Forum › Posts by Verdant

joined Jan 24, 2020

I've never read anything quite like this manga before, and it's amazing that it works as well as it does. It takes a bizarre premise that sounds like it should be satirical (or possibly something one might find in the more... niche sort of hentai), but then plays it straight and treats it as a serious, poignant drama, and it completely pulls it off.

I actually liked this a lot. Adorable.

Could be viewed as a metaphor for... hell, many things. Disabilities is a big one.

Yeah, I think this manga is probably metaphorical in some way, but I'm not totally sure what the metaphor is. As you say, it could be lots of things, and disability seems like one of the more likely possibilities, but I get the sense that it might be something more abstract and existential than that. Maybe something to the effect of not letting go of what's precious to you even if it's hard to make that work with a normal life, and what that means. There's such a deep atmosphere of sadness that hangs over the whole story that I feel like it's probably coming from a pretty personal place.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 05 Apr 06:22
joined Jan 24, 2020

I'm 99% sure that this volume can't be the last one since current chapter is the last "normal" chapter in it. Next we are going to have an extra chapter and then with volume release some extra pages, afterwords and usual staff. So we'll only see a continuation of the last scene in the new volume, what a joy!

Ah, that's good to hear, even if it does mean we have to wait longer for the continuation. (As I said, that was based on Google Translate, which... yeah.) I think that it would seem kind of rushed if the ending actually was imminent. I do think we're probably well past the halfway point, though, just going by how much things have progressed.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 05 Apr 04:29
joined Jan 24, 2020

I think we're probably pretty close to the end. Google Translate is terrible with Japanese, of course, but if I interpreted a couple of Taiyaki's tweets from a while back correctly, she's said that this volume will be the last one. If I had to guess what's going to happen next, it might be that Ayako will say that she wants to reciprocate Asuka's feelings, but that she doesn't want things to go there while Asuka's still her dependent. (This would probably explain the combination of the "I love you" and the guarded body language, plus it's an issue that has been brought up a few times in the manga itself.) I think they'll definitely be lovers at the end, though, since Taiyaki has pretty much straight up said that's what's going to happen. Possibly it'll be something along the lines of a time-skip to a year or two later with Asuka returning home from college, and then they go to the new bed together, and then a happily-ever-after final chapter.

If I'm right that we're close to the end, there are a few things I wish had been explored a bit more before this point, but overall that would be a very satisfactory ending, IMO.

Verdant
joined Jan 24, 2020

Amano Shuninta can be kind of hit-or-miss, but her best work is really good and easily some of the best yuri manga that I've read. I think I tend to prefer her more comedic works, in general — she has this sort of off-the-wall sense of humor which is absolutely hilarious when it really lands,

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 28 Feb 04:17
joined Jan 24, 2020

Yoshimura Kana, the creator of Murcielago, is a fan of 1 x ½, apparently: https://twitter.com/yoshimurakana/status/1232243387945734144

It's interesting because even though Murcielago and 1 x ½ are both yuri manga that deal with taboo subjects, I can hardly think of two manga that are more different in tone and feeling and general approach.

incest is the very least of my favourite, but hell this manga excites me so damn much

I've seen more than one person say something to this effect, and I think it illustrates how good a manga it is, subject matter aside. It's just really well done all around, in art and storytelling and everything else. If it keeps up the same level of quality to the end, I really think it'll go down as one of the all-time classics of yuri manga.

joined Jan 24, 2020

That last panel is priceless.

This really, really, needs a sequel.

I feel like any continuation of this would pretty much have to be outright hentai. With that setup at the end, I don't think there's any other way it could go, really...

Verdant
Image Comments 06 Feb 16:24
joined Jan 24, 2020
Eixbnpdwwaan1ey-orig

Eh, as you say it's a YMMV thing, but to me Rhea and Edelgard are on the same level of "villainy", and indeed parallel each other in a lot of ways. Both are tragic characters who are villainous in certain lights and heroic in others. Both had terrible things done to them by TWSitD, both lie about their true goals, both have sympathetic reasons for those goals, and both do some pretty terrible things in service to them. I sympathize more with Rhea ultimately because Edelgard's starting a war of aggression, imperialism, and working with TWSitD (and sharing their agenda when it comes to the "Children of the Goddess") is beyond the pale for me (also there's some disturbing implications to a number of the Crimson Flower endings, which are more pronounced in the original Japanese from what I've heard), but yeah, YMMV.

Basically, though, I think the relative lack of popularity for Byleth/Rhea comes mostly from a combination of a lot of people playing Crimson Flower first and not knowing the other side of the story, that the game makes it a lot more difficult to get to know Rhea as compared to Edelgard, that she's a powerful religious authority figure and that rubs some people the wrong way no matter what, and that the pairing with Byleth is sort of psuedo-incestuous.

Verdant
Image Comments 06 Feb 04:22
joined Jan 24, 2020
Eixbnpdwwaan1ey-orig

Spoilers ahead for Fire Emblem: Three Houses:

Rhea’s nothing like a Captain Planet villain, IMO. She’s as tragic and sympathetic and complicated as Edelgard if not more so, though you only really find out her backstory at the end of Verdant Wind. I won’t say she doesn’t have some responsibility for the systemic evils of the game, but I don’t think it’s anywhere close to nearly all of it. (I guess some of this depends on how much power one perceives the Church as having, and IMO while it’s considerable it’s nothing close to absolute.) To me, the game makes clear that the main cause of those systemic evils isn’t so much one particular person as it is human greed and lust for power in general, but, if you’re going to pin it on one particular entity, IMO it should be Those Who Slither in the Dark. The actions of Rhea, Dimitri, and Edelgard are all rooted in their own trauma, and for all of them, the source of that trauma is, ultimately, TWSitD.

Anyway... to comment on the picture, I like it and I wish there was more out there for this pairing generally. I suppose the way it’s kind of incestuous from both directions but also technically not puts people off, though.

Verdant
joined Jan 24, 2020

Trying to find one again which I liked a lot, but I can’t recall the name of it. I might have a couple details wrong, but it’s about a girl who realizes she’s gay growing up and fears she’ll always be alone because of it, but then meets another girl and they fall in love. It ends with one dying of old age after they’d spent their whole lives together. The whole thing was very moving, and I remember it kind of had non-moe art, but I didn’t find it when I looked in that tag. Might have overlooked it, though... anyway, I’ve tried a few times to locate it again and haven’t been able to, so I thought I’d ask here.

Born This Way
I hate myself for forgetting the name of this story. It's one of my all-time favorites and it's got the name of one of Lady Gaga's biggest songs. Shame on me

Thank you, that's it! No wonder I didn't find it by looking through tags. I'm not sure what else could be applied to it, though. (I'd still say that's not moe art, but it is more standard manga style than I remembered.) I feel like there should be a new tag for manga which are poignant but which don't warrant the "depressing as fuck" tag.

Verdant
joined Jan 24, 2020

Trying to find one again which I liked a lot, but I can’t recall the name of it. I might have a couple details wrong, but it’s about a girl who realizes she’s gay growing up and fears she’ll always be alone because of it, but then meets another girl and they fall in love. It ends with one dying of old age after they’d spent their whole lives together. The whole thing was very moving, and I remember it kind of had non-moe art, but I didn’t find it when I looked in that tag. Might have overlooked it, though... anyway, I’ve tried a few times to locate it again and haven’t been able to, so I thought I’d ask here.

Verdant
Touma-kun discussion 30 Jan 20:46
joined Jan 24, 2020

I've liked a lot of the stuff by Amano Shuninta that I've read, but this is mystifying. I feel like it was allegorical or symbolic in some way, but if that's the case I can't figure out what the symbolism is at all. Something to do with the expectations around femininity? Maybe? It basically just sort of stops without any obvious conclusion or resolution. I feel like this whole manga was either something which would make complete sense if I knew what the allegory was about (but it's kind of a flaw in the work if it's that hard to figure it out), or else it was basically the mangaka spinning her wheels for nine chapters.

Verdant
Yuru Oyako discussion 30 Jan 02:15
joined Jan 24, 2020

I love Taiyaki but.. She really likes mom x daughter stuff huh.

Taiyaki's gender is not known, per Manga-Updates, so it's possible that HE really likes that stuff.

Manga-Updates apparently hasn't been edited to reflect it, but Taiyaki is definitely a woman. There was an interview she did a while back where she said she was, and IIRC talked about being a lesbian. It's linked somewhere in the 1 x 1/2 thread, and is in Spanish.

(Also, in response to some other discussion in this thread, in that interview she said that her relationship with her own mother is normal. She clearly has a pretty major kink for the mother/daughter scenario, but I'm pretty sure it's like that kind of kink usually is, where it's not something one would actually want to do in reality at all. In contrast to some other mangaka, I've never gotten the sense from her work that there's a wish-fulfillment element to it or that any of the characters are self-inserts.)

Verdant
Yuru Oyako discussion 29 Jan 21:00
joined Jan 24, 2020

This is basically like the silly comedy version of 1 x 1/2, which oddly makes the subject matter feel less fucked-up in some ways and more so in others. Although, another part of that is that there's also a very different dynamic here. Ayako clearly reciprocates Asuka's attraction but is in denial about it, (which the "Mother x Mother" page of this pretty much directly points out), while Sayaka doesn't seem to have any inclination to reciprocate her daughter's advances at all. Meanwhile, Asuka's a sensitive, introspective type, and Yuuki... has the personality of a hentai protagonist, basically.

On a side note, Taiyaki's really good at little one-panel gags like the depiction of the father. Reminds me of that bit in 1 x 1/2 with Asuka imagining the surgeons as football helmet-wearing troglodytes.

last edited at Jan 29, 2020 9:06PM

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 27 Jan 21:11
joined Jan 24, 2020

In other news, Taiyaki seems to have done a new manga with the same mother/daughter incest theme as 1 x 1/2 for a yuri anthology, and an excerpt from it (or possibly all of it, I can't tell from Google Translate) is pinned on her Twitter. I think it's just a one-shot, but I get the sense that she's going to keep going back to this theme after 1 x 1/2 concludes.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 27 Jan 20:39
joined Jan 24, 2020

Since I mentioned the possibility... Ayako outright running away would not be the right choice on her part by any means, but I think it's possible that she might because, the way I'm reading the last chapter, she's presently seeing herself as having corrupted her daughter, and her immediate response to what happened is to leave the house. Also, Asuka's dream of her mother's absence strikes me as possibly being foreshadowing. I can easily imagine Ayako in her current mental state deciding that even if it hurts Asuka for her to leave, that it's still less bad for her than her presence would be. This, again, wouldn't be the right decision at all, but it's the sort of decision I can easily imagine someone with a sufficient degree of self-loathing making, where they think that their loved ones will be better off without them. And, from what we've seen, Ayako's likely carrying a lot of self-loathing. I suspect that her dealing with that and arriving at a better place (probably with Asuka's help) will be a major part of her character arc coming up, whether there's a timeskip or not.

Verdant
joined Jan 24, 2020

I can't figure out what's going on with the gender thing, actually. Minamoto Hisanari seems to consistently list themselves as female on all their online profiles (their Pixiv profile also says female) but yeah, they refer to themselves as a man in Wife and Wife, there's what Erica Friedman said, and the portrayal of "yuri marriage" in The World is Full of Yuri was done in a way that was... not something I can easily imagine a woman who was attracted to women writing.

Whatever the case, definitely one of my favorite yuri mangaka. That small criticism of The World is Full of Yuri aside, their manga is so sweet and good-natured it's outright poignant, and I can't think of anyone who does that type of yuri better than them.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 27 Jan 05:10
joined Jan 24, 2020

Thanks to everyone who offered their thoughts on my theory. The hypersexual part of it is what I'm most uncertain of, also. I'm inferring that something like that is going on from Akira's "that you-know-what of yours" line and the way that Ayako seems to be reacting to what she did with Asuka in this chapter, like it was somehow something she expected because of who she is. But it's true that there's nothing else that we've seen which would imply a history of that. It's possible that Akira's line refers to something else, and that Ayako is more just thinking that what she did in this chapter is a mark of some general brokenness rather than anything specifically sex-related. I have a feeling next chapter will reveal more.

Do you feel like there might be a time skip in the future? Akira pointed out that whole waiting 2 years thing, then there was that one lady at the wedding talking about putting a research team together, and now Ayako’s left....

Some time apart would benefit them. They need to figure out whether they love each other out of necessity or desperation.

They both need some time to grow without the other....

I think it's possible there will be a timeskip, yeah, and if this story is going to end in a positive place for both of them, a timeskip and some time apart is probably necessary for all the reasons you point out. I mean, there's a whole bunch of reasons why it's not a good idea for things to go further when Asuka is Ayako's dependent, and as you say Akira did basically point that out.

(Complete speculation, but one way I could imagine the plot going from here is that Ayako runs away and disappears, and guardianship of Asuka goes to Akira, which Asuka finds out when she arrives at Akira's. Lots of angst and drama, Akira tells Asuka about Ayako's past, timeskip a couple years ahead, Asuka's in college and still carrying a torch for Ayako, and then finds out where she is and they reunite...)

Still, I'm not sure if it is going to end in a positive place for them. I really have no idea how this story ends. Taiyaki hasn't really shown a taste for dark scenarios in her other work, so I've sort of assumed it'll basically have a happy ending. The thing is, though... Asuka and Ayako both have a lot of psychological baggage, and without that, I'm pretty sure the incestuous attraction wouldn't have been a thing at all. If they do overcome their issues enough to make a happy ending possible, are they still attracted to each other? I don't know. I do think Taiyaki's done so well with the whole story so far (aside from chapter 13 dragging on a bit too much) that whatever happens, I doubt it'll be disappointing.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 26 Jan 00:03
joined Jan 24, 2020

Thanks to everyone who offered their thoughts on my theory. The hypersexual part of it is what I'm most uncertain of, also. I'm inferring that something like that is going on from Akira's "that you-know-what of yours" line and the way that Ayako seems to be reacting to what she did with Asuka in this chapter, like it was somehow something she expected because of who she is. But it's true that there's nothing else that we've seen which would imply a history of that. It's possible that Akira's line refers to something else, and that Ayako is more just thinking that what she did in this chapter is a mark of some general brokenness rather than anything specifically sex-related. I have a feeling next chapter will reveal more.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 25 Jan 02:56
joined Jan 24, 2020

All right, even trimmed down this is probably too long a post, but this is my guess as to what's going on with Ayako and where all this is going.

So, in this chapter, Ayako thinks that "in the end, wanting to be a family with someone was just a long dream from the very beginning." We also learn that she never knew her mother, and in the first half of this chapter we saw that she was probably molested as a child. (There was some debate over it here, but I can't interpret that panel any other way.) In that same section, we also learn that she doesn't understand her own emotions. We learn in earlier chapters that she was seen as emotionless by others. She says to Asuka when Asuka first confesses that "it's probably all my fault." And then there's Akira's line about how "that you-know-what of yours proved to be effective even on your own flesh and blood", which I think is a very important line that we still don't know the exact meaning of. I think these are all connected, and that there's something here which I think is going to be at the core of how the story develops from here.

My best guess at it is this: Ayako likely had a horrific childhood, though we don't know the details of it other than that she was molested and that she never knew her mother. As a result, she's deeply traumatized and has probably always perceived herself as broken. Akira's line about "that-you-know-what of yours" seems potentially also very revealing in this context. I am guessing that Ayako may have felt herself unable to truly love another person or to forge a connection on any level other than the sexual one, and I suspect she may have had a hypersexual phase at one point as a product of her own past trauma and her attempt to pursue some level of connection that she felt like she couldn't achieve otherwise. (This part is more speculative, but the "that you-know-what of yours" line makes me think there's something like that going on.) Once she had Asuka, that changed, but she probably still feared or felt that on the deepest level, she wasn't capable of love. Atsushi and whatever happened with him likely ties in with all this, but I still don't feel like there's enough information to say how, or what that relationship was like. Ayako does seem to view him in a basically positive light, for whatever that's worth.

Finding out that Asuka was sexually attracted to her probably was, to Ayako, a confirmation of some of her worst fears. To her, it was proof that Asuka had been influenced by her own damaged nature, and that there wasn't any way that she (Ayako) could love or be loved other than in the erotic sense. At the same time, she clearly feels attraction to Asuka and has before Asuka's confession (the flashback scene with the 'delicious' bento), which she suppresses and likely, to the extent she even allows herself to acknowledge it, views as the product of her own damage. (It probably is, honestly.) This grows all the more intense as Asuka escalates things, and then, this chapter, the dam breaks and she snaps into... basically, an old, hypersexual pattern, if my theory is correct. When she comes back to herself and recognizes what's happened, she basically feels it to be confirmation that she can only truly connect with others on the sexual level, and that things would inevitably end up this way. So she goes to Akira (who I think is an important figure to Ayako in ways that still haven't been revealed), and that's where we are now. That's my best guess, anyway... we'll see how things develop.

Verdant
1 x ½ discussion 24 Jan 23:22
joined Jan 24, 2020

And finally I make an account, just to comment on this thread. This manga is something of a masterpiece, and I never would have guessed I'd like something with such fucked-up subject matter this much. In terms of both writing and art, it's way beyond most of what's out there. (What's the comics/manga equivalent of cinematography? Taiyaki's a master at it, whatever you call it. The angles and perspectives and the way emotion is visually conveyed in this manga are all incredible.)

In response to Liliwyrt's theory — I think that may be in the general area of what's going on, but I don't think that's quite it. If that's what it was, it would basically just mean that Ayako was carrying around a bunch of internalized homophobia, and I feel that mixing up the issues of Ayako struggling with being a lesbian with the incestuous side of things could very easily end up having a bunch of unfortunate implications. Given that Taiyaki is a lesbian herself, I don't think she would go there. I think there probably is something going on with Akira and whatever happened to Atsushi, but we still don't know what. I have some ideas about what's happening now and where this is going, but it turned into pretty much a whole essay when I went to write it out. I'll share my thoughts once I've trimmed it down a bit...