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Lack of consent in Arina's newer Manga - TRIGGER WARNING [Mature themes]

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At first, I was uncomfortable with the scene in Ai dream where Ai is almost kissed in her sleep and the male character involved blames her for being so defenseless when she passes out drunk. (Roughly along the lines of that).

 

...but that aside, Neko has just gone off the walls. I'm sorry, but pinning a girl to a bed and making out with her against her will is sexual assault. What happens when Nekota finds out that Ai's other cousin did this to her? HE ALSO PINS HER TO A BED AGAINST HER WILL. And then there's something slightly more explicit, but not intercourse. (He apologizes afterwards, but um, ...yeah)

 

 

I don't even have any words anymore. This post is badly worded because I can't right now.

 

We had the smutty doujins, which supposedly had vague consent, and fair do's- Ai might have been into it at one point, but I'll requote the whole "rape victims sometimes feel pleasure, it's a physical reaction not a mental"- and there's no way that you can say that Ai ACTUALLY wanted both of these guys to do that, even if she did want one of them to (which I don't think is the case, tbh).

 

 

Everything about this bothers me. It's like, okay, say for example you got raped and then the rapist bragged about this to a guy who had a crush on you....and he raped you too.... wtf even?

 

 

Is the point of this series just to add lots of controversial subjects all together? YAY INCEST, YAY MANIPULATION, YAY A REALLY YOUNG MALE COUSIN AS THE LOVE INTEREST, YAY BORDERLINE RAPEY SCENES!!

 

 

Pinning somebody to a bed and making out with them against their will is sexual assault. Nekota's reaction to the whole thing was wtf.

 

I don't think that having an assault in a manga is a bad thing if it is DEALT WITH in the correct way, and the correct way is not to have another character do the exact same thing and even take it further. Has Ai not suffered enough? Isn't this a shoujo manga? Why is the female lead not empowering and something awesome for female readers to relate to?

 

 

BASICALLY I'M DONE. PLZ DISCUSS IN PROPER WORDS TO MAKE UP FOR THE LACK OF WORDS I HAVE, AND HOW POORLY WRITTEN THIS TOPIC IS C:

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A few things I want to emphasize before I add my two cents to this thread.

 

People are going to disagree in this topic-- please be civil to one another. Think before you post. Some of the things in this topic may be emotional for some users on here. Please be careful of how you phrase your responses.

 

If someone says something that upsets you, write your reply in a separate document and take 5 minutes to do something else. Then come back and review what you wrote and see if you think your response is appropriate. If it seems OK to post, go ahead and post. If not, re-write it. If you're on the fence, please re-write it. (Better safe than sorry.)

 

If you need to emphasize a word, use italics. I'm taking a design course, and my professor stresses the avoidance of making your font size too big, bold, underlining, and all caps when trying to get your point across. It comes off as too strong. In the end, your words should be the strongest part of your argument, not your font effects.

 

Anyways, onto what I want to say (in spoilers to save room):

 

 

I love Arina's works. No question about it. I wouldn't have joined this site if that had been the case... I wouldn't have met her in April last year if I wasn't a fan. As a fan, I am biased.

 

Has anyone heard of the expression "Your Fave is Problematic"? It's an expression I've seen used on tumblr. It means what is sounds like; when you admit your favorite characters/series/authors are... well, problematic. And it's OK to admit that things you like are problematic. It's better to admit to it than turn a blind eye or defend certain things.

 

 

One thing I wanted to point out is that Arina's older series are problematic in ways, too:

 

 

In KKJ...

-Some of Chiaki's advances towards Maron are not wanted. He tells Minazuki that it's OK to force himself on Maron. (It's not.)

-Chiaki's whole "I would die if you died" might have been seen as toxic? (I mean, how would have Chiaki reacted if Maron turned him down? Would he have pulled something like threatening suicide? I doubt it, but still...) But this was subverted because Maron knew she could live without him. She'd much rather live with him than without him.

-Noin. He was never punished in any way... Unless you count watching Maron, who he possessed himself for, be happy and start a family with someone else.

 

TSK...

-Witzig kissed Kyoko multiple times without consent. This was sort of subverted, I guess? Sakataki called him out on it because kissing the princess without permission is against the law in this series...

-Sakataki's brother (Was his name Hizuki? I don't remember... Can't say I care to know because I didn't like him) kissed Kyoko when she was asleep... He was caught, and sentenced to death (unless Kyoko married him... Even though she didn't love him, she married him to save his life).

 

Full Moon...

-Eichi forcing a kiss on Mitsuki.

-Sidenote: One thing I like about Takuto is that when Mitsuki tells him no, or mentions Eichi. He backs off. He isn't happy about it, but he backs off. Like in the fourth volume where he just wants her to be happy. He lays on top of her and confesses to her once more. (This scene makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but he doesn't do anything... But still not comfortable.) She tells him to go away, and he does.

-Wakaouji kissed Ooshige when she was too drunk to give any consent.

GAC/SDC:
-You guys fill me in on this one
Mistress Fortune:
-Giniro kept bugging Kisaki about her bra size. Does this have to do with consent? Not really. But in terms of (sexual?) harassment... Yes.
Sakura Hime:
-Hayate kept hitting on/forcing himself on Kohaku. But hey, he was punished because she accidentally turned him into a frog. So... at least his actions had a consequence.
Neko:
-From what I've read, Nekota is manipulative. He'll do anything he can to be with Ai... Even though she isn't necessarily interested in him.
-For those keeping up with scans (cough cough ArinaAngel and Chiibi cough cough), you'll have to provide me with more info.
Idol Dreams/31 Ai Dream:
-The kissing Chikage while she was sleeping thing? Yeah... No. Not cool. And then accusing her of being "too beautiful to resist" or something? Haha, no.

I think I'm less bothered by some of the things in her older series because I was younger when I read some of them. (I read Full Moon when I was 12-13, KKJ and TSK at 13-14, Mistress Fortune when I was 14 or 15... I completed Sakura Hime last year...) I'm sure if I were to go back and re-read some of these, I'd find more examples of things I find questionable.
Maybe things have gone downhill because Arina's writing for an older audience now... I feel like she's always "pushed" certain aspects of shoujo manga in a different view. Perhaps she had more restrictions on her work in Ribon because she was writing for a younger audience... Now that she's freelancing, she has more freedom to try creating new works in a variety of genres. But sometimes, I think restrictions can be a good thing. Sometimes you have to be creative within those boundaries. It's like writing a story in three sentences. It's very difficult and seems impossible, but when done well, it can have a huge impact.
For example, Hemingway's 6 word story: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn."

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I love Arinas work, but it does have issues with sexual assault. As far as I'm aware, and from what I gather, Japan has a very different view of sexual assault compared to European and American people. Lack of consent isn't really an issue as long as the other person enjoys it some what or becomes interested at some point. I'm not sure. But takutos advances on mitsuki always made me uncomfortable. I don't know. Lack of consent is a huge issue.

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I am incredibly behind on both stories, I think I've only read two chapters of Ai Dream. I do read Neko, and it does piss me off. I'm SO behind but it's already a little infuriating how it seems to have little plot thus far besides an inappropriate crush. It makes me uncomfortable to see Nekoto being so manipulative and mean to try and win Ai :/ I read it because I like Ai, she reminds me of myself a little bit, and the fact that she gets assaulted twice - not cool. Not cool at all. Kissing without consent bothers me, I don't think I can read this :(

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I love Arinas work, but it does have issues with sexual assault. As far as I'm aware, and from what I gather, Japan has a very different view of sexual assault compared to European and American people. Lack of consent isn't really an issue as long as the other person enjoys it some what or becomes interested at some point. I'm not sure. But takutos advances on mitsuki always made me uncomfortable. I don't know. Lack of consent is a huge issue.

 

This article may help explain the Japanese view point of sexual assault. (The article may be graphic/intense. Read at your own risk.)

 

But yes, Neku is correct; their view is very different. I'm not saying that sexual assault is OK, but it does help explain why Arina (and other manga-ka) writes and draws scenes that are non-consensual (in terms of Western view).

 

Does it make it acceptable to me? No, of course not.

Is it acceptable to readers in Japan? So it would seem.

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My main issue with the whole thing is that, say if we were in societies where consent didn't "matter" as it's put, and sexual assault happened so much, if I was a writer I'd write stories to try and change that, not to contribute to it.

 

It's like, to terrorists for example, killing can be part of their culture, does that make it okay? No.

 

From what I understand, a lot of women and young girls who are raped in Japan are too scared to come forward because society over there is huge on victim blaming. "Oh, you lead him on", ect.

 

That's not okay. Just because an issue is the social norm, it doesn't mean it's okay. Like the scene in Ai dream:

 

 

 

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He blames her for being defenseless. For context, she got drunk and passed out in bed.

 

So if he had kissed her, or worse, that would have been her fault for being "defenseless".

 

 

I just wish that this would have been turned into a scene where the woman in that situation was empowered rather than it made out to be her fault. At least, however, he shows SOME remorse and didn't go through with it.

 

In Neko, I don't think the same level of remorse is being shown.

 

Fiction can have a very powerful influence on people, and voices should never be silenced. I think that Japan needs to move away from this rape culture, stop the victim blaming and get to a place where women and men aren't afraid to come forward if they've been sexually assaulted. There doesn't seem to be a voice that says okay- this isn't okay. Where's the voice that says: The heroine in this manga is awesome and stood up for herself and the man got prosecuted or warned (In Ai's case in Neko, that was sexual assault)

 

 

I love Arina and I've been giving her the benefit of the doubt, but I really hope she does something pretty spectacular to redeem what has been going down in Neko. A very clear "No means NO" from Ai to Nekota would be great when he's having his manipulative hissy fits, or something. IDK.

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^I completely agree with all of this.

 

The article I posted was mostly used for background information if anyone wanted it, but it also made a point that things need to change. And they do.

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Well personally I do feel that japan has huge issues with sexual consent and assault. And it bothers me greatly and is very upsetting. I think ins awful but it's in their culture, and it is something that will take a long time to change. It certainly needs to change and I hope it does. It's very victim blamey and I have read other manga where the victim was explicity blamed. And it's awful.

Things definitely need to change. But recognising that tgis is how assault is viewed in Japan, helps us understand why the manga and the stories are so ridiculous and bizarre. If it's viewed like that girls are brought up to believe it's the truth, internalise it and it rears it's ugly head in their media through stories, anime manga and TV shows. Men also need to be able to come forward as it's often portrayed men should always want sex. It bothers me so much. Infuriates me and it's kind of one of the reasons that while I love Arina, I can't enjoy her work like I used to. It clearly shows this mindset of the rape culture and it sucks.

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I'm not anywhere near caught up on either manga of Arina's, but I wanted to post in the topic anyway. Haha. Because I've read a lot of manga that have these same situations... where I would basically call something sexual harassment but the main character doesn't even bring it up.

 

In a way, it infuriates me that it happens so often and I tend not to read manga where it happens so often that I get upset. Seems like a lot of you feel the same way. I've always felt that Arina's manga wasn't too bad in those terms. Like I said, I'm not caught up on the more recent manga. But I have seen manga that are much worse than Arina's, some that go so far that I stop reading and never look at the manga again.

 

I'm curious to read the scenes to give my own take on them. And the kissing while sleeping is seen in a ton of manga. If there isn't a scene like that, it's because the characters never slept near each other before or it's a very innocent Shoujo. I guess I've become so used to those scenes that I barely notice them. It's not okay, of course! Just saying it happens a lot in manga. I could probably look in all the manga on my shelf and easily find a few scenes of sleeping heroines being kissed or close to.

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If you need to emphasize a word, use italics. I'm taking a design course, and my professor stresses the avoidance of making your font size too big, bold, underlining, and all caps when trying to get your point across. It comes off as too strong. In the end, your words should be the strongest part of your argument, not your font effects.

 

Straying from the actual topic for a moment here.

 

All caps are fine in most other threads; if the topic is (or turns into) one that's more controversial, it may be wise to avoid them. Use your best judgment. If you use all caps in a thread like this one, I'm not going to bite your head off over it. I'm not going to strictly enforce this.

 

Regardless of formatting, please take a moment to think about how others may perceive your message before clicking that "post" button.

 

Anyways, continue on~ :)

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Kissing without consent in anime and manga doesn't bother me (though that scene in 31 Ai Dream did; you know I vented about it a few times but I'm on Team Hibiki anyway) but the type I'm thinking of is when a boy surprise-kisses a girl to confess, tease her or piss her off; not the type where he's acting on lust and ignores her as she struggles. The latter is not very cute.

 

I really loved Sinbad and Jeanne's first kiss. Though it was a surprise kiss; I don't feel that's the same as non-consensual kiss. Maybe that's just me, idk?

 

Chapters 44-45 of Neko did make me so angry.....though I can report that most of the time Nekota does treat Ai with a lot of love and respect and he's quite good to her when they become an official couple. The scene in question felt somewhat OOC to me which leads me to suspect (and hope) that it was a case of executive meddling . A lot of older shoujo manga, especially in Margaret and Sho-Comi( OH GOD SHO-COMI) have creepy non-on scenes in them....so it's possible that Arina was forced to write that into the manga. Editors are always forcing manga-ka to do things they don't want and I've heard it can be rather harsh.

 

I am still reading NekoWatashi though. Like I said, it's normally not that creepy at all. Neko even says to her a few times "If I do something you don't like, please talk to me about it."

Ai doesn't always take his advice. >_>

 

As for the others....Otaku's so right about my baby boy. XD Takuto's one of the few who immediately backs off when Mitsuki tells him to. The other boys should take lessons from him and Sakataki. :P

 

I don't feel that Wakaouji was wrong in kissing Ooshige even if she was drunk. Sleeping with her would be bad....but it was only one kiss. Comparing that kiss to the kisses Izumi pushes on Meroko......well.....there's something different about it. Izumi's a very naughty boy

 

 

 

Is the point of this series just to add lots of controversial subjects all together? YAY INCEST

I do want to politely point out that Japan doesn't consider cousins to be incest. In fact,

when Ai's mother finds out, her only issue was the age gap. "Can't you wait until Nekota-kun enters high school?" was all she said. XD

]

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Yup, they are together. :3

 

Only in manga. XD

 

I did think about spoil-tagging that.....but I mean, they're both on all the covers of the series together so......you know. XD Helps when you can read raws.

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I know that they don't consider it as incest in Japan, but I feel like it's something that needs to be addressed in their culture. There's still medical issues with genes mixing, and yes it's a LOT lower for cousins, but it still exists- and it's more damaging to the later generations than the immediate, I believe. And technically speaking it is still a family member. I know somebody that actually did sleep with their cousin IRL, in the western world, and it just grosses me out a little bit. The thing is, some form of rape isn't considered rape in Japan.... but it's still rape, and it should be re-defined.

 

If Arina has been forced into some of the questionable scenes, then that's majorly upsetting. I think she should just say screw it and self publish, but I guess even with the following that she does has, it's not as big as followings for other mangakas and she'd probably lose money by doing that. As an artist, the worst thing imaginable for me is somebody telling me what to write, it's a violation of what you've created, especially when you're proud of it. So if that's the case, it must suck and I feel for her.

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But does it really need to be addressed? I read that the risk of birth defects between cousins is 4 to 7% which is the same as people over 35 having a child. When the Japanese are the longest living race, and also a culture much older than yours and mine....telling them their culture is wrong for letting cousins marry just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. XD;

 

No, I wouldn't sleep with my cousin either. But if Arina wants to write romance between cousins in her country where it's acceptable, I don't feel like I should criticize her for it.

 

I did a research paper on self-publishing a while back for college. It's SUPER expensive. @_@ Probably not an open option for her.

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I guess it's just one of those things. A lot of things are acceptable in other cultures, and a lot of them are bad things. You hear of some awful things across the world and they get passed off as "it's their culture, so it's fine". Like the ritual sacrifice of hundreds of animals in Egypt, a poet wrote a poem about the suffering and how she disagreed with the ritual and ended up getting thrown in prison. So I guess at least people can speak up about things without being silenced in the western world. The whole consent issues in Japan and being silenced as a victim is something that I'm standing by, though, that needs to change.

 

If Arina wants to write cousin romances, that's fine, I'd just like to think that eventually Japan will move away from that. I'm not directly criticizing her for it, it just makes me a tad uncomfortable to read about it. As I said, it's not the immediate generations that are affected by interbreeding, asides from a low amount of birth defects; it's years down the line when the gene pool has been kept to a certain pool of genes that the problems become evident. So I guess as long as it's not a cult where it's cousins marrying over and over again?

 

Maybe with the recent burst of print on demand services it'll become more viable in the future. It's free through amazon to get your book or comic/graphic novel published, they just take a cut of it, and I assume Arina's management/the magazines she's published in take cuts anyway. So hopefully one day she'll be in a position where she can write what she wants to, uncensored, as I feel as if that would be interesting.

 

The age gap between Nekota and Ai is a little infuriating as well, but I guess children are overly sexualized in Japan a lot as it is. The rest of the world is slowly following suit with that, when you hear about 9 year olds getting pregnant and shit. Ick.

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With Nekota and Ai, my main issue is, once again the age gap. Age gaps, during teenage years get to me. The maturity between the two characters is vastly different. Nekota is a child. If the were both 10 years older it would be fine for me. But at this stage there is no denying that Ai is far more mature than Neko in many different ways. Just no. And the idea that Ai would be attracted to Neko makes me extremely uncomfortable.

Also Neko doesn't back off when Ai tells him "no". He pushes and pushes and doesn't let it go. That isn't right at all. And forcing her to kiss him etc... Yeah. Bothers me lots.

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Also Neko doesn't back off when Ai tells him "no". He pushes and pushes and doesn't let it go. That isn't right at all. And forcing her to kiss him etc... Yeah. Bothers me lots.

He has backed off a few times in the more recent chapters. He even has an argument with Chiaki about no meaning no. But I can't agree that Ai is much more mature than him........cause I just don't see it. XD In fact, the reason the ship works for me is because of Ai's emotional immaturity and inexperience about relationships. Honestly, Nekota acts more like an adult than she does.

 

How mature can you be when you let a little kid push you around? XD

 

Arina wrote in the NekoWatashi character booklet that the reason Nekota is so young is because he is based on her first love from elementary school which I thought was super adorable. Then I wondered why she didn't just make Ai the same age but of course then there would be no conflict; it'd just be a fluffy little story about two little kids in love. not that I don't REALLY REALLY REALLY want that. But that premise is far too innocent for Margaret magazine.

 

But I fully understand why people would find the age gap uncomfortable. A couple of times, I even found myself going "Squick" even though these type of stories are my utmost guilty pleasure. But when the kid does something a kid should absolutely not be doing, ew,it feels so wrong,

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I know.....it's in her blog on twitter somewhere. XD I have to track it down. Kicking myself that I didn't save it right away.

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