Authors Note: Major Spoilers Ahead
Sometimes you stumble upon a Shonen Jump weekly that, well. Makes you want to scream literally every second of the 277 chapters that unfold in front of you. Leaving one defeated, enthralled, and just fucking confused about what they just read. It is in this rare moment that one may discover that holy shit I just found gold, smut step sister fucking gold, and boy did it make me cry.
So if anyone read my Assassins Pride bit you would learn that even when I was watching that show there was something else grabbing my attention more aggressively. Domestic Girlfriend, a hit Shonen turned one season anime that got so much shit for being trash it piqued my interest.
A manga that has so many uncensored tits, and sex scenes to boot I was always looking over my shoulder in public to make sure no one confirms I am indeed a weirdo perv. Domestic Girlfriend got its rap pretty quick, ranking a 6.82 on MAL. It was horny trash that played by hentia rules. It read like a show with an idiot protag that was looking to get his dick wet, but it wasn’t, and good god, did this series end me.
For those who have no idea what I am talking about, I should remind you imma spoil the shit out of this, per normal. But Domestic Girlfriend follows three mains. Tachibana Rui, aka best girl. Tachibana Hina, aka SILF (Or SSILF), and the boy Fujii, Natsuo. The guy who tries too hard.
So this cluster of screaming mess starts when Natsuo, an average teenage student falls in love with his English teacher, Hina. Now at this point, we know where this is going, a love affair between the 24-year-old adult and the 17-year-old “child”. Boy, I am going to get flake for this. I actually get both points this early in the story. Natsuo loves Hina, really, and she loves him. BUT this is the ‘real’ world so nothing is cut and dry. Trying to understand how each other feels Natsuo does something outside his norm, he goes to a mixer.
It is at this mixer he meets a cold, uninterested, just general kill joy Rui. As she leaves to go get snacks Natsuo follows her, in which they agree to blow this joint and sleep with one another. Cutting ties right away it is a done deal, both of them have lost their virginities and we can move on with our lives, right?
Did I mention Natsuo’s mom died from an illnesss a bit back oh! No? Well, guess who his new stepmom is.
Enter Tsukiko Tachibana, the mother of none other than Hina and Rui.
Confronted with this fact Natsuo tries to navigate the world that was now his normal. Living with the woman he loves and the girl he slept with. The start of this series was an interesting narrative. A conflict of understanding one’s emotions that are already taboo be doubled down on. You aren’t allowed to fuck your teacher, but what if she was your step sis? Turns out still can’t do that.
This sets up the narrative that will play out through the rest of the story. Trying to figure out his feelings, and what it means to be a writer, Natsuo also struggles with the newfound fact his beloved Hina’s current lover is married, meaning she is caught up in an affair. This becomes a conflict point for both Rui and Natsuo, their reasons mostly their own. The two decide to confront Hina’s lover, Hagiwara, Shuu, and confront his cheating ways. While doing so however Rui loses her cool throwing water in his face before storming out, Natsuo following suit. Deciding it would be in the best interest of her new family Hina breaks off the affair, not returning to Shuu for the rest of the series.
Deciding they needed a day to make up Hina decides to take Natsuo out and they drive to the beach, this one of the times I can really see where team Hina is coming from. Even though she is an airhead and a half she is super sweet and caring, she is mature and understands the risks of her and Natsuo being an item, but none the less he pushes forward, putting his feelings on full display for her. Pulling him to his feet she matches his feelings as they start slowly walking out into the ocean.
Now this scene I think a lot of people thought was a bit much but I disagree, honestly, this was the time I liked Hina the most. She understands the risks of dating a student not only for her but for him. She gives him an ultimatum, if he is willing to die with her, she will accept his feelings. I get that this seems like a bit much but social suicide is a very real thing and something that both of them would be risking. She was correct, there would be no way for them to keep their relationship a secret forever. Losing his cool to such a blunt answer of logic he backs off, and they return to shore as siblings, not lovers.
Of course, Natsuo regrets his decision almost immediately and decides to strike like hot iron, proving to Hina and the world she is worth giving up everything for. Of course, this would have been much easier if Rui hadn’t started falling in love with him. It was subtle at first, she was cold towards him but would randomly ask for kisses and other odd things. And Natsuo being rejected put him in a spot where he (dumbly) obliged. In one said moment Hina walks in, and even more train wrecks this series that was clearly supposed to be set up for Hina and Natsuo. However by some work of the Lord himself Natsuo wins over this little incident and finally with a stroke of his pen and the purchase of a ring convinces Hina that his love is true and he is willing to accept hers as well, boom they become an item.
What follows is pretty much them being a couple, and honestly, I wasn’t against it. I think this arc is where Hina shines the brightest and with her finally being honest with herself the adoration she has for Natsuo really makes even the strongest Rui supports falter. (I would know, I am one) Most of the drama points on this end come from Rui as she starts to accept the fact the feelings she has for Natsuo aren’t so simple. It doesn’t help at this time Hina and he are on the super down low and even though she has moved out and started living on her own. Most of the time after school Natsuo is there leaving Rui to get dinner alone. Naturally, you can’t have too many chapters without a train wreck so one night when he tells Rui he is going to be home late due to being at a friends this darling finds out it is going to rain that evening and decides to go and get him because he didn’t have an umbrella. Finding out is has ‘already left’ she decides to go to her sister’s apartment finding both of them there.
This boils the secret to a tipping point forcing Natsuo to confront Rui and come clean. Not thrilled she agrees that she wants her sister to be happy and does whatever she can to support, them, errr kinda. The rest of this arc plays out pretty cookie-cutter, Hina and Natsuo keep everything hidden quite nicely up until the night of the festival, the first night they sleep together.
In the following days, it is brought to the attention of the admin’s office that a picture of students had a hotel in the backdrop. In one of the windows, Hina and Natsuo kissing. Hina immediately goes on the defense for her boyfriend, dropping to her knees swearing she will do anything to make this right just make sure Natsuo doesn’t receive any backlash. They come to an agreement, she would transfer, they would keep it on the down-low but she will not talk to him for an unspecified amount of time. Without a word however, Hina stays by Natsuo side, going on dates, acting like there is no issue in the world and they will always have each other. This is no shit like around chapter 40 I think, out of 277, one thing that this book does well is keeping you anxious. Oh? You’re happy? Hina best girl? Trust me, we are going to fuck that up.
So as the life of the couple seem to go as normal the end of the school year comes, and everyone is in attendance to bring in the new school year. Before the ceremony, however, there is a speaker, Hina. Her statement short but heartfelt, she had enjoyed the time at this school, but due to some reason, she must transfer. And just like that, she becomes a ghost. Her parents, her sister, and her lover lose all contact with her, she moves away to start a new life, leaving only a single note for Natsuo informing him of why and coming to terms they have to move on.
Utterly annihilated Natsuo slumps into a colossal depression to the point his parents figure out that what they assumed, he and Hina were a thing, was true. Giving up on everything he wasted away in bed, not eating or caring what was going on in the outside world, to him his world, his love, was gone. It is at this arc (BEST GIRL) Rui steps the fuck up and turns from a cold indifferent person into one of the most fleshed-out characters in the whole story.
Coming to terms that Natsuo needs to write to get out of this he once again picks up the pen, searching the pain and the loss to craft something that justifies what he feels. At his side, supporting him, doing everything in her power is Rui, almost too a fault. Honestly, she falls codependent pretty hard early on, desperate to help him she gets the info of where Hina is and tries to get him to go see her, literally looking for anything to make him happy even if it means seeing his ex, her sister. Refusing, Natsuo states that he will not be able to face her until he is a professional writer, it is only then would they be able to get past this and be with each other.
Burring the information Rui decides there are other ways to help him, make him dinner, help with his writing, etc, etc. It is through this something else starts to grow between the two, Rui, fairly early on learns to understand that she is falling in love with him. In one event she gets into his bed, while his eyes are close she challenges Hina, stating she isn’t going to hold back anymore for her sake. (Then Natsuo naturally becomes like “what the hell does that mean women are whack” classic male main)
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to describe this arc, it is one of the longer ones, but nothing happens. Honestly, it all comes summed up to one scene but the things that happen before that scene are this. Natsuo wins an award for his short story about Hina, he doubles down on writing, he runs into some girls that are into him and he makes a friend named AL. I am by no means discrediting this part of the story, it is key to build the idea of what will happen since page after page you remain unsure. But as far as the main plot-driving point it comes down to this, Rui words, simply “I come towards you, you push me away, I go away you peruse me. It’s annoying” and she is right, it is. At this point Natsuo has pretty much moves on from Hina and sees Rui in a different light and learns to appreciate her in that respect, in a nutshell, or brother went from one sister to the other, kinda.
I wanted to make a point of the school trip to the island where Hina is currently staying. This was pretty much the first major conflict point that happens between Rui and Natsuo. Sure Rui gets called out from time to time, but they aren’t Hina, we have no reason to think any of these peasants are threats. But when word comes down that Kiriya, Reiji, Natuso’s English teacher he isn’t fucking. Has a book that is getting the film treatment, the lit club trip becomes the talk of the town.
When Rui hears the name she decides to burry it, hoping on the fact that aye they are on an island in which many people live, what are the chances he sees her sister? This is a light novel folks, of course, he sees her.
Being approached by Rui afterward she spills the beans, telling Natuso that yeah she knew but she didn’t want him to know for several reasons, this devolves into a desperate attempt by Rui. I don’t want you to go to her, I want you to come to me. Naturally, Natsuo does a “fuck that” and finds Hina only to get the cold shoulder. Personally, at this time I was put off by this. This was her man, he was doing the deed, he was playing by anime rules! But then I forgot, this was a hentia rules world. Defeated he leaves her, as he and his class are seen off by her, giving the ring she gave him back to her as a memento of understanding, it is time to move on.
Pointing out that Rui approaches her before this moment, annoyed at the fact that she turned him down. mentioning she can tell Hina cried all night after turning him away she talks to her in the sense that she is also falling for Natsuo and she can’t begin to understand how the two of them (Hina and Natsuo) can be this in love with one another and do everything in their power not to be together. It was an interesting showing of maturity on Hina’s part and coming of age for Rui, that for Rui dating Natsuo is fine, yeah they are step-siblings but honestly who cares, but for Hina it was a double down on taboo.
It is at this time the whole Rui v Natuso starts picking up, with Natuso ditching Momo, (thank god) looking for Rui as the pack with his bud Al ran up. In a nutshell, Al has a hard one for Rui, and challenges Natuso that he has until festival night to figure out how he feels. What is it with manga and festivals? Wasting no time after he finds her he confesses, and of course, she has turned down AL and is ecstatic to hear this from Natsuo, BOOM Natuso and the other sister are an item.
The following stories are in my opinion some of the best this series has to offer. It follows Rui and Natuso trying to figure out not only their feelings but their purpose in life. Natuso doubles down as a writer and enrolls in college joining the drama club as a playwright, while Rui under the direction of her father becomes attuned in the culinary world. Keeping their relationship secret to whoever knows them be step-siblings they struggle with codependency, jealously, and standing up to one another’s standards, trying not to pressure one another too much with their own problems. This is very common in young relationships and it was kinda nice to see this medium tackle the issues instead of glossing it over as just two love birds with no care in the world. This was something that Rui’s arc played out that Hina’s seemed to ignore. Hina and Natsuo seemed perfect, vibing each other to an unreal level. The only flaw existing the taboo that was her being his teacher.
This creates an equally cute but infuriating play as the two miss each other time and time again, even though if they would just talk to one another none of these conflicts would exist. But as they work to better themselves and each other, girls approach Natsuo but honestly, like mentioned before they are no real threat. The only thing that plays in the back of my mind as I was steaming through these chapters was one, single, girl.
Taking a great chance Rui goes to Italy to train some more, it was only for a couple of weeks however and even though she is very busy, she tries to make time to skype Natsuo, oh yeah this should be a good time to mention HINAS COMING HOME.
Expecting a major relapse the teacher turned hotel staff love for Natsuo remains as she wears a necklace with the rings they once traded every day. Much to my surprise however Natsuo steers clear, not doing anything that would imply that he still has feelings for her even though it is clear her presence is confusing to him. Debating rather or not to tell Rui who is still out of the country he worries about stressing her but decides its the best to be open, telling her she confides that she trusts him and that they are a couple and she doesn’t need to worry about her sister who happens to be his ex.
I am no shit walking around my apartment verbally yelling at every page at this point, this is spice and conflict I wasn’t expecting and it got my heart racing.
In a questionable choice, however, they decide to leave Hina in the dark about their relationship as Natsuo dances around her waiting for his girlfriend to return. This tension comes to a tipping point when Rui is staying over at his apartment once night and Hina, drunk as usual, comes over tackling him, telling him how much she loves him and how happy she is that they can now be together. Of course, this really upsets Rui and she decides to get Hina home and crash at the mutual friend Momo’s house. Unsure how to unpack what all just occur she doesn’t so much blame Natsuo but more tries to understand where she is in this picture. Hina and he were the originals, he risked everything for her and Hina lost everything because of him. Self-doubt sits in as she continues to avoid Natsuo to the point he waits in the rain one night very late for her to get off work, getting sick in the process. Upset that she had once again been a burden on him they patch things up and agree to tell Hina everything.
This was tasked to Rui, she goes into Hina’s room night stating they need to talk about Natsuo. Not wanting to confront the challenge in front of her Hina hints that she preferred they didn’t but Rui insists on confirming that they are indeed together, and she wants Hina to play the role of supporting sister, which she agrees to do. Now in my brain, I’m riding an adrenaline high, my girl is playing 5D chess, defeating bosses at every turn even her sister the OG. Of course, there is still like 100 fucking chapters so that anxiety that everything that can go wrong, well, is still very present on my mind.
This puts Hina in an interesting boat, due to her long love moving on to her sister she confides in her friend and dismisses the jabs she had about him. Stating that she knows Natsou well and if he loves Rui, he means it, and there is no room for her there anymore. This paired with the mention of an arranged marriage Hina starts seeing this guy, Kengo Tanabe, and takes him up on some dates. Now I figured when this started happening Natsou jealously would return, and so would his feelings for Hina but much to my surprise they never seem to. Instead, it turns out, after Hina officially rejects him returning all of his gifs Tanabe is an incel piece of shit.
So doing something that all three of them do that I literally cannot stand, not telling anyone anything. This man starts aggressively stalking and harassing her. It comes to a boiling point where Hina is left with no choice but to go to the cops. This leads to a calming period for about a week where seemingly everything dies down, until one day Hina is heading to meet Natsou for ramen. While on the phone with her however her voice becomes timid, picking up on the change in tone Natsou can immediately tell she is unsettled.
Seeing Tanabe across the streets, his eyes dead, she turns around and heads back to the hotel she works at. Chasing after her he brandishes and knife but at the last second Natsou gets in-between them, getting stabbed before kicking the man to the ground telling him to stay the fuck away then collapses. The wound turns out could be fatal, and utterly distraught Hina remains at his side the whole time while he is in a comma. Which is strange when you consider Rui is his lover, however, while visiting she overhears her mom and stepdad mentioning they should have never broken up Hina and Natsuo, that if they were destined to be with each other who were they to stop it?
This puts Rui in a thousand percent confused state. Not only is it possible her boyfriend might die protecting Hina, her beloved sister. But now everyone around her seems to be singing to the tune that if the fated couple were just able to be together, none of this would have ever happened.
Shrinking her presence in Natsuo’s life she stays at work most of the time, visiting now and then but is noticeably absent until the day he wakes up and slowly recovers. Getting through the insane amount of visitors and press he finally returns to a semi-normal life in which he and Rui are talking about the incident, he mentions that he would have done that for either of them but Rui quickly blows off the conversation creating more of a gap in their relationship.
On the writing front Natsuo is making strides, already penning an award-winning story, and a freshman play that had a massive success he is both making his teachers, and his ‘sisters’ proud. This is also the time another crush comes after Natsuo, and even though in the end it didn’t really matter I think the pressure she put on Rui and his relationship makes her important to note, enter Miyabi Serizawa. Serizawa is a star actress in the drama club, becoming the lead in Natsuo’s play she quickly becomes fond of him, showing clear interest in him Rui warns he should be careful around her for the sake of their relationship. They also have this moment where they go back to the place they first met, the place they decided to start dating, and other sentimental things. Knowing that the two of them will be long distance for at least a year Natsuo gets her a moon necklace, something to think of him whenever she is lonely and naturally they will wear the watches set to each other’s time zone.
So the move of Rui going to Net York for a year I one thousand percent thought would end in her sister cucking her, but oddly enough that didn’t (really) happen. Leaving on the note of Rui asking Hina to watch over him, but please don’t do anything that would make Rui cry. Taking the words to heart Hina complies burring her love for him deep within her.
Bummed that his girlfriend is going long distance Natsuo does his best to keep on writing while Serizawa decides that it’s time for war. After Rui accidentally tells her they are step-siblings she backed off a bit, disgusted by the fact that not only is he dating his step sister but his ex, is the other one. Though after time she discovers that it is not enough to rid this feeling for him and decides that this is the only chance to show her feeling for him is threw her acting.
Inviting him to one of her plays she is determined to strike him with such a performance he can not help but fall in love with her. Sadly her plan hit a speed bump when Natsuo goes to meet her backstage with Hina at his side. In a moment of pure terror, Serizawa feels that with him being that close to both of them there is no room for her on this stage, and in a panic kisses him.
And boy does this just really fuck up everything, like really. When this happened I was like “oh, well anyways” but no, this turned into a whole mess of things, and honestly I’m not sure how. So after a lot of thought, I tie this moment to Natsou losing his ability to write. The stress of Rui warning him about this, him wanting to be friends with Serizawa and be active in the club, and him not being able to handle the situation makes him feel as if he has betrayed Rui and others that are close to him. Now this is very important to note due to the fact writing is the only thing he has thought of himself to have any worth, and losing that, alone and isolated without Rui his anchor, he starts to sink.
This is amplified by the fact Rui’s roommate in NY teases him about Rui having a date tomorrow. Frustrated and confused Natsou starts to think she is going to go hang out with one of her coworkers that has a crush on her. (I forgot his name and I am too lazy to re-read it to find out, if Google doesn’t help me it gets omitted. This aint quality content chief)
In the slumps, unable to write or get ahold of Rui, he seeks advice from Serizawa and slowly starts to get ready, stopping due to a knock at the door. Opening it, stands Rui, in the flesh. Surprised by a lack of expression, she notices it is a bit strange he isn’t happier to see her. Embarrassed and worried she will find out about him hanging out with Serizawa he quickly tries to downplay and cancel the plans, but fails to as Rui finds out. Upset he was still talking to her, she walks out getting some air to see none other, Serizawa herself.
Pretty pissed at this point she asks her what she is doing there and if she is coming here to try to steal her boyfriend again? In which the response is no, we were supposed to meet for coffee but he was late and she was just simply checking on him. That he needed advice and it was simply just that. Of course, Rui being a jealous twat calls her out asking her why he needs her when he has me? Why can’t he come to me for advice? Striking back, the response from Serizawa is swift and cuts deep. She tells Rui Natsuo is unable to write.
Shocked, confused, baffled, Rui asks him if this is true and of course it is, and with that, she leaves. Goes back to their old house where Hina is shocked to see her. The following part plays like those two always do, they apologize, figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. And on the last day of Rui’s visit, she gives him a valentines day gifts with a simple message. We should break up.
One might say at this moment, riding on the Rui heroin high, it was a pretty rough crash.
In short, she understands she has become codependent. That she has been so caught up in work she failed to create within the relationship that if there are issues, no matter how small or big, she can be his foundation. She also understands that writing to him, was everything, it is a hole she, nor anyone could feel. And as she boards a plane back to New York she plans on taking the pain she feels to become better, for their sake, but she leaves Natsou virtually in the same state Hina had.
Being forced to come out that Rui had dumped him he gets invited to a mixer where he meets a girl who seems uninterested to be there. Approaching him she asks if he wants to skip out, pretty much doing the same thing Rui did but this time he isn’t much interested. The girl however persists, forcing herself into his apartment and staying all night even though he asks her to leave A LOT. This whole arc is stupid and you could easily take it out and nothing of the story is lost. It was a weird filler that the only plot point it leads to was Hina moving in with him. In a nutshell, woman does drugs, they get kidnapped by the gang, every protagonist has a buddy who used to be Yakuza that comes and saves the day. Since he was in danger Hina being the older sister (and totally not his EX) moves in to make sure he doesn’t bring home any more shady women of the night.
The next arc, however, is relevant and has the ever-persistent Serizawa gunning for him yet again. So unable to write, living with his ex-lover, and still depressed about Rui Natsuo searches for an outlet, and since writing is out of the question he decides to act, and Serizawa is thrilled to give him lessons. Committing as he does whole assly Natsuo bleeds every part of him into shaping into an actor, shedding his editor and a script Hina finds in the trash. (she keeps it in case he changes his mind) and ends up landing the lead villain’s spot. I want to note, this whole thing Serizawa is laying it on HARD, she is hitting every note, adding moments to their scene that weren’t in the original play simply because her character’s emotions towards Natsuo’s are her own.
This comes to a head after a masterful performance from the both of them, and post act she tells him that everything she said, all she had conveyed are true, she is in love with him. Taken back he asks for time to think about it and the next morning turns her down, saying that he had only ever seen her as a friend.
And took you long enough since she ruined your relationship shit head.
Anyways. We are getting near the end of the master train wreck, and if I was important I would have a sponsor aid here but I’m not so Hina realizes she wants to fuck Natsou again jumps a plane to New York challenges Rui, and lays it on right away when she gets back. Naturally, she moves back out but SILF Hina on the hunt pulls no punches until she loses. I guess I should explain this.
Hina declares all-out war against Rui and she simply says let the best girl win. This allows the weight of Hina’s love to be once again laid on the shoulders of Natsuo and he becomes confused by it, unsure what to do with the feelings of a woman he loved dearly long ago. Sadly it is about the same time Rui becomes the victim of some nasty kitchen racism, and the stress mounts to a point where her roommate calls Rui’s coworker that is crushing on her and pretty much tell him to find Natsuo and get him here. Which he does, telling him that Rui is in trouble, and either he or Natsuo is going to New York tonight to help her. Without missing a beat Natsuo says he will do it and is in the air by the end of the night.
The Rui best girl high hits me like a truck when this happens, thrilled and shocked to see Natsuo in New York the old cheery cheek Rui returns. Not holding back Natsuo confronts the head chef of the kitchen that his sister is being racially profiled, and the evidence of literally everyone saying the American’s are racist confirms it, then the group is fired. Staying for the following week he cares for her, and slowly her taste comes back, and in there last night he asks her out, once again, she gleefully accepts and they sleep together. The following morning he mentions he will take the necklace he bought her that was damaged by the pricks and get it repaired. And once again they would be able to wear the things that reminded them of each other.
Being seen off by a ever gleeful Rui he heads back to Japan only to be met by even more hardship. His writing teacher and famous author Togen-Sensei passes to cancer. Now even with the turmoil, he feels at this point he has told Hina that he and Rui had made up so she had once again transformed into big sister. Being happy enough to support them. And from step one she is at his side. Rui wants to be there but has been reassured it’s fine, which in this instances it is. But through the sorrow and struggle, one thing was clear, Togen left Natsuo with his scripts, and understanding that this legend of a writer would leave these to him left him with no choice. As a pupil and a writer himself, he has to return the pen to paper. And for the first time since the issues with Serizawa and all that came with it, he writes.
Striking damn near a masterpiece he blows up all over the writing scene, doing interviews on both radio and TV about the success. His high is doubled down when Rui starts feeling unwell, going back to the doctor in the US she finds out she is pregnant and of course, Natsuo is the father. Unsure of what to do about the unexpected pregnancy she calls her dad who is over the moon about it, promising her not to worry about work and he will give her all the time she needs off. Finding out she has yet to tell Natsuo he yells at her, telling her the father should be the first to know and she better call him right away. Doing so she gets the response that it is the happiest news he has ever heard in his life, and they agree once she comes back they will approach their family with the plans of being married.
Naturally, Hina is shocked but immediately supports their choice, even role-playing to help them break the news to their parents. I honestly give her huge props for, prepping your ex whom you are still in love with to spill the beans that he not only knocked up your younger sister but plans on marrying her, that has to be a handful emotionally.
It is a good time to note their parents still think Hina and Natsuo are a thing. So honestly the confession couldn’t be any more stacked against them.
Sitting the parents down they all gather around, Rui and Natsuo sitting together he leads, letting them know that Rui is pregnant with his child and they plan on marrying. It is at this time Tachibana, Tsukiko simply stands up and walks the fuck out. This makes sense, her new stepson is bouncing between her daughters so it’s about the reaction anyone would expect.
Getting his blessing from his father, he lets him in on some advice to win over Tsukiko. Even though she hadn’t returned home in a couple of days afterward he believes if they find her and confront her together she will have no choice but to accept it if it really makes them happy. Hunting her down at a hotel they find her room and staying true to form both Rui and Natsuo show her this is what they want, and that they have been happy together for a while now. Still uneasy about the whole ordeal she accepts it and gives them her blessing.
And then we get to see Rui in a wedding dress and my god is there nothing purer on this green earth than that darling in a wedding dress. I looked at that page for at least five minutes, it was wallpaper worthy, we do not deserve such a blessed imagine in this world of debauchery and sin.
But as any weeb will know Rui is cursed, she has the blue hair, she will never be able to win.
With fame comes attention and sadly not all of it is good. A sudden young star in the writing world a tabloidist becomes determined to find dirt on the kid wonder. Like I don’t know his love triangle with his stepsisters. Getting a lead from the former stalker Kengo Tanabe, he leaks that there is no way Hina and Natsuo have a normal relationship, no stepbrother would risk their life for their stepsister.
Running with this he starts to interview people in Hina’s life and Hina herself. Getting the scoop that Rui and Natsuo are an item and finding the fatal picture of Hina and Natsuo on that festival night. Feeling good he pens the story and is expected to get publishes, a humiliating outcry full of teach x student and step-siblings x each other. There is no doubt that this story would have done damage to not only Natsuo but his soon to be family. Catching wind of it however Hina fights back going to the editor of the paper with key points. One, the lead was from Tanabe, a man who is in prison for attempted murder, a man that has lied on the stand dozens of times. Second, the picture was obtained by paying cash, a cardinal rule in journalism, never pay for leads. Chalking up that it was photoshopped they have the teacher that leaked it confirm and many other staffers back up Hina’s story. Left with no choice they pull the piece and it isn’t run in the upcoming edition.
Successfully protecting her sister and Natsuo she happily joins both of their sides intending to support both of them. But we must note at this point, this is indeed a light novel, and in being a light novel it must have a light novel ending. Rui and Nat marry? Nah I say, Hina must get hit by a car and change this whole thing.
With his story going bust and his career pretty much being upended said tabloidst decides to get revenge, hunting down the sisters in his car. In a last-ditch moment, Hina throws Rui out of the way but is struck, after long surgery she lives but in a vegetize state. She will never be able to take care of herself ever again.
Rui, watching over her alone in the hospital is approached by a nurse. In her possession, she states Hina had this on her before the surgery handing her the necklace obtaining the rings her and Natsuo once traded. Looking at the rings Rui realizes that no matter what there would be no way she could love Natsuo more than Hina, and due to what had happened there is no way they could marry.
Taking this to her fiancé they talk about it overnight, deciding the next morning to call off the marriage. They would live together and raise the child, they would take care of Hina but they would not be lovers.
And if you think this is an anime ending, just you wait.
Time jump Rui and Nats child, Haruka is born. It is implied she is about five at this point and four of them live comfortably together. Haruka is sweet towards Hina, telling her stories at her bedside and doing what she can to help her parents out around the house. One day Rui brings home a marriage certificate stating that even though she is in this state he should marry Hina because that is what should have happened from the very start. Pondering on it he agrees. Haruka, being a curious child finds the ring that Natsuo bought Hina YEARS ago at this point and puts it on her hand, you know what happens, she wakes up. Cue up the most fucking anime ending in the history of anime!
Against all odds Hina starts to improve, after rehab, she begins to be able to take care of her self once again and in the end, has a ceremony of marriage with Natsuo. Penning his latest book he reflects on the past and everything that has happened, taking it to the publisher, its title simply. Domestic Girlfriend.
God was this book a ride. Becoming my obsession for a week id spend night and day trucking through the pages knowing the whole time what I wanted to happen wasn’t going to happen. Some nights I would even limit myself so I wouldn’t stay up all night binging 40 chapters in one sitting. The ending of this story has been a question of criticism and when I was reading it I couldn’t help but think “ah so there going to do this shit”, but honestly looking back I’m fine with it. It by no means ends the series nor makes it not worth the read. It was lackluster but a fitting ending into a roller coaster of screaming into the abyss.
My final thoughts on it are this. I like this series, a lot. I like all the characters, their quirks. I liked the story, the emotions, the struggles they suffer both Hina and Rui. I like the coming to age aspect, the struggles of college, and a real day job. The acceptance of a fleeting love even when the person that love is for is now loving someone still very close to you. The read was worth it, every second. And honestly, the tag of this being hot trash doesn’t seem accurate to me. Overall I happily give this story a 7/10 and it is something that will stick with me for the years to come.
I hope everyone enjoyed my take on this and as always thanks for the read!
Note: SILF was Sensei Id like to fuck, but then I realize it could also be Sister, so at this moment SILF and SSILF are interchangeable.