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Cute, educating, but...
Futari Ecchi tells the story of two 25-year-old virgins who get married through an arrangement. Cue awkward nuptial night. The clou of the manga is to be educating, and in that it does rather well. A western reader might think differently at several points, but nearly all major claims represented are based on recent poll results or similar data gathered in Japan.

Yes, the sex. It begins with what you could expect from a very clueless Yura and a completely inexperienced yet eager Makoto. Embarrasment. Screw-ups. Very nice. Luckliy (?) their life is filled with people who 1) are highly knowledgeable and/or experienced in sex, and 2) think nothing about intruding in the main couple's private life. With their help, Yura and Makoto work their way slowly up.

While often heartwarming and funny, the series suffers from repetitiveness, filler-like chapter whose contents can be easily guessed from the title alone, and Yura's character that's apparently meant to be sweet and devoted but comes off as completely flat as the series continues. If you're not into lightheartedness, the whole manga can easily Tastes Like Diabetes.

Pros:

  • after so much hentai, it's refreshing to see a male enjoying sex
  • wide variety of topics covered, from superstitions to stuff that might benefit even people who regularly have sex
  • realism: stuff like premature ejaculation and female lack of pleasure from noob sex

Cons:

  • whatever the problem, the key is "I'll try harder" and "love makes everything better" — they're good things but I dare claim things such as asking for help and discussion would be better.
  • mandatory, highly standardised sex: especially after enough chapters it's rather glaring the sex scene will always be there, just because
  • soon after Yura marks the 100th sex, her total orgasm count reaches two. Not unrealistic, but she doesn't ever want or actively attempt to reach an orgasm again
  • realism: all the women are very very pretty, and despite the wide usage of the "safe day method", no one ever gets pregnant by accident
  • cramming plot elements onto Makoto and Yura while most other pairs remain one-trick ponies

Recommended if you:

  • are interested in how sex actually works
  • like lighthearted stuff

But not if you want:

  • 3D characters
  • drama
  • hentai
  • social critique

My personal experience: 2 out of 5.
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