Yuri Manga: Love Gene Double X, Volume 2 (恋愛遺伝子XX )

May 9th, 2014

Years after all the men on Earth died suddenly, women developed a method of reproducing without them and then, inexplicably, enforced a 2-“gender” society on themselves. Survivors are split into Adams and Eves, and Eves are, predictably, given lesser status. Oh yes, let’s please bake internalized misogyny into this man-less world, that’s a great idea. Grrrr.

In Volume 1, Koshiro Aoi has come to the toppest of all the top schools to take her revenge on the Kokonoe family for the insult done to her mother, but instead falls in love with a scion of the Kokonoe family, Sakura. Both Aoi and Sakura are Adams so their love is forbidden. Grrrr. What will happen, since the two of them are ridiculously obvious? Well, in Volume 2 of Love Gene Double X (恋愛遺伝子XX ) , they continue to be ridiculously obvious to pretty much everyone. Erika-sama, the Top Eve at school hatches a plan to separate them permanently, but the plot fails and instead they are discovered together after having been intimate. Erika-sama becomes sympathetic to us when we learn she became an Eve for Sakura (she had been an Adam to that point) and she ultimately is nice to her pawn, Momiji.

The Toppest Top Star evar, Sakura’s sister shows up (in a Helicopter!!!), whisks them away, provides helpful expository about the grievous insult done to Aoi’s mother (she lost her rank as Adam to be with a Kokonoe, who left her for another dve…which really is a shitty thing to have happen,) why there’s an Adam and Eve system at all (when the men died, there weren’t many lesbians and the survivors were assholes about it,) and how she has every intention of changing society when she’s in charge.

Any lingering positive feeling about the ending is crushed in an epilogue that made me want to spit. Erika returns to being an Adam and gets Momiji, Sakura becomes an Eve so she and Aoi can be together and the general frisson of heteronormativity just exhausted me.

The only positive moment is when Sumire basically points out the utter stupidity of heteronormative laws, both now and in her time. Other than that, the story was a rubber band ball of disappointment. Every layer of disappointment one peeled away left one disappointed all over again in a brand new way.

Everything about this manga has rubbed me the wrong way since I read the very first chapter. Now that it’s over I cannot honestly say I hated it, nor can I say I liked it. My first and most consistent reaction to it is to bare my teeth and growl. Grrrr. It could have been a terrific Yuri fantasy story. Instead it started off as fake BL, then shifted towards what looked like it might actually address an issue, then veered away into sex scenes (both “bent” by the rules of this world, as one is two Eves and the other two Adams) then sort of nodded in the direction of dealing with the problem, then threw that out with the bathwater. The end.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 5 I think about it, and sigh heavily
Characters – The characters are still the best part. By the end I actually almost liked a few of them
Yuri – 9
Service – 5 Mostly breasts, some full, generic nudity

Overall – 6

In a perfect world, I would have been the editor for this series and it would have been a grillion times better. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

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5 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    This series…this series. It had such potential but it squandered it.

  2. Liz says:

    Sorry for the double post, but this why I’m happy their are lesbians who write Yuri because the sheer amount of heteronormativity makes me angry. The writers clearly didn’t put any effort into really thinking about their premise at all.

  3. As soon as I read the first paragraph, my palm went straight to my forehead and I shook my head sadly at the realization that the entire premise of this “Yuri” manga is the one BL genre convention that has long annoyed me the most: the notion that in any same-sex relationship, one partner must be the “man”, the other must be the “woman”, and the “man” must always be in charge, as if the Japanese mind were so conservative that it cannot even conceive of a relationship between equals. In other words, the whole “seme/uke” cliché given a sex-change operation and renamed “Adams & Eves”. This of course is the first thing I would edit out.

    Then in the last paragraph you bring up a more fundamental annoyance: plot-derailing evasion. And what are the authors, editors, and publishers evading? How wrong the premise of same-sex heteronormativity actually is, as if the publishers are wishing upon a falling star that the readers don’t see through it. But then, if the intended readers are our old f(r)iends the “Yuri danshi”, such a travesty begins to make sense: the fetish, after all, must be serviced, so sexual hierarchy complete with internalized misogyny is not even perceived as a problem.

    I second both Liz’s posts too.

    Sorry if I’ve hardly even been lurking lately, but I’ve been otherwise preoccupied (with editing my own novel, among other things). But this rubbed me the wrong way too (another sign of the decline and fall of Japanese pop culture, alas), so I felt the urge to comment…

  4. Mara says:

    I am in agreement it seems with everyone. I was even more saddened by this as I am a huge fan of the artists/writers behind this and really enjoyed their previous try at Yuri.

    At the risk of saying something controversial I do get the feeling that this is a direct result of the two authors switching major roles. Zaou has always had this bad undercurrent in her writing while Eiki has not. Just look at their solo works.

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