It’s that time of the year again, folks…We’rejust now drifting out of one of the most depressing days of the year. For single people and people stuck in bad relationships, or just teenagers too young to understand romance, Vaentine’s day is just unbearable for some people. But that’s okay, because thanks to the world of fiction, there are a ton of romantic stories we can envelop ourselves in, as we fantasize about the perfect love that we’ll likely never have.
This, unfortunately, is where bad romance literature comes from… Lonely people want stories about make-believe people who vaguely remind them of themselves at some point in their lives experiencing the greatest romance in history. Bored housewives and teenage girls set on their way to becoming bored housewives get paranormal romance stories, and aging virginal men who’ve never experienced intimacy on any level will flock to dude-books, magical girlfriend anime, and whatever the hell Red Ellen was. These are mostly harmless expressions of sexual desire, but can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Last year, I released my list of the top ten worst anime romances… A list of the loves in anime that genuinely bothered me, for whatever reason. Since then, it’s become not only one of my most successful posts, but one of my most controversial ones, as well. Which I’m fine with. I always stand by my decisions(Although my top ten best characters should be redone at some point), but if there’s a romance out there that’s worse than my material from that list, I should still give it the time of day. As it happens, a few months ago, somebody on Gaiaonline.com made a thread about what she called the worst manga ever read, and a quick glance at the cover immediately tells me that it’s a romance doujin.
Is it really bad enough to earn my recognition? Let’s take look.
According to the first page, this story stars a frame-faced girl who looks very underaged and an older looking dude who looks suspiciously similar to Light Yagami. But before we can find out if these two characters are going to be our romantic focal point, we get two pages of ads saying that the translation company, Chibi Manga, is looking for help. Two of the things that strike me odd about this are
A: The art style seems similar to the actual manga’s style, which possibly suggests that this doujin isn’t of Japanese origin
and B: They never mention payment, or it being a job. They’re just looking for free, over-the-web help, aren’t they?
In any case, let’s get started. The very first line of text in this turkey is very telling of just how bad Chibi Manga needs that editor they were just begging for. The first line is “He’s not THAT handsome that would make people have their jaws drop in awe.” There are so many good ways to translate this line. It could have been worded anywhere from “He’s not THAT jaw-droppingly handsome” to “He’s not THAT hadsome… It’s not like everyone’s jaws are dropping.” Either way would have been better.
Our main character comes in, after an extreme Shyamalan style close-up. She’s at the base of an escalator, which keeps going “Rappangi Rappangi” as it moves her upwards. At the top of the steps is our Light look-a-like, looking at his watch as people chatter around him. He catches the girl’s eye, and as they’re about to pass like to ships in the night, she catches his. That’s about when the unthinkable happens… He reaches across the barrier, grabs her shoulder, and says “Wait for me upstairs.”
Now, if we get over the initial creepiness of this move, it’s not all that romantic, really. I mean, if you’re really taken with this girl, don’t make her wait for you… Turn around and walk up the down escalator! Run up those bad boys to show her what you’re willing to do for her! Either way, I can’t resist saying this… “That escalated quickly.”
We finally get the title card, with text from the girl thanking Cupid for her meet-cute, but questioning his judgement in the pairing. Which speaks volumes about what we’re getting ourselves into. Not only does this confirm that these two are our lovers, but it also admits that they probably shouldn’t be. Hey lady, you know you have a will of your own, right? You don’t have to fall in love with an adult stranger just because he’s good looking, and you shouldn’t blame Cupid when you do. you have agency, use it.
The adult is shocked to find out over coffee that his muse is only 18, which… I doubt that was her original age. I’m gonna throw out a guess that if this thing was originally a Japanese creation, the English editors probably bumped up her age to avoid controversy. They’re not getting along at first, as he’s embarrassed to have made such an obvious move on a high schooler, and she fires back by calling him uncle. If it wasn’t for the cupid line on the last page, I’d be positive about the way this story was heading, but… Eh?
He reluctantly reveals himself to be 29 years old, remarking that he was graduating high school just as she was beginning elementary school, which just sounds like the most romantic damn line in the world, doesn’t it? Oh, but he’s still flustered, because despite the breaking down of their chemistry, he still thinks they’re flirting, and he still wants to “Take her to his room…” Or, to be more direct, to bang her. They’re both still interested in each other, and they never want to be separated from each other again. Man, couple really start to hit their romantic stri deafter about thirty minutes, don’t they?
The adult claims he’s going to be committing sexual misconduct, which is confusing seeing as how she’s supposed to be 18, and she claims she can legally marry, which offers more proof to my theory from earlier, that she’s not as old as the English version is portraying her as. She’s gotta be between 15 and 17, and they’re going to use marriage as an excuse to legally sleep together, which WAIT, WHAT THE HELL?! MARRIAGE? DID I JUST SKIP OVER SOMETHING HERE?
He claims his position doesn’t allow him to break any laws… Yep! She was definitely intended to be underaged! Why didn’t the English editors take out all references to the girl’s age, if they were going to bump it up?
The two of then sign a marriage certificate, whereupon they… and the audience, for that matter… learn each others’ names. Because that’s not something you’d wanna know beforehand, or anything. I think we’ve done it, folks, we’ve found a worse love story than Twilight. They comment on this, wondering what’s wrong with them, and decide to try and get to know each other. first question, from the man to the girl: “Are you a virgin?”
She says no, he switches on, and pulls her in for a kiss. It’s not her first kiss, though, and… The end! That’s seriously where this manga leaves off! What do their parents think? Where are they going to live? Do they wind up having sexual chemistry? Or perhaps the most important question, who wrote this piece of shit?
Oh, and that’s not hyperbolic, either… That’s literally the most important question I can think to ask about. The identity of the person who wrote this doujin is a very clear deciding factor in whether it’s creepy or not. If it was written by someone the girl’s age, that’s not so bad… Teenagers often fantasize about older people they find attractive, I know I did. If that’s the case, then this doujin is just a step up from steamy fantasies and diary entries. On the other hand, if it was written by someone the dude’s age, we’re looking at some serious signs of ephebophilia, here. Some old dude coming up with an unrealistic situation in which an underaged girl falls madly in love with him at first glance, and wants to bone him so much that she’ll marry him without even learning his name? That truly would make this one of the worst love stories I’ve ever seen. I can’t really call it the worst doujin I’ve ever read, as it AT LEAST wasn’t a hentai, but t is definitely a worse love story than Twilight.
Find the original doujin at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/515783371800257/?ref=bookmarks