Manga: Confidential Confessions
A manga series by Reiko Momochi, each volume is either a stand-alone story itself, or contains several different stand-alone stories, each story focusing on a tough issue for the protagonist to either overcome... or succumb to.
Said issues include but are not limited to abuse, prostitution, drugs, HIV and AIDS, bullying, and falling in love for the first time...with someone of the same gender.
A sequel series, the two-volume Confidential Confessions: Deai
was released May 2006, featuring protagonists who enter (and try to get out of) the deai-kei industry.
It ran from 2000 to 2002 and was licenced by Tokyo Pop
. As of April 2009, it is out of print.
Confidential Confessions contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents/Domestic Abuse/Sadist Teacher
- Adults Are Useless: sometimes
- Adult Fear: So much of this it's painful even more horrific since every topic in this manga can happen in real life.
- All Abusers Are Male: Unfortunately, the stories featuring abusive relationships all have a male abuser and female victim—kinda surprising, considering the other subject matters and how seriously they were handled. The only female abusers are all in stories on bullying, rather than domestic abuse.
- All Just a Dream: Tragically so. In the story about a girl who falls for her also-female best friend, she comes over one night to see her friend being molested by her father. The step-mother comes home then and stabs him to death, and the protagonist takes her friend and runs away. The two find an abandoned mansion, drop out of school, confess their love for each other and then make love, vow to stay together forever...and then in the last two pages we discover it was all an instantaneous daydream by the protagonist, who really stabbed her friend's father. She stands there, laughing crazily while her friend calls 911. Maybe. It's not that clear.
- All of the Other Reindeer: In Volume 4's story Tomorrow has a slight variation—Luka is only bullied by the Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse, but everyone else in class (save for the protagonist) simply ignores her and watches the bullying from the sidelines, for fear that they'll be targeted next.
- Bittersweet/Downer Ending: Sometimes the best ending the protagonist can have is bittersweet to some extent. This is usually because even if they make it out of their situation, they have a friend who isn't so lucky, they have to go to rehab or a mental hospital, they're scarred for life...
- Blatant Lies: The Tokyopop ads for the series claimed that it contained "Real teens. Real problems." None of the teens are real, they're all fictional.
- Break the Cutie: Every single female protagonist but namely Kyoko in the third volume
- Broken Aesop: You can easily intepret the message of the suicide chapter to be not that you shouldn't commit suicide, but rather that you should leave a note.
- Choosing Death: The subject matter of the very first story.
- Contemptible Cover: Sorta. The covers have words like "rape," "drugs" and "prostitution" super-imposed over terrified/sad girls...a good idea for what the stories contain, but you wouldn't want to be caught reading it in public.
- Double Standard: In-universe, sometimes deconstructed or subverted.
- Dropped A Bridge On Her: Kyoko's addict-friend shows up to see her off in the final pages, and is then unceremoniously hit by a car offscreen.
- Drugs Are Bad: Volume 3 in particular.
- Driven to Suicide
- Dysfunction Junction
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Whenever the protagonist ends up prostituting her body.
- Karma Houdini: This happens to an infuriating degree.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Kyoko's father has this reaction when he discovers just why his daughter is taking drugs.
- Also occurs in one of the bullying stories, with a little added My God What Have I Become? The protagonist, a bully victim, discovers that the New Transfer Student has become the newest target for the bullies...and quickly decides to bully her even worse, hoping to keep the bullies off her back. Eventually even her past bullies are horrified by her actions, and she crosses the Despair Event Horizon when her victim says she'll keep enduring. The protagonist is set off and flies into a tear-filled rage because she sees her victim is strong, possibly stronger than she ever was. Realizing she's no better than the girls who bullied her, she then screams at the gathered crowd to look at what bullying does to people, before working herself up to point of collapsing on the floor. And that's it.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: In the story The Door, the protagonist befriends a suicidal girl whom she knows as "Asparagus." She only learns her real name (Toshie Tanaka) at her funeral, after Asparagus finally succeeds at one of her attempts.
- Rape as Drama/Rape as Backstory
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Part of Volume 4.
- Stalker with a Crush: Not meant to be romantic in the slightest and the protagonist is genuinely terrified of the guy.
- Teens Are Monsters: Are they ever.
- Together in Death: Attempted by one girl's ex-boyfriend. He calls her for "one last happy memory." She goes to the house to see he's laid out a dinner for them...and then he locks her inside and threatens to kill the both of them so they can be together forever. She ends up wounding him and her friends call police before he can carry his threat out, though.
- Truth in Manga: A lot of the situations can and do happen in real life, and some of them are genuine problems Japan is facing—a minor example would be, in the story about a sexually-abusive tennis coach, the protagonist getting groped on the train. She learns from her rescuer that he and a few others are petitioning for women-only cars to avoid this.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Kyoko in Volume 3 desperately wants to earn her father's respect and love by getting into Tokyo University, but her grades just don't match up.
- Yandere: Both male and female examples occur