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Manga / Futari Ecchi

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Our lovey-dovey couple, Yura (left) and Makoto (right).

This is not just a simple hentai's a manga that teaches you about sexual relationships.

Futari Ecchi ("The Perverted Two") is an adult manga by author Katsu Aki (Love Lucky, Psychic Academy), which has been serialized in Japan in the bi-monthly Young Animal magazine since 1997.

Yura Kawada and Makoto Onoda are two young adults who met recently at a match-making service. After falling in love at first sight, Makoto proposed to Yura soon afterwards... and she accepted! Now with the ceremony behind them, the two eager newlyweds are looking forward to their wedding night. However, there is just one problem: both are twenty-five year old virgins, and neither one of them have a clue about what to do in the bedroom.

The story follows the inexperienced couple as they fumble their way through the ins and outs of married life. The pair are helped along the way by Makoto's pushy older brother Akira, Yura's "experienced" younger sister Rika, their somewhat over-eager parents, and a collection of decidedly quirky friends and neighbors. In the meanwhile, they make friends, make mistakes, make love, and hit upon just about any sexual problem or avenue you might think of (and probably some you wouldn't).

While Futari Ecchi is an ero-manga, it is not your standard hentai fare. It is interspersed throughout with information, statistics and advice on nearly every aspect of relationships and sex: dating, physical intimacy, building deeper emotional connections with your spouse, the physical basis of attraction, suggested responses when harassed by The Chikan, and just about everything in between. It also provides a fairly accurate — and at times, heartwarming — portrayal of a young Japanese couple taking the harrowing first steps towards their brand new life together. There is a Suspiciously Specific Denial that it's not hentai, but a marital aid in the first page after the title leaf.

The latest statistics, from 2018, indicate that about 29.5 million volumes of the manga have been sold worldwide. It was briefly licensed in the United States by Tokyopop under the name Manga Sutra — Futari H, but they dropped it after four volumes in 2009. It's also received a four-episode OVA adaptation titled Step Up Love Story (and another three-episode OVA with an original story), and been adapted into a live-action web series and four live-action films. The French edition by Pika was also dropped after 50 volumes (out of 83-and-counting).

Now has a Character Sheet, so feel free to contribute.

Futari Ecchi provides examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Well, the series is about sex, so this is kind of required. That said, Makoto, his brother Akira, his sister-in-law Rika and her boyfriend Yamada appear to have little else on their minds. Ever. This is taken to extremes with Makoto, whose idea of foreplay is often to grab Yura and say "I'm going in!" and pouts when she turns down one of his constant pleas for sex until she relents. His saving graces are that he's a Nice Guy aside of that and he really loves Yura a lot for reasons outside of sex too.
  • All Women Are Lustful: The women in the story can be just as preoccupied with sex as the men, as Rika amply demonstrates, and even Yura has her Covert Pervert moments. At first she is too embarassed to let her own sex drive show because she's afraid Makoto will think she's slutty, but she soon learns that wanting and enjoying sex with your husband is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Arc Words: The sentence "Do your best, Makoto!" and variations of it is said repeatedly by both the caption boxes and the supporting cast. Makoto even Lamphades this at one point by yelling back "I've been doing my best!"
  • Art Evolution: The first few volumes had them all drawn in ways that was similar to Aki's drawings in the manga of Vision of Escaflowne, with the breasts often drawn realistically and shapely. As the series continues on, his drawings got a bit more comical and breasts are often, when not drawn during sex-scenes, hastily drawn as crescent-moon shaped circles with nipples on them.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Rika and Yamada have such moments from time to time, notwithstanding their hypocritical cheating on each other and their quarrelsomeness. Rika does end up marrying someone else, though.
  • The Baby Trap: Rika tells her boyfriend Yamada, who hates using any kind of protection, that she's pregnant as a way to scare him into being more responsible about protection. She's lying and admits it when his way of being responsible is to marry her. He takes it back when it turns out to be a fake.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Though nudity abounds in this series, most shots have the male characters' groins either blacked out or blocked from view by a convenient body part, object, or text bubble. On the occasions when this isn't feasible for male anatomy, it's replaced with a banana. See Right through his pants. (It should also be noted that Yura practiced her techniques on a banana... Coincidence?)
    • Interestingly, at the moment of penetration there is usually an inset box showing the genitals close-up. The catch is, it's a cross-section that looks like a clinical diagram of the organs, and so not designed for titillation.
    • Japanese law requires genitals to be censored. Some artists use obnoxious black boxes or "light saber" censorship, others use heavy shadows or creative positioning to avoid having to censor in the first place. And, on very rare occasions, this manga just doesn't show anything at all: hands or lips may be positioned around Makoto's etc, but it has either been erased or was never drawn in the first place.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Rika and Yamada, to the point that one can wonder if they have any compatibility beyond sex.
  • Calling Your Orgasms: Makoto does this so often it's not even funny. Some of the other male characters also do it frequently. The female characters aren't above doing it either, but do it less often.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Happens to both males and females.
    • Makoto walks in on Yura watching one of his porn videos. In her defense, she didn't know what was on it, but Makoto wouldn't let her deny that she was turned on.
    • There's also a time when Yura walks in on Makoto masturbating to porn, which makes her upset before they have make-up sex. Afterward she tells him she threw out his videos, much to his distress, but she actually just hid them to keep him on his toes.
    • One time, Jun and Inoue get put in the same hotel room by two friends trying to pressure them into having sex. They sleep in separate beds, and both end up masturbating under the covers because they're turned on but too shy to approach each other, only to accidentally give themselves away at the end. This has the surprisingly happy result of them realizing they feel the same way about each other, but recognizing that they shouldn't rush into sex right away, they go to sleep after Inoue gives Jun her first kiss.
  • Chick Magnet: Several male characters seem to attract ladies without even trying, but most of all Makoto. The funny thing is that he was a 25 year old virgin and supposedly had no luck with girls, but as soon as he gets married to Yura he suddenly becomes a lady magnet. His coworker Makie wants to jump his bones because she's turned on by adultery, his old friend Miyuki turns out to have been in love with him all along, and now even the new girl at the office is in love with him! Makoto tends to be rather oblivious to other women's flirtations, but if propositioned he'll turn down every one out of loyalty to Yura.
  • Comical Overreacting: Makoto does this every single time Yura says she doesn't really want to have sex tonight, it looks like he always has a Heroic BSoD because of it. But after she sees his reaction, she quickly says that they can do it, after all.
  • Deadpan Door Shut: Yura walks into her bedroom to find her sister Rika and Rika's boyfriend Yamada having sex on Yura and Makoto's bed. She quickly excuses herself before remembering that it's her apartment and orders her sister and her lover out.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: particularly with Makie, Makoto's coworker who only sleeps with married men and has her sights set on him. She has gone so far as to plant a Lipstick Mark on him and trick him into getting drunk to have sex with her.
  • Ecchi: While some of the explicit scenes in the manga series are borderline hentai, for the most part it falls squarely into the ecchi category.
  • Erotic Eating: Chocolate Covered Banana. Played with when Yura just eats the banana at first.
  • Edutainment: Strangely enough for a manga about sexual intercourse, you might learn something you didn't already know about sex while being entertained simultaneously!
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: To the point that a young mother, having watched her ten-year-old son's classmate burst into tears and call the boy a jerk, immediately assumes that the kid has seduced and then spurned said classmate. She even confronts her son about it in no uncertain terms.
  • Flanderization: As the volumes go on, it seems like everyone's desire for sex is continuously exaggerated. Does Makoto have anything on his mind other than having sex with his wife?!
  • Gambit Roulette: The playboy that Jun meets has various tricks for overcoming her initial reluctance and distrust and winning her heart (or at least the part of her that he's more interested in). One of them involves meeting her at the top of a long staircase, at which point Jun trips right before she gets to him, lands in his arms, and is left thinking that her heart is beating fast because of him rather than the stairs. How he could predict that she would trip at the right moment is anybody's guess.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Basically the whole point of the series is that initiation into sex is like getting a new superpower. You aren't just born knowing how to use it, you've got to practice!
  • Idealized Sex: Deconstructed Trope. Futari Ecchi is about two people who only know Idealized Sex (if that), and shows, realistically, what happens when they try to apply it in real life. Case in point the first time Makoto and Yura have sex, lets just say it's anything but romantic or magical!
  • Imagine Spot: Makoto, all the time. Occasionally happens to some other characters as well. This trope is also conveniently used to show Makoto having sex with other women while technically staying faithful to Yura.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Though being a sexualy explicit manga series, it has its share of this. Yura thinks Makoto is cheating on her with Rika when they were making noises. Turns out, they were both playing a fighting game.
  • It's All About Me: Makoto tends to focus on his own pleasure when in bed with Yura, at least partially because he doesn't actually know what else to do (justifying the existence of the work itself). Yamada, on the other hand, has no excuse for his refusal to use a condom regardless of any pregnancy potential. Rika eventually calls him on it by staging a pregnancy scare.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Happens several times, particularly when it comes to Makoto's frequent ImagineSpots. He proceeds to imagine Yura in an extravagant costume, like a kimono, to have sex with her in it, proceeds to immediately imagine undressing her and then having sex. One of the narrator-boxes lampshades this by asking, "What's the point of imaginging her in those clothes if you're just gonna take them off, anyway?"
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: In the early volumes there was a plot to get Yura pregnant with Makoto's baby, they actively tried to make one, to no avail, so they decided to wait and take their time together to only then make such a big decision in their lives. After this event, there are small hints of them trying to make a baby again, but it falls on false alarm (of the author dropping the plot kind); it seems Katsu Aki plans to make their child the series' climax, as after 50 Volumes Makoto and Yura still didn't get their baby.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator enjoys snarking on the entire cast, particularly Makoto. The only exception to this is Yura, who he has nothing but praise for.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: The entire premise of the manga is newlyweds Makoto and Yura being both virgins and having Their First Time be extremely awkward due to how awful and clueless they both are about sex. It starts with Makoto not quite figuring out where to "put it", and things go downhill from there. They're both deeply ashamed of it and the rest of the story follows them both trying to improve their sex lives, such as Makoto struggling with his poor sexual stamina and Yura struggling with being an Extreme Doormat and Naïve Everygirl who's too embarrassed to take an active part in the sex because she's afraid to be seen as "slutty" if she does. It doesn't help that they're often surrounded by people who have better sex and that their parents keep demanding grandchildren.
  • Marital Rape License: Discussed in one chapter. Akira is alarmed to hear that Makoto and Yura haven't had sex recently, saying that Makoto should be able to just jump her whenever, and even cites the law stating that rape does not exist as a crime between married couples. His wife Sanae is quick to point out that this law has recently been changed. It's even more stupid considering that Akira is a lawyer.
    • The last part is Truth in Television. Ask a lawyer who works in the criminal area about economy-related legal issues: they'll likely won't be able to reply your question, since it's simply not their speciality. Also, we don't know in which legal area Akira works in.
    • Makoto has occasionally ignored Yura saying she didn't want to have sex, but out of stupidity rather than malice. He owned up to being wrong and she forgave him on a promise to be more considerate.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: Both Makoto and Yura are shown to masturbate to deal with their pent-up libidos. Makoto does it out of frustration at not having been able to have sex with Yura for several days. Yura does it on her sister's advice to teach herself "what feels good", complete with a survey and pie chart of how women feel afterwards.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Periods are discussed as a mundane issue that women have to deal with all the time, and there's some helpful information about pads, tampons, etc.
  • No Pregger Sex: Discussed in one chapter. One of Yura's friends ask her to babysit her child while she and her husband are away for a few days; cue Makoto imagining how great it would be for Yura to became pregnant...just for the good of having unprotected sex. The friend then comments that while pregnant she still felt horny sometimes but was unable to, which drives Makoto near to a Heroic BSoD; then she corrects herself: in the early 3 months is ok but the penetration has to be superficial, and after the 4th month it's recommended to avoid sex.
  • Oh, Crap!: A particularly good one is in the first episode of the OVA when Makoto walks in on Yura accidentally watching one of his videos, but both do get it in both anime and manga versions.
    • Yamada at the end of chapter 69 of the manga when his mother finds his girlfriend's panties.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Makoto and Yura meet at a Japanese omiai at the beginning of the series, providing a successful example of this trope. It's however even pointed out by other characters that this is kind of unusual in this time.
  • Playboy Bunny: Book 30 of the manga put most of Makoto's female coworkers in this costume. Which gives ideas to Makoto, who brings home a bunny girl outfit for Yura.
  • Previously on…: The second episode of the OVA starts, after the "stay back from the TV" message, with Makoto narrating over a fast-forward of the previous episode.
  • Public Service Announcement: Though not government-sponsored, this is the premise of the manga: a love manual that covers everything from the first time, fights and making up, to how love grows and new positions you can try. It comes complete with instructions (with cut-away diagrams!) and with statistics and surveys for reassurance.
  • Right Through His Pants: When Makoto and Yura have sex somewhere else than their bed, and even in their bed from time to time, Yura is most often completely naked while Makoto still wears his shirt and has his pants around his ankles. In a few instances, Yura also wears clothes, but she is always more lightly dressed than Makoto.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: Yura is just so pure that she would never think of sleeping with anyone but Makoto. Makoto has strong perverted tendencies which include pornography and ogling other women, which sometimes extends to having an Imagine Spot where he sleeps with someone besides Yura, but at the same time he's Oblivious to Love regarding any woman besides Yura actually wanting to get with him in reality, and he would never willingly betray Yura because he loves her and wouldn't want to make her cry. He only gets into a couple of close calls because he's a bit of a pushover and sometimes gets roped into situations because he can't say no. He actually became such an unintentional Chick Magnet after getting married that various women try to seduce him, including his co-worker Makie, a girl at a beach resort, and the young new receptionist at his company who also fell for him, but he has preserved his virtue nonetheless. The Narrator says that Makoto and Yura will never cheat on each other.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Makoto and Yura frequently engage in public displays of affection, in sharp contrast to the often-abrasive relationships around them.
  • Spinoff: Futari Ecchi for Ladies is a spinoff within the same continuity that examines issues from Yura's perspective in a way that's targeted specifically toward female readers.
  • The Chikan: Briefly referenced when Yura was groped on the train, though justice was very swift with there being an undercover cop only feet away.
  • Their First Time:
    • Since neither Makoto nor Yura know what they are doing, their first time together is extremely awkward. It starts with him not quite figuring out where to "put it", and things go downhill from there.
    • Also, Jun's sexual sex-discovery also involves her preparing for this. In one chapter she and her boyfriend go to a Love Hotel... but he fails to perform because he has phimosis and it hurts like Hell. They settle for mutual masturbation instead, and after he recovers from surgery they do have their first time.
  • Too Much Information: Inverted; some of the intended readership really did need this much information.
    • Invoked; Makoto is squicked when Akira starts telling him how useful fingers are in the bedroom. In fact, frank talk about sex often features he and Yura having this reaction... much as the target audience might.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: Both characters, though Yura at least has "My Girl Is Not a Slut" to justify it (And even then, the attitudes of the characters around her suggest that, even if only among the eccentrics, it's becoming acceptable in Japan for women to be knowledgeable co-participants in bed).
  • Unexpected Art Upgrade Moment: Happens multiple times during the manga's run, usually as a (sexual) pinup scene. (Such as Yura and Makoto having sex for the first time, and the page features a full-page image of Yura in the nude.) However, one notable instance happens in Chapter 120 when the couple babysit an acquaintance's child for a few days, Yura finds it in her heart to start a family and have a baby, meaning that she and her husband can be much more intimate, and much less careful, than ever before, without contraceptives. Of course, Makoto, being ever-hungry (but not obsessive) for intercourse, is estatic. After a few nights of several close intimacy sessions, Makoto accidentally (but fortuitously) causes Yura to climax for the very first time, which is detailed in an enormous two-page spread.