What Manga Do You Regret Reading?

What Manga Do You Regret Reading?

From time to time, I get asked really good questions that make me think. In some Twitch stream I had a couple of years ago (or so), someone in the chat asked me if there was an anime or manga I regretted reading. At the time, I couldn’t really think of anything. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop) had a horrible ending (in my opinion), but I didn’t regret reading it. I can still reread the first few volumes of the series where things were really good.

However, I recently saw a tweet out of Japan regarding a manga series that pissed me off so much, I dropped it. And so did the scanlation community. What series is that? Spotted Flower. And it truly qualifies as a manga that I regret even starting.

Spotted Flower Story, in Brief

The story begins a young married couple. The husband, whom we’ll call !Madarame, is an otaku who still likes ero games and such. The wife, whom we’ll call !Saki, is pregnant and now in her safe period. And she wants to have marital relations with her husband. However, he has an issue about having sex when his child is in his wife’s womb. As such, she spends a lot of time pondering how to get him passed this hangup.

Spotted Flower

Meanwhile, a former college club mate, !Hato, who dresses as a woman and got breast implants, but still has all the male parts and identifies as male, works on manga and doujinshi stuff with his partner, manager, and lover, !Yajima. !Hato is still attracted to !Madarame and they meet up as friends from time to time. !Saki also meets up with former college club member and friend, !Ohno from time to time.

!Saki gives birth to their daughter. A lot of their old college friends and club mates come by, including !Kousaka, !Saki’s former boyfriend. This makes !Madarame feel jealous and pathetic. As such, he takes the bait left by !Hato, who comes by !Madarame and !Saki’s home. The drunk !Madarame decides to boff !Hato, but can’t perform. As such, !Hato boffs !Madarame, then reports back to !Yajima on this. !Madarame realizes this is cheating on his wife.

Alt-universe Genshiken and Genshiken Nidaime

When I first started reading Spotted Flower, I really liked it. It was clear that Kio-sensei used the characters Madarame and Saki from Genshiken and Genshiken Nidaime. However,Β  Kio-sensei always denies that the characters in Spotted Flower are characters from his Genshiken works. And yet he doesn’t deny the resemblance. Plus the Spotted Flower publisher is different from Genshiken.

That aside, the first volume is mainly about !Saki wanting to have sex with her husband, now that she’s able to do so in her pregnancy. And I admit, this lead to some pretty funny moments. I also couldn’t understand !Madarame’s reluctance to have sex with his wife. Granted, I’ve never been married, so I’ve never been in that situation. But the young me would have had no problems. The old me thinks, “Well, my junk would be right at my child’s body, which now feels nasty and incestuous.”

Spotted Flower

Volume 2 is where Kio-sensei decides to expand the number of non-Genshiken characters. And I was okay with this. I liked the idea of seeing the “what if?” Genshiken world and the characters therein. (Though back when this was first published, I hoped Genshiken Nidaime would put the characters on the Spotted Flower path. Thankfully, it did not.) Things were a lot of fun.

Then the chapters that make volume 3 dropped. πŸ˜‘ I stopped reading it, other Western fans were angry and stopped reading it, and even the scanlation folks decided they wanted nothing to do with it.

Why I Regret Reading Spotted Flower

I loved the Genshiken manga quite a lot. It was a fun look at Japanese otaku life, and the changing nature of said culture. Genshiken Nidaime continued this, though I never cared for the new characters that much. That manga was best when it looked in on the original Genshiken characters. However, it was still enjoyable enough for me to buy the entire manga series.

Spotted Flower Chapter 19

The reason I regret reading Spotted Flower is that Kio-sensei CLEARLY put his Genshiken characters into “what if” situations. So when he starts writing chapters (and mini-chapters) that would make up volume 3, he decided to take a huge dump on them. !Saki’s ex-boyfriend shows up for a moment to see the baby and his two friends, then leaves. So “naturally”, !Madarame gets jealous, feels inferior, then runs off to have sex with someone else. What the…?!

And this is where the huge dump begins. !Hato wants to boff !Madarame. He helps set up things to take advantage of !Madarame’s insecurities. !Yajima is fine with !Hato boffing !Madarame, even though she’s in a sexual relationship with !Hato. And all this happening because who cares about !Saki and her feelings! Frankly, I never saw any of the Genshiken characters doing any of this rubbish.

To be honest, Spotted Flower made it so that my desire to reread Genshiken or Genshiken Nidaime is all but non-existent. Yes, I realize Spotted Flower is a “what if?” world. But it irritates me that Kio-sensei wanted to put these characters into this situation. And as I understand it, he continued the butcher process with other !Genshiken characters as Spotted Flower has five volumes out now.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. Kio-sensei took the beloved characters from the Genshiken franchise and placed them into a future, “what if?” world. Then after two volumes of ecchi, fun, interesting, and sometimes pretty funny material, he decided to take a huge dump on said characters and world. Thus I regret reading Spotted Flower.

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9 Responses to “What Manga Do You Regret Reading?”

  1. Yue Ayase says:

    Fairy Tail. To this day it’s more or less the only series I’ve ever given up on.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I know it is YEARS late (’cause I somehow missed this back in the day), but why’d you give up on it?

  2. arimareiji says:

    Holy hand grenades of Antioch, Batman. (>_<)

    I would say "Bullet dodged", but this feels more like "Hellfire R9X missile dodged". (0_o)

    But the young me would have had no problems. The old me thinks

    Thank heaven for the blessing of testosterone levels dropping as we get older. (^_^)ΒΊ

    • arimareiji says:

      Belated metaphor update: Instead of a missile, it feels more like by sheer luck I avoided stepping on a land mine of squick. And now thanks to your warning, I’ll know to never step on it (^_^)ΒΊ. (“Eww” doesn’t seem strong enough.)

      And clarification wrt testosterone levels dropping… personally I’m grateful, because it’s given me some respite from the truth of Robin Williams’ joke about God giving men two brains (but only enough blood for one to operate at a time).

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        Haha! Yeah, getting older certainly causes the second brain to not function as much as it once did. πŸ˜…

  3. I regret buying and reading the anime biography of Osamu Tezuka.
    It told anime/manga fans nothing that they could not have
    otherwise learned about this author/artist who lived for
    his work and never took care of his health. He was
    driven apparently but whether by his art and talent
    of a desire for worldly success we do not know.

    I was hoping that it would be as good as a Drifting Life which
    is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by
    Yoshihiro Satsuma that chronicles his life from 1945 to 1960,
    the early stages of his career as a manga artist. It was also
    the early stages of the development of manga as industry.
    The final pages deal with a commemorative banquet some years
    after Tezuka’s death. I thought it was a wonderful book which I bought on sight at Broders in San Francisco which we lost to the Internet marketeers.

    Then I read the manga “Showa History of Japan” by Shirgo Mizuki
    which covers the end of the previous Imperial reign and the
    beginning of Showa which was the reign of Hirohito and Mizuki,
    aka Mura, was born then and was forced into the Japanese
    Imperial army in WW II or the Pacific War as the Japanese knew
    it. It covers his bad boy days as a child in prewar Japan,
    then his service, his loss of his right arm and his struggles
    after WW II to earn a living finally his success as a mangaka.
    He published it right after the death of Hirohito.

    After those two I expected a lot more from the Tezuka biography
    and I was roundly disappointed.


  4. I have only seen part of Spotted Flower and regret that I have
    not seen the whole manga. I loved Genshiken and read all of
    In Japan it is common for talented fans to write stories
    shipping characters from published works which when published
    are called dojinshi. The big fan shows that Genshiken celebrates
    are the marketplace for the general new stuff as well as
    dojin works. I believe sensei started in manga with published
    dojin. He extends the process in the Spotted Flower and
    other writers have done the same.


    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Spotted Flower is still getting a slow release in Japan. I’m not sure how often that new chapters get published, but it is pretty slow.

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