A depressing story about how a Japanese family's life goes wrong: an immoral protagonist, her sister who was gang raped before, her alcoholic mother who later devoted her life to a cult, and her father who lost favor with his company... full of sexual content and highly violent.
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Warning! Warning! Warning! Not much else to add, you have been warned As written in other comments, this manga is a real mindbreaker.
... Last updated on August 20th, 2014, 7:02pm
Realistic look at the backside of society... Grotesquely so. Like HD images of roadkill. In 3D 1080p, panned slowly, zoomed in.
GRAPHIC, UGLY look at how things go waaay wrong and people fall through the cracks of "pretty perfect modern societies"... Privileged folk like Tokyo elites from glitzy private schools, American suburbanites from perfect McMansions, and the like will benefit from a good hard look at this
...if you grew up in a less than harmonious environment, with ex-cons for next door neighbours, murders on your block no longer surprising anyone, muggers next to your convenience store and rapists lurking in the bushes next to playgrounds a regular sight, and a few scars and hospital visits to remember your youth by - THEN YOU DON'T NEED THIS ONE.
It's a guided reality-check tour for people who live in a rosey world where "violence" is a boyish scuffle over who made a pass at whose girl, "delinquents" are 17-year-olds who cut class and smoke cigarettes, "criminals" stick to nicking beer and car stereos, "alcoholics" are annoying old guys in expensive business suits who pass out on the train, and "rape" is just a plot device for trashy porn.
...if you already know better, it's just a nasty zoomed picture of an all-too-familiar ugly and depressing sight.
Amazing father, no one on his side but he keep on struggling to keep the the family member (from disaster after disaster) together. The author did a good job with this slice of life of a family, playing with your anger and patient. Now let's reread Yotsuba to change the mood and back to the safe side..
... Last updated on January 10th, 2013, 8:03pm
... This need to labled mature, adult, hentai. = =... Do they seriously need to draw the underbody as realistic? Do they have to uncover the male underbody? DO THEY HAVE TO!?
Nope, that's the answer. Nope. Too bad... wanted to read it, but can't risk myself you see. My imagination is better than I want, so is my memory. Having weird things imprinted into my mind is the last thing that I wanna experience again.
it bruised my brain
Sorry it was to much, I stopped after 20 chapters, could not take any more of brain damage from it. Way to depressing for me. Author is a sadist, he makes you feel sorry for all the members of the family, you wish them well and when you finally think that their fate may change for better a bit, he turns it to even worst. It just makes me suffer with them ;/ I fell even worst than when I finished reading Me~teru no Kimochi
... Last updated on October 12th, 2011, 9:49pm
In general i have to agree with the previous comments. This manga is extremely difficult to rate. On one hand you notice some alarming behaviour and how the japanese mentality works, on the other you see a constantly shifting family dynamic that enrages even the calmest individual. I was furious at times with this manga, not only because of the actions of certain characters, but also because how some understood and saw others. God, it was a difficult but interesting read. Now that i've distanced myself from this manga i can however recognize it's value and despite the rage give it a good rating. Try not to be shocked by the first volume and treat this manga as a psychological and social voyage to a dark part of the japanese world.
... Last updated on March 5th, 2011, 10:09am
Enjoyable yet with certain flaws
A very very spot-on social commentary which reflects the issues and decay of a society which still tries to cling onto "old values and mentalities(interpreted from a 21st century point of view)" that are long outdated in this day and age. And it's also about the generations who had to cope with a post-war Japan where a country on the brink of destruction had to survive and respond towards recession and the "boom age" and other events that completely affected their lives, as well as those who were born far later. It's a pity the plot is very disjointed because it's basically a random sequence of events strung together, so they can serve as the basis of the commentary.
It's the same for the characterization because the casts are simply based upon different types of people and also mentalities within the middle-class aspect of Japanese society and they have all sorts of details stuffed into them, regardless of consistency. So, it's all quite a jumbled mess.
I'm no Japanese and can't really speak for another culture I know little about but being an Asian, some of my generation and many of the older generations sure do deal with things just as depicted.
And unfortunately, much of these details are probably lost to those who don't understand Japanese society or even certain Asian societies at all. Hence, the confusion of a number of readers.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Everything is quite interesting and likely, depicted quite accurately: the mentality and attitude of the father as in how he tries to be a "man", how he refuses to trust the police and attempts to use connections to "fix" things, how he tries to be strong, bright and cheery even when things go wrong(but often in the wrong ways) which follows the concept of harmony(wa) and so on. He is based on the type of middle-class salarymen who were brought up to the ideology that they'd to dedicate themselves selflessly to contribute to society, without regards to the effects these had to their family. Btw, it truly is ironic that though he tried so hard to keep his family together, it was only his impending death which did so.
The school's authorities keep blabbering about policies and everything which is very typical of the Asian method of sweeping the issues under the carpet in order to maintain harmony as in to present a "perfect picture" which is stained by nothing
As for the older sister, she represents the kind of "young woman" who has been brought up to a certain ideal(in this case, submissive) and to accept things just as they are. Therefore she simply lets the rapists have their way with her. She also likely reflects the typical Japanese who will bury their feelings and thoughts within in order to prevent conflict and maintain harmony(wa). Incidentally, her personality reflects the result of a very stupid form of thinking that likely emerged in the 21st century in order to hold together a society that was rapidly falling apart due to modernization, rapid loss of old values and so on.
The youngest sister probably represents the kind of young generation who has to struggle with the mentalities and the values of the "old and modern". She tries to take action by calling the police but at the same time, on another occassion, when she sees the gang with another girl, she decides to keep quiet because it would cause a mess(conflict with harmony). She does struggle to resist against life but well... her actions of course, reflect the sensibility of her age. At the same time, she uses her father as a punching bag for the things that have gone wrong. She also reflects the cynicality, cold and harsh attitude her generation holds towards others and also, themselves. That is: she has little self-worthiness and so she holds little compassion and understanding towards others and instead, thinks that doing so is being "tough and ballsy". Just like her generation, she is often not afraid to show her true opinions and feelings(honne) in the presence of others and quite often, ignores the concept of showing a behaviour as expected of her position and rank within society(tatemae).
The mother herself probably reflects the kind of woman who is expected to hold together a household, in the face of a society's norms and expectations and her family's problems, and who drinks a lot in order to deal with all these issues. She probably represents a realistic outcome of Japan's drinking culture where a lot of people seem to drink copious amounts(as part of their "harmony" stuff), ignoring how much damage over-drinking will cause your health(sweeping the "dirty things" under the carpet).
The gangs likely represent the kind of youth who are completely lost in this age and for whom "sex, drugs, violence, etc." are the factors which hold them together. Probably because they grew up in an age where convenience, societal pressures, etc. are burdened upon them and the parents completely ignore them. Since they are regarded as the "dirty things" which are ignored and abandoned because they don't fit with the idea of a "sparkling and beautiful society where everything runs smoothly", they are lost and completely well... troubled because they just run loose without anyone to really care for them. And because they don't value themselves and others, so they go on rampages and stuff, without little to no idea or care about the consequences of their acts. They engage in fights, steal, take drugs, commit sexual assault, murder, etc., and so on.
... Last updated on April 12th, 2010, 1:00pm
would probably be better off as a h-manga
This manga is all over the place. Barely any of the characters keep a consistent personality throughout the manga. You are forced to sympathize with the father despite knowing that there is close no chance that it will end with the father happy. Although it is unique enough for one to finish the story; you won't be satisified at all along the way. This manga is akin to having a nightmare while you sleep with a plot as depressing as a rape hentai.
I quite agree with Chas
Read his rating too, because I feel the same way. Yet the story does leave a good impression. Whether you like the characters or not. This is more about saying whether its worth reading. This manga is unique enough. The story is entertaining enough. It'll affect your emotions enough. Its a good work.
But he's totally right about the slut girl sleeping with her sister's rapist. Especially since she seems to get along with her. And she saw the damage it did to her sister(screaming at night, later an unwillingness to go outside). Her dad even rescued her sister from it and gets no credit for it. Not to mention her willingness to call 110 but where the hell was that willingness while her sister was drug addicted and being raped.
... Last updated on January 6th, 2009, 11:04am
one of the greatest manga ever
This is one of my favorite manga titles. Although art style is very significant to me, and in this manga it's truly awful and ugly, I just had to endure. Because the story is so interesting, it keeps you glued to the screen until you finish it all. All the characters feel very alive, even if a bit exaggerated, and their actions sometimes really go overboard. As a result, you just don't know what they will do next. There are some really crazy and completely unpredictable turns in the plot, but still the author managed to keep it all somewhat believable.
It's also one of the titles that make you think. In this cases the questions being raised are related to society, humanity and morality. All are introduced in a rather shocking way, making it difficult to stay indifferent.
Overall, it's very interesting, dramatic, shocking and "guaranteed to blow your mind". But only if you can cope with looking at both the ugly art style and the ugly human nature.
P.S. compared to "Believers", "Arigatou" imo is better. "Believers" is more like a spin-off.