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Manga / SEX

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From left to right: Kaho, Yuki, Female Yuki and Natsu

Cult classic manga by Atsushi Kamijou that was serialized between 1988 and 1992. Contrary to the title, it contains no sexual intercourse at all, albeit it is not without fanservice. In fact, "sex" here refers to "gender."

Taking place in Japan during The '80s, the story follows Kaho, a not so average high school girl who, when her class goes on a school trip to Okinawa, seizes the opportunity to look for her childhood friend, Natsu, whom she hasn't seen in six years. However, instead of Natsu she finds a strange young man named Yuki, a petty criminal who takes her for a ride in a stolen car, gets her involved in a gang fight and almost gets her killed. As it turns out, he's Natsu's friend, and the two of them seem to be involved with gangs and live from smuggling and selling stuff in the black market. Kaho is not one to be easily intimidated, though, and the manga chronicles the trio's adventures in Okinawa and Fussa, involving high school delinquents, weirdos, heists, the US army, the Korean maffia, yakuza, even more yakuza, and a shady assassin.

With its stylish artwork, movie-like atmosphere and quirky, charismatic characters, SEX is often regarded as Atsushi Kamijou's best work.

The manga provides examples of:

  • Artistic Age: Natsu and Kaho are only sixteen. Yuki may or may not be this case as his age is unknown and can be anywhere between twenty and thirty (what we know of his past suggests that he's definitely over 20).
  • Art Shift: The artwork often shifts into a more realistic style.
  • Author Appeal: Kamijou obviously has a thing for high heels. And he's a butt person.
  • Color Blind Confusion: Yuki is red-green colorblind, which means he pays no attention to traffic signals.
  • Comic Trio: Yuki and Kaho are the weird ones, Natsu is the Straight Man.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Female Yuki. (Not without a reason.)
  • Distressed Dude: Natsu in the last volume. He's not particularly distressed about it, though, until his kidnapper threatens to kill him.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Yuki. It doesn't help that he's colorblind and can't tell red and green apart.
    • Captain Crash: He has a tendency to crash the vehicles he drives. (He never claimed to be a good driver, though.)
  • The '80s Japan. The 'dos and the outfits are probably the only things about the manga that haven't aged well.
  • Femme Fatale: Kaho is not quite there yet, but she has great potential to grow up to be one, hampered only by her laid-back and cheerful disposition, and her tendency to be downright weird.
  • Gratuitous English: By the American soldiers. Also Yuki whenever he talks in English.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Kaho manages to have this effect on an entire small town.
  • Invisible Parents: Kaho's and Natsu's parents are sometimes mentioned but they don't ever show up and are not involved in the story (only as invisible plot devices).
  • Japanese Delinquents: A bunch at Natsu's school. Natsu himself is a delinquent as well, but he doesn't display the stereotypical traits except for bleaching his hair.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Higa's modus operandi. Sort of justified since he's a Yakuza miniboss.
  • Kavorka Man: Women flock to Chiaki, for some reason.
  • Love Triangle: Natsu and Kaho clearly have feelings for each other, and everyone assumes they're an item; but there's also open attraction and flirting between Yuki and Kaho. Natsu is also very attached to Yuki to the point of being jealous of Higa, and Yuki regards both Natsu and Kaho as belonging to him.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Natsu' means 'summer' which is one of the main themes of the manga.
  • Mad Bomber: Natsu is not particularly unstable (in fact he's the Straight Man of the trio), but he has an affinity towards bombs and other explosives.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Female Yuki is this(although due to the art style she often comes off looking pretty masculine). Kaho becomes this in later volumes.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: When Kaho gets sick due to PTSD Meg Brown assumes she's pregnant with Natsu's child.
  • Only One Name: Yuki and Female Yuki. Turns out Yuki unconsciously took his name from Female Yuki, so his real name is unknown.