Sad Post Series – Instalment 1, Dark Doujins and that Bittersweet love-affair
I suppose first of all, I have to explain the title of this post so as to clear up the confusion that’s no doubt present.
This is the start of a series of posts by me, CyborgCommunist, on dark topics, gleamed from various anime or manga. These post generally about rather depressing topics hence the name, the Sad Post Series. An underwhelming name but hey, I’ve got to make it seem ridiculous enough to draw in readers.
As the first part of the series, this post would be about Dark Doujins, mostly of the Romance genre (be it Straight or Yuri). And it’s “dark” as in having macabre/depressing topics albeit many of the manga/oneshots/doujin (oh yeah, it’s all about the printed works) have a silver lining in their plot. So by dark I’m not referring to depraved hentai doujins. Just those with generally “sad” outlooks (Not meaning that Hentai won’t be mentioned though. I just might).
One of my favourite one-shots from the Yuri-Hime line of magazines would definitely be Beautiful Pain by Natsuneko. It follows Hokouto and Lily, two step-sisters of a high-class lineage. However, Lily is the illegitimate child of Hokouto’s dad and therefore, she is seen as a lower being in the family, especially by Hokouto’s mum. But, unknown to the lady of the house, Houkouto and Lily are actually lovers, but estranged due to their family circumstances, for Houkouto is to be wed to a stranger to boost her family’s status.
I really enjoyed this one shot for many reasons. It shows the weight of responsibility to family and also, the obstacles that stand in the way of love. The darker aspect of this one-shot was the method that had to be done by Hokouto to ensure she and Lily could continue being lovers and no longer be obstructed by the outside world. I won’t spoil too much but it is pretty extreme. It depicts the Hokouto’s desire to fulfil her promise to Lily that they would stay together forever in a rather gloomy, depressing fashion due to their hopeless situation but it still gives you hope, to show that all obstacles can be overcomed if you have the will and reason. It’s not particularly morbid or grim but it is pretty dark but overall, it’s a great work of fiction. Natsuneko’s art is also impeccable. It stands as one of my favourites despite the large number of one-shots I’ve read.
Whilst I enjoy one-shots with slightly less optimistic ends, especially those that seem to have a more realistic feel to them, there are of course those with no happy endings, or a bittersweet ending. I’ve written a post about Unrequited Love before, using the manga Honey Crush as the example. So this is just to re-illustrate my points in said post. I really enjoy fiction with a bittersweet ending, especially when it’s Yuri (I can’t say for Yaoi but I’m guessing some of them have similar endings) where the person of one’s desire and affection is unaware of your feelings. It somehow gives a more realistic feel to them and I enjoy it for that reason. Not only does it seem more in touch with reality in the way that not everyone would be willing to accept your sexuality, but it also seems more realistic in the way that you would have to attempt asking her/him out multiple times before you succeed. These bittersweet feelings have always resonated with me, mostly due to my outlook to life perhaps or my rather failed love life (Or my attempts at getting one).
Such manga always cause me to become slightly sad or melancholic after I read them but I savour that feeling (Because I love self-pity and emo shit yeeeeeeaaah right). I don’t “feel” all that much normally and anger seems to normally be the predominant emotions within me. So it’s nice for a change sometimes, to slow down the pace of my emotional train wreck and to enjoy the small things. Even though they do make me sad, they also uplift my spirit, giving a bit of a hope, to pray for a silver lining.
I’ve read plenty of manga with such bittersweet plots and although most of them were deeply satisfying, some stand out from the rest. It would take toooo damn long for me to find them all and list them so I’m just going to use the most recent one I’ve read and currently, one of my favourites. Cigarettes don’t Equal to Chocolates by Kuroriri Misao was an extremely good one-shot I’ve read despite the short name. It left a rather deep impression on me and I highly recommend it. It tells a rather intriguing and well done tale of unrequited love but with a twist (Yes, it’s an exceedingly obvious twist but it was good).
Well, as this post gets gradually more morbid, I suppose I can bring it down another rung. One of the genres I’ve never really appreciated has always been Yandere. I’ve never liked thinking of having a overally attached lover but I do have to say, whilst I don’t enjoy them all, there was one particular Yandere one-shot that gave me plenty of food for thought.
Our Future by Yaya Hanatsu was a very interesting one-shot to read. It tells the tale of twin sisters, one of whom has lost her arms in a traffic accident. Her other twin feels like she’s responsible for her loss and also loves her, therefore she takes it to the extreme, caring for her twin in every way possible as she is unable to, thanks to her impairment. It had a rather nice end where everything else was sorted out but it was still interesting. It shows how responsibility can sometimes consume a person completely as they’re driven to follow their (sometimes) misguided ideals.
Although I would like to end this post on a lighter note (yes, it’s a weird thing to want to do considering the title but screw it), there really is no one-shots I can really mention that’s both dark and yet someway happy.
Well, there is one. This is a H doujin of Touhou about Komachi and it comes in 2 parts. Part 1 has pretty much alllllll the things I despise in Hentai. We have rape and group. What a great combo but someone other than me. However, the second portion does tell a rather sweet(ish) love story. The whole story is weird on the overall but at least it has a nice ending. And well, it’s dark for some very clear reasons once you read it (But you shouldn’t. Unless I really piqued your curiosity that much). For very obvious reasons, this is also the only one-shot where you won’t get any teaser pictures. Because I want to keep us at PG (even though we constantly flit between that and NC16).
Hence, that ends this first part. It wasn’t particularly sad at all but hey, I did what I wanted to. It will probably take me 2 weeks to feel motivated to work on part 2 and another 1month after that before anyone will even be able to read it but hopefully, this was interesting and that you’ll want Part 2. If not, too bad, it’s still going up.
If you wish to lighten your mood after this post (even though it’s not incredibly depressing or sad), might I suggest the post preceding this one? It’s still me, but the stupider me, with a stupider post. Enjoy.
Posted on June 23, 2012, in Anime, Manga, Otaku-ism and tagged Accident, anime, Beautiful Pain, Cigarettes don't Equal to Chocolates, Disability, Kuroriri Misao, Manga, Natsuneko, Our Future, Random H doujin, Sayuri Hime, Touhou, yandere, Yaya Hanatsu, yuri, Yuri HIme, Yuri Hime S. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.