Forum › Pretender discussion

Utenaanthy01
joined Aug 4, 2018

Reading this story made me think of that song "What Keeps Mankind Alive" (and I guess the Threepenny Opera in general): when you're well-fed and comfortable, you can afford qualms and morals that the starving and destitute cannot.

Ayaka is defined by her hard work in her attempts to better her material position. She's applying the same effort to finding a wealthy man as she is in school and in her actual job (her self-help dating guides are right next to her pile of economics textbooks). To her, the three things are all part of her goal of leaving poverty behind. But Mitsuki sees Ayaka openly using sex appeal for material gain, a bourgeois taboo, and judges her very harshly. She never even considers that Ayaka's situation might be different than her own, and certainly never tries to put herself in Ayaka's position and see things from her point of view.

Also, I think it's interesting that Ayaka decides to cut Mitsuki out of her life after spending the night at her house. She meets Mitsuki's doting mother, eats Mitsuki's delicious food, and sees Mitsuki's spacious and comfortable home, all the while comparing Mitsuki's good fortune to her own poverty. And then at the end of the night, Mitsuki rubs it in. Mitsuki isn't interested in guys because she doesn't have to be. She says she's just going along with Ayaka for fun. For Ayaka, it's not fun, it's work. Ayaka can't afford to be uninterested in guys. Going to these parties and forcing herself to get along with assholes so that she can find a rich man to marry is like a second job for her. I think Mitsuki's response here insults her, and perhaps this is when she realizes or begins to suspect Mitsuki's contempt for her.

I doubt there are many people in the forum like you who can accurately find the points in common between Die Dreigroschenoper and this manga. Color me impressed. I would quote here the "a person of culture as well" meme if it hadn't been overused to death, haha.

I think your interpretation is spot on. It's kind of tragic how Mitsuki is persuaded she has maneuvered things so well and scored some good points with Ayaka by taking her home for dinner and a sleepover, when in fact that night she has mocked and insulted Ayaka without even realizing it -- and even made her decide to cut all ties with Mitsuki. Thank goodness for a happy ending (to some extent, at least) where Mitsuki starts to savvy the errors in her judgment and the problems with her prejudices.

last edited at Sep 1, 2021 11:07AM

joined Jul 21, 2020

Having sex with someone shitfaced drunk, without any pre-existing consent, a virgin no less...

They were both very sober by that point, having a serious and coherent conversation about important life issues. And afterwards, it should be plain and evident by the way they talk and behave in the last 3 pages that everybody consented to everything.

C2731dea4191b182ecd8f18498562a84
joined Sep 1, 2017

This story has a lot to unpack. Gold digging, Taking advantage of a drunken friend, poverty vs. privilege. But the thing that stood out is how american they sounded. It was a reminder that if you take away the language and culture, we are just a bunch of jerks suffering from the same first world problems.

In the end it just pissed me off by dropping a bomb on their relationship then stopping before giving us an idea where do they go from there.

Internet_lied
joined Jul 15, 2016

A classic Kodama Naoko, shitty person x shitty person plot, indeed. But I actually liked it more than her earlier works, probably because the characterization is getting more nuanced. In an earlier Kodama one-shot, Ayaka would be a flat character -- just a gold digger and nothing else, -- but we see her here as an honors student who knows that her friend considers her lifestyle disgusting, but her only (societally-accepted) path to a secure future lies in marrying some rich guy.

Mitsuki, meanwhile, goes through a small character arc, starting off as a passive friend, who feels revolted by Ayaka's actions but doesn't do anything about it. But when Ayaka cuts her off, it gives her time to reexamine her views. When Ayaka then contacts her again (quite intentionally, I believe), Mitsuki becomes an active, even aggressive top who makes Ayaka an all-but-explicit proposal to become her sugar mommy. Too bad Ayaka still doesn't consider it a possibility even after having sex with her...

All in all, I agree with the notion that bad people (as opposed to badly-written characters) often make for good plots.

last edited at Sep 1, 2021 4:19AM

Angryface
joined Mar 22, 2021

I actually kinda liked this. Yeah these people arn't that good but it's better than the author's other work like Netsuzou Trap. I was surpised with what Mitsuki did at the end as she seemed fine earlier but I actually would be interested in sequal to this to see what happens later with these two.

Y5
joined Jul 23, 2020

well there actually aren't "good" people irl that's why i like kodama naoko's works. she brings the worst out of people.

but this shot was just a mild one unlike the others.

Tumblr_inline_nmpg2zqwcs1s53ljo_100
joined Apr 4, 2014

I was wondering where she went. There she is in all her glory =D

joined Sep 11, 2019

Classic Kodama

joined Jan 3, 2020

I'm completely fucking wasted rn. Anyone care to explain to me why's blond girl bad to me? She seems kinda fine just in love with a gold digger

She was pretty pushy with a (very) drunk girl who she knew probably didn't feel the same way about girls.

I mean the story doesn't tell us the details on the lack of consent, but I think it counts. She was so drunk she called the wrong person and couldn't even walk properly without support.

But yeah, Ayaka is supposed to be the 'bad person' here.

last edited at Sep 1, 2021 6:46AM

Bestgirl
joined Sep 1, 2019

Classic Kodama..

But how are you guys saying Mitsuki is horrible too? If we'll base on "Kodama" standard, then Mc is still normal.

Img_0215
joined Jul 29, 2017

I'm must say I'm pleasantly surprised by how few posters are parsing out the fine details of why this is a horrible story because the people behave horribly and how many more are like "Eh, par for the Kodama course--pretty mild, actually" and taking the story on its own terms. Signs of hope for the future.

I must also say that I don't see how "Mitsuki isn't interested in guys because she doesn't have to be." It's pretty clear that Mitsuki isn't interested in guys because she's interested in girls, which is not usually an indicator of unacknowledged privilege.

7c3371fc-1218-42e3-9009-8520d7f626fa
joined Sep 15, 2020

I'm completely fucking wasted rn. Anyone care to explain to me why's blond girl bad to me? She seems kinda fine just in love with a gold digger

She was pretty pushy with a (very) drunk girl who she knew probably didn't feel the same way about girls.

I mean the story doesn't tell us the details on the lack of consent, but I think it counts. She was so drunk she called the wrong person and couldn't even walk properly without support.

But yeah, Ayaka is supposed to be the 'bad person' here.

Pretty much most of us in the forum have said Mitsuki is the worst of the two, but in the end they’re both flawed people. Ayaka is intentionally stringing along people, looking for the ideal marriage partner to set her up for life, while Mitsuki is being two faced with being close to Ayaka because she likes her despite internally thinking that Ayaka and her lifestyle are awful, like near the end before they had sex she pretty much assumed that Ayaka was just sleeping with the guys she was writing up to be her rich marriage candidate when it turned out she was not.

Ayaka called Mitsuki intentionally because it’s pretty clear that she might not have a father who’s either alive or around in her life that could’ve helped her in that situation. Also, she was pretty much sober at the point they reached her apartment, she seemed to have sobered the moment she realized Mitsuki found and brought her to where she lived, therefore knew she was dirt poor so she was prepared for Mitsuki to once again judge her and her lifestyle.

Yeecon
joined Feb 6, 2013

You know what? I choose to believe they both got better once they fell in love. Young people can pull out of the proverbial nosedive of having a shitty personality if they really try.

08f6612130a20845a480034c0567fbe1d8926209_hq
joined Apr 27, 2014

What in the Kodama Naoko was this... the art is super pretty as always, the characters..oh my, the relationships...oh my, but that's what you get with that author! Well done!

huh? apparently there was rape? well I didn't see it that way, which makes me re-think things, since I saw black hair girl seemed to be ok with it afterwards...Hmmm I shall not thread into those waters... Wait, I re-read it "let me fuck you too", since she thinks she sleeps with all those guys, ok that's pretty shitty. They both have some issues, yes. I'd like to see an epilogue of this.

last edited at Sep 1, 2021 9:01AM

joined Jul 4, 2018

yep, got exactly what i signed up for

9a905fe6a22b0201f7ade2de48a73f8d
joined Jan 22, 2014

Classic Kodama..

But how are you guys saying Mitsuki is horrible too? If we'll base on "Kodama" standard, then Mc is still normal.

She is not horrible, people are just tend to be over sensitive (PC bullshit and such). I loved these characters, and Mitsuki is absolutely relatable. "Anaerobic Love" remains my favourite from Kodama, but this is very good too!

RadiosAreObsolete
Img_20210321_022239%20(2)
joined Mar 6, 2021

I'm fairly sure Kodama wrote in an afterword or something somewhere that she likes writing terrible people

She actually wrote, "The more soap opera-like the better!" once, which is even funnier lol

And it really helped me forgive that manga for its horrible characters that I hated... Not gonna read it again tho XD

9a905fe6a22b0201f7ade2de48a73f8d
joined Jan 22, 2014

Also, could they be the couple in Beach♥Girls? They kinda look similar. And this manga also starts with a similar situation, so I think its possible.

118991723_203301587817234_3147925192074224810_n
joined Mar 26, 2021

wew they r both twisted

Absolute-territory-2.jpg
joined Mar 4, 2018

Rotten buggers, but I sure liked the tall gals high-waisted pants.

Good
joined Jun 14, 2016

That's classic Kodomo for you.

joined Mar 29, 2021

Kodama Naoko

Writing trashy characters for the sake of having trashy characters

Name a better combo.

Don't%20forget%20the%20best%20girl
joined Jul 22, 2018

Me no study, me no care, me go marry a millionaire, if he die me no cry
me go marry another guy

joined Sep 1, 2021

We should create a tag called Kodama which stands for bad person x bad person.

Still enjoy their works. This one included! Like previous comments said, I knew what i got into just by seeing the author's name.

Hooty%20md
joined Oct 20, 2017

This was actually pretty good. And light-hearted for NK. These two feel like regular people, for better or worse.

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