21 CommentsManga Driver / By Scamp /

Manga Driver: Don’t Cry Girl

000

Volumes: 1 (complete)

This manga came with a strong recommendation from a friend. Even though it’s a shoujo manga and shoujo and I don’t get on particularly well, it’s only 1 volume long and is about nudists, so I figured it was at least worth a shot.

“Don’t Cry Girl” is about a teenage girl who has crap parents so has to move in with a bloke twice her age. The bloke in question is a naturalist and doesn’t like wearing clothes indoors. He has a buddy who comes around every once in a while and they sit around and make dick jokes. Now I like dick jokes as much as the next guy. In fact, I’d say I like them even more than your average person. Nothing brightens up my day quite as much as a good dick joke. However in Don’t Cry Girl, it comes off a little like sexual harassment. The main girl is clearly distressed by the nudity and the offers to chomp on the phallic bread placed between the friends’ thighs. The whole story is about her trying not to cry and just grin and bear being sexually harassed, whether the dudes are oblivious to their actions or not.

Being one volume long, there’s not a whole lot to say about it beyond that. I really want to talk about the ending though, and it’s the entire reason I’m writing this review in the first place. I’ve seen this trope occur enough times in ladies manga that I can hereby call it A Thing. If anime aimed at dudes have taught me that all men secretly want to bone their younger sister, then manga aimed at ladies have taught me that all women want to fuck their dad.

Let’s make like a rapper from the 90s and break it down. The arc of the story is about the nudist learning to wear clothes around the girl he has just adopted and the girl realising he’s a nice man after all. Leaving aside the fact that she’s basing this judgement off the fact that he’s stopped sexually harassing her, which I would normally categorise as something every human being should do rather than just something just good humans do, this causes the girl to fall in love with the guy and propose to him. And he accepts.

004

The girl is 17. The bloke is in his 30s. He has become a father figure to her because her own parents couldn’t show her love. So when a father figure shows her love (again love being ‘not sexually harassing her anymore’), she mistakes this for romantic feelings. As much as I don’t like the phrase ‘daddy issues’, this is textbook definition of that. But he, being the wonderful father figure that he is, accepts her proposal. Oh sure, they say they’ll have to work on it and this is a bit sudden, but the story ends with them saying they’ll live happily together as a couple. I know the manga is a goofy comedy, but it’s still presented in a celebratory fashion.

I had a discussion with a friend of mine about this trope and they suggested that, like the imouto fetish thing, it’s not that ladies actually want to fuck their dads. There are a lot of single children families in Japan so having a little sister isn’t too common. A little sister is a way of having a close relationship with a girl without any effort on your part. Like a childhood friend archetype, the work was done before you were aware that talking to girls was embarrassing and the childhood promise was made before you they could turn you down. The imouto thing is a fetishisation of certain things a little sister represents that society can’t currently provide for you.

Similarly, the fucking your dad thing comes from the desire to have the big strong boyfriend who will protect you and you can depend on. However Japanese society doesn’t lead to very forthright men, so they adoration turns towards the one person in their life that did provide those qualities. The fact that so many of these instances include the term “but they’re not blood related” shows that it’s the idealisation of the attributes rather than the thing itself. I’m making some sweeping generalisations here, but if you have a better explanation then I would be delighted to hear it.

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21 Comments

  1. Posted June 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh, that’s what Don’t Cry Girl is about? I always thought it was a fighting manga for some reason. This sounds a lot worse.

    • Caramelon
      Posted June 10, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Same here. I thought it was some Gokusen-style manga based on the cover. I should’ve wondered why the text is pink.

  2. fathomlessblue
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Nah, that sounds about right from my perspective. At the very least, I’ve yet to hear a more convincing argument for inter-family fetishisation.

    On the plus side, at least it only took one volume to pull that trick. Imagine the slow realisation reading Usagi Drop as it was released. Good Christ!

  3. Gedata
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    So, this is a condensed version of Usagi Drop with dicks?

    Agh, you reminded me of that godawful conclusion! Why?

    • Hanasra
      Posted June 10, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

      To me the canon ending of Bunny Drop ends with the 1st season of the anime. Rin married with her childhood friend, while Daikichi lead a bachelor, no famliy but very happy life for his aunt.

      there’s no harm in imagining right?

  4. Pusswookie
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Deep.

  5. gw_kimmy
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    yamashita tomoko! <3

    this is the only work of hers i haven't read yet. you reminded me why i hesitated so much ;( i don't know why so much shoujo manga is fixated on young girls becoming romantically involved with their caretakers @_@ gross.

    a manga with a similar premise (young girl must be taken care of by older dude) in which the romance doesn't happen between them and is pretty good: baby pop by ogawa yayoi. i'll just leave that there and run off 8D

  6. I'm2lazy2thinkof1
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Erm… while you are right about your analysis on daddy issues in general, I kind of suspect that the fact that this particular manga is a satire went a little over your head and landed somewhere very far away. Maybe it’s because someone recommended it as shoujo and romance? It’s not about the romance, it’s about the dick jokes and it is about daddy issues in (shojo) romances. That particular author never writes simple romantic comedies, she is always very self-aware. Just think about how outrageous some of the dialogues are, for example the one that starts with “if we really get married…” and end with “lets become happy!” “i love” it’s retarded no matter how you look at it, it’s impossible to take it as is and it suppose to be that way because it underlines the “daddy issue” romance cliche. Please reread it but this time stop expecting it to be a shoujo romance, it’s not.

    • I'm2lazy2thinkof1
      Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      now that I think of it a bit more, “trolling” is even better term than “satire”. This manga is one big trolling of the romance genre and it’s amazing that the publishers let her do it, shows how well regarded she is for her generally very clever work.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      I had that pointed out to be before I wrote the review, but I went back and re-read the last chapter and saw no sign of satire. Self-awareness perhaps, but no sign that they thought this was anything other than silly and charming. If it was truly meant to be taken as satire, then it was indistinguishable from the real thing and therefore pretty shitty satire.

      • 2lazy2thinkof1
        Posted June 10, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        It is a bit juvenile saying “I don’t understand it therefore it’s shitty”.

        The title of this manga means: “Don’t cry, girl, horrible things are about to happen, but you’ll get your happy ending”. If that’s not clue enough I don’t know what is. The fact that she just happen to end up living with some stranger is also no coincidence, it typical for little girl/older man manga, only in this case the explanation is half assed on purpose and the fact that it’s no some relative/ex-boyifrind or something like that but some complete weirdo stranger just brings it over the top and makes it outrageous. Next the reaction of heroine: the fact that she almost constantly has some sort of “wtf am I doing here” moment is no coincidence, it’s to show how ridiculous all of it is and that the author knows it. Everything in this manga is over the top, the way they are drawn hugging when declaring love is over the top, be it a normal manga the author would not draw it this way, the fact that there is a “hiroshima” bomb exploding just before that is a comentary on the ridiculusmess of the situation and the toxicity of it.

        There are many things like that in there. I probably won’t change your mind, but I feel that this needs to be said.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 10, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Again, what you are describing are ‘things bad shoujo manga does’. If all you are doing is copying the things bad shoujo manga is doing except maybe with a little self-awareness, then it’s still shit. I see no indication that it’s intended to be satire when it’s indistinguishable from any other shoujo manga.

        Put it this way: Someone once tried to argue that Guilty Crown was satire because all the things it did were so stupid it had to be satire. If that was the case, then every really bad piece of entertainment is satire.

      • Cirith
        Posted June 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        I read it in the last few minutes and well I kinda agree that it’s an attempt at satire. Not a very good one, being a bit ridiculous isn’t enough to make something satire and making jokes isn’t enough either. There are many romantic comedy mangas with weird jokes. But based on a few things like the Stockholm Syndrom bit and the manga dealing with her suddenly developing feelings and them getting together in just a few pages without drama well the author probably intended to make fun of the scenario. Or the manga was cancelled and they had to get together as quickly as possible.^^

        Also, I wouldn’t say he was a father figure. He is older, and she stays with him because of family trouble, so theoretically he has the place of a caretaker, but I don’t think he is portrayed as a father figure.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted June 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        okay so i just read it, and wtf did i just read lmao. although it’s written in the typical yamashita tomoko style the plot was blah and then the ending got…evangelion-like? all of a sudden a shift in tone and focus, throwing the plot out the window and some commentary on common shoujo tropes. i wouldn’t exactly say it’s satire, although the girl reasoning her sudden relationship with the dude with gold digger reasons (LOL) comes pretty close. so yeah, complete fail as a romance manga, not enough aim as a satire, just random jokes and commentary by the end.

        at least it was written in her typical style, which i love so much (the word marriage being turned into a rap lol)

  7. Posted June 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Stereotypically at least—though in my and my friends’ experience there’s truth to it—a lot of traditional Asian parents have trouble showing affection for their kids. Sometimes the words “I love you” are never spoken; at most it’s “I’m proud of you.” This emotional distance multiplies when Dad is a workholic who doesn’t come home until very late because he has to go out drinking with the boss, and Mom cares more about test scores than kids’ well-being emotionally. The result is a lot of affection-starved kids, male and female, and a lot of anime might be seen as working out some of the effects of that. (See: Kasuga’s mom in Aku no Hana—that’s a believable mom.)

    From Arrested Development, in a scene that is begging for an anime adaptation:

    Buster: Sister’s my new mother, mother! And is it just me, or is she getting hotter?
    Lucille (the mom): Why don’t you just marry her, then?
    Buster: MAYBE I WILL!

    • Scamp
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      That’s an interesting take on it. Also since you are Asian according to your profile, I can happily take your version as being from experience rather than racism

  8. Joel
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Here I was hoping this was the shoujo adaptation of Big Girls Don’t Cry

  9. Aris Katsaris
    Posted June 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    “which I would normally categorise as something every human being should do rather than just something just good humans do,”

    Uh, I’m confused about what you mean — wouldn’t a typical description of a good human be that they do what humans should do?

    Or are you just noting a distinction between “good humans” and “not completely evil humans” and saying that this is something that both good humans and average humans do, and only complete villains wouldn’t?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Not really. Humans do lots of crappy things. Like kill people and be steal and so on. To err is to human and all that shtuff

  10. Posted June 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    This manga is composed of 3 parts.

    First, many of the usual clichés you see in everyday shoujo, and yes after I properly went on to check, the girl-marries-her-legal-guardian or cohabitation=romance happens one too many times in shoujo and josei.
    The useless parents. and many others already in the book.

    Second all the dick and sexual harassment jokes.

    And third a likeable heroin.

    I do think the self-awareness is part of the comedy, because even though it seems serious in many of the scenes, even the whole “we are getting marries” thing is more sarcasm that something we must buy as believable.

    For me the manga more of an “Hey this girl falls in love with this nudist who previously harassed her, it happens all the time in shoujo, isn’t it absurd?” + dick jokes.

    At least that’s how I took it. the plot is so unbelievable I don’ think the author expected the audience to take it seriously at all.
    Which I think it fulfilled it purpose, I mean, you questioned it, “why did this girl fall for this guy on this ridiculous situation?”

    Ps: If this made you shiver I’m glad you didn’t read Satanic Sweet from the same author. The manga updates categories it includes are bdsm, blackmail, female dominance, masochism & sadism, and Student-teacher relationship… or perhaps you’d have liked it more.

    • gw_kimmy
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      satanic sweet was actually really funny in a really weird way…lol. the girl is awesome.

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