Reviews: Teahouse

Outstanding Art, Unremarkable Plot

Teahouse exists in two formats: the M-rated webcomics and the X-rated printed version that features generous amounts of explicit sex scenes. And, let's be honest, it is mostly notable for the incredible quality of the artwork. The amount of details put in each scene is just amazing... and that's pretty much the best thing about this series all in all.

Despite being perfectly designed, the characters are pretty generic: an aloof Bastard Boyfriend who Cannot Spit It Out; a dainty, awkward,extremely effeminate Love Martyr/Unlucky Childhood Friend supposed to elicit woobiness; a brassy Tsundere; a blue-haired Deadpan Snarker who is royalty; a Naive Newcomer; the bitch that keeps the main couple apart; a non-threatening Dojikko... Also, a mere Gender Flip alone isn't enough to make an interesting character: Argent is clearly a stoic, protective male character inside a female character's body and Linneus is a clumsy, shy and fragile teenage girl in the body of a boy. A terribly classic trick used by writers to ward off accusations of sexism towards the controlling Xanthe if Linneus was female, so that the audience can still fantasize about a Bastard Boyfriend without feeling guilt over it. Too blatant.

As for the plot itself, the writers/artists (known as Emirain and CC) have unveiled the ending of the main plot (ie the Linneus/Atros relationship) in one of their livestream conferences... Sloppy move. If there ARE a few brilliant plot twists and some humor, the whole thing is highly soap-opera-ish (the Atros/Linneus/Gilder Love Triangle in particular), unrealistic (whorehouses were hardly that pristine), contains many Teen Drama elements (the setting could very much be High School) and, as such, comes across as very unimaginative and formulaic. A Love Dodecahedron alone doesn't make a great plot. Aside from the aforementioned Love Triangle and its UST, there is no conflict of note aside from tangled relationships and sex-related problems.

In conclusion, Teahouse is remarkable for the quality of the artwork but the plot is too formulaic to keep us hanging on for real. It's still enjoyable but hardly unforgettable.