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Manga / Love Gene XX

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Aoi and Sakura, just being friends

In the 21st century, humanity was hit by a virus that affected male chromosomes, causing all babies to be born female. In 2122, the last man on Earth died, and the now all-female world adopted the "Eden Project", under which half of the planet's population would carry out traditional masculine gender roles as "Adams", while the rest would continue to bear children as "Eves". In 2160, an Adam named Aoi Koshiro enrolls at the prestigious Kingdom Academy with an express goal of becoming its top student — a position currently occupied by Sakura Kokonoe, a ridiculously attractive and successful Adam from a privileged and rich family. Before long, however, Aoi's rivalry with Sakura gives way to feelings he cannot quite comprehend.

Love Gene XX (a.k.a. Love DNA XX and Renai Idenshi XX) is a Yuri Genre manga that ran in Yuri Hime between 2009 and 2013. It was written by Eiki Eiki and illustrated by Taishi Zaou — a duo best known for their Boys' Love works (and Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu) — and is, as a result, a rather unique blend of yuri and yaoi tropes that profoundly challenges the concept of traditional gender roles in a patriarchal society.

Note: Because Adams are referred with masculine pronouns in the original Japanese, the same convention will be used in the following article.


  • The Ace: Sakura Kokonoe is good at pretty much everything without even exerting himself, much to Aoi's irritation. He would be completely unbearable if it weren't for his honesty and occasional clumsiness.
  • Alpha Bitch: Ultimately subverted by Erika Suzuran, who seems like she'd use any unfair advantage to break up Aoi and Sakura's relationship, but eventually proves to be a fundamentally decent individual who instead mentors Momiji Yamato in an attempt to set her up with Aoi (whom she knows Momiji loves), and once that fails, steps back gracefully despite how much it pains her.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: The concept of Adams makes traditional gender identity rather hard to apply, especially concerning Aoi and Sakura. Are they a lesbian couple who are simply forced into a masculine gender role? Or are they gay men, who would stay as they are if they could? The fans are stumped, although the ending indicates that, without the Adam/Eve system in place, it would be a moot point anyway.
  • Arranged Marriage: Sakura is engaged to Erika, even though he doesn't have any special feelings for her (unlike her for him).
  • Artistic License Medicine: Although society wants Adams to look masculine, they only ever dress like men and bind their breasts, never undergoing gender-confirmation surgery or hormone replacement. In universe, this could be hedging their bets for the fraction of Adams that are made Eves for loving other Adams. From a narrative perspective, it serves to emphasize the division between genders as completely arbitrary. More cynically, the series ran in a yuri magazine, and it's a questionable if its readers would have accepted a manga where the protagonists were biologically masculine.
  • Beta Couple: Mizuki and Klara are this to the rest of the manga's couples, thanks to their Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • Big Eater: Whenever she is not cuddling with Mizuki, Klara is usually seen eating.
  • Bifauxnen: Pretty much every Adam (except the gym teacher).
  • Boyish Short Hair: Most Adams, including Aoi (but notably excluding Sakura), wear their hair short.
  • The Chessmaster: Matsuri Nanaho turns out to be a master manipulator who did his best to keep Aoi and Sakura from getting into trouble — because his boss and lover Sumire Kokonoe needs both of them for his plans to transform society.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Sakura introduces himself to Aoi by falling on top of him while retrieving a Cat Up a Tree.
  • Days of Future Past: The costumes in this manga follow a distinctly Versailles fashion despite being set in the future — partly as a nod to a certain other manga about a crossdressing swordswoman, partly foreshadowing The Reveal that there is a social revolution in the brewing.
  • Dramatic Irony: Erika wanted to become an Adam but after falling in love with Sakura, accepted her role as an Eve because it would allow them to be married. Then along comes Aoi and captures Sakura's heart, leaving Erika with nothing.
  • Forbidden Love: It is strictly forbidden for Adams to be romantically or sexually involved with each other. Interestingly, Eves don't seem to be under any such restrictions (although it could also be that it's forbidden for Eves and Erika just doesn't get caught).
  • Foreshadowing: There are hints dropped almost from the start that Aoi is not alone in his rebellion against the social order established by the Eden Project, but it's not until he comes to realize just how fucked up it really is that the major players working to undermine it reveal themselves to him.
  • Gendercide: Downplayed. A virus caused all human babies to be born female, so men simply went extinct within a couple of generations.
  • Gender-Bent Alternate Universe: The bonus chapter Love Gene XY reimagines the series as a Boys' Love story with an all-male cast. Rather than different genders, the boys instead are segregated into "Over Here" (rough-faced/Seme) and "Over There" (fair-faced/Uke) roles. Aoi is portrayed as an "Over There" who transfers to the opposite school, and gets sexually harassed until Sakura comes to save him.
  • Generation Xerox: Downplayed. Aoi and Sakura's respective mothers were also Adams who attended the Kingdom and fell in love with each other. Aoi's mother became an Eve to stay with her love, but his family forced him to marry an Etoile Eve and her, to marry another person as well. This time around, it's Sakura who becomes the Eve to stay with her lover—though it's strongly implied to be temporary.
  • Grasp the Sun: Downplayed. In the end of chapter one, Aoi reaches out towards the fancy ceiling of his new dorm room and "grasps" it, repeating his promise to rise to fame and power on his own terms.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: Eves bear children of their Adams via artificial insemination, after which their child is assigned their social role (Adam or Eve) by the government seemingly at random.
  • Idle Rich: This is how Aoi views the Etoiles, although towards the end of the manga, it becomes apparent that there is a considerable movement of revolutionary-minded Etoiles led by Sakura's brother, working behind the scenes to reform the society.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Love Stage!! by the same authors featured a joke What If? chapter where its cast encounters the characters from this manga.
  • Just Friends: Since both Sakura and Aoi are so incredibly Oblivious to Love, they spend most of the manga calling their relationship simply "best friends".
  • Kiss of Life: After Aoi seemingly drowns, Sakura panics and attempts to give him CPR — it turns out, he was just momentarily unconscious, and this was their respective First Kiss. Lampshaded in that they comment "But...does CPR even count...?"
  • The Klutz: Momiji is introduced tripping over her own dress three times in the span of a few pages.
  • Lady Land: All of humanity is comprised of biological females.
  • Men Act, Women Are: To become a top star of the Kingdom, Adams have to score well enough on the tests to count among the top five students of their class. Eve top star membership, meanwhile, is determined by a popularity contest among other Eves.
  • Modern Stasis: Apart from a few gadgets and widespread artificial insemination, technology doesn't seem to have progressed very far 150 years into the future. This is probably supposed to reflect the social stagnation that followed the Eden Project.
  • The Mole: Ran Ebine is hired by Erika to spy on the Adams of the top stars. Matsuri is eventually revealed to be one in the Kingdom Academy, keeping an eye on Sakura for his brother, Sumire.
  • Morton's Fork: Inverted. When Aoi demands that Sakura becomes his friend if he gets better grades in the upcoming exams, Sakura reciprocates that if he wins, Aoi will have to become his best friend. Towards the end of the series, they are forced into a very similar situation again, basically having to fight over who of them becomes an Eve.
  • Must Make Amends: After Sakura breaks Aoi's practice sword, he tries fixing it the best he can — which is not very well, as the only skill he seems not to be good at is woodwork. Still, his clumsy (and self-harming) attempt to make amends makes Aoi forgive him on the spot, and the whole incident serves as the main catalyst of them falling in love.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Erika frequently engages in it.
  • No Sense of Direction: Aoi has an atrocious direction sense, often running in the exact opposite direction of where he wants to go.
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Played with; all remaining humans are biologically female, so all couples are same-sex. However, society is trying as hard as it can to closely replicate binary-gender and heteronormative (if not outright patriarchal) values by randomly segregating females at birth into masculine (Adam) and feminine (Eve) genders, only allowing coupling between the two. Adams that fall in love with each other (e.g. Erika, Aoi's mother, and Sakura) are peer-pressured or forced to socially transition as Eves so that their gay relationships can become "straight", thus enforcing heteronormativity at the cost of cisnormativitynote .
  • Oh, Crap!: Sakura's face when he is told that he broke the only memento Aoi had of his mother is one of blank horror.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Erika sports them, befitting her social status.
  • One-Gender School: The Kingdom plays with it. Technically, it's a single biological sex school (just like every other school in the setting), but it also segregates by gender: Adams and Eves attend different campuses and are only allowed to encounter each other every once in a while on a "neutral ground" between the two.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Mizuki and Klara seem to be the most ridiculously well-adjusted and normal couple in the entire series, despite (or perhaps because of) their contrasting personalities.
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender: The Adams are referred to with masculine third-person pronouns, made to bind their breasts, and are given a more traditionally masculine gender role. This is due to the presumption being that men (or, in this case, stand-ins for men) are needed for society to function. The ending has characters seriously contest that idea, with a revolution being on the horizon.
  • Speculative Fiction LGBT: In a future where "female" is the only remaining human sex, society decided to divide itself into two new genders to take up traditional masculine and feminine roles.
  • The Stoic: Mizuki keeps a cool head at all times, regardless of the situation. That said, he is capable of strong emotions — he just never lets them influence his actions.
  • Those Two Girls: Renge Ooyama and Maki Abe serve as Erika's "bodyguards" and spies — that's pretty much their entire role.

Alternative Title(s): Love DNAXX, Renai Idenshi XX