nozoki ana yuri kotobiki kido tatsuhiko bed confession

Disclaimer: Material covered in this post, and related images, are decidedly not safe for work. In spite of the fact that they are not being used to titillate, but to hopefully support points brought up in this article, I highly recommend that you do not read this post in a work environment specifically due to the sensitive nature of these images.  Thank you, and please enjoy the post.

There are many integral parts to the development of a romance, most of which have been used so frequently over time that they have (barring a gentle touch and fantastic execution) become bullet points on a checklist.  One of these points is specifically designed to sweep up the audience’s attention in a crescendo of emotional gratification: the confession scene.

Despite having watched many ridiculous manga and anime confessions, I have never been so struck by a confession scene as I was with this one in Wakou Honna’s manga, Nozoki Ana:

The confession scene in question.

The confession scene in question.

Usually, the emotional impact of a confession scene follows a long-standing (often infuriating) buildup of tension between the two fated characters that happen to be involved in the romance at hand.  In the case of erotic manga like Nozoki Ana these confession scenes are expedited more quickly than your average romance. One can surely attribute this to the fact that since sex is a draw for the reader, the confession scene has to be over and done with in order to get to the “good stuff” that the reader came for.

In spite of this fact, the scene shown above in Nozoki Ana captured my interest for two very specific reasons.  Firstly, in a real life setting, the scene would be laughably ridiculous.  Secondly, there is also the fact that the fairly milquetoast protagonist Kido felt it necessary to tell Kotobiki that he loved her before having sex with her.  I had seen the standard “I’m so oblivious that all of these girls are falling all over me despite the fact that I’m boring” approach a myriad of times, but never to this intriguing extreme.

Traditionally, this idea of an inability to separate love from sex has been seen as a very feminine quality, even within other h and ecchi manga.  This isn’t to say that men are shown as not desiring love, in fact (although I’m sure some of this can be attributed to the limited and specific types of ero-manga I’ve read personally) I’ve seen men desire the idea of love a bit more in this medium than most others.  However, very specifically in this manga, Kido’s inability to separate his emotional feelings from sex also are present in earlier stages of his and Kotobiki’s relationship, as she recaps for us below.

Judging by this response, I'm not the only one who found it odd and humorous.

Judging by this response, I’m not the only one who found it odd and humorous.

Admittedly, I’m only up to the first chapter of volume three, but as things have continued to progress, other events in the manga have reinforced this idea that love is a necessary factor in pleasurable sex.  The main support for this comes from the fact that, although women consistently throw themselves at him, he doesn’t end up having intercourse with anyone but Kotobiki.

This is also reinforced when two periphery characters don’t end up having sex with each other until they’ve repaired their relationship.  It is further supported by the way in which an almost-rape scene involving female lead Emiru is not exploited for titillation, but instead, looked back upon with nothing but shock and disgust, especially by Kido who was an accidental witness to it.  As an aside, the scene is overcome not only by Emiru’s level head and quick thinking, but also at the admission that the aggressor should pay more attention to his own girlfriend who loves him to the point of her offering herself up as bait in his nefarious plan.

The inability to detach emotional feelings of love while having sex with someone is hardly new, and perhaps, as 2-Dimensional Teleidoscope mentioned in this blog post, “Nowhere is sex and love more strangely intertwined than in the heart of a lonely masturbator.”  However, this idea is, as I mentioned previously, commonly attributed to women over men, which is why I was so shocked to see it reinforced in a manga that is at its heart, designed with the sexual desires of young men in mind.  One has to wonder what the artist’s intentions towards their audience are, and what it says about the romantic dreams of the audience in question.

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