Photo: PAKUTASO
lifestyle

Manga about 40-something man’s relationship with daughter’s schoolgirl friend sparks controversy

54 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Most of the bullet points for the premise of publisher Kodansha’s "Musume no Tomodachi" manga read like pretty typical anime/manga storytelling tropes. Hardworking but melancholy male protagonist Kosuke is sitting in a cafe one day when he spots some overly aggressive customers hitting on the new teenage waitress, Koto. After Kosuke’s quick and clever thinking saves her from the situation, Koto offers to thank him later, but he chivalrously declines. When the two unexpectedly bump into each other again in the hall at school, however, Koto asks him for his Line messaging app contact, and when he agrees to tell her, they begin a relationship that ends up affecting Kosuke on a deep emotional level.

But this isn’t a school romance story, because while Koto is a high school student, and legally still a minor, Kosuke is man in his 40s, old enough to be Koto’s father. As a matter of fact, Kosuke’s daughter is one of Koto’s classmates, hence the title "Musume no Tomodachi," which translates to “My Daughter’s Friend.”

The promotional video for Musume no Tomodachi can be seen by clicking through on the tweet here. Kodansha describes the series with:

“Kosuke lived his life acting like an ideal man, as a father in the home and an executive in the office. But meeting his daughter’s friend Koto causes a 180-degree change in his life. When he’s with Koto, he can be his true self, and his worn-down heart is healed, even as he knows this is an emotion that must not be embraced. A present to people who suppress themselves in modern society, this is a ‘middle-aged-man-meets-girl story.’”

While it’s nothing new for manga or anime to feature schoolgirls who are the focus of romantic or sexual yearning, it’s less common for a mainstream publisher like Kodansha to squarely place a relationship between an adult man and a girl who’s a legal child as the primary plot point of a series, especially one that’s being promoted online by the official Twitter account for the company’s Morning manga anthology, which is a mainstream publication, and not something marketed strictly to hard-core erotic manga otaku. There’s even some suggestive wordplay in the series’ official description, as the original Japanese for “even as he knows this is an emotion that must not be embraced," daite wa ikenai kanjo da to shirinagara, can also be translated as “even as he knows that he should not have sex with her,” as the word daite can be used to mean hugs or intercourse.

The selected dialogue from the promotional video from the promotional video also points to a highly intimate relationship, featuring lines including:

“If I hadn’t met you, I’d have had a proper, boring life.”

“Just for today, why don’t you take a break from being Dad and Section Chief, and just try being Kosuke?”

“Being honest with yourself isn’t such a bad thing.”

“Who gets to decide what’s right and wrong anyway?”

Again, with a little digging, you can find plenty of “adult man sleeps with schoolgirl” stories in the anime/manga/Japanese video game sphere. But the key point there is “with a little digging.” Seeing Kodansha so openly trumpet "Musume no Tomodachi" has upset some Japanese Twitter users, and the promotional video’s tweet thread has turned into a debate on the appropriateness of the content and the way it’s being presented, with comments such as:

“Keep this out of the open for sales and marketing. You shouldn’t be advertising a manga where a middle-aged man tries to get with [a teenage girl] (which is a crime) in a way where people of any age can see it.”

“This is sexual exploitation of a minor, plain and simple.”

“Promoting the sexualization of an underage girl is disgusting. Please keep this out of all-ages media spheres.”

“Doesn’t matter how much you want middle-aged men to buy it or how much you want to draw a beautiful girl. Stop this. I’m going to be on my guard around any middle-aged guy who’s reading Morning.”

And on the other side of the discussion:

“There seem to be a lot of people who don’t understand that fiction is just that, fiction.”

“If you can’t tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction, then yeah, you shouldn’t read this.”

“Isn’t this the same plot as [the American movie] American Beauty?”

“There are a lot of fascists who say ‘Anything I don’t like should be burned or confined to a ghetto,’ but please, Kodansha, don’t pay them any mind and keep publishing this series.”

It’s worth pointing out that while the "Musume no Tomodachi" video was posted through the official Morning Twitter account, the series itself doesn’t actually run in the weekly Morning print magazine. Instead, "Musume no Tomodachi" is serialized through Kodansha’s Comic Days manga app.

Oddly enough, the series first collected volume went on sale back in August without attracting any major controversy. However, the Morning tweet, which was posted on November 15 to coincide with the release date of the second collected volume, seems to have brought the series to many people’s attention for the first time.

Comic Days offers previews of selected chapters of "Musume no Tomodachi," and leafing through them doesn’t show any explicitly sexual content, though scenes of Kosuke and Koto conversing with their faces in close proximity, and Koto’s cheeks flushed with color, don’t seem to be rare occurrences. It’s not surprising that some people would see such moments as red flags, but it wasn’t all that long ago that "After the Rain," a manga/anime about a schoolgirl who develops romantic feelings for her middle-aged male boss (who’s also a single father) at her part-time job, changed many people’s initially opposed minds by being a chaste story that was actually more about emotional strength and self-worth than forbidden romance and titillation.

▼ "After the Rain" earned enough mainstream acceptance in Japan that it even got a positively received live-action movie adaptation.

In "Musume no Tomodachi," Kosuke is a widower who’s unhappy with the state of his job, and who’s also being emotionally shut out by his teen daughter, so there’s a chance that his relationship with Koto won’t be about love or sex, but simply about how to cope with the isolation he’s feeling while floundering with the traditional roles he’s trying to fill. There’s even a linguistic backdoor built in, as in addition to “my daughter’s friend,” “Musume no Tomodachi” could be alternatively translated as “my friend who is a girl,” showing that the story is about Kosuke’s warm but strictly platonic relationship with the teenager.

However, After the Rain had an easier time in warding off accusations of skeeviness by primarily structuring itself as a tale of a girl with a crush on an older guy, and therefore implying that she’s not getting dragged or tricked into a relationship beyond what she’s hoping for. In the case of "Musume no Tomodachi, "it’s the older man who’s presented as the main character, and many would argue that places a far greater burden of proof on it to convince readers that Kosuke’s intentions and actions are neither immoral nor illegal.

Sources: Blogos via Itai News, Comic Days

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- I Hate You: Japan’s anime-style mobile romance game starring girls who will never, ever love you

-- Ao-nyan: Japan’s super-feminine model who’s, yes, actually a guy 【Photos】

-- Fine art painters become fine anime boys in new romance video game Palette Parade

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
Login to comment

What was taboo 30 years ago is now openly accepted.

Once you step on the slippery slope, you’ll keep going in one direction until you hit absolute rock bottom.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

"Kosuke is a widower..."

How convenient!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I have always thought of Manga and Anime as the pedophilic dreams of men here. There's just too many things about the comic books and cartoons here that make me feel uncomfortable. Especially when you find out most are written by men.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

My Mrs works a for a large publishing company, which also publishes manga. some of the adult stuff is disgusting. and, it seems, the more disgusting it is, the more popular it is. There is one called, Sister Sister about 15 year old twin girls who are constantly having it off with themselves and with older men.

Comics are books for children. Sexually exploiting children in comics is so immoral it makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Actually, I find the sexual mores to be more restrictive today than they were 40 years ago. The school-girl-falling-in-love-with-her-teacher/adult was quite a common theme in manga and movies. The idea of teenage romance with older men was seen as quite natural and not even really illegal. I can't tell you how many couples I've met that were once teacher-student relationships.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't know this manga but I read "After the rain" and it's really beautiful. People shouldn't judge something without knowing it. "After the rain" is very appreciated also in Italy, especially by a female audience (I am a woman too). It has been written by a woman for anyone who can appreciate a well written tale. Some people here have a lot of prejudices. If you don't know how the story is developed, you can't judge only by the premise.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The basic older man-young girl scenario doesn't sound much different to Lolita by Nabokov, a genuine masterpiece and one of the greatest books I've ever read. It all comes down to how the book is written, and of course you have to read it to find out. If the manga is mostly about the man, the girl may be mostly a literary device used to contrast with the rest of his life, a bit like American Beauty. Good works of fiction are usually complex and not be dismissed on shallow interpretations of them.

There are plenty of books, movies, etc. out there glorifying crime and telling you how to do it. You can read Lolita and not become a pedophile, just as you can watch the Godfather and not become a mafioso, watch Se7en and not become a serial killer, or watch Breaking Bad and not become an industrial scale narcotics lord with school science equipment.

Note that wiki says no US publisher would touch Lolita based on the content, and it took companies in more liberal European countries to get the book out there.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

P.S. "After the rain" isn't actually a true romance manga. It's basically the story of the struggles of a failed writer and of a teenager with her own personal problems. Her crush over him is only escapism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am going to buy several copies.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I can hear the handcuffs jangling for Bucho...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Isn't that the exact plot of the movie American Beauty?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The subject of teenagers having some sort of relationship with much older adults is nothing new, as many other posters have noted.

It may be new in manga form and from a mainstream Japanese publisher, but it is not particularly groundbreaking.

It all comes down to how the subject matter is handled and, given that it is in manga form, that it doesn't devolve into some sort of porno manga. Which it doesn't.

Other posters have noted books and movies that deal with this subject, usually around the theme of an adult male and a teenage female. I am reminded of a movie, Summer of '42, which featured an adult female and a teenage male. Same theme for the movie, Class.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The notion that 40, 50 or even 60-year-old men lusting after young women is perverted is ridiculous. It's actually normal. Your image of a sexual partner doesn't have to change just because you get older. 50-year-olds aren't more attracted to other 50-year-olds; they're attracted to the most desirable females (males, etc.) in their sexual group. OK, some may like this type of person, some may like that type, but Playboy doesn't usually feature pinups of 50-year-old women. Society imposes laws and conventions to protect young women and men, but these are artificial barriers. If the legal age for sex is 18 (I think it's 16), it doesn't make you a pervert or a pedophile to lust after a girl who's 17 years and 11 months old. The media like to portray old men as corrupting young women, but sometimes the opposite is true. Some who get found out having sex with someone older play the "I'm a child" card to avoid trouble. Often, I suspect they are the corrupters and have more sexual experience than their 'oppressors.' Society needs to grow up a bit and stop reading and believing rubbish in the media.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Ral life and the fantasy for maaaaaaaany men..

Comics are books for children. Sexually exploiting children in comics is so immoral it makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

Manga has many kind of themes and readers, stop drama, stop ignorance..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe the critics of this particular manga should read Lolita. Or, keeping it Japanese, and going back to the dawn of literature, they could read The Tale of Genji. Maybe then they might realize that a relationship between an older man and a young girl is hardly new, either in literature or in society, and that their own knee-jerk reaction against it is symptomatic of the censoriousness of contemporary mores, rather than with there being anything perverted about the author of Musume no Tomodachi.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You can read Lolita and not become a pedophile, just as you can watch the Godfather and not become a mafioso, watch Se7en and not become a serial killer, or watch Breaking Bad and not become an industrial scale narcotics lord with school science equipment.

How likely is an ordinary person reading a book about the Italian mafia or a movie about a mass murderer going to come away from that thinking it is morally justifiable? Don't forget that the mafia all get shot, their family is killed, or they wind up in jail, while the guy in Breaking Bad sinks to horrible lows and ruins his and his family's lives. There is a lesson in that.

Older men lusting after teen girls isn't pedophilia. Pedophilia is a mental disorder where grown adults are sexually programmed towards small children. They don't have any choice and need therapy to overcome their urges so that they won't ever actually harm children. There are a lot of pedophiles who go though their lives and never violate a child because they know it's wrong.

Older men lusting after teen girls are just emotionally immature. They can't handle relationships with adult women because adult women make them feel inferior. There's a lot of that going around in Japan.

This society hypersexualizes young girls and many people don't see anything wrong with that. You see all kinds of arguments justifying it. Since there are hardly any social or legal repercussions for it, these men don't feel they are doing anything wrong. The manga are one way this is reinforced. It's just one of the many mechanisms that are normalizing the sexual predation of young girls.

As a result of this hypersexualiztion, schoolgirls are attacked, harassed, followed, stalked, groped and solicited into doing sex work. They are way too young, and are being taken advantage of by older men who should know better, but who have been lead to think nothing of it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@girl_in_tokyo: where did he say it's morally justifiable?! That's your conclusion. Anyway I just tried to find some information about this manga and I got the impression it doesn't represent a story where it's morally justified for a man engaging a relationship with a high school girl. By considering what I read about it, it looks a complex story where all the characters have some heavy mental issues. I feel so bad for the daughter of the man, she became a hikikomori because of her mother's death and his father's absence, and now she is living in the nightmare that he is dating her childhood friend. It doesn't look like a shallow manga, at least so far.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@kohakuebisu: by considering what I saw so far, the girl isn't only a plot device to develop the male main character. She has some heavy mental issues too, because of her familiar situation (abusive mother, absence of father). I doubt she is really "in love" with the main character, and imho he is only a loser unable to stop this thing, despite it is hurting not only this girl, but also his daughter.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How I suspected, this manga is written by a female mangaka, exactly like After the rain.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

zones2surf I am reminded of a movie, Summer of '42, which featured an adult female and a teenage male. Same theme for the movie, Class.

I've seen those movies when I was 19 and I thought they were utter trash even back then.

There's a fetish for the 'schoolgirl' look in America but there's one for the schoolboys too. Perversion spans both genders.

girl_in_tokyo This society hypersexualizes young girls and many people don't see anything wrong with that. You see all kinds of arguments justifying it. Since there are hardly any social or legal repercussions for it, these men don't feel they are doing anything wrong. The manga are one way this is reinforced. It's just one of the many mechanisms that are normalizing the sexual predation of young girls.

In America we have 'beauty pageants' where the girls are exploited in festivals. They're too young to know what's going on, and that's exploitation. Also in America there are 'chastity balls', 'father-daughter' dances, and 'take mom to the prom'. I find ALL these 'social norms' that are now acceptable in America to be perverted and nothing but destructive to a child.

There's no justifying any adult-child romance, it's just plain sick. Let the children BE children and then they can be ell-rounded adults in the future.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@girl_in_tokyo: women like you, always ready to assume things, while they want to defend women rights, they do the opposite. You already condemned these manga without knowing them. After the rain is a jewel and apparently also this manga could be meaningful. Both of them are written by women with the courage to deal a very delicate topic. You are not doing a good service to female artists.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@starpunk,

I've seen those movies when I was 19 and I thought they were utter trash even back then.

There's a fetish for the 'schoolgirl' look in America but there's one for the schoolboys too. Perversion spans both genders.

You missed my point. Whether or not they were trash or considered trash is not the issue.

I was merely pointing out that there is nothing new with this kind of story / genre.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zones2surf I was merely pointing out that there is nothing new with this kind of story / genre.

No it's not new. However, extra generational romance is not good. One side is too jaded and old enough to know better and the other is too young and innocent. It's crazy.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In Lolita, Dolores is originally 12 and Humbert Humbert grooms her, so the book is about genuine pedophilia. It's still a masterpiece.

The movies I mention may have moral denouements but most of their content focuses on anti-heros. The mafia movies and then the Sopranos and following Netflix/HBO shows have pushed the limits of what an anti-hero can be beyond morally ambiguous to openly morally corrupt. Most viewers will be happy when Walter manages to make better meth. It's hilarious when you think about it.

I haven't read the manga referred to here, and my comments are about censorship and how fictional works treat distasteful material in general. You cannot judge this manga without reading it, regardless of what you think about society in the background.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Alex80Today 12:23 pm JST

@girl_in_tokyo: women like you, always ready to assume things, while they want to defend women rights, they do the opposite. You already condemned these manga without knowing them. After the rain is a jewel and apparently also this manga could be meaningful. Both of them are written by women with the courage to deal a very delicate topic. You are not doing a good service to female artists.

I am specifically condemning manga that portray relationships between older men and young girls as desirable, sexy, and morally justifiable. I doesn't matter if the writer is male or female. It still perpetuates the notion that this type of relationship is viable and doesn't harm anyone, when in reality, the opposite is true.

"assume things"

I don't have to "assume things" when there is ample evidence that older men hypersexuilizing teen girls leads to abuse.

"women like you"

You know nothing about me, so don't make assumptions yourself.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@starpunk,

No it's not new. However, extra generational romance is not good. One side is too jaded and old enough to know better and the other is too young and innocent. It's crazy.

Mmmm, well.....

My grandfather was in his 30s when he met my grandmother. She was 17.

They got married and had an amazing marriage.

Just saying.....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

zones2surfToday 01:45 pm JST

My grandfather was in his 30s when he met my grandmother. She was 17.

They got married and had an amazing marriage.

Your grandparents' story used to be regarded as nothing unusual, and certainly no-one would have seen it as a political issue requiring a critical analysis of the power balance between them. These days, unfortunately, any such relationship is seen by some as intrinsically harmful to the younger of the two people who go to make up such a couple, even if there's no evidence other than ideology backing up that assumption. It's unfortunate, but there it is. I doubt it would have bothered your grandparents, or the hundreds of thousands of others who forged similar relationships. Good on them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can't see what the big deal is, the film American Beauty was about a sexually frustrated married man that had an infatuation with a friend of his daughter who were both in high school - that was a brilliantly funny film.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People are far too easily triggered, and they forget that fiction is exactly that: fiction. As one of the defenders pointed out, it's not all that dissimilar to American Beauty, and just how popular was that movie? Kinda shows that there are more people who appreciate fiction for what it is, than there are people who spew bile over it. As long as there's nothing inappropriate or immoral, leave it alone. There are more important things to get worked up over (racism, gender inequality, climate change deniers etc).

I have always thought of Manga and Anime as the pedophilic dreams of men here

That's a very ignorant view of manga and anime. There are hundreds of these that have no sexualisation whatsoever, some of which are aimed at children anyway and so can't contain that kind of content. Don't tar all manga/anime with the same brush just because there are a few that have lewd scenes.

Comics are books for children

Another ignorant and misguided view. There are no shortage of comics that children would find distressing due to the violence and gore involved. There are some comics aimed at children, but you'll find that there's a lot more aimed at teens, young adults and above.

However, extra generational romance is not good

That's your opinion. There are cases where it works out however. Age differences really aren't a big deal as long as it's legal. Never underestimate how mature younger people can be. If a relationship simply wasn't meant to be, I can guarantee that age was not the sole factor in the decline of the relationship, there would absolutely be other factors. Just because it makes you personally uncomfortable, doesn't mean it's "not good."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

2 things:

Imo there is a strong cultural element to what defines an 'appropriate/inappropriate relationship' age-wise. Seems a bit unfair to judge others based on our values, beliefs, experiences etc.

secondly, not everyone has the ability to distinguish reality from fiction & this thread 'proves' that point; I tend to think that ppl who read/openly discussed 'certain' books as youngsters are probably more likely to understand/enjoy these so called 'controversial' novels/manga and see beyond age, gender, sexual orientation etc (i mean in the manga/fiction world, not real).

To give an example, many euro kids read Russian literature in jhs & hs (plenty of 'uneasy' relationships there); stories were never one-sided and always openly discussed & de-tabooised (i still remember Turgenev's 'First Love' in which a young bloke -14 15yo perhaps- falls in love with someone in her 20s). What we learnt is that life isn't all about numbers & norms (social, religious etc) and that 'forbidden love' may have different meanings for different ppl, especially in a work of fiction. Basically we learnt not to judge/condemn others too quickly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Comics are books for children.

Have you ever read any comics aimed at adults? Ever seen the French comic "Metal Hurlant"? Heard of the "Barbarella" comics of the 1960s? "VIZ!" here in the UK, as well as the "2000AD" offshoot, "Judge Dredd Megazine"?Sorry for going off-topic but to say that comics are just for children is blinkered at best. They're not all about moralising superheroes or cute and funny characters getting up to high jinks with custard.

As far as the article goes, we've seen these stories in TV drama as well... one that comes to mind is an episode of Police Station Rashomon: there's a relationship between a teacher and one of his students that ends with her killing herself - okay, bad example, but it shows that the subject matter has been a part of prime time TV. Personally I think any adult lusting after a schoolgirl is a bit off, but when adult models and idols are dressed as schoolgirls for photo shoots/musical performances is it any wonder...?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To me, all these excuses in favor of older men having sexual relationships with young girls are self-serving and completely disingenuous.

Yes, back in the day it was common for older men to date young girls, but it was also common to keep women uneducated, at home, having children, and not allow them any autonomy. Just because it was common, doesn't make it right. Ditto for when this type of relationship is the norm in other cultures.

Obviously there are going to be exceptions to the general rule, but those exceptions should not set the bar for behavior. And in general, a 16 year old girl is barely even mature enough to have a sexual relationship with a boy her age, let alone a mature man over 30.

Don't forget what actually happened in the movie American Beauty - as it turned out, the girl was actually just showing off and had no idea what she was actually getting into, and once she got what she thought she wanted she was entirely out of her depth. Most adolescents think they are more mature than they really are - which is why as parents, your job is to protect them from themselves.

I guess I'd ask you this: would you let your 16 year old date a 40 year old? Didn't think so.

And never forget that the hypersexualization of schoolgirls in Japan has allowed all types of sex crimes against young girls to be seen as less serious than they actually are, since it's so normalized - then these crimes go unreported. Young women just learn to endure all the attention from grotty old men. Do you want your daughters to grow up like that?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@girl_in_tokyo: you are condemning this manga without having read!!!! Again, there's not any evidence so far that the story shows the relationship as morally justified. It's funny because for Western media with the same content you are finding any kind of justification, while you already decided by default that this manga is justifying morally this kind of relationship.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Even if he does have sex with her and a relationship it won't end well. I have seen this scenario play out and the girl always dumps the man.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Speaking from experience, the close companionship of a 18 or 19 year old girl can be a wholesome, healing relationship for a 40-something year old man.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Disillusioned

Today  07:53 am JST

Comics are books for children.

Only ‘murrican boomers say such things.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

By the way this Musume no Tomodachi manga is actually BORING. So BORING it needed manufactured controversy to get net dwellers to talk about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... or of course,

... about 40-something (WO)man’s relationship with SON’s schoolboy friend ....

OR

... (DAUGHTER'S ) school(GIRL) friend ...

Whatever!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And in general, a 16 year old girl is barely even mature enough to have a sexual relationship with a boy her age, let alone a mature man over 30.

Well, if one’s maturity is the deciding factor, then I suppose I could date teenagers forever! As long as I am immature, it should be OK, right?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Media (print and video) have altered our perceptions and shifted society. Homophilia (attraction to same sx) was once classified as a mental illness beside pædophlia and transgender (forgot the older term). I suspect if the change comes slow enough, pædosxuals will be just as accepted as the other 2 groups now. Frog in boiling water v frog in cool water set to boil.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bugle Boy of Company BNov. 28 10:44 pm JST

Well, if one’s maturity is the deciding factor, then I suppose I could date teenagers forever! As long as I am immature, it should be OK, right?

I assume you are just being facetious. This really doesn't even merit a serious reply.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Alex80Nov. 28 04:40 pm JST

@girl_in_tokyo: you are condemning this manga without having read!!!! Again, there's not any evidence so far that the story shows the relationship as morally justified.

I don't need to read it. Depicting such a relationship, in any form of media, as justifiable, viable, and successful without balancing it by exploring the harmful repercussions is incredibly irresponsible.

There is no justification for a 40 year old man to pursue a sexual relationship with a teen girl. Zero. None. He should be jailed for statutory rape.

It's funny because for Western media with the same content you are finding any kind of justification, while you already decided by default that this manga is justifying morally this kind of relationship.

You may have missed the post where I pointed out the problems in movies like American Beauty, which I believe is what you are referring to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Is the term hypersexual only used by frigid, Western females to legitimize their lack of interest in sex unless it involves hypersexualizing black males?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I assume you are just being facetious. This really doesn't even merit a serious reply.

No. I’m serious. I want you to defend your statement.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

RecklessToday 09:00 am JST

Is the term hypersexual only used by frigid, Western females to legitimize their lack of interest in sex unless it involves hypersexualizing black males?

I see. If a woman believes that a sexual relationship between a minor teen girl and a man old enough to be her father is not morally justifiable, it must mean she is frigid and lacks interest in sex. Interesting. I note you didn't suggest this to the men here who are are making the same kinds of comments that I am.

Yeah, the "feminists hate sex" trope is real original thinking. :)

You know, I'm often tempted to counter this kind of comment by telling the person about my sex life. But I also know that if I did that, the person would do a 180 and sex shame me. Because women aren't supposed to like sex, be sexually autonomous, or be sexually adventurous. We are either supposed to be completely passive and pliable and respond only to what men want, without expressing our own needs and desires, or else we just hate sex and don't want anyone else to have it. For you guys, there is no in-between. I think you can well imagine what I think of that. Pfffft.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What a fairytale of a storyline.It's just a brain dead way to put out there what we already know about Japanese society,in that many much older men have a lust for young girls.Must be the uniform angle in part.No 17 year old is gonna be interested in a middle-aged guy unless she's benefiting.Remember enjo kosai or paid prostitution with high school girls,which was the rage before and is still probably happening on the down low anyway.Tell that story.But it paints those men in a negative light and isn't titillating enough to send the message that this otogi-banashi wants to.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lolita-style wish fulfillment/fantasy aside, there are plenty Manga titles that don't cater for the more dubious types out there. Like every genre, it has its good and its bad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I surmise that the reason, if any, why a 17 year old would even consider dating a middle aged man is because her father was absent when she was growing up and the older boyfriend is a surrogate father she wants to please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@girl_in_tokyo: again, if you didn't read it, how can you say that the relationship has been portrayed as justifiable?! It's like you are speaking to yourself. Any topic can be discussed in fiction, if it is discussed in a critical way. So far, I think the mangaka, Asami Hagiwara, showed her skills in this sense. Her work could become good like After the rain or mediocre, it's still too early to judge, but you are judging some works without knowing them and this makes your posts look silly because they are generic arguments, unrelated to the specific works discussed in the article. The article itself isn't very accurate imho, because it's already clear that the relationship between the two main characters in Musume no Tomodachi is unhealthy. I am female but I find this kind of stories that explore middle age men psychology interesting. Sure, since the author is female, it's always from a female point of view, but this makes it sociologically also more interesting. Plus, stop treating fiction like educational works, fiction's aim isn't always educational, but a work of fiction is good enough if it is able to make you thinking critically about some topic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@goldorak: during my high school years my English teacher made us read "The confusions of young Torless" by Robert Musil. That book is so "sick" and I guess our girl_in_tokyo would be shocked to know that in Italian high schools during the 90s you could read such controversial books. Despite in my opinion the author of the book itself never condemned Torless behaviour explicitly, making him look "better" than the other bullies in the collage, I was able as a teenager to understand that he had been disgusting and abusive as much as the other guys who raped the poor Basini. He wasn't any different. He enjoyed his sexual and abusive relationship with the poor guy way more than his meetings with the prostitute Bozena. But he pretended he was morally superior thanks to his love for math. He pretended that his sexual frustration and lust for Basini were only a form of despise. In my opinion he was never better than the other bullies despite the appearance. His pathetic interests for math didn't make him less "animal". These are my conclusions about the protagonist, despite I can't say if the author thought exactly the same about him. Books are food for critical thinking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

college*

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fox Sora Winters However, extra generational romance is not good

That's your opinion. There are cases where it works out however. Age differences really aren't a big deal as long as it's legal. Never underestimate how mature younger people can be. If a relationship simply wasn't meant to be, I can guarantee that age was not the sole factor in the decline of the relationship, there would absolutely be other factors. Just because it makes you personally uncomfortable, doesn't mean it's "not good."

I'm referring to romances between an adult and a teen. Teenagers are not mature enough for sex or relationships with adults and adults who chase them have only one thing on their mind. A 40-something has nothing in common with a teenager whose life hasn't really started.

Relationships where the 2 partners are both adults with a 10 years + age difference are a different matter. They are both adults and if they're both mature it can last forever. Maturity is the key here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ghost World, with Steve Buscemi and Scarlett Johansson explores this theme as well. An excellent film.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I assume you are just being facetious. This really doesn't even merit a serious reply.

Sounds more like you don't have a reply. Good things come from discussion and debate. Please engage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites