The girl who has the BIGGEST problems with men, EVER.
"I hate them! I fear them! I detest them! Because when it comes to men..."
When it comes to men, Hinako Aikawa has problems - problems which she confesses to an empty and abandoned church. Unbeknowest to her, her classmate, local The Casanova Daisuke Suwa, was hiding in said church to dodge his henpecking Childhood Friend Yuzu Yamamoto and his wanna-be girlfriend Kazuki Ibuse. At first he tries to shoo Hinako away, but eventually relents. He expects to hear a minor confession, and instead receives the shock of his life in learning of years of abuse Hinako suffered. Sexual abuse from her stepfather that got her pregnant not once, but twice, and resulted in at least one birth to a child one year prior, when Hinako was fifteen.Despite initial denial, Daisuke is forced to accept his classmate has indeed suffered these horrors. As a result, even though Hinako was the one girl Daisuke had said he would pass on, he finds himself unable to stop thinking about her. He begins to watch out for her, protect her, and inevitably fall in love with her. The main obstacles he faces in pursuit of this newfound love are Kazuki's jealousy and Hinako's own difficulties around men. For her part, Hinako herself has managed to develop feelings towards Daisuke, but is unsure if he would accept her past... Therefore, the story of Bitter Virgin by Kei Kusunoki follows the two protagonists as they work through their issues and gradually come to understand one another.Kusunoki reveals, in the last volume, that most of the manga was inspired in her own stillbirth; fortunately, she had two healthy kids afterward.
Abusive Parents: Hinako's stepfather. And don't let her mother off the hook for slapping her and calling her a liar (and "never noticing" Nagashima's abuse).
Adult Fear: The rarely brought up topic of miscarriage is featured. It also features the life of a girl whose stepfather raped her while her mother was in complete denial when told about it (to the point of thinking her daughter was lying to cover up who she was sleeping with), until the poor girl got pregnant for the second time.
Adults Are Useless: Hinako's mother is in denial about her abuse for a LONG time. Contrast that with Daisuke's mother, Nana.
Though Hinako's mother could never make up for what her daughter went through, props to her when she finally accepts the truth and chases the stepfather out of the house with a knife.
All Men Are Rapists: Due to the extremely small cast, Daisuke and his unnamed friend are pretty much the only guys who appear who aren't sexual abusers of some flavour.
Berserk Button: Daisuke finds a man trying to rape Hinako and very nearly beats him to death for it.
Berserker Tears: When Daisuke beats the ever-loving shit out of a thug who attempted to rape Hinako. He's mortified for "looking so uncool" in front of her, but she's clearly touched.
Bittersweet Ending: Hinako and Daisuke are together at the end. Kazuki and Yuzu accept this and step aside. But no one, including the couple themselves, expects the relationship to last, both of them feeling the other could do better, although thankfully it's left up in the air and really depends on what you think will happen.
Brain Bleach: Unsettling images of what may have happened to Hinako find their way into a disturbed Daisuke's head several times. His reaction is usually a standard "Don't think about that!"
Broken Bird: Hinako slightly, though she does not become cynical or cruel to cope.
Break the Cutie: Hinako, before the start of the series and shown in flashback.
Cannot Spit It Out: Every damn where, and frequently with very good reason, given the heroine's past.
Chivalrous Pervert: Daisuke again, though the "pervert" aspect is toned down very quickly, most likely for Hinako's sake on his part. In the first chapter, he freely admits to wanting to "mess around", and seems to look forward to university mostly for the, er, social aspect, but he leaps into White Knight mode after hearing Hinako's story, which disturbs him to no end.
Clean Pretty Childbirth: Lampshading: Daisuke's older sister gives birth over the course of several hours, and while they don't show anything, she scolds him for assuming that just getting her to the hospital was enough, forces him to give her a back rub, etc.
Convenient Miscarriage: Subverted so hard. There is nothing convenient about the miscarriages in this series. Hinako's first pregnancy by rape in her early teens miscarried then required an abortion to remove the dead fetus and was extremely painful both physically and emotionally, and Izumi losing her baby during birth was even worse. Understandable as the creator wrote this after she herself lost her baby and was still grieving.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Kazuki and Daisuke's relationship isn't the worst example, but her abuse of him (stalking, verbal abuse, harassment, false accusations, manipulation, etc) is treated as nothing more than an annoyance by most of the characters. Izumi seems to be the only character with anywhere near the appropriate attitude to this behaviour. Particularly off-putting when one considers that the story as a whole revolves around Hinako's attempts to recover from abuse.
Epiphany Therapy: Well and truly averted. The road to recovery is long and hard indeed for Hinako, and Daisuke frequently says that he can't expect to ever heal or even completely understand her pain - all he can do is support her in any way he can. Even at the end of the manga, she admits to Daisuke that she's still afraid of him, but she's on her way.
False Rape Accusation: Kazuki threatens Daisuke to state that he raped her if he does not go out with her. He still refuses. However he becomes horrified when Hinako walks in and Kazuki (who damaged her own clothing) claims that he raped her, expecting that she would hate him due to her own abuse of being raped. This becomes subverted in its own way as because of her own experiences of abuse, she knows how a rape victim would feel and her knowledge there is no way Daisuke would ever try to rape or abuse anyone, makes her call out Kazuki on her lying without a second thought.
Flashback Nightmare: Most of Chapter 12, which details Hinako's abusive past, as she's slipping into a near catatonic state due to being assaulted.
Flower Motif: Quite a lot for a seinen manga. It leads to some genre confusion.
Follow in My Footsteps: Despite Daisuke's vehement refusal, Nana Suwa can't quite let go of her hope that he'll take over the restaurant. (Prior to Izumi's departure, she got the same spiel).
Hope Spot: Daisuke's sister is pregnant, his family is fully embracing and preparing for the baby, Daisuke is looking forward to being an uncle, his mother to being a Grandmother... then the baby dies in childbirth.
House Husband: Definitely in Daisuke's future. Years of helping out at his mother's restaurant have made him a fantastic cook, and (at least where Hinako is concerned), he won't accept any help with domestics, either!
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter title contains the phrase "Ano ko (that child/girl)", written with a combination of hiragana and katakana.
If It's You, It's Okay: Hinako comes around to the fact that she feels fine, and in fact is in love, if it's Daisuke. Mind you, it does take some time and even brushing across another guy still causes her to freak out. At first she was okay with Daisuke because she heard him loudly declare how he would never be interested in a girl like her. By the time she does start hanging around him, he is already unable to not be interested in her.
I Want Grandkids: Daisuke's mother Nana, on occasion - and her son hasn't even left school yet! She comes out with such unknowingly inappropriate gems as "Why don't you conceive a grandchild for me with Hinako?"
Daisuke, throughout the manga. He gradually comes to develop a crush on Hinako, but resolves himself to secrecy when she flat-out tells him the reason she's (relatively) comfortable with him is that he doesn't see her "as a woman". He spends most of the manga terrified that she'll fear him if she finds out he's in love with her.
Karma Houdini: Beyond being chased out of the Aikawa house, Nagashima is never punished for his crimes. As we all know, this is sadly Truth In Manga.
Kazuki is a milder example, some of her treatment of Daisuke (especially the false rape accusation) would generally be enough to warrant police attention, let alone that of the school authorities.
Moment of Weakness: When Hinako obliviously drops a Just Friends on Daisuke, he angrily blurts out he knows her dark secret. Lucky for all involved, she wasn't listening to him at that precise moment. He still feels horrible for even doing so afterwards.
Same with his childhood friend Yuzu, she accidentally overhears Hinako's dark secret. At first she is willing to keep it to herself but after hearing that Daisuke has already confessed to her, she blurts it out. She feels utterly horrified at herself when she discovers that not only is Hinako right behind her, but that Daisuke already knew.
Nature Adores a Virgin: Averted, though Daisuke has to go to some lengths to convince Hinako that he in no way considers her "sullied" due to her experiences.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Daisuke sends one after Hinako's would-have-been assailant in the first part of volume 2. He would have quite literally beaten him to death if Hinako hadn't given him a Cooldown Hug.
Secret Keeper: Asymmetric, as Hinako does not know Daisuke knows. Kazuki and Yuzu also become this kind of keeper later. On the other hand, Izumi is Hinako's symmetric keeper, since she willingly told her what had been going on.
Secret Secret Keeper: Daisuke knows Hinako's darkest secret, and there's no way he can let anyone know, even Hinako herself.
Slut Shaming: Izumi, who returns home heavily pregnant, with no baby-daddy in tow, gets this from several of the townspeople, including Kazuki. Everyone who treats her this way is presented as the Jerkasses they are, of course.
Trauma Conga Line: Oh Hinako. First she loses her father at a very young age, then she is continually raped by her stepfather starting from the age of 12 or 13, slapped and called a liar by her mother when she tries to tell her, impregnated, suffers a (painful) abortion, impregnated again by her stepfather, and has to undergo C-section to deliver the baby, whom she never sees before he is given up for adoption (and the thought of whom continues to haunt her). She lives alone for a year after her second pregnancy with no-one to support or care for her, despite her horrible trauma (and likely undiagnosed PTSD), and spends her school days in isolation, which is only broken when Kazuki and her gang begin to bully her after Daisuke begins showing interest in her. Oh yeah, and she was attacked, beaten and nearly raped again by a whole other pervert.
Verbal Tic: Hinako says "Eh?" a lot. And stutters.
Villain Has a Point: Maybe he doesn't exactly earn the title of "villain", but when Yamamoto grabs Hinako in the final chapter, setting himself up pretty nicely as one more in a long line of abusive bastards, he makes her realise that, without intending to, understandable though her reaction was, she has truly hurt the feelings of some of the guys in her class
Wham Line: Hinako's confession in the church, while expected by the audience (This happened in the first chapter.), definitely has this effect on Daisuke. Quite aside from the face he pulls, there is the subsequent alteration in his character.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Hinako definitely has a lot of the traits associated with this archetype - she's sweet, humble, and outwardly extremely vulnerable, but she shows plenty of unexpected courage in confronting those who harm her or people she cares about (albeit, understandably, usually only if they're female).