Ero Week: Sundome cemented my new relationship


For several months, I've been in a relationship that I couldn't be happier about. The girl I'm with, Sam, is beautiful, smart and doesn't take any sh*t from me. I'm utterly smitten by her, and with good reason.

One thing about her, though: she isn't hardcore into anime and manga like, well, the guy she's dating is. Sure, Sam reads some manga and will occasionally watch anime with me, but it's not like she's hounding the latest fansub releases or anything on the Internet. Which, honestly, is a great thing. It's important to not be mired in one subject all day, every day. Instead, we shared other interests, and it helped me rediscover things that are important to me that aren't Japan-related.

But, on that first trip to my house, Sundome proved to test the limits of our relationship.

As you know, I'm well past the level of "obsessed" with Sundome. It's a manga that I truly adore for the romances that build throughout the manga and watching a less-than-normal relationship between two people blossom into something truly magical. Plus, the sexy-time artwork is plenty hot for me.

Now, I knew better than to go around parading this title to a girl who I just recently started dating and had no idea how much she got down to the concept of 2-D girls and sex. When we did talk about manga, I kept it as mainstream as I possibly could -- sticking to titles like Pluto, Black Jack and Twin Spica. Alright, they weren't the most mainstream of titles, but I wasn't about to profess my love for Bleach or anything, either.

One day, Sam came over to my house, and while we were talking, she asked to borrow some manga from me. This is a request that I normally never have a problem with, as my friends borrow from me all the time -- and that giant box of ero manga from Icarus Publishing was safely boxed up and tucked in the corner. When I turned the corner and looked at my manga section, I realized that Sundome was sitting right there, out in the open. Next to it was Yubisaki Milk Tea, which didn't help my cause much more.

Sam took a look over my shoulder as I was crouching down, trying to find something to lend to her. That plan didn't go so well.

"Do you like horror/mystery," I said, holding up a few volumes of Higurashi.

"No, not really."

"How about sci-fi/adventure," was my next suggestion, holding up the first volume of Pluto.


I continued to search the shelf, staying as far away from Sundome as I could. There was my critical mistake, for when I turned my body away, it was clearly visible to her.

"Hey, what's that one?"

I suppose the minimalist artwork on the covers of Sundome make for an eye-grabber, and it certainly did for my girlfriend. She works at Barnes & Noble, and this was one of the titles they didn't carry.

"Oh, uh this?" I was at a loss for words, unsure of how to actually defend myself owning this title. Sure, I was proud to own it, but when you've started putting your heart out there for a girl, you get flustered.

Without thinking, I handled the title over to her, and nervously joked that if she read that, she'd probably break up with me. "It can't be that bad," she quipped. So, she flipped through it real quick, gave me an inquisitive look when she came across some of the sexier artwork, and put it in her purse. We had a great time otherwise that night.

Over the next few days, I joke with some of my friends that it's the end of the relationship now that she's borrowed Sundome, and they agreed. After all, a rusty nail down the ol' trouser snake doesn't make for the most endearing image when you start dating someone new. But I suppose it's worth it to lay it all out on the line and see if someone accepts you for who you are.

I called Sam several days later, and she had read it.

She found it amusing more than anything. And no, she wasn't going to dump me over the manga. It was a bit strange, but she liked me too much to let that manga ruin things. We've been happily together ever since, and she's taken quite well to Yotsuba&! and Ouran High School Host Club.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Sam knows that Taiga is still first in my heart, and she's okay with that.

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Brad Rice
Brad RiceFounder   gamer profile

Brad helped found in 2006, and currently serves as an Associate He's covered all aspects of the industry, but has a particular preference for the business-end of things, more + disclosures



Filed under... #Ero Week #Japanator Original #manga #top stories



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