Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I've had some fun on this blog with a couple of examples of etchi shoujo sex comedies published in Japan. But I hadn't realized that at least one example of this genre has been published in the U.S.: namely, Absolute Boyfriend vol. 3, by Yuu Watase.

The premise of the series is that a high school girl named Riiko finds herself in possession of an advanced human-looking robot named Night who is programmed to be the perfect lover. At the end of vol. 2, another woman had kissed Night, resetting him to be that woman's lover. In the first chapter of this volume, Riiko gets Night back by kissing him herself. But Night is in danger of being reset again until he has sex with Riiko, permanently "imprinting" her on him.

Riiko is hesitant to take such a big step, but the salesman who "sold" NIght to Riiko is for some reason determined that they should have sex, going so far as kidnap Riiko and drag her, along with Night, to a private resort island. Adding complications is Soshi, Riiko's childhood friend turned boring-but-dependable rival for Riiko's love. Night, while determined to have sex with Riiko, insists on playing fair with Soshi, even taking him along to the resort island. For her part, Riiko can't decide which of the two she's in love with. She also can't decide whether or not to have sex with Night. (Since the series is, in the end, shoujo and not "ladies' comics," a threesome is unlikely.) And hijinx, as they say, ensue.

I haven't read any reviews of this volume, but I suspect that a lot of people would object to a "perfect lover" who is determined that his 16-year-old girlfriend have sex with him -- not to mention an adult who does everything possible to push a 16-year-old girl into having sex and is not portrayed as a villain. But when so much American popular culture approaches adolescent female sexuality with a combination of leering and Puritanism, it's refreshing to see something aimed at teenage girls that matter-of-factly acknowledges that many teenage girls not only have sex but want to have sex, at least sometimes.

Here's some dialogue I predict you won't see in DC's Minx line of graphic novels aimed at adolescent girls: Riiko's overprotective father, who has caught Night with Riiko, says angrily to his wife: "It seems like just yesterday Riiko was tugging innocently on my (BLEEP)!" To which his wife replies "Well, she's almost old enough to tug on other people's (BLEEP)." (p. 174)

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