Yuri Manga: Yagate Kimi ni Naru, Volume 3 (やがて君になる )

January 26th, 2017

In Volume 3 of Nakatani Nio’s Yagate Kimi ni Naru, (やがて君になる) some very good things happen and some very not good things happen. 

I will begin with the not-good things, which is to say, the main plot continues to throw up some serious warning signs. In my reviews of Volume 1 and Volume 2, I have expressed very real concerns about this narrative. And generally, I’ve received a lot of flack for this opinion. To make my point I am going to review Volume 3, but I will pretend Touko is a guy. I will call him Tou-kun. It is very important that you play along with me, so you understand my point. Thank you. 

Yuu is very happy with her relationship with Tou-kun. She is pleased to accompany him as a friend, to support him in Student Council endeavors and to cheer him on in the club relay. But, Tou-kun clearly wants more from Yuu than she is comfortable giving. He coerces her into kissing him from time to time, without her express consent. And, on the eve of the sports festival he insists that, if he wins his race, she will kiss him for real, taking the lead. She does not dislike kissing him, but she does not like it, either and really is made deeply uncomfortable by this request.

When the time comes, Tou-kun drags her to a quiet place and demands his ‘reward.’ Yuu just cannot bring herself to do it….

Hopefully, my point becomes plain in this scenario. If Touko was a guy, the lack of consent and coercion she is using on Yuu would be disturbing to most of you. It should be no less disturbing because she is a girl. Coercion is coercion and lack of consent is lack of consent.

***

That having been said, as it must, a side plot has become very interesting. The book begins with an extended look at Sayaka, Touko’s Vice President on the Student Council. It has been very obvious to me from the beginning that her feelings for Touko are much more than merely friendship and that while she understands those feelings will not be returned, she resents Yuu for being the target of Touko’s attention, when she herself longs for it.

In Volume 2, Sayaka learned, quite unexpectedly, that her homeroom teacher is going out with the owner of the cafe they had visited.   In Volume 3, we see that the two women live together and are lovers. Sayaka’s nascent gaydar is activated and she goes back to the cafe to speak with the owner, who turns out to be a very decent person. Miyako admits that she figured Sayaka was gay, and confirms that, yes, she and the teacher (as we had ourselves seen in a lovely homelife scene) are lovers. Sayaka is thrilled to have an example of an adult woman in a stable relationship and I was likewise thrilled for her to have one as a person to get advice from and, as a role model. Miyako is very helpful and Sayaka feels much unburdened.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 3 or 8, depending on whose story we’re talking about
Characters – 9
Yuri – 8
Service – 1

Overall – 8….

…the beginning of the volume gave me hope, but the end of the volume was very frustrating. At *least* Nakatani-sensei has given readers a not-dysfunctional relationship with Riko and Miyako  and a smart, self aware young lesbian in Sayaka. Because what’s going on with Yuu and Touko is really not okay.

You can decide for yourself whether you consider this a problematic narrative or not, as Bloom Into You, Volume 1 is now available in English from Seven Seas.

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16 Responses

  1. Sacae says:

    It kind of depends what the endgame is.

    Their relationship is dysfunctional and I think that’s the point. We aren’t told to look at this as if this was the right thing. At least, I don’t feel that way. It feels like I’m being told ‘look how messed up this is’.

    Touko is a thoroughly messed up and unfair person. Not only is Yuu caught up in this, bit Touko even is aware she is being unfair to Sayaka as well.

    Yuu isn’t fair either really. She’s using this to try and draw out this feeling of love people talk about, and she is drawn to how fragile Touko is sometimes.

    Touko straight up means ‘don’t fall in love with me’ when she says ‘don’t come to hate me’ and Yuu understands her and walks that tightrope.

    I don’t think we are to be rooting for Touko and hoping Yuu just finally finds love with her. Touko doesn’t even want that love. There’s nothing to root for.

    If there is, it’s hope that Yuu gets out of this situation and understands more of herself.

    I don’t know if you can call it a problematic narrative if the point may very well be ‘this is messed up, right?’

    Then again, as I said that depends on the endgame – this is just how I felt as a reader while reading at this point in time. For all I know, they get together in the end and no good lessons are learned and I just spoke out of my ass assuming.

    • I appreciate your perspective but absolutely disagree. Yuu is not at all “messed up.” She has been clearly stating her position from the beginning and all she lacks is someone else telling her “That’s perfectly fine.”

      Touko is also not “messed up.” She is ignoring someone else’s boundaries because she’s not respecting their opinion.

      And if the endgame is romance, as the bulk of fans seem to want, then yes this is a very problematic narrative. The only endgame that would be acceptable at this point is if Yuu learns the word “asexual” and is able to verbalize it and Touko recognizes she needs to stop. I sincerely doubt that this will happen, and so, I absolutely do “call it a problematic narrative.” You are welcome to disagree. ^_^

      • Sacae says:

        Maybe I sounded too harsh. Just what Touko is doing really really rubs me the wrong way in too many ways.

        I feel like forcing your love on someone, knowing they don’t want it, and also denying them the right to fall in love back (or even fall in love with others) is kind of messed up on Touko’s end.

        I don’t think Yuu is messed up at all. The relationship is. I just meant there are some times when she’s not fair either.

        I guess what I’m trying to say, is I’m hoping for an endgame in which they see how dysfunctional their relationship is – learn from it – and move on. While, beyond hope, wishing they don’t end up together.

        So I guess I’m giving the author too much credit? Or hoping for too much?

        • Yes, we agree on this point completely. You weren’t harsh.

          Like most fans you’re probably hoping for the story to pull out a good ending. I am not confident it will, but was VERY happy to see the adult relationship posed so clearly in counterpoint. –> Look, this is what a good relationship looks like.<--

  2. Red says:

    I’m interested in seeing more about Sayaka as well. I’m finding a lot of times that the side character becomes more interesting than the main pair to me in these stories for some reason.

  3. Sara Auttenberg says:

    From the sounds of things, I really do hope they go the “Yuu is aromantic” route with things. Touko really has some boundary issues even in the first volume, and for it to go on for three volumes without her really improving, it doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship is even possible.

    Plus, the only other asexual character I can even think of is Fueko from Watashi no Sekai o Kousei Suru Chiri no You na Nanika, and I’d be interested to see a character who’s also aromantic, especially a protagonist.

  4. Sacae says:

    What you think of Maki?

  5. Will says:

    It’s funny you brought this up because I was just having a conversation with someone about being weirded out by people suddenly thinking a kidnap and attempted rape plot was somehow not creepy when it was a woman doing it to a teenage girl.

    This is a major problem I have with a lot of yaoi/yuri or queer works in general. I don’t get why stuff like stalking, kissing or touching without consent or flat out emotional abuse become okay when it’s done by two girls or two boys.

    * Note I haven’t read the series in question so I’m just commenting on trends I’ve noticed in general.

    • I agree completely with this, Will. Some time ago there was a series called Gokujou Drops, which I found to be vile,as it was predicated upon sexual harassment and coercion. People who were not me loved it. I found it almost impossible to read, much less to like.

      It’s perfectly fine to like those as fetishes (although they wont ever appeal to me) but the mental gymnastics to explain them away as something else, boggles my mind.

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