is a Boys Love
one-volume manga created by Jaryuu Dokuro.
Ex-delinquent Ikki starts working in a small restaurant after the owner saves his life. In there, Ikki meets Ryuu, who he later learns is the cousin of his old friend Toshimitsu. Along the way, Ikki discovers that Toshimitsu wasn't just his Badass Japanese Delinquent
friend, but a rapist
who brutally, repeatedly raped Ryuu, Toshimitsu's cousin
, as well as developing feelings for Ryuu, who feels conflicted about his rapist. Can this relationship
work as a Rescue Romance
The easily triggered
by themes of rape and sexual assault may want to stop right here. This work (and this trope list to a lesser degree) features several
of the Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes
getting graphic depictions, with some severe Unfortunate Implications
served up on the side.
This manga contains
- Abuse Mistake: Of the second type, combined with Internalized Categorism, and used by the rapist against his victim in combination with A Man Is Always Eager, Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male, and the application of the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization. Ryuu, as a result, does not understand that what Toshimitsu did to him was actually rape until he's discussing it with Ikki well after the fact.
- Accidental Murder: Toshimitsu kills a person while he's high, which earns him 10 years in prison.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Ikki and Ryuu in a way - although their meeting was accidental at first, once Ryuu learned that Ikki was the friend of his rapist, he chose to continue the relationship.
- Artistic License – Pharmacology: With a dose of Marijuana Is LSD. Very few if any of the drugs Toshimitsu takes would induce behavior similar to his, in Real Life. The only drug the writer even possibly got the effects right on was speed, unless Toshimitsu's sociopathy being undone and leading to My God, What Have I Done? is the effect of psychedelics.
- The Atoner: Toshimitsu decides that suicide is the only way he can truly atone for his behavior, and goes through with it.
- Back from the Dead: The bird at the end is implied to be Toshimitsu
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Unusually for a Japanese work, very much averted, with no censor bars or glowing cones of light.
- Bi the Way: Toshimitsu; Ikki is somewhat surprised to find out that he repeatedly raped Ryuu.
- Death Equals Redemption: Toshimitsu places a call to Ryuu before he kills himself.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Part of Ryuu's not recognizing that he was being raped is a result of this paired with A Man Is Always Eager and "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization.
- Driven to Suicide: Toshimitsu kills himself after a really bad drug trip, when on coming down he realizes the harm he's caused to everyone in his life.
- Drugs Are Bad: A potential Aesop, though it's obvious that Toshimitsu's mental problems go way beyond his use of drugs, to the point of being The Sociopath.
- Dysfunction Junction: The entire story is a huge one of these. Pretty much the only person not traumatized in some way is Mineyama.
- Final Speech: Toshimitsu gives one just before he jumps.
- Gratuitous Rape: Not in regard to the storyline itself - the rape scenes are plot-relevant, but their detail to attention and the Unreliable Narrator in some may come off as overwhelmingly, superfluously gratuitous. Enough so much to earn the work a Misaimed Fandom in the listing tags at yaoi archives, with tags implying that the rape is itself romantic and sexy or a "relationship."
- Jerkass: Toshimitsu
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ikki might aspire to be this with Mineyama-san.
- Ikki and Toshimitsu in the past. They would even share women and have sex with them in the same room.
- Hope Spot: After Ryuu tells Ikki about Toshimitsu's death, a new chapter starts with Toshimitsu waking up from a bad dream which kinda leads us to believe that Ryuu got his death wrong. It turns out to be a sort of flashback that no one is having since we then witness his last drug trip, his last call to Ryuu, and his suicide.
- I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Part of Toshimitsu's rationale for anything he does, including repeatedly raping his own underage cousin.
- Incest Is Relative: Ryuu is Toshimitsu's cousin.
- In-Series Nickname: Ikki is actually a nickname, and while he tells Ryuu that no one calls him that anymore, only the owner refers to him by his real name. Ikki also nicknames Ryuu and his friends XiaoLongBao.
- Interrupted Intimacy: Mineyama-san almost catches Ryuu and Ikki having sex.
- I've Come Too Far: Toshimitsu's reason for choosing suicide instead of turning himself into the police, trying to redeem himself in any other way, apologizing...
- Kissing Cousins: Toshimitsu and Ryuu, though it is one-sided rape.
- Kissing Under the Influence: Toshimitsu and Ikki.
- Love Triangle: A weird one between Toshimitsu, Ikki, and Ryuu - Ryuu was repeatedly raped by Toshimitsu, then develops a consensual and loving relationship with Ikki, despite Ikki having been his rapist's best friend.
- Marijuana Is LSD: Supposedly played straight in Ikki's past, and is discussed when Ikki tells Toshimitsu why he doesn't take drugs; Toshimitsu responds by saying that pot doesn't cause hallucinations.
- Meet Cute: Ryuu leaves a really bad first impression on Ikki, which leads to Ikki punching him.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Arguably one of the better and more nuanced (if still horrifically disturbing) portrayals of a predator realizing he is a predator in the end, and choosing to commit suicide.
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: What Toshimitsu uses in part to justify raping Ryuu to himself, and makes Ryuu think is entirely the truth about being raped.
- Only Sane Man: Mineyama, though Ikki is at least trying for sanity and a better life.
- Playboy Bunny: Mostly appears in Toshimitsu's hallucinations.
- Post Rape Taunt: Toshimitsu to Ryuu, paired with invoking the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization, with the rapist claiming that his victim's orgasm proved that he wanted it.
- Posthumous Character: Toshimitsu has been dead for a few years in the start of the story, and while we only get to know him through flashbacks, he's arguably the most developed character in the manga.
- Rape as Backstory: Both from the victim's and rapist's POV.
- Rape as Drama: The B plot of the entire story, and a rape-based "relationship" as part of that.
- Rape Discretion Shot: Entirely, brutally averted. You will see it all. So much so that it may not be a good idea to store this manga on your devices for legal reasons if you live in the Western world, as law enforcement may well not read the text that gives the imagery its context as drama, and you might want to actually do drugs yourself after reading.
- Rescue Romance: Ikki and Ryuu's relationship is this, in the best possible interpretation of it: a mutual, consensual relationship where they draw strength from and support each other despite the person that connected their lives.
- Shotacon: The mangaka doesn't give out an age when Toshimitsu began to rape Ryuu, but we can guess it was a case of this since Ryuu was definitively not a high school student.
- The Sociopath: Toshimitsu, though his final trip and death is a subversion of the concept, as true sociopaths aren't generally assumed to ever feel regret or sorrow or remorse, things he feels all of before committing suicide as a result.
- Fridge Logic: Some drugs actually do enable people with Lack Of Emotion to access their emotions or experience emotion (specifically MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD). Possibly one of those or the combination of drugs "unlocked" his ability to feel guilt, shame, and remorse?
- Stockholm Syndrome: Straight example: Ryuu's feelings toward Toshimitsu, his belief that he could have loved the man that repeatedly raped him.
- Sympathy for the Devil: As in the main description. This is a work that will stay with you and not in a good way because of that if not the graphic imagery - for a one-shot yaoi manga, this is really heavy stuff.
- There Are No Therapists: Certainly not for Toshimitsu; Ikki and Ryuu have it a bit better, although they are each other's therapists in a Rescue Romance.
- Those Two Guys: Ryuu's friends.
- Unable to Cry: Toshimitsu - why he sought drugs and violence in the first place, allegedly.
- Unreliable Narrator: The narrative POV switches enough to give one whiplash. Almost everyone including third person is this, however, especially in regard to how the rape and sexual abuse of Ryuu is viewed. Pretty much the only reliable view is third person on Ikki calling it out for what it is - the parts where Toshimitsu seems to be the narrator are Unreliable Narrator exaggerated beyond belief, as he's narrating Never My Fault with a ton of hallucinations mixed in for spice...
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ikki and Toshimitsu
- Whole Episode Flashback: How we meet Toshimitsu.
- Would Hurt a Child: Toshimitsu, deciding to rape his young cousin because he was there and he was bored.