Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meeting You: Manga Stories of Gay Passion

Meeting You by Mio Tennohiji

Meeting You contains three short stories of intense attraction between men. In the title story, sweet and naïve Touru falls for Himeshiro, a promiscuous jerk with secret insecurities.

Next comes How to Find a Gentle Kiss where old friends Senken and Sakuma rediscover each other after years of separation and explode in passion in an empty office board room.

In Mornings at the Bus Stop, Sunpei cherishes the moments he shares chatting with Kaoru before work while the two of them are waiting for the bus, and he dreams of the day they can grow into more than casual friends.

These stories revolve around carnal attraction and emotional infatuation. Some scenes reinforce unhealthy relationship dynamics by romanticizing submission and over-dependence. For example, when talking about his crush, one character literally says, “I don’t mind being his dog.” Such sentiments make me sad, as does the fact that in the stories, there is no consequence for men who exert extreme pressure on partners for sex. In addition, I always have a problem with stories that espouse the myth that cruel men will change if you love them. People can change if they choose to, but latching onto a bad boy with hopes that someday he’ll treat you right is a recipe for heartbreak and even violence.

Despite these concerns, there are some moving and romantic moments in this manga, For example, there is a poignant scene about the importance of being honest and expressing oneself in a relationship. These moments humanize the characters and add some depth to an otherwise purely erotic collection.

Meeting You is complete in one book.  There is a great deal of explicit sexual content, so I would like to have been at least eighteen-years-old before reading it.

Review by Aaron Walsh.  Add your review of "Meeting You" in comments!

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