Thursday, May 4, 2023

Doughnuts under a Crescent Moon volume 4 (Manga Review) - hint, it's terrible

Two adult women holding hands smiling and in love
    Whelp, "Doughnuts Under a Crescent Moon" volume 4 (the final volume) manages to take a very mediocre manga and absolutely destroy it with a major "fuck you" at the very end. If you don't want spoilers, don't read the rest of this post. 
    Basically, for 3.99 volumes it's been a series about two women gradually coming to see that what they want from the other is an actual romantic relationship. And while it's been fairly pedestrian in writing, and a bit sub-par in art, it's been harmless enough. Boring really, but harmless.
    However, and here's the big SPOILER, at the very end of the very last chapter, when they finally get together as a couple, they conclude it by saying (I'm about to paraphrase): "Even though we love each other, are romantically interested in each other, and want to spend the rest of our lives together, and even though I just came out to my mom, neither of us actually want to touch or kiss the other person." 
    Now before you get upset at me, I fully and wholeheartedly support folks on the asexual spectrum. But "Bloom Into You" this is not. There have been zero, NO, hints at any point throughout the series that these were asexual individuals looking for romance only. If that had been the point of the series, then fine, I would love the nonchalant representation. But, there was no indication that was the point. 
    I would also have been fine if they got together and left the details of their sexual interest totally unspoken and up to the reader to imagine for the future. But that this manga, after spending four volumes getting two adult women together (and boy howdy do we need  some real Josei instead), it just ups and gives a big "fuck you" to lesbians by refusing to acknowledge that it is OKAY that they have sexual lives.
    Is it pandering to Japan's conservative culture by trying to be a mainstream josei about two women that won't offend anyone? I don't know. Is it badly written, yes it is. Does that lack of sex life come out of nowhere? Yes it does. Do you hate it when people ask themselves questions and then answer them? Yes I do, but I'm doing it anyway.
    Back to the point. The series was bland, but at least it was about two adult women falling in love. As a 43 year old lesbian, I want adult LGBTQ+ representation in manga. But whether it doesn't exist, or just isn't being translated, I am so disappointed that this is the crap we get in English. Don't bother with this series. It isn't any sort of legitimate representation of lesbians, asexual individuals, or anything. What a waste of an opportunity.

Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

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