, this seems better…..but the way he acts when he’s doing it shifted from rape-y to serial-killer-y. He says he’s not content with just her body and that he wants her heart to be his as well when they do it. And then he says:
Yori: “Hurry up and fall in love with me as a man, because there is no man in the world who loves you as much as I do.”
I might be reading too much into that, but this scene really contrasts with everything we’ve seen of him so far. He’s been a complete dick with nothing but sex on his mind. He needed to use some deluded girl as a stand-in for Iku to get his rocks off, which still doesn’t seem good enough, and now he’s all lovey-dovey all of a sudden. It’s jarring and unsettling.
Then they get to a point where they insult their audience. They, now fully involved romantically, go back to a place where they used to always go as children.…
………..a field of little white clovers.
….in front of a church.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
After proclaiming Iku as his lover and not his little sister through a really corny and convoluted breakdown of the word ‘clover’, they go into the church…..to make out. Between attempting to have sex in their own bunk bed while their parents are home and this, they really suck at finding secret places to swap bodily fluids. “Secret sweethearts: Kind of a miracle this is even a slightly a secret”
And yes, for some dumb reason, these opposite gender teenage siblings not only still share a room but they also sleep on bunk beds.
Really, out of all of the places to secretly tongue wrestle, why a damn church? I get it – this is the church their parents got married in and where Yori made the declaration that he’d be Iku’s husband, but still. They both fully understand the social and religious taboos of incest yet they can’t be bothered to find a place other than a church to kiss? A church where they may be easily recognized? That’d be one hell of an awkward encounter with your local priest.
Oh wait, I can tell you why they chose to do this in a church. Because then they can throw a crapton of looming religious imagery at your face to remind you that what they’re doing is frowned upon in the eyes of God. Not only do we get imagery, we get talking statues reminding Iku that what they’re doing is icky.
I should mention that it’s never been established what religion they are, if they’re religious at all, but that’s not really the point. Do they really believe the audience is so dumb that we can’t understand that what they’re doing is taboo? They need to chuck talking angel statues and spinning camera techniques at us to make us understand the weight of it all?
Not only that, but, like I said, they needed to remind Iku of how icky this is so she’ll suddenly dump Yori since she can’t go through with this while they’re under the eyes of God.
Just when you think that Yori might actually be accepting of the fact that this can never work and seems ready to give up on it, he dumps Tomoka stating that he can’t accept any replacements as he can only be with the real deal. Tomoka freaks out about it, even though she knew full on what she was getting herself into. Hell, she’s the one who offered to be a stand-in.
After our rapiest scene so far, courtesy of Yori, he admits to Iku what he was doing with Tomoka and that he’s a terrible person. Well, give him credit for owning up to it. But in spite of it all, Iku still doesn’t seem like she can either forgive him or go through with their relationship.
Just when you think Iku might be giving up on this altogether, she brings him to a skeevy love hotel after school since that’s where he and Tomoka had sex. In order to counteract the Tomoka sex, she wants to have sex there too.
…….You remember how I said Yori was the biggest problem I had in this series? Iku earns second place. I know I’ve already explained what was mostly wrong with her character – whiny, crybaby, weird combination of manipulative doormat – but her character just keeps getting worse and worse.
Yori has been in love with her since he was a kid. His creepy feelings likely stem from an idealized and misguided childhood infatuation. Iku’s feelings stem from nothing. They could’ve kept going with the idea that she non-romantically loved her brother so much and she was so dependent on him emotionally that she felt like she needed to reciprocate his feelings in order to make him happy and keep him from leaving. But now they feel the need to make her be in love with him now as well.
I would say this love is stemming from jealousy of Tomoka, but it’s quite obvious that Yori is not in love with her. He even outright admitted that. Judging from how she’s been acting and the way she’s been talking, I’d say that those signs of jealousy of Tomoka are actually more possessiveness for Yori. She’s not jealous that Tomoka is/was dating him, especially considering that she holds no ill will towards Tomoka, she’s offended that Yori was being intimate with someone who wasn’t her. She wants complete claim over him.
The thing is, Iku doesn’t seem sexually charged towards Yori. Every time they’ve been close to having sex, and even in the scene where they actually have sex, she seems scared out of her mind and is constantly crying. Despite the fact that she agrees to have sex with him, she’s completely uncomfortable with the idea of him seeing her even partially nude, which raises a red flag with me. She doesn’t really seem like she wants to have sex with him. She’s either doing this to, again, make Yori happy or to stake a claim on Yori. She was perfectly fine just kissing him and stuff and being with him before she heard that he slept with Tomoka and then, boom, let’s go to a love motel.
As the sex scene goes on, we get talked to like idiots again.
Yori: Narration – “What we have done is taboo.”
NO. WAY. Incest is taboo?
Yori starts crying because, now that he’s gotten everything he’s ever wanted, he still intends on leaving because their relationship is unnatural and he could never give Iku happiness.
But maybe it’s a good thing that he’s leaving because, even in spite of being a consensual relationship, he still seems to have abusive asshole behavior lying within him with this line.
After he explains to his best friend, Yano, about the situation, Yano asks why he’s still leaving if he loves Iku.
Yori: “Sometimes, my feelings of wanting to protect Iku with everything that I have, clash with feelings of wanting to destroy something.”
And that pretty much sums up why this guy is so creepy and deplorable. It’s not the fact that he’s in love with his sister. It’s the rape-y abusive asshole part that makes you want to turn this thing off.
Oh yeah, Yano, let’s talk about him for a minute seeing as how that’s about the amount of time he gets on screen. Yano seems to be a pretty cool guy. Wanna know how cool? Yori admits his feelings for Iku and even tells him that they had sex…..and he’s not only totally cool with it but he’s also not really surprised. He talks about it like it’s any other relationship. That’s about it.
For more on Iku’s possessiveness, we get this next line. At Yori and Iku’s graduation, Yori gives away all the buttons on his school shirt to the girls because he’s….. popular? I think? They never established such a thing, but okay.
In Japan, it’s a tradition for boys to give their second school uniform button to a special girl that they consider their loves at graduation as a means of confession. Specifically the second button down since it’s the closest button to the heart and is said to hold the feelings built up from the years in school. I get the symbolism with losing all the buttons, even though it may just be blatant fanservice with his open shirt, but given the tradition I don’t get it. The best thing I can find for the other buttons is some people give them to friends.
Anyway, she sees his lack of buttons and says this;
Iku: “Why are there no buttons? Don’t let other girls touch you!”
If what I’ve researched is true, I don’t see why she doesn’t assume some of them weren’t given to guys. The second one is the only one meant to be linked to romance. Though that does leave the question of where his second button went.
Iku has a hissy fit about him leaving, and he later tells her that he’s leaving because they can’t be a normal couple where they live now. Since everyone knows them and knows they’re siblings, they can’t do the smallest romantic gestures without experiencing the social stigma of such a thing, which is totally not what he said earlier.
He basically said he was leaving because he was afraid he’d end up hurting someone or Iku because of his intense passion. Now he’s not only giving a totally different reason but he’s also telling her to meet with him again so they can be a normal couple in a different place? Does he no longer care about his “feelings of wanting to destroy something”? What a creepy son of a bitch.
The OVA also start flipping on the comedy switch here. This show has been nothing but melodrama this entire time. Not one comedic moment or joke has occurred until this point and all of a sudden we get surprise puppies, pratfalls, Iku hiding Yori’s luggage, their father hiding his shoes, and cartoon-y art in several places. Just as soon as it started, it stops. What the hell happened?
Yori sets off for high school, and just Iku touching his arm as he gets in the car makes him say this.
Yori: “Don’t touch me. Mom and dad will think it’s weird.”
Yeah because it’s totally unreasonable for a sister to hug her brother when he’s moving away, especially when they’re close twins.
Just in case you still felt like Tomoka was a decent character, she arrives at the train station to stop Yori from leaving. As she hugs Yori, she glares at Iku, indicating that she realizes that the girl Yori liked this whole time was Iku and this hug is partially to spite Iku. See? That’s jealousy.
Yori pushes Tomoka away, hugs his father and mother to make it more socially acceptable to hug Iku I guess. They hug, he gives her a kiss on the cheek and then he leaves, the end.
Before I get to the bottom line, let’s explore what this series really didn’t feel like talking about and that’s the psychology of incest. Prepare for uncomfortable education!
Anime is no stranger to incest. It’s…odd, but true. This is anything from heavy incestuous overtones like Shugo and Rena from .Hack//Twilight to downright blatant incest like Yuka and Kouta from Elfen Lied. The difference here is that the incest angle is usually shooed away a bit by saying they’re not fully blood related or they didn’t grow up together. Still icky, but toned down because of technicalities. However, there might be more to at least the second excuse than merely toning down the ick factor.
Incest is taboo for several reasons. It creates a high chance of birth defects, religions usually don’t tolerate it, and we’ve all been taught throughout our lives that it’s simply not accepted in society. For the most part, we accept this just fine because people don’t usually have sexual or romantic attractions to people they’re related to. Some of this may be contributed to something called the Westermarck Effect or reverse sexual imprinting.
The Westermarck effect is a psychological theory that suggests that people may become desensitized to sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex if they spend prolonged periods of time with that person as a young child, supposedly from the ages of birth to six years.
People who are related yet don’t grow up alongside each other and meet later in life may experience something called genetic sexual attraction or GSA. GSA occurs when relatives who didn’t spend much, if any, time together as children actually experience high levels of sexual attraction due to their similar facial features and possibly similar interests and experiences. I believe this may be one of the reasons why the go-to incest angles for anime and even some western shows is usually the cousin. Just far enough apart genetically to avoid some of the ick factor while also removing most of the childhood aspect from the picture.
In contrast to the Westermarck effect are the well-known theories of Sigmund Freud whose motto is ‘everything in your life amounts to your desire to bone your mom.’ Freud’s theories, shockingly enough, pointed to natural lust between family members that nearly everyone has yet is covered up due to the taboo of incest. Freud believed this taboo was created to help tamper down instances of incestuous relationships for the sake of healthy reproduction, religious taboos and other reasons. However, the Westermarck effect has even challenged this theory. Taking a note from Wiki, the psychologist Steven Pinker wrote in his book ‘How the Mind Works‘;
“The idea that boys want to sleep with their mothers strikes most men as the silliest thing they have ever heard. Obviously, it did not seem so to Freud, who wrote that as a boy he once had an erotic reaction to watching his mother dressing. But Freud had a wet nurse and may not have experienced the early intimacy that would have tipped off his perceptual system that Mrs. Freud was his mother. The Westermarck theory has out-Freuded Freud.”
In essence, there’s really no worse setup that this show could’ve created in terms of a realistic incestuous relationship. Despite the title, the two siblings are twins, meaning they’re the exact same age. They grew up alongside each other since they were born with no difference in their ages.
Taking the Westermarck effect as mostly gospel and believing that the cutoff for its effects is six years old, the way they could’ve gone about this in a more realistic way would be to have Yori actually be the older sibling. Make Yori at least seven or something when Iku is conceived. That would help account for at least Yori’s lust/love for Iku. And to make it less squicky in regards to loving someone so much younger than Yori, maybe have them both be in their twenties when the attraction starts or at least when they get together?
I know this still leaves the issue of Iku’s feelings, but I don’t really think it matters much. She’s so wishy washy in what she actually wants. She wants Yori to stay with her and loves him deeply, but she doesn’t show much in terms of sexual attraction to him and her romantic feelings are highly questionable.
Or go the obvious route and head for GSA. Keep them as twins, but make them separated at birth for some reason and meet each other later in life. Yori and Iku can still develop both romantic and sexual feelings for each other while keeping the incest angle intact. If the childhood connection thing is important, have them meet at like ten or something and have Yori’s feelings develop through puberty.
I think this series is so widely known and somewhat well-received because of the fact that it is throwing focus onto a no-holds barred fully blood related, twins no less, pairing that grew up together from birth. And I understand that. It’s nice to give some applause for simply acknowledging that they had the balls to do something like that.
Except for one itty bitty thing.
They’re not 100% blood related in the manga. They’re half-siblings with different fathers. How is that possible when they’re twins? It’s incredibly rare, but it is possible. When a woman has sex with two different men in the time frame of, at most, one week, she can get pregnant from both of them. One egg gets fertilized from one man and another egg by the other, creating something called heteropaternal superfecundation.
After looking it up, this is indeed how they were conceived, but I won’t spoil who the second father is.
Art and Animation: The background art is very nice and detailed. I really love the art and animation for the hair. It’s beautifully done…..however, the faces….ech. I was so distracted by the terrible art for the faces. By all means, it looks like it’s trying to be typical shoujo style, but the lips are huge and oddly shaded at points. The noses seem overly big and oddly shaped from the front. The eyes, as silly as it seems to note this in an anime, seem too big and oddly shaped for their heads.
Music: The OP is fine, albeit a bit over dramatic with violin music. The BG music is forgettable. I didn’t care for the ED. It sounded like several songs overlaying each other in the beginning.
Voice Acting: Japanese – A bit overly dramatic, but they were probably directed that way. Everyone was fine in their roles.
Bottom Line: This is a terribly written show with poorly written characters that you want to smack with the only redeemable one being Yano, and there’s even a hint of something off about him near the end. He also gets little screentime so it doesn’t matter.
What could’ve been an interesting look at a taboo topic instead of the insipid incest pairings we get in anime purely for the sake of shock value and adding naughtiness to a pairing for the sake of pervs just turned out to be an uncomfortable show about people you will grow to hate quickly with incest thrown in as conflict. Siblings or not, these people can kiss my ass.
The Tomoka conflict, if you can call it that, was basically unneeded. They could’ve done something better with it, like put more focus on him trying his best to use her as a substitute for Iku and trying his hardest to love her, but nope. He bangs her and only a few days later, after 15 years of being in love with her, kisses Iku and confesses his feelings to her just because she started crying after he was being an asshole to her yet again. Then Tomoka turns around and seems to turn into a bitch once she realizes that Iku is the one he’s in love with, despite the fact that she instigated their whole relationship as a substitute deal.
Yori is terribly inconsistent with his character outside of his assholeish behavior, and Iku is basically the same way only replace ‘assholeish’ with ‘whiny and useless’.
This is just a poor story all around. I will be reading the manga for the AniManga Clash and possibly in hopes of finding something more redeemable about this series, but as it stands, it’s just not worth anyone’s time.
Additional Information and Notes: Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru was based on a manga by Kotomi Aoki. It was directed by Mayumi Nishimoto and it was produced by Shogakukan.
In 2007, a live-action version was created and produced yet again by Shogakakun. It was directed by Hiroshi Ando.
Runtime: 50 minutes
Recommended Audience: The subject matter alone is enough to nudge this towards an older audience, but there are also several sex scenes. Nothing is shown graphically, but they’re still there. Yori can also be somewhat rough during these sex scenes and even crosses the line into assault once or twice. 14+
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