AniManga Clash! Boku wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru Volume 3 (Finale)

Boku wa vol 3 clash banner

Plot: Iku and Yori arrive at a love hotel and after much preparation, the two have sex. Despite this, Yori still decides to go to the school in another prefecture.

Breakdown: I’d like to start out this part by quoting something on the cover;

“Yori, who can do anything, and Iku, who can’t do anything.”

I know it wasn’t the intention of the writer to interpret that like this, especially seeing as how later on in the synopsis she says that they both feel the same way about each other, but, to me, that line just reinforces everything that I’ve suspected about this relationship. Iku is a dependent and submissive little baby deer and Yori is independent and dominant. Iku “can’t do anything” without her big brother who “can do anything” there to prop her up. Without him, Iku feels like she’d be helpless.

Now onto the story. We’re finally here; the actual sex scene. This scene in the anime was pretty uncomfortable, but not horribly so, mostly because it was done and over with in a fairly short amount of time. Iku was very much scared, uncomfortable and embarrassed in it, but at the very least it didn’t seem too rapey like many of their other encounters.

Manga’s version? It feels like it’s quite a bit longer, and it technically is because there’s more here to go over. In the manga, the two have a bath together after a very very long scene of an incredibly embarrassed and nervous Iku trying to undress. Yori tries to do it for her, but she takes forever and a day to take off her panties and bra by herself, at first letting Yori watch and then forcing him to shut his eyes.

When they’re in the bathtub, a scene not present in the OVA, we get this unbelievably creepy exchange.

Iku: “Yori, when was the last time we ever took a bath together?”

Yori: “Around fifth grade, right?”

Iku: “Ah, really?”

Yori: “Cause that’s when you got your first period.”

Iku: “!!!!! Re-re-re-really?!” “I don’t remember that.”

..Yori remembers when Iku got her first period better than Iku…….ughghghghghghghghghgqqoeooierigqehiodiosdjklldsklpbbbbbbbbbbbttttttttttttt. Ya know, it’s not even so much that he knew that and moreso….considering how creepy we know he is in all things related to Iku…..and the creepy things he tends to do….……the creepy things he could’ve done….with…her….feminine….hygiene…..prod – NopenopenopenopenopenopeNOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPE NOPE.

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They start making out and as we get into the next chapter, we start off with Iku remembering when she first got her special monthly friend….ya know, the friend who punches you in the gut, eats all your food and passively-aggressively rips at you for a week before leaving. Iku asks her mom why this is happening to her and not Yori and she explains that such a thing can’t happen because she’s a girl and he’s a boy. And immediately after that flashback comes this weird stupidity.

Iku: “For the two of us who always did everything together, this was the first change to happen. I understand. That everything, everything….was for the sake of falling in love. Because Yori is a boy. And I am a girl.”

…………….This manga is giving me a headache. I must be missing something. I have to be missing something. Is she seriously saying that, biologically, her period was the tipping point of their love for each other because it forced her to understand that she and Yori were different? And on top of all of that….is she saying that they were destined to fall in love purely because one of them is a boy and the other is a girl? Boy, it sure is a good thing homosexuality doesn’t exist or no twin pairing or close in age siblings would be able to get through life without porking each other.

So, again, despite Iku asking him to stop a few times, Yori continues on with the kissing and the heavy petting and the other stuff you learned in that 1950’s film reel in health class. The sex goes on and….it’s fairly consensual barring the inner monologue from the two with Yori saying he’s fooling Iku and Iku supposedly saying she’s easily fooled. I think so anyway. They don’t do anything to the font of the inner monologue to know when one or the other is thinking.

Yori: “We committed a taboo.” Since I used up all my sarcasm in the anime version of this line, I’ll just give you a cut and dry ‘Well, no shit.’

As Yori wakes up, he finds Iku’s sleeping face all pure and seemingly oblivious to the weight of what they just did. Yori is struck with intense guilt, determined to beg God for all of the weight to be on his shoulders and for Iku to be free of any of it. He then apologizes for falling in love with her………MmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…..Mmmmmm No.

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Look, if they had handled this romance A LOT better, this would be a very touching scene. I’m happy that Yori is understanding, at least to some degree, what a huge piece of fecal matter he’s been as of late…..but Yori has been almost nothing but an incredibly creepy sexual predator. This is really too little much too late. Hindsight may be 20/20, but I’m not going to act like him being sexually frustrated, especially when he had an outlet, was his excuse for being like that. Never have I looked at this story so far and thought, “Aw, what a tragic romance.” I have, however, thought, “Yori needs a serious intervention before he rapes his sister.”

Iku wakes up in pain from being de-virginized, and then we get kinda awkwardness because Iku and Yori instantly revert to just acting like brother and sister again.

Some time passes and we get to Yori and Iku’s graduation ceremony where we get the most despicable fact about Yori so far; He SMOKES.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lXdyD2Yzls

After his graduation ceremony, he talks to his friend, Yano, on the roof and explains that he’s in an incestuous relationship with his sister. And, like before, Yano doesn’t really react much at all. He asks him why he told him his secret, though, an–

Yori: “There are times…..When I feel that my wanting to protect everything about me, and my feelings of wanting to destroy everything…have crossed paths.” Well, nice to know yet another insanely creepy red flag line crosses between manga to OVA.

Iku rushes in and we learn that Yori is still planning to go to the fancy boarding school in the other prefecture, despite his new relationship to Iku. After Iku has a temper tantrum at home, Yori gets her to calm down a bit by showing that he convinced their parents to buy her a puppy so she won’t be lonely when he’s gone. I will give him points for that; it’s a very nice gesture.

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As Iku and Yori talk, he explains that he still plans on leaving because he can’t be a couple with Iku where they live now. Too many people know them and recognize them. They can’t do anything couple-related in public for fear of being judged and persecuted. In this new prefecture, however, fewer, if any, people know who they are. They can eventually start over and be a real couple.

That still doesn’t make much sense. So, what, they move to this new place after a few years, become a real couple and somehow no one will ever discover that they’re twins? They’ll never visit their parents or friends? They’ll never get married? Have kids? They’ll change their last names?

He could stay where he is now, keep up this charade, and then when they’re college age they can run away and get new identities and leave everything behind to really be a true couple…Oh yeah, I forgot, he can’t control himself….

Iku suddenly decides that the dog’s name will be Yori. Because what else would it be? As she tries to get the dog to do some tricks, Yori grabs her by the hair and commands her to come see him…..well, that was a record of about eight pages without Yori being a creepy fuck. Congratulations.

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Also, doesn’t her visiting there kinda make this whole move moot? Are you going to introduce her to the people at school as your girlfriend? Are your parents never going to come see you at school?

They make out on the park bench as the puppy watches…..because….yeah, do that in public. It’s a great way to cap off a conversation that was explaining why Yori has to move because they can’t safely do any PDA in the area they currently live in. Make sure you’re under that street light so if anyone you know walks by they can see you clearly.

The next chapter skips ahead to Yori leaving for high school. Iku does her best to keep him from leaving and Yori’s thoughts also state that he lied to her before about the real reason for his leaving; making my previous rant somewhat pointless…..*cough* He brushes her off when she tries to hug his arm because he believes their parents will think there’s something weird about it, something I still don’t understand.

As Yori is about to leave, Iku struggles internally with watching him go, knowing there’s nothing she can do to stop him. Just as she’s about to try and tell Yori to stay, Tomoka comes out of nowhere and runs into his arms begging him to stay, all the while lightly smirking at Iku. As she paws at him trying to get him to stay, Iku starts to suffer greatly over the fact that she can’t say or do the things Tomoka is doing to try and get him to stay since it would be odd coming from her.

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Knowing that Iku is suffering, Yori decides that the only thing he can do to resolve the situation is to push Tomoka away and tell her to not get in the way of his last day with his family. In order to create a cover up, Yori hugs his dad, then gives his mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek and finally he hugs Iku and kisses her on the cheek. Despite Iku’s happiness at being able to hold him one more time, she recoils at the fact that this isn’t enough to really make her happy.

Yori leaves, and Iku sits in her room alone with only Inu-Yori keeping her company. She starts sobbing into her pillow and finds a note from Yori begging her not to cry.

Back with Yori, he slightly laughs at the fact that, despite him telling her not to cry, she probably will anyway. She’ll also probably say she’ll die of loneliness, which she does indeed say. Then he says he’s spoiled Iku a lot……uh….huh. He knows that they will meet again, so he tells himself again and again that he won’t be lonely like Iku. However, he starts crying realizing how much pain Iku must be in to be crying as much as she probably is.

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I don’t have much to note about this chapter, because it’s probably the best chapter so far. Yori’s being a bit bastardly in his telling Iku not to hug his arm and laughing at the thought of her crying and saying she’ll die, but both instances were made up for when Yori went out of his way to finally give her a hug and kiss and cries at the thought of her crying.

This might be too little too late, but this was the first chapter when I legitimately thought that they may actually be in love. I still think Iku’s just a bit confused, but there might be something within both of them that is legitimate love.

Tomoka’s scene was good but just seemed a little….OOC. Well, I have to assume anyway. I’ve never seen Tomoka possessive up until this point and her giving Iku smirks as she cuddled Yori and begged him not to leave, seemingly knowing that Iku was the one he was in love with, was a complete bitch move. I mean, she is a little too preoccupied with Yori, but if you offer yourself up to someone as a replacement for someone they love, how can you really be such a petty and possessive bitch?

What did she expect would happen anyway? Yori broke up with her ages ago and was never romantically interested anyway. Plus, like she knows, Yori already loves someone else. Did she expect him to just start shoving his tongue down her throat and agreeing to stay?

It’s at this point where the OVA ends. It only covers volumes 1-3 and technically it only covers half of three since there are still two chapters left in this volume. I’ll finish off volume three here since, well, might as well. However, the other seven volumes, yes, there are seven more volumes of this to go, will be regular manga reviews.

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At the start of the next chapter, we see that Yori is settling in to his new abode at his new school. Everyone’s clamoring over the new kid, praising him for being the only out-of-prefecture student to make it into their prestigious school. Tons of people are trying to be friendly to him, but Yori being Yori results in him being a dick to everyone, including his new roommate.

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As everyone quickly recoils away from this asshole, Yori gets a call in the lobby. It’s Iku, and she’s jonesin’ for her Yori fix. Not just to hear his voice but also to get a kiss on the lips through the phone, which is really just making kissing faces and pretending they’re kissing. This would be kinda sweet if not for the fact that Yori yells at her that she’s doing it wrong, especially with no way of seeing her.

After they play that stupid ‘I won’t hang up, you hang up’ crap, they finally end the call. However, Iku decides that she wants to keep talking to Yori so she calls him incessantly until Yori tells her to give the phone to their dad. He asks his dad to buy him a cell phone for his birthday since he can’t be running to the lobby every five seconds to answer her calls. Plus, that has to be insanely annoying for the other students to listen to since every call is announced over the PA system. He tells him to buy one for Iku as well and they finally end the call barrage.

As he hangs up, he looks behind him to see his dorm manager teasing him about his phone calls asking if he’s talking to his girlfriend then revising this to knowing he’s talking to his sister since he called her by name and apparently her information is in his file, which also makes this moving thing moot again. I’m not sure if this means he knows that Yori’s dating Iku, but it’s possible.

Later, Yori decides to call Iku despite the dorm manager telling him he’s not allowed to receive anymore calls unless it’s an emergency.

The final chapter of the volume starts Yori and Iku’s birthday. We get some kinda cute flashbacks of Yori being really caring and over protective of his sister, all leading up to a birthday picture where it seems like Yori and Iku started to not get along as well as they used to as children….and the reason why is….oh god.

Iku got her first period on their 11th birthday. And I’m really disturbed that I have to keep talking about Iku’s first departure into the red sea. This prompted their mother to not only announce that Iku’s now a woman, but that she’s ready for marriage. This makes Yori incredibly angry. When Iku walks out of the bathroom after having that special talk of ultimate awkwardness with her mother, Yori blows the fuck up at her asking how she could do such a thing and yelling that he doesn’t like Iku like this.

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After that, Yori started treating her differently, more coldly, picking on her more often and basically seeming to carry a grudge over simple biology that is entirely outside of her control. I guess because she ‘became a woman’ Yori started looking at her differently, though in such a way that made him angry for some reason. Maybe because this may seem like the start of her pursuing romantic relationships with guys that don’t share her DNA? After this, 11 year old Yori internally proclaims that once he turns 16 he’ll be able to ‘take Iku with (him)” whatever that’s supposed to insinuate.

I get that he’s an 11 year old boy who doesn’t understand what’s happening to her, but Iku is clearly freaked the hell out by this event and all Yori can think about is a completely irrational fear or betrayal or whatever is going on in his screwed up brain that feels like Iku is doing this on purpose to hurt his feelings. I’m sure the one thing every girl wants to hear from their close-knit brother when they’re going through the confusing time of getting their first visit from that special friend from hell is “HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN!? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I DON’T LIKE YOU LIKE THIS!” *proceeds to be a putrid dickwad for five years*

Ya know….this might actually be telling. Maybe it was this insane reaction and Yori’s subsequent emotional separation from Iku after this that made her not want to explore anything romantic or sexual, essentially making her ripe for the picking when Yori started to do those things with her. Iku, subconsciously or not, took her ‘becoming a woman’ as a bad event that happened in her life since it caused her to basically lose Yori more or less. Now, with him caught up physically, he actually likes the woman aspect of her and has accepted her with open arms (and more). So she might be using that to her advantage in keeping her brother with her as much as possible since she’s so scared to death of losing him…..

Don’t mind me, just trying to get some mileage out of my psych degree…..

Anyway, Iku is awoken to birthday wishes from her family and they present her with the phone that Yori told them to get. Jeez, he tells them to her a puppy, they do so without question. He tells them to get her and him cell phones for their birthday and they do so without question. Do they just do whatever Yori wants or do they have so much money that they just don’t care?

She’s unable to reach Yori’s cell phone, however, since he probably hasn’t gotten it through the mail yet. Her parents leave for work and she instantly decides to take all of her savings and go to visit Yori, through her paltry piggy bank money….and yes, she used legit piggy bank money. There’s just barely enough to take the long way with Inu-Yori. As she’s on her way, she bumps into Yano who buys her some chocolate to give to Yori as a birthday present since she spent too much of her money to get one herself. He decides that he’s going to tag along to visit Yori as well.

Meanwhile, Yori, after buying his dorm manager cigarettes and teaching him how to smoke (Yori, you’re a big enough douche without creating more smokers in the world) buys a diamond ring with clover designs as Iku’s birthday present since diamonds are the gemstones of Aries and clovers because of that stupid wordplay Yori mentioned in volume two. Though I’m more certain he bought this diamond ring because such rings are, you guessed it, meant for marriage. He buys it and puts it in a special box that reads “Only heart”.

Meanwhile, with Yori and Iku’s dad, his colleagues are clamoring over pictures of the twins stating that they seem nothing alike, which is odd for two people born under the same astrological sign. As our big cliffhanger of the volume, their dad reveals that the reason for their differences is because they don’t share the same astrological sign. They were born on different dates.

Dun….dun….dunn?

Ya know, technically, twins can be born on separate dates. Labor takes a long time. It’s possible for Yori to be born one day and Iku the next, especially if the delivery took place late at night. I know the real reason behind this revelation, but the reader wouldn’t know at this point.

Overall:

ROUND THREE AND OVERALL ANIMANGA CLASH WINNER: ANIME

Yup, the anime managed to knock out the manga in all three rounds. Congrats, OVA! You’re not quite as creepy and “get my rape-whistle”-y as the manga.

In regards to this volume in particular, the sex scene was much less uncomfortable in the OVA. They don’t include the bath scene or the talks about Iku’s bloody Sunday, thank you very much, and the scenes of Iku scared out of her mind while preparing for the act also seem much shorter in the OVA.

This is the tipping point because almost everything else that the OVA included was the same. I will admit that Iku’s inner turmoil at Tomoka’s teasing BS was better in the manga and the comedic reactions to Yori leaving weren’t so far out of left field in the manga since comedic moments have been long since established here when they never were in the anime. However, that doesn’t make up for much.

Final tally:

What the manga does better:

Establishes comedy as a facet of the series instead of chucking it in at the very end.

……Uhhhh….wow, is that it?

I guess the manga also includes more in regards to story and development, but almost all of these scenes should be taken as negatives because they either make Yori look like a creepy as hell near-rapist even more than he already did in the anime, or they simply don’t add anything of worth to the overall story.

What the anime does better:

Yori’s much less creepy and frightening (he still is as such, but not as much).

The uncomfortable scenes feel much shorter than the manga’s.

The arrangement of the timeline is much better (we’re not suddenly thrown into bro on sis tongue battle)

In the art department, the art is damn near identical, and the OVA has many scenes that are basically taken beat by beat from the manga. I guess we can call this a plus for the OVA, though there are some glaring animation errors that nearly cost it this mention.

Boku wa vol 3 clash banner WINNER

In the end, the OVA may still be an awful sewage smoothie, but I’d gladly watch that five times over than read these three volumes of manga ever again. I am just amazed at how horrible of a person Yori is and just how creepy and unhealthy this relationship really is. It’s like it’s nearly impossible for writers to write an incestuous relationship without one or the other being a complete asshole who is obviously toxic.

Then again, I can’t take a sigh of relief. I still have seven volumes of this crap to review.

Next volume, Iku and Yano arrive at Yori’s place. And what is the true impact behind Yori and Iku not sharing the same birthday? Why do their parents pretend like they do?

AniManga Clash! Boku Wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru (Volume 2)

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Yori, I really think you have a problem.

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?

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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?

Episode One-Derland: Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-San

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Plot: Comet is the princess of Harmonica star-world of the Triangle Nebula; one of three star-worlds, the other two being Castanet and Tambourine. In order to secure the future of their worlds, the kingdoms hope to bring Comet together with the prince of Tambourine star-world. However, on the day of the dance party in which they were supposed to meet, the prince runs away.

Comet’s parents send her on a mission to earth, where they believe he is heading, to find the prince, even in spite of not knowing his name or what he looks like. Comet, intrigued by the concept of an adventure on earth, a planet on which her mother had various adventures, agrees, but soon finds herself unable to do much without money and suffering from the culture gap. To top it all off, she is having no luck so far in finding the prince even with her companion, a small dog creature named Rababou who is able to detect the ‘twinkle’ she’s meant to be guided by.

She meets two kind twins, a boy named Tsuyoshi and a girl named Nene, who find her to be a troubled girl and decide to lend their assistance to her. In her most desperate hour, homeless, penniless and hungry, Nene and Tsuyoshi lead their mother to Comet who inquires about her situation.

Breakdown: Yay, magical girl anime! But it’s not really traditional magical girl. It’s moreso just a girl with magical powers and nifty cutesy outfits.

This episode did a good job of introducing us to Comet as well as the main plot and world they live in, but the episode as a whole feels a little hollow.

Comet is pretty par for the course so far. She’s a rebel in not really being interested in her princessly duties and is more enamored with the concept of adventure and exploring as well as possibly falling in love. She seems to have a good attitude, but she’s still a little naive, both with and without culture gaps.

The whole ‘star-world’ thing is pretty plain so far too. It’s basically every other royalty set up just with star-worlds and nebulas in place of countries. I don’t know why these places are named after musical instruments, either.

The fish out of water story is nothing to write home about. She plays on a playground at a kindergarten because she doesn’t know any better. She tries to get food without money. She mimics an American’s weird and rude sounding Japanese (by the by, this guy is like 30 and was taking a picture of her as she woke up in the park…..) and she believes she can sleep anywhere.

The only part of this that really works is when she realizes that she doesn’t really always have the open line of communication with her parents that she thought she had. They gave her some sort of ball that is meant to log her happy memories on her adventure, and they told her whenever she felt scared or alone to look to the stars as they’d always be able to see her. But as she’s stuck homeless out in the rain without much food, she looks to the sky to see nothing but clouds. Her mother actually gets a signal on her little ball thing that conveys troubled feelings by Comet, but she decides not to act on it since the signal seems minor and she wants Comet to learn about the twinkle of light that is always visible on earth, hope, which is when Nene and Tsuyoshi’s mom shows up.

But, I gotta say….that’s a pretty bitch move, Comet’s mom. Actually, this whole journey is a bitch move. They send her to earth instead of sending somewhere else or going themselves because they hope that Comet traveling across the galaxy for a boy she’s never met in order to drag him back home will make him fall in love with her.

That’s all fine and dandy because they don’t force her to go, she goes on her own volition when she remembers her mother recalling her adventures on earth, including falling in love. But they didn’t even bother giving her any money or telling her anything about earth in order to fit in. They just gave her regular clothes, taught her a few words of Japanese, which is weird considering she’s speaking Japanese the whole time, so when she switches to ‘I’m just now learning Japanese’ mode it becomes confusing, and sent her on her way.

Granted, yes, she has magic powers that can do….pbbbbbtttttt…..anything? There is never any explanation about what her powers are or what they do. They do stuff like create rocket boots and make her one dumpling to eat so far. All I got is that she has a finite amount of star power considering that she says she was saving it up. What star power is and how you accumulate it, I don’t know. But since it seems like she’s low on star power near the end for some reason, all she can do is make a dumpling to eat.

Nene and Tsuyoshi are very kind kids, but their manner of speech is a little annoying. They tend to repeat the other’s words and speak in third person.

There’s someone else I feel I should bring up named Meteo. She’s the princess of Castanet star-world. Even though she has barely two lines in this episode, from the next episode preview and her short screen time here, it seems like she’ll be the antagonist, at least for a short while, sabotaging Comet’s pursuit of the prince in hopes of getting him for herself, so there will be legit conflict in the future. Also, I assume her name’s derived from the word meteor.

The one thing that kinda drags the whole show down is that the series doesn’t really give a legit reason to care about Comet’s mission. We never see the prince, they have no connection, the Triangle nebula’s not in danger of war or anything should the Tambourine and Harmonica star-worlds not unite, at least from all I know, so why is the mission so important?

Art and animation wise, it’s pretty average magical girl fare. Simplistic designs with a lot of girly additions and pastel colors. Comet’s hair is kinda weird, but I love what they did with her star hair clip. They styled the hair that it’s holding up into the star’s tail to make a comet. I thought that was neat.

Music-wise……eh. It’s average bordering on bad. It’s very poppy and girly and absolutely none of it is memorable.

In the voice acting department, Japanese, everyone was pretty good in their roles with the bearded guy whose name escapes me doing a particularly good job. However, Comet’s mom sounds downright terrible. Her voice is just so weird and low pitched that it kinda put me off.

Final verdict:

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Despite these gripes, it’s a magical girl anime. I can’t resist. It’s not really that bad of an opening episode, but there’s not really a whole lot to leave you thirsty for more. Shoujo Step-By-Step, here I come.

Recommended Audience: Beheadings, graphic sex scenes, swearing like a sailor—….if you think I’m serious, please seek help. E for everyone.

AniManga Clash! Boku Wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru (Volume 1)

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Plot: Yori has been harboring a secret his entire life; he’s desperately in love with his twin sister, Iku. One night, he finds he cannot control himself anymore and kisses her on the lips in her sleep. He starts to go further with his desires and quickly finds her awakening to the shocking and confusing feeling of her brother molesting her body. He declares his love of her and tries time and again to prod her into a physical relationship and falling for him as he has her. Obviously, the taboo and utter confusion is a lot for Iku to bear, but under the threat of losing her brother forever if she doesn’t reciprocate, she decides to slowly start giving into him.

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Geez, why did this manga show up on my radar so soon? For those who haven’t read the anime review yet, let me sum it up; Iku’s a doormat, Yori’s a creepy emotionally manipulative rapist and, spoiler alert, incest is a social and religious taboo.

I can still see the fumes from my anime review. And hoo boy the manga is not anywhere near better so far.

The manga actually starts out with Yori molesting his sister in her sleep, which is a major mistake to me and something the OVA actually has over the manga. In the anime, there was buildup to him eventually giving into his lust. Here, we’re just thrown into it. Also, he basically jumped Iku during an argument when this happened in the OVA, which is bad, but not as bad making out with her and groping her boobs as she sleeps.

Yori sniffs Iku’s used bath water. Just throwing that out there.

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After Yori makes out with Iku in her sleep and she wakes up, he throws his love declarations at her and starts to force her into sex. This is all within chapter ONE.

Well, at least he admits his screwed up feelings to her right off the bat…..not like he could avoid it after she wakes up with bro-tongue in her mouth.

Just like in the anime, Iku is giving in to his romantic advances because she feels lonely without her brother. It’s a fear of losing him not love that is fueling her romantic responses. Made all the worse by the fact that Yori seems to give a vague threat at what he’d do without her. Implications can go anywhere from him simply leaving to him killing himself.

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Yori admits to Iku early on that he’s dating Tomoka and even pushes his and Tomoka’s relationship further to combating Iku’s jealous behaviors and to avoid suspicions of them being together. So, nice, Yori. You force yourself on your sister, basically trap her into a romantic entanglement and then blow up your relationship to another girl to push Iku away and make yourself look better to other people. You truly are an asshole. And a coward.

At this, Iku gets upset and Yori’s only reaction is to smirk in shadow congratulating himself since this is seemingly proof that Iku really likes him now. So is the manga just accepting that Yori is a creepy fuck who is manipulating his sister and being an overall asswipe?

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Yori: *in class afterwards to Iku* “Why are you sulking? Why are you being so much trouble?” Why are you such a vile bag of anus?

*later, at home, right as Iku’s about to get in the bath* *Yori corners her by slamming his arms around her to the wall* Yori: “I can’t forgive you. You don’t have any right to ignore me.” Iku, run the fuck away. Get as far away from this emotionally puppeteering fungus as you can. Please.

More forced kissing….with looming threat of their mom coming in. She even says ‘No’ and he forces her to keep kissing….

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Yori: “I’d rather put a collar on you.” Eh, BDSM stuff is nothing given the subject mat–

“You wouldn’t be able to run anywhere. Nobody would take you anywhere. Definitely stay by my side *sniffs hair*” RUN THE FUCK AWAY, IKU. WHILE HE STILL HASN’T GONE TO PETSMART!

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Iku: “Mom, can’t I help you with something!?”

Mom: “What? You must be feeling bad all of a sudden!”

Dad: “I’ll stop giving you allowance!” Your daughter wants to help you with stuff and you threaten to take away her allowance? What is this household? Why is everyone crazy?

Iku is saying this because Yori freaked her out with that collar talk and hair sniffing, so Yori gets upset that Iku is getting upset and marches off to his room. Oh wow. What a surprise that the sister you just sprung your romantic feelings on and you’ve been playing emotional Jenga with for a few days is having difficulty acting normal about you kissing other girls, forcibly kissing her with your mother mere feet away, and criticizing her kissing technique to boot, threatening to keep her on a literal leash and sniffing her hair on more than one occasion. What a weirdo IKU is.

Okay, I really need to make a ‘Yori sniffing Iku’s hair’ tally, because he does it a disturbing amount of times. I’ll assume it’s up to at least five by now.

Hair sniffs: 5

Yori: *while getting it on with Iku “Because I love you….I can’t make myself stop.” I think that’s one of the official credoes of rapists.

Yori: “This time, I definitely won’t let you run away.” Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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“If you really say ‘no’ this time, I won’t stay by your side. I don’t want to hurt you.” Proof that Yori is manipulating Iku based on her dependence on him. She can’t stand the thought of not being with Yori to the point where she’ll fake being romantically interested in him to keep him around. Her jealousy with Tomoka earlier was, like I said in the OVA review, moreso her jealousy that Tomoka is threatening to take Yori away not that she’s a romantic rival.

Also, all of this culminating together, he’s basically saying he’s leaving if Iku doesn’t return his feelings, because he’s afraid he’ll rape her. Because “he’s at his limit”. So this is, literally, word for word what I said about him in my anime review. He’s more in lust with Iku than he is in love.

He seriously told Iku to lose some weight? She’s a flimsy shoujo stick. Putting this in the ‘more emotional manipulation’ jar.

There she goes sleeping with Yori for the sake of keeping him from not going to the faraway school. She wasn’t really considering it before the news hit, and the whole time she’s panicking over her fear of being alone.

And, like before, the sex scene is very awkward because she keeps panicking and seeming very scared, even implying in inner monologue that if she didn’t do it with him, he’d leave, insinuating that she’s doing this purely to keep him around. It’s even more uncomfortable that he’s giving her orders while they’re in foreplay.

Admittedly, she does imply in her thoughts that she’s getting hot and sexually responsive, but that really could just be simple biology. An attractive guy is half naked and making out with her. I’m not sure if the Westermarck effect stands firm in tamping down sexual attraction if said person is initiating sexual contact. I’d think, in spite of the blood and emotional/childhood connections, the body would respond to the stimulation either way. Also, keep in mind, Iku seems to be new to all of this. Yori just stole her first kiss and I doubt she’s ever tried self-pleasure methods.

Shall we keep powering through this sex scene? To Yori’s credit, Yori says the sex doesn’t mean anything if Iku doesn’t love him, but also ignores her repeatedly saying ‘no!’ and ‘stop!’ which already turns this into a rape, and he actually says ‘I understand that she’s scared.’ I understand that my sister is scared and completely uncomfortable at my sexual advances, but I’ve waited long enough for this so imma keep going.

Let’s get more uncomfortable; “I can’t stop. I won’t stop. Reason has left me. I’m running on instinct. Even if Iku is crying….I’m probably a really cruel guy. Even though Iku’s face looks like this (scared out of her mind and crying) I think that she looks more and more cute. Iku….are you scared? She’ll definitely say ‘I’m scared’ with that sweet voice. It will make me more passionate. More of that sweet voice. I want to see more of her sweet face. Even if she says ‘I’m scared’ I’ll probably continue.

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WHY DOES ANYONE THINK THIS SERIES IS ROMANTIC OR SWEET? This is CREEPY. This is FRIGHTENING. This is A CREEPY RAPIST RAPING HIS TERRIFIED SISTER.

And you know what else? Iku actually says she’s not afraid and Yori stops because he knows she’s not being sincere. And he’s right. She said it, of her own admission, because it’s what he wanted to hear.

My problem is that he was getting more and more pent up the more scared she looked and the more she cried. The instant she smiled and accepted him that’s when he went soft and stopped altogether. Some people might say that’s because Yori legitimately wants Iku to love him before they do such a thing, and I think even I gave him props for that in the OVA review, but given all of the inner monologue we got in the manga, I’d actually say it seems more like he was disappointed that the situation went from a near rape to consensual. Especially with that line of saying he’ll get more passionate if he her hears her say she’s scared.

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You could argue that he just wanted to hear her voice, but considering he stopped because of her accepting it, that can’t be true. What’s the matter, Yori? Her smiling face with open arms not as sexy as her frightened face with her arms crossed and tears running down her face? Her ‘sweet voice’ saying ‘No, I’m not scared. Do it.’ not as much of a turn on as ‘No! Stop! I’m scared’? You are a seriously creepy son of a bitch, Yori.

Also, this is proof that he can indeed control himself. He just doesn’t want to.

Yori: “Hurry up and love me, idiot.” Hurry up and fall down a flight of stairs, you creeper.

Hair Sniffs; 6

He sticks his finger in Iku’s mouth then licks the spit off it….ughughghghg.

Alright, near the end of the volume, Iku starts acting more like she’s legitimately falling for Yori, but I’m still kinda calling foul because much of her inner monologue seems to focus on how she’s getting turned on by Yori through his scent and whatnot. That coupled with her desire to never leave him might be construed as love, but I’m not really buying it.

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I still believe Iku’s just gotten to a point where she’s confused biological lust and a fear of being separated from her brother with romantic love. In pretty much any other situation, this might be fine. Typical teenager discovering her sexuality and learning about herself, but in this situation, given how forceful and manipulative Yori is and the possible ramifications of their relationship, this can be much more damaging than usual. At least it’s technically more consensual now, but given how the relationship started, I can’t ignore how unhealthy this situation is.

ROUND ONE WINNER: ANIME

Yeah the anime actually wins this round because it had a better start in building up tension, the art is basically identical and somehow I actually think Yori is less creepy in the OVA at this point than manga!Yori is. At least his first sexual advance on Iku was when she was conscious…..

Part 2: Yori and Iku fight, Iku finds herself a boyfriend after finding out Yori has slept with her friend Tomoka and things continue to be creepy.

Wanderful Days (Manga) Review

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Plot: Akira is a scary looking kid that everyone takes as a devil or delinquent. He’s earned the nickname of The Rabid Dog Fujishima, though he’s not nearly as bad as everyone makes him out to be. While he is a bit rough around the edges, he has a great love of dogs and is actually quite kind. One day, Akira saves a dog from being hit by a car. Sadly, he dies in the process, but his soul is inserted into the body of the dog he saved. He gets adopted by a kind girl named Hinata who takes him in and names him, coincidentally enough, Akira. As he tries to adapt to life as a dog, he discovers that Hinata is one of the few people who actually shows legitimate caring for him; both before and after he died.

Breakdown: On the surface, this looks like a really silly manga. And, yeah, the premise is a bit of a hurdle to get over, but it’s, surprisingly, a pretty good one-shot. You really feel for Akira’s plight even if they play up all sorts of the obviously awkward aspects of being a dog, even some that are played up pretty much just for awkwardness based on the fact that he’s actually a teenage boy. For instance, she bathes with him and sleeps with him, and even lets him, accidentally, put his face in her naked crotch.

Akira was just born with a really ‘evil’ looking face. Even as a baby he was feared by people, including his parents. Because of this, he didn’t have any real friends and no close relationships. He was challenged by all sorts of thugs and earned a reputation due to his fighting back, and kicking ass at that.

Hinata’s a very kindhearted and slightly airheaded girl. Her parents died and she lives alone, though she doesn’t seem to take care of herself very well since her room’s a pigsty and she constantly forgets to lock the door.

When the people at Akira’s school learn that Akira died, they all either don’t care or rejoice since they viewed him as a devil. The only one to cry or even show any sadness over Akira’s death is Hinata. We learn that Hinata actually knew Akira through one chance meeting when they were a couple years younger. She was crying and injured for some reason and Akira, also visibly wounded, probably due to a fight, stopped and tried to cheer her up and tend to her wounds.

In a pretty touching scene back in the present as Hinata mourns Akira’s death, Akira tries to cheer up Hinata in the way most dogs would – he licks her face. But not in a creepy way. It’s touching because it’s just sad all around. Absolutely no one but Hinata cares that Akira died despite the fact that he wasn’t even a bad guy; he just looked scary and had fights forced upon him. If anyone would need cheering up after that, it would be Akira, but all he cares about is Hinata’s feelings and treasuring that, despite only meeting her for a second, she was able to see him for who he was and mourn his death.

They remain as a happy family until one of Hinata’s creepy classmates comes into Hinata’s apartment uninvited (the door was unlocked – She has a bad habit of doing that). When he believes she liked Akira and not him, he attacks her with a box cutter. Akira protects her and nearly gets stabbed, but Hinata protects him and gets cut in the process. Akira then goes crazy and knocks the boy out of the apartment and into a tree.

With the threat gone, Hinata points out just how similar he is to Akira and proudly enforces the honor of the name of her lost friend Akira. With a bark (wan; the Japanese sound for a dog bark, hence the pun title WANderful Days.) he gladly accepts his ‘new’ moniker and place as Hinata’s loyal dog.

Some people pointed out that it might’ve been better if he turned back into a person in the end or if Hinata died and became a female dog to be with him forever, but I’m actually pretty okay with how this ended. Technically, the first option would’ve been fine because the soul of the original dog is still around. He’s actually the weakest part of the manga because he basically just instructs Akira to act like a dog and do perverted things. If she wanted to keep the dog and have Akira back, it could’ve happened, but time would’ve needed to reverse or something because you can’t just say he’s dead and have him get better……Then again, dying and becoming a dog isn’t any less believable.

The second option just seems terrible to me. It’s a bit predictable and I don’t want Hinata to die just to become a dog and have a dog-mance with Akira. In the end, while romance was a factor a little, all Akira wanted was a true family and someone to really care for him. All Hinata wanted was a family and someone to love. In the end, they both got that. The only thing that really bothers me is that…..Akira’s time on earth is still pretty limited. He’s a dog, and seemingly a somewhat old-ish dog at that. Chihuahuas have decent life spans, but they’re still nothing compared to how long Hinata will probably live.

Then again, I guess we’re not meant to think that far ahead and just live in the now. Akira and Hinata are happy and together, and that’s all that matters.

The art is nothing too special, and it’s done in fairly typical shoujo style, but it’s pretty good.

In the end, this is a pretty good one-shot that I’d gladly suggest to anyone looking for a touching tale of friendship/kinda romance. If you can swallow the slightly off-color premise, then you’re pretty much golden.

Additional Information and Notes: Wanderful Days was written and illustrated by Sakura Roku. It was serialized in Gangan Online.

Year: 2010

Volumes: One shot

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Audience: There are some panty shots and censored genital shots. Moderate violence and scary situations. 10+

 

Shoujo Step-by-Step: Boys Over Flowers Episode 1

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Plot: Makino Tsukushi was enrolled in the very prestigious Eitoku Academy, and she has done everything in her power to stay to the background. She wants nothing more than to make her final years at the school to be peaceful and uneventful. However, when she butts heads with the biggest bullies in school, a four man group called the F4, they declare war on her, making her a target of vicious attacks from not only them but everyone in school.

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I have no super-interesting backstory with this one. In fact, I’m pretty unfamiliar with this series. Though still I adore these older titles.

The OP has a very 60’s/Detective Conan music feel to it, if that makes any sense. It’s pretty catchy, though I will admit that the sudden heel drop sound in the middle kind breaks the rhythm.

Our main character is a fairly poor girl named Makino Tsukushi who is currently enrolled in a prestigious high school, Eitoku Academy, with a lot of rich kids. She has two more years at the school before she graduates and only wants to make those final two years be peaceful and quiet.

One day, she sees a boy being bullied by a gang of four guys, all of which are sons of the richest families in the school, for getting dust on one of their pants while cleaning. They are known as F4, and while many students, especially female ones, find them attractive and cool, they are feared by just as many students. What’s worse? When F4 is against someone personally, the whole school turns on them, making them a target for schoolwide bullying.

They start kicking around a garbage can and Tsukushi wonders why the boys are the way that they are, especially over something as minor as dust. One of the boys, Rui Hanazawa, picks up the garbage can and returns it to its proper position to the chagrin of his friends who want to leave the mess behind. Tsukushi gets flustered when Rui gives her a glance before leaving with his friends.

After standing up for her friend, Makiko, when she accidentally falls on the leader of the F4, Tsukasa, Tsukushi ends up as the next target of the F4’s bullying. They officially declare war on Tsukushi and, as a result, the entire school starts bullying her as well. What’s even worse than their terrible bullying is the fact that Makiko keeps avoiding her and refusing to talk to her in order to avoid getting the bullying herself, something that she expressed concern for earlier. Makiko wanted to solidify her friendship with Tsukushi to ensure that she would never abandon her if she was bullied like a lot of other people would, yet she has become the very type of person she had worried about.

Tsukushi refuses to cry in front of her classmates and has an outburst outside of the school when she again meets up with Rui who just laughs at her anger towards him. Despite her attempts to actually speak with him civilly, he just suggests that she leave the school. Tsukushi goes on the offensive stating that the F4 has bullied several people out of school in the same manner, but she didn’t even want to go to the school to begin with. She only went because her family wanted her to. Before she can even finish speaking, Rui leaves stating that he doesn’t care as he has no interest in other people.

Makiko meets with her in the bathroom stating that she sneaked out of class to find her desk that went missing from the classroom earlier. While she is visibly remorseful, she can’t bring herself to stick with her in public. Tsukushi understands and tells her that she should leave before she ends up getting in trouble. Before she rushes out the door, she hands Tsukushi a voice recorder in the shape of a frog that bears a recording of Makiko apologizing to Tsukushi.

Despite gaining a newfound resolve and a better respect for herself, she is still the victim of harsh and even violent bullying. As she’s being assaulted (and nearly raped?) by a group of boys from the school, Rui appears again telling them to let her go, even though the boys are directly under Tsukasa’s orders.

Tsukushi is very grateful to Rui for what he did, but he merely says he doesn’t like stuff like that (violence, sexual assault or possibly both? I mean, I have to assume it’s sexual assault because the F4 has to have been violent with plenty of people) before leaving. Again, Tsukushi gains a second wind and becomes determined to carry on through this.

The next day at school, Tsukushi comes prepared to battle against the bullying. When the F4 shows up, she kicks Tsukasa in the face, plasters a red slip on his face and responds to his war declaration with one of her own. Now excited to face the school year, Tsukushi prepares for war.

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There are a bunch of things that I liked about this first episode. For starters, Tsukushi is a great character. While the bullying does affect her, she also comes back with a vengeance. She won’t stand for this behavior whether it’s to her or others, and I really respect that. She’s also notably hurt by Makiko’s somewhat betrayal, but she has enough maturity and understanding to forgive her for it.

While I am a bit miffed at Makiko for not standing up with Tsukushi when the only reason Tsukushi’s even in this mess is because of Makiko, I also understand her position. It takes a lot to stand up to others and stand with your friends, especially when the bullying is this bad. Does this make her a coward? Maybe; but then again we all have to look within ourselves and ask if we’d honestly do the same thing.

Plus, she kinda made up to her a little, and she’s clearly beating herself up over her decision.

The F4 (which stands for Flower Four, by the way. It’s supposed to highlight how pretty the guys are, but what a dumb nickname to allow to stick when you’re trying to be intimidating) are realistic bullies. They’re entitled little shits who act like they run the school because their daddies are the richest in the land and most people follow them either to be cool/popular or because they’re afraid of them. They are a bit over the top, but it’s not anything terrible. They’re not like supervillains or anything, they’re just assholes.

Rui…..*sigh* I don’t know what to do here. The worst part of this episode, in my opinion, was Rui. Tsukushi is obviously falling for him even now yet, despite the fact that he saved her once, there’s no denying that he’s partaking in the bullying merely for staying loyal to the F4, and he even seems like he mocks Tsukushi about the egg in her hair from the bullying. He states that he doesn’t care about her story or problems, he has no interest in other people at all, is never going to give any secrets or info on the F4 and wants her to leave the school.

The two main points of Tsukushi’s interest in him are the fact that he’s cute, he picked up a garbage can and he saved her from those boys. That’s it. That’s what separates him from the other jackasses and makes him so cool. And really, when you think about, Rui had to have known that Tsukasa called for that attack. They stick together so much that he was probably even there when he did it. If he really was a good guy who secretly cared about her, he’d stop the attack before it started not after it was already happening. For all we know, it was a fluke he arrived at the right place at the right time considering how far she ran away. If he were just a few minutes later, she could’ve been raped or at least seriously injured.

He’s not as much of a douchenozzle as his friends. That’s it. Yet Tsukushi is putting him on a pedestal. Until he actually steps up a bit and shows that he has a true caring bone in his body and not just a ‘I don’t like sexual assault’ attitude, I can’t see much that isn’t dumb about this crush.

Then again, I also developed a crush on someone who bullied me simply because they opened my stuck locker to help me get my lunch money out when I was really hungry one day……Hey, cut me some slack. I was 11. She’s like 15. And the situation is different. And shut up.

The art is actually pretty bad for early/mid ’90s. I would’ve guessed it was mid ’80s. The animation is also just okay.

The music also seems stuck in the ’80s, most notably the OP. The BG music is fine, but spots of silence seem awkward. The ED is decent but not very catchy or memorable.

The sound effects, though, ech. I don’t know what went on in the sound booth, but there are scenes where a lot of action is going on yet there are so few sound effects and those that are there seem weird or aren’t making enough noise. This is especially prominent in the attack sequence that starts with no music. The silence mixed with the weird sound effects makes for a very odd sounding scene.

All in all, I expect this series to become something pretty good and I did enjoy this first episode just fine, but the Rui thing will definitely keep bothering me until he gets some development in him.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Audience: Possible implied attempted sexual assault, minor violence, no nudity, sex or swearing. 7+

Episode One-Derland: Yosuga no Sora

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Plot: Sora and Haru are twins whose parents just recently passed away. They decide to sell their apartment and go back to their old house back in a very small town in the country. Every female, including his sister, wants to ride Haru’s meat wagon, and that’s pretty much all you need to know.

Breakdown: “But FiddleTwix, you said you hate harems and actively try to avoid them!” you yell through your computer screen. Oh yes, yes I do. But I also have a problem with reading terrible reviews on anime. On one hand, I give some of these shows a shot just to see if they have earned some form of redemption in my eyes. On the other hand, boy is it fun to watch terrible anime and then tear it a new one.

My first glimpse into this was through THEM anime reviews who basically said it was crappy soft-core hentai and left it at a one paragraph review amounting the show to being less enjoyable to merely watching 12 episodes of blank screen. Now that is something to spur my interest.

So I got around to watching the first episode and just from this episode alone I can see all sorts of problems.

First of all, there’s no story so far. Yup. One whole episode and no story outside of the plot synopsis I just gave you, and that information is only given to us in the middle of the episode. Narrative story flow? What’s that?

Want me to give you a full synopsis of the entire episode? Okay. Sora and Haru arrive in the town, grocery shop, greet the neighbors, Haru goes to school (Sora can’t because she suffers from ‘wtfistheresomethinginthewaterinJapanincrediblyweakyetgivennodiagnosis-itis’ And believe it or not, Haru actually describes her problem as ‘She’s weak and whatnot.’ Thanks Doctor.), we find out that Haru and Sora kissed when they were like ten (And I mean, legit kissed, not a little peck), Sora gets mad that he was late coming home, everyone with a vagina pervs on Haru and we end the episode with Sora imagining Haru about to French her as an apology for forgetting his phone at home with the episode-ending ‘cliffhanger’ being a horny Sora taking off her clothes at Haru’s bed propositioning him for sex.

Yep, that’s it.

Second, the other characters. There are several other characters introduced here, all of which being girls because duh. I can at least give most other harems some slack for usually taking time with the interactions with the main male lead and not flying head first into ‘Every girl needs to change her panties at the sight of him’ stuff. This show, oh god, no. Every girl, and I mean every single one, coming to a grand total of six, so far, is lusting after Haru like this is an all-girl’s school built on an aphrodisiac factory immediately after catching sight of him.

Okay, not all of them are really lusting after him at this point, but most of them are, and the ones who haven’t gotten to the point of causing moisture damage to their desk chairs whenever his name is brought up very clearly have a gigantic crush on him just by glancing at his perfect face.

Because of this, they have to give a car crash of introductions to make sure that fans of every route get a little taste of their lust for him before the episode’s over. Did I say ‘route’? Why, that would indicate that this is based on an H-game. Boy howdy, a crappy softcore hentai harem anime based off of an H-game. That never happens!

While we do get little tidbits into the personalities of each girl, I honestly couldn’t keep up enough to even get their names partway memorized. It takes some kind of talent to make the audience have difficulty keeping up with a show that has absolutely no story so far.

The only two you really need to worry about at this point are Sora and Haru. How do they fare as characters?

Well, Haru’s fine. He’s….perfect. He’s kind, smart, caring, very responsible, sociable, hard working, overall very happy, a teenage Adonis with the light and breezes of heaven following him around in case a girl gawks at him—he’s a Gary Stu. There ya go. If there’s one negative character trait that I’ve been able to squeeze out of him so far is a very common one of Gary Stus….he’s a doormat. Otherwise known as the ‘my only flaw is that I’m too nice’ flaw.

Sora, on the other hand, is a completely unlikable little twat. It seems like they’re trying for the tsundere trope with her, but she is just a complete little grumpy bitch. Yeah, I understand that their parents died…some time ago, but she never seems to think about them nor bring them up; all of her thoughts are wet dreams about Haru.

The only way they seem to be gunning for even remotely tsundere-like qualities in regards to the other half of the equation is that when Sora is done being a bitch, she grabs onto Haru’s shirt with a few fingers. This in combination with her clinging to her stuffed rabbit and the fact that her alternate hairstyle is pigtails pretty much establish her as a loli trope above all else. Did I mention she’s 16?

She’s entitled, she likes absolutely nothing but junk food, the Internet and Haru, she rarely smiles, she’s jealous of every girl who comes near Haru, she’s very abrasive and bossy taking stuff that doesn’t belong to her with a snide remark and wasting their measly grocery budget on junk food (Gee, I wonder why she’s so weak.) and she’s just plain creepy with how horny she is for her twin brother. That ending scene I mentioned? She’s not even sweetly or shyly asking Haru to ‘make love’ to her or anything. She is repeatedly asking him in a creepy voice to make her orgasm while she strips.

And let me make it clear that while the target of her affections being her brother does make the situation squickier, the way she acts would be creepy with anyone.

You like Haru because the show kinda forces you to, especially giving him the bonus sympathy angle of being an orphan, but the only other really prominent main character is so hate-worthy that you can’t stand watching any scene with her. The other girls are annoying in their own rights, mostly with their crushes on Haru, but their scenes with him are way more tolerable than any scene with her.

Oh yeah, there’s a chibi-comedy rehash of an early scene as a pre-end-credits scene in which one of the girls, lonely (apparently going to a singles group when she’s still in high school….) and recently catching a glimpse of sex incarnate himself goes home to have a completely necessary masturbation scene. Yup.

The art, animation and music are really the only saving graces so far, and even that’s not fantastic. Some of the design choices are questionable, such as making some of the characters look too thin and sometimes having odd faces, but it’s overall pretty decent. The backgrounds are really well detailed and the environments, while not being particularly memorable, are well designed.

Final verdict?

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Okay, I’m cheating. This decision is really for your own sake. I’ll be continuing it just to see how far the rabbit hole really goes…..I’m regretting that choice of words immediately. But yeah, it’s really not worth a look at all unless you have a thing for incest or smacking around bad anime.

Recommended Audience: Considering this show is considered a soft-core hentai and basing from this episode alone, I can say with certainty that this show is definitely for ‘mature’ audiences. In the first episode we have several instances of near incest with one incestuous kiss, one instance of non-sexual nudity and one instance of partial nudity taking place in a masturbation scene. 17+

3×3 Eyes Review

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Rating: 7/10

Plot: A girl named Pai is the last of her race; the demonic immortal beings known as Sanjiyan Unkara, and she longs for nothing more than to become human. Along her journeys, she meets and cares for a sickly man who wanted to help Pai in her quest to become human. However, he died of his illness before he was able to do so and passed on the task to his son, Yakumo.

After searching for him for over four years, Pai finally found Yakumo and he begrudgingly accepts the task. He is soon accidentally killed by Pai’s friend, a demonic bird named Takuhi that lives in her signature cane, and in an effort to save his life, she bonds her soul to his. This action not only revived Yakumo, but it also made him a Wu, a completely immortal being whose main role is to protect the one they’re bonded to. The only way they can die is if the sanjiyan they’re bonded to dies. Now they both quest for the statue of humanity in an effort to make them both human again.

Breakdown: I think this show gets a lot of flak because, at most, reviewers tend to give this show the middle of the road with 5/10’s and 3 star ratings. This is an anime I actually rewatched because I never gave it a proper review before. I remember I really enjoyed it, and I also really enjoyed it this time around, if not more.

The characters are all likable and easy to grow attached to, the plot is pretty interesting and the two main leads are great. I also liked that Pai had two personalities; Pai, the innocent and child-like one, and Sanjiyan, the cold and focused warrior. The show does have some really intense and epic moments. However, I can’t deny that those reviewers with less than great views don’t have a point in some of their criticisms.

The first episode is very rushed to the point where it’s bordering on ridiculous. Later episodes get better pacing, but it’s still a problem. I would’ve liked to have seen this show stretched out more. At the very least eight episodes, but I would’ve hoped for 10-13. It deserves a much longer run outside of four episodes.

Because the manga’s story is smushed into this short OVA, many characters don’t get fleshed out much if at all.

The final episode, while being good, ends on a cliffhanger for many aspects of the story. Where’s Pai? What happened to her? What is the deal with the statue of humanity? Why do so many beings want it? It sounds like it only has the purpose of making beings human, but then why is being used for resurrections too? Is Benares dead? Are sanjiyan only immortal in the aging aspect if they’re not immune to murder? It seems silly to me that they have the power to make others immortal from all types of death, but not themselves.

Art and Animation: The art is dated and not that great. I can’t bring myself to dislike it that much. I’m a sucker for the old styles. Still, the facial features are the worst of them as the actual character designs and landscapes are pretty well done. Animation’s decent, but not fantastic.

Music: Only BG music really available, and I really enjoyed it. Especially the song that usually plays in the opener (but it’s not the OP, really). It’s very fitting, energetic and impacting.

Voice Acting: Japanese – Pretty great performances all around, except for a few lines here and there. Pai’s VA did an especially good job switching between the high-pitched and child-like voice of Pai to the deeper and more pronounced Sanjiyan.

Bottomline: I have a soft spot for this series, but it really is worth a watch. I am disappointed that it never got a longer series to work from, but there is a three-episode sequel I have yet to see that hopefully fleshes things out further and gives us a legit ending.

Additional Information and Notes: 3×3 Eyes was directed by Daisuke Nishio, director of Dragonball, several Dragonball movies, the first 199 episodes of Dragonball Z and Air Master. It was produced by Toei Animation and it is licensed in the US by Geneon. There was a sequel released in 1995 called 3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu.

Year: 1991-1992

Episodes: 4

Recommended Audience: No real nudity, but a girl who is about to get sacrificed is in barely any clothing. No sex at all, but maybe a grope or two. Little bit of swearing. The main note here is the violence and gore. In order to show off Yakumo’s immortality, he dies several times over the course of the series in bloody and gory ways. He gets impaled with giant talons, gets brutally run off over with a bus, has a bridge fall on him to the point where he’s so injured after that his head pops off like a pez dispenser, hacks off his own hand etc. There’s also a gory scene with a girl who is possessed by a demon (and the reveal of this possession creeped the hell out of me). So……14+.

Flowers of Evil (Manhwa) Review

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Rating: 8/10

Plot: Seh-Joon and Seh-Wah are extremely close twins. So close, in fact, that they’ve developed a bit of a romantic relationship. When their closeness catches the attention of their classmates and people start suspecting that they are more than close siblings, Seh-Joon panics and essentially cuts off all physical and emotional closeness with his sister. Devastated, Seh-wah tries her best to get him back, but Seh-Joon will have none of it and tells her to find other friends or a boyfriend to focus her attention on. While Seh-Wah is not interested in the least to be with anyone besides her brother, she finds herself slowly getting closer to their old childhood friend, Sung-Chan, who has renamed himself to Gi-Hoon. But the fire of this love is far from snuffed out, and everyone’s set to burn in the flames.

Breakdown: I swear I didn’t plan a damn near back-to-back incest feature in here.

This is a highly praised and rated manhwa from Lee Hyeon-Sook, but I gotta admit, as much as I got into following this series, I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as most people seemed to.

I know this series is called ‘Flowers of Evil’, but there is a significant lack of people you end up truly caring about. Everyone in this series is seemingly an asswad at some point in time or just as a whole. Oddly, the most unlikable character through much of the series, Seh-Wah, and her creepy dependence on her brother and simultaneous cold demeanor towards others, ended up growing the most in her learning to let go of Seh-Joon, though not entirely, as time went on. I can’t say I grew to fully like her, especially since she kept flip flopping between moving on and clinging to every bit of affection Seh-Joon threw out, but she was one of the higher ones on the list.

Sung-Chan comes off as creepy several times over the course of the series, though some of his creepier actions are more understandable when his story is explored near the end.

Even Seh-Wah and Seh-Joon’s father has a moment where you think he’s a complete douche. The story doesn’t make it clear, but he may have let a small boy die or purposely killed him for the sake of giving one of his organs to his kid.

Seh-Joon is the one who comes off the worst here, and as time goes on you can pretty much tell that it’s supposed to be that way. However, like Seh-Wah, it becomes incredibly irritating when he flip-flops back and forth between pushing Seh-Wah away, almost cruelly in some instances, and reeling her back in again.

For example, he invites his girlfriend over so they can make out in front of Seh-Wah and seemingly bring her into his room to have sex and when Seh-Wah has a massive mental breakdown at this, he shoos his girlfriend away. Essentially, he used her to mock Seh-Wah and push her away even more even though Seh-Wah, at this point, was already breaking away and moving on with Sung-Chan.

While I get that he’s just jealous, it’s also very annoying when he gets pissed at Seh-Wah for so much as being slight friends with Sung-Chan when he picks up a new girlfriend immediately after cutting Seh-Wah almost entirely out of his life.

Another weak part of this series is that, despite being built around the strong love the two have for each other, we never really learn why Seh-Joon and Seh-Wah love each other so much. Basically, Seh-Wah just says and acts like she’s hung on everything Seh-Joon has said and done throughout their lives while Seh-Joon might be so close to her because he fell in love with her shortly after she fell ill as a child. Their interests are never well-explored except Seh-Wah has a love of horror movies and literature and both are pretty stone-faced and overall expressionless throughout much of the series. It keeps telling you that they’re in love, and they say pretty things to each other while showing physical affection, but we never get a good understanding as to what it is about the other that they love so much.

Sung-Chan brought up a very good point that Seh-Wah is likely confusing sibling possessiveness for romantic love, and Seh-Joon is probably doing the same considering that this seems to have started after Seh-Wah fell ill. His fear of losing her may have culminated in a possessiveness and protectiveness of her that he himself is confusing for romantic love or has mutated that way.

Seh-Wah offers a theory to Seh-Joon and states that some people believe male-female fraternal twins are the spirits of lovers reincarnated. She expresses this as a beautiful and romantic theory, but Seh-Joon points out the very obvious downside of this as lovers being unable to be together in their next life since it’s taboo for siblings to be romantically involved.

Oddly, the two other pairings in this series were more interesting in regards to connection and development than Seh-Wah and Seh-Joon. After he cuts Seh-Wah off, Seh-Joon hooks up with a girl who has been vying for his affections for some time, Su-In. At first, they seem to legitimately care about each other, even seemingly hooking up a little before the whole ‘Incest is icky!?’ revelation Seh-Joon has, and he does try to get her back when he goes too far in his frustration with his relationship to her affecting his relationship to Seh-Wah, but there are several aspects of it that show signs of a relationship that would never work.

Su-In seems to be at Seh-Joon’s beck and call, even allowing her grades to drop significantly due to how much attention she’s putting on her relationship. I don’t know entirely why. She really seems like a sensible girl yet she’s letting herself be yo-yo’d by Seh-Joon and is also trying to monopolize her own attention by being with him as much as possible. Really seems like she was being set up to be one of those cautionary tales of smart girls who have a bright future then throw it away for some guy.

While she does seem to really care for him, his caring for her seems lukewarm at best throughout the series to the point where it becomes obvious that the whole thing is just meant to be a barrier between him and Seh-Wah. He treats her like a tool several times and I was almost disgusted that he tried to get her back after slipping up and venting on her like that. Yeah, I’m sure any girl would love to take back a guy who described sleeping with her as ‘sickening’ and something he’d never want to do again.

The other relationship at focus here is Sung-Chan and Seh-Wah. At first, Seh-Wah really doesn’t give a crap in a can about Sung-Chan, even forgetting that they used to be childhood friends. Slowly but surely, Sung-Chan is able to crack through Seh-Wah’s hard outer shell and catch some glimpses of her human side.

Likewise, this relationship helped Seh-Wah grow as a person and break away from her reliance on her brother. While Seh-Joon’s actions were still bothering her throughout the entirety of the book, she was able to deal with it better as she grew closer to Sung-Chan. I really liked their relationship and wished that the story had gone the way of the twins actually learning to let go of their attraction and attachment to each other while finding love elsewhere.

Now, one could argue that this isn’t really a story of love but of obsession and possessiveness masquerading as love, as we explored before. However, while that is definitely a factor, there is still some stock to Seh-Joon legitimately being in love with Seh-Wah.

He greatly fears them being unable to be together at all if anyone saw them being romantic with each other, which is why he starts this whole separation thing to begin with. He still keeps tabs on Seh-Wah and protects her from a distance, but completely bars them from even being a little close. And yes, it apparently took him until he was 16 to realize that being in a romantic relationship with your sister is not socially acceptable and is a religious taboo. Also, he’s Catholic, so we get the weight of his sins being the forefront here several times.

Another pointing to Seh-Joon’s legit love of Seh-Wah is when Seh-Wah tells him the story of a boy who was loved by all and one day he fell in love with a woman. The woman couldn’t betray her husband, so she left the boy. The question left by the story is whether it’s preferable to be loved by all or by one. Seh-Joon says his answer is simple, he’d be loved by one. However, he states that would be impossible. It’s implied that he believes this to be impossible because the only one he truly loves is Seh-Wah and they could never really be together.

Also, there’s more indication that maybe Seh-Wah wasn’t in love with Seh-Joon anymore by the end or maybe at all when she seeks out help from Sung-Chan in her time of need instead of looking to Seh-Joon like she normally would.

Now for some ending spoilers.

While you could say it was a complete accident that Seh-Wah died at the end, I feel like that’s a bit too easy. Of all people, why would Seh-Joon be the one to forget that Seh-Wah needs to take medication on a daily basis? Medication that keeps her alive? Seh-Wah had a heart condition when she was a child and she needed a heart transplant. However, the transplant gets attacked by her immune system if left unchecked, so she takes medication to combat it. Seh-Joon took her to live in the woods with no medication for several days, maybe weeks, and didn’t think to even try to get some?

Keep in mind, the reason that Seh-Joon was so attached to Seh-Wah was because he was traumatized by her illness as a child. Thinking she might die at any moment and being physically separated for months at a time, he became insanely protective and possessive of her. You’d think that would be the best reminder ever that she needs to be diligent with her medication. And hell, he takes similar medication because he also had that same heart condition, albeit much milder.

I almost want to say that he planned this and wanted Seh-Wah to die so he could kill himself and they’d live together forever in the afterlife, but I also have to take into consideration that Seh-Wah herself never said a damn thing about her meds either. So I guess I just have to chalk this whole thing up to bad writing.

It’s especially weird when Seh-Joon says her passing was God’s way of punishing them for sleeping together and giving into their forbidden love. She never would’ve died had they just taken some medicine from home before leaving. Their parents were probably at work when they decided to run away, so they had plenty of time to get that life saving medication from home. Hell, their dad is a doctor so he probably had a big stash of those handy. This whole thing is dumb.

That being said, I do like how they wrapped up Sung-Chan and Seh-Wah’s story. Like I said, she reached out to him in her time of need, which, ironically enough, was her feeling trapped and scared by Seh-Joon whisking her away to their grandparents old house for who knows how long. She tried to text him but he couldn’t answer because he was in a coma after Seh-Joon tried to beat him to death with a rock. When he saw that Seh-Wah’s last actions were trying to reach out to him one more time, it proved to him that she may have been thinking of him over Seh-Joon, though Sung-Chan could, sadly, do nothing to help her.

Seh-Joon killing himself at the end was probably the only way to go with that, and it is realistic considering how obsessed he was with Seh-Wah and how much pain he was in when they were apart. Though I do find it odd that Seh-Joon was never arrested for nearly murdering Sung-Chan. At the very least, he conceded something to Sung-Chan in the end by giving him Seh-Wah’s phone.

End of ending spoilers.

I suppose the last thing I really have to address is the actual aspect of the incest angle. I’ve seen several manga and anime with incest being one of the main points of the plot, because it’s just a thing apparently, with the most infuriating, to date anyway, being the recently reviewed Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wa Suru. Like this manhwa, that anime had a very possessive and creepy male sibling struggling to restrain his feelings for the sake of maintaining an illusion of normalcy and avoid the harsh stigma of social judgment.

Unlike this series, however, the sister in that situation seemed forced into the romance. Like this series, it could be that she tricked herself into believing she had a romantic love for her brother when it was being confused for sibling possessiveness. However, Seh-Wah seems a lot more willing in this relationship than Iku was.

Unlike this series, BwInKwS shoved religious imagery down our throats and basically screamed in our ears that incest was taboo. There are religious discussions in this manhwa, but the family is catholic and they don’t shove imagery in our faces to make a SUBTLE statement, they just show how this conflict within Seh-Joon is affecting him on a spiritual level.

To make a long story short, The Flowers of Evil is definitely the best rendition of an incest story that I’ve seen so far, and it does a lot of things right that BwInKwS did horribly wrong. But does it deserve the incredibly high praise its received?

Bottomline: In the end, this was one of those series that I left with a bit of unease. I didn’t really know how I felt about it. On one hand, there are a lot of overly dramatic and annoying parts to this series with almost every character being an asshole in some way. On the other hand, the story admittedly drew me in and I never once felt bored while reading. The characters came to life for me, even if the leads tend to seem constantly emotionless while also being overly dramatic at the same time, and the art was very beautiful at many points, even if some frontal shots seemed odd with how the noses basically disappear.

The story did get into a slight rut of ‘I hate everything, I love Seh-Joon, but he’s being an ass to me!’ ‘I’m Seh-Joon and I’m going to keep being an ass to Seh-Wah’ (insert Sung-Chan/Seh-Wah relationship development here) but it stayed steady, told the story it wanted to tell and ended up wrapping nearly every storyline pretty cleanly.

While I don’t think it deserves the perfect scores across the board that it seems to get, it’s a pretty good manhwa with a good length for this type of story and I’d gladly recommend that people give it a go.

Additional Information and Notes:

Flowers of Evil was written and illustrated by Lee Hyeon-Sook and it was published by Daewon C.I.

Volumes: 7

Year: 2006-2008

Recommended Audience: Incest angles a plenty, depending on how much that bothers you. Some nudity, but everything graphic is ‘painted away’. IE Sailor Moon-esque boobs with no nipples. A few sex scenes, but all tastefully done with no graphic shots. Several instances of violence, two of which being particularly brutal and slightly graphic. Adult themes. 14+

Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru Review

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Rating: 1/10

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 from this revelation. Does Iku feel the same? And can this relationship even work?

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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 features 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 show ever since I watched it a few years ago. It is a shining example of how to spotlight 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, and 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 falls flat.

He’s a grumpy, 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 the tension from just being so in lust with 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 eventually, 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.

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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.

No.

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 like 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.

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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 basically 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 to 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.

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I agree, angel statue. This OVA is despicable.

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 out 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 really 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?

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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 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. 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 and then, just as soon as it started, it stops. What the hell happened?

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Yori leaves 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 going to move away, especially when they’re close twins.

And just in case you still felt like Tomoka was a decent character, she arrives at the train station to stop Yori from leaving and 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.

Now before I get to the bottomline, 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 has 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, which means relatives who didn’t spend much if any time together as children may 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 which 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?

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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 hell, 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 apparently 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.

Bottomline: 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 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.

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 wa 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 produced yet again by Shogakakun and directed by Hiroshi Ando.

Runtime: 50 minutes

Year: 2005

Recommended Audience: The subject matter alone leads itself to a more mature 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+