Who can remember faces when they're buried in pillows the entire time?
Teahouse is an adult (18+) yaoi webcomic from Emirain, two professional comic artists. First issue is online at the Teahouse comic website.(NSFW) A fuller version is available for purchase.The story is projected to be 15 to 20 chapters long. So far five chapters have been published, illustrating the life of the owner, courtesans, and clients of a brothel called the Teahouse, located in the fictional country of Ivore. The country itself has a rather rigid class system in place, and the courtesans belong to the brothel's owner, much like slaves. The main source of drama is the three couples of the series, whose wide variety of personalities keeps it all interesting. And, you know, the Fanservice.The art is impressive, especially for a webcomic, and currently runs in a weekly format (Just barely though, as the authors have dealt with a lot of sickness and family problems over the past little while, thus putting the comic on constant mini-hiatuses, resulting in a lot of Fan Dumb and White Knighting), and occasional double update months.Now has a Character Page.
Provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: It's implied during the flashback's that Xanthe's father was a cold, strict and ruthless parent who had no patience for normal childishness and once gave Xanthe a black eye. It also seems like his parenting tragically worked very well, because Xanthe grew up into a similar man. (And naturally, this backstory is a major factor as to why fangirls excuse Xanthe's actions.)
Not to mention Linneus's father, who sold him to the Teahouse at the age of five (on his birthday) to pay for a gambling debt.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Axis certainly fits the bad boy image, and he's the top earning courtesan (not anymore), mostly because he's the lady clients' favorite.
Always Identical Twins: Remy and Rory, even though a brother and sister pair should be fraternal as identical twins isn't possible due to basic level genetics. The writers claim this was on purpose◊.
Anachronism Stew: AND HOW. Even barring the unusual to the downright surreal mixings of victorian and modern clothing (Axis being a major offender) the comic also features cigarettes with filters, crossbows with infrared scopes, and plastic bags.
As You Know: The first line of dialogue starts with: "As I corresponded to you earlier..."
Bait the Dog: Introduced not drastically different from any others, Gilder was the only person to be unconditionally kind to Linneus. Then in chapter 5 he's seen killing a rich man and robbing his corpse to pay for another session with his favourite courtesan. This bodes not well for the future.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: Now and then, due to that explicit content is kept out of the web version and some panels have alternate versions in print. Usually nakedness is simply clothed and explicit sex scenes omitted altogether for the web version, but sometimes nakedness is necessitated by the scene, resulting in hollow groins. For instance, when Reed is naked with Rory.
Dear Negative Reader: Two. After people complained about them not uploading often enough (here◊) and when they were accussed of being racist for not having any non-white characters except a background servant (here◊).
Dysfunction Junction: boy, is this loaded with tangles. Everyone who's involved in the main arch (Linneus, Xanthe, and by extension their other lovers, wives, and customers) is screwed by the simple fact that whatever happens, including nothing happening, most of them will be screwed over. The only characters who don't perform dickmoves are the few who are either detached or high enough on Cloud Cuckoo Land to not notice or not care about other's issues.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Word Of God says it's set in not-Victorian England and not-Earth, but Christianity is present (seen here ◊ on what is presumably a church and that Axis is seen multiple times see here◊ wearing a cross) so...
Mr. Fanservice: Pick a character, any character. One could imagine this comic is written by women for a female audience or something.
Happiness in Slavery: Although the exact terms are unclear, the courtesans are slaves with their titles being held by Xanthe, which can be bought or sold at any time. They are branded on the feet, are not allowed to leave the Teahouse without permission, and don't really have the right to refuse a client. Despite that, at least Mercutio seems happy doing his thing. Claret doesn't seem to mind either, but she's not having many clients and those she's shown having are handsome young studs who compliment her. For Axis, Word of God confirms whoring as his dream job. Linneus on the other hand seems to be unhappy, although that may be due to his Unrequited Love for Atros (or Atros treating him like an object via domestic abuse). Lilith takes pride in being a top earner, but whether she actually enjoys or dislikes her job is anyones guess.
Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Axis keeps loudly mentioning he's straight and is drooling on the girls. He's totally not happy with Rhys' patronage. Especially because he's the bottom part of the equation.
Holding Hands: Linneus and Atros, as children, in the first backstory bonus pages. So sweet that it hurts.
Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Claret, and likely Linneus as well. Whether Rory, Axis, and Mercutio qualify remains to be seen. Lilith, on the other hand, is not in any kind of danger to be labeled this. ...or is she?
Atros is far higher in status than Linneus, who was given to Atros' father in lieu of payment for a gambling debt.
Rhys is about to become the King of the land, and Reed is a wealthy merchant if not nobility or related to ruch, so their respective relationships with Axis and Rory fall neatly under this.
Linneus rakes in the chips as a high-charging boytoy, whereas Gilder lives from commission to commission and likely owns little else than his tools-of-trade as he blows his earnings on booze and whores. Cherished pet in gilded cage versus rugged stray anyone?
Monochrome Casting: Most of the characters are light of skin, or at the most, a bit tan. Two or three very background characters look coloured, and Word of God has stated that Ivore is a non-Earth location and simply doesn't have as many non-white people as Earth. This has been pointed out, of course, and the creators have given their explanation; so far it seems they have no intention to add more skin colour diversity to any layer of characters than perviously intended.
Mood Whiplash: Alt Texts aside, this does happen in the work proper as well. For instance, one scene ends with Rhys leaving his grieving sister with his dying father, either to escape the anxiety and the depressing athmosphere, or to bang a whore, or perhaps both... Then in the next scene there's a lil' blushing Rory being all naive and silly. And cupcakes.
Nature Adores a Virgin: Rory's virginity is, quoth, "a huge asset to the house". Indeed, a gentleman ends up reserving him all for himself.
One Head Taller: All the main couples, though it's most obvious with Reed and Rory. Per the cast page, Rhys is taller than Axis by half a foot.
Poor Communication Kills: In Chapter 5 Atros tries to sell Linneus's contract to Liard, Linneus's longtime client. When Linneus yells at him for treating him like property and not like a person, Atros levels him with an accusation that Linneus chose to become a courtesan eight years prior instead of being with Atros, when Atros's father gave him the ultimatum. Whether or not this accusation is true or not is still unclear, as Linneus ran away from the argument without refuting it, and then is shown in Chapter 6 still entertaining clients and still not have resolved this issue with Atros.
Pretty Boy: So many. Special mention goes to Linneus, but pretty much every male character who's seen on more than three pages and who's not Axis, Atros' father or Gilder.
Seme: The comic mostly follows the stereotypical conventions, in contrast to Uke.
Sex Slave: Or in the comic's terminology, courtesans. Terminology aside, they are all legally owned by Xanthe, they aren't allowed to leave the grounds without specific permission, and own no property apart from any tips or gifts they may be personally given by clients. Xanthe gets all the money they earn, and at least in Linneus' case, he also doesn't shy from taking over gifts for "lost profit".
Show, Don't Tell: Occasionally, the scenery speaks for itself. Special points for Atros' dollhouse-like mansion, which feels both too small and too big. It's stuffed full of teddy bears, ribbons, frills and many portraits of his (wife Yvette, displaying both her woeful immaturity, her father's money and Xanthe's placelessness there.
Slave Brand: All courtesans are branded with a tattoo of their brothel's insignia on their feet. (Apparently repeatedly, as tattoos there last a month or so. Ouch.) Axis has several brands, which seems to indicate he belonged to other brothels before coming to the Teahouse. It's also possible that he ran away and was rebranded as punishment... But seeing how much he loves his job...
Take Our Word for It: The extent of Mercutio's kinky appointments used to be only ever described/alluded to until Chapter 3 was released in print. That said, what is said in the free online content (including the revelation of his extensive sex toy collection) and others' reactions towards him makes one wonder what kinds of appointments he takes.
Technicolor Eyes: a wide range, as befits a world with naturally blue-, green- and pink-haired people.
Claret's are lavender, Argent's are red due to her (heroic) albinism, and Xanthe and Axis have golden eyes.
Linneus has unique, electric-baby-blue eyes, which are quite striking, but rare in real life. Sacha has one similar blue eye and a light leaf-green one.
Axis' early outburst "The day you replace me as top earner is the day I give a shit about what you think!" Axis seems to realise this, as he adamantly insist on bringing Rory down every time they are in the same room.
The bit with Axis blushing (NSFW) after Rhys pushes his hair aside when he fails to respond to a snarky remark, screams Tempting Fate in regards his eventual relationship with Rhys.
Uke: Gets played with more than Seme. Linneus follows the archetype faithfully, being very effeminate and a gentle personality, while Axis is a tempestuous ladies' man, very loud about his heterosexual preferences, and not happy at all about submitting to Rhys, only to turns into a stereotypically blushing, if not built, uke in an instant during some sex, or when he's careless enough to think of Rhys with less than fervent contempt.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rhys and Evelyn have blue, Atros and Mercutio, both young men, grey; Claret green, Linneus soft pink, Rory bright flaming red. Axis, another redhead, seems to have naturally dark hair judging from his eyebrows and roots (confirmed by the authors). All in all the cast is very colourful in the hair department.