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,  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. 😑 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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One Response 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.

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