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.
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.