The following is about a R18 story, I will not add any NSFW images but please keep that in mind.
It is 6:45 in the morning and for some reason, I have this extremely nagging feeling to write about porn.
What is wrong with me?
There are varying depths of otaku culture one can immerse themselves in. If we made a 1-10 scale I’d say it goes something like this, 3 is the casual Shonen watcher, around 5-6 we have the seasonal hawks, around 8 we start getting into the weird and adult stuff, people around this number usually also know authors and directors by name. It is at 10 where all humanity is lost, one’s eyes turning from the shiny vibrant gloss of youth to a dull, soulless pit of those who have lost all touch with reality. I like to think I’m around the 7-8 area, on the border of losing it all but not quite taking the full leap. I believe anyone in that area is familiar with a part of manga culture that passes into the r18 crafting both original and parody works, I am of course talking about doujinshi
By definition, doujinshi is the Japanese term for self-published print works, such as magazines, manga, and novels. So simply put they are self-published stories that can either be original works, or parodies of already established series. The latter, of course, being done without the original creator’s permission, meaning these artists are technically creating illegal work that leads to most of them keeping a low profile. This added with the unspoken rule that doujinshi don’t sell at a high enough volume to compete with the original works leads to most authors of said works, paying them little to no mind. Hell, some like 774, a doujinshi artist turning creator of Nagatoro, actively promotes parodies of his recently adapted work.
So some of you may wonder if we are just here chatting about fanfics and self-publish books, why writer did you open with that line? Well, dear reader, if you rank above a 7 or so on that otaku scale, the term doujinshi is broad but in context usually refers to a very specific type of story. Keeping up with adult themes the most common section you would find these prints are in the r18 areas of given book stores, that alone giving you the impression of the type of market these illustrators are targeting and I’d be a fool to tell you otherwise. Doujinshi, for the most part, are horny, and they sell because weebs are too. So this part of the otaku world I will admit I’m no stranger to, I regularly and casually read doujinshi. I was first attracted to them for reasons most of you would assume, but as I grew more and more into that world I saw numerous stories playing out sometimes over hundreds of illustrated pages finding something I never expected, prolong sadness.
Doujinshi can tell a story that plays by no rules, Shindo L’s infamous Metamorphosis comes to mind. It isn’t so much an erotic story but more a tale of abuse, assault, addiction, leading to such a spiral I thought on for days. But the kicker to that series is that it’s a one-shot, it isn’t a spin-off of another story, the emotions we feel reading it are limited to the amount of empathy we can give Yoshida, a girl we know little to nothing about other than she wants to change. So when one of these series has a full-blown back story and plays off the canon on the original work, the outcomes can hit a lot harder.
Enter stage, Shouka cursed Life Consultation After 10 Years…. Yeah, so, some context. For those who don’t know I love Oreimo, like, a lot. I talked about it a bit here so you can go check that out if you want. Anyways, so being a fan of the series in literally every way possible, I must admit I am no stranger to its doujinshi takes. But even with that Life Consultation eluded me, a story that would pick up 10 years later where the show ended. Creating a world where Kirino is married, so is Kyousuke, living their lives distance from one another as if nothing ever happened.
But it did happen, and this is what happened.
The ending of the show is they get married, sorta. So Life Consultation picks up in, let’s say, their honeymoon period. Getting caught by, well, their father he explodes, beats the crap out of Kyousuke in a blind rage that would end in Kirino leaving, never calling or returning for a whole decade. With their father dead, a sudden message goes across the quiet Kousaka household, Kirino is coming home and her brother decides to be there. This series does this really good narrative dance where you can see Kyousuke’s actions but also read his mental feelings. Even though it has been a decade, he has married his childhood friend Manami and steady out his life, his feelings for Kirino never really suppressed and he is unsure how the meeting is going to go. At the same time hoping that there still might be something there but also terrified of it in the same breath.
Shocked to discover she married, Kyousuke isn’t sure how he is supposed to feel, offering to take her things up the two go up the stairs towards their rooms neither of them touched since they left. What happens next causes a chain of events of pain, jealousy, despair, and confusion as the two immediately reignite the feelings they had years ago, Kirino stating since their father’s death there is no one left to stop them from being together. Expect ya know, his wife, or her husband, or society, or their mom, yeah, so, chances for them working out, not great. But see that is logical, Kirino, in this state is anything but as we learn she expected Kyousuke to run away with her on that day 10 years ago, something he didn’t do, instead he moved on in his life, even getting married. Feeling betrayed and forgotten we see a very dark side of a character we all knew was capable of being crazy, but never really committed to it, though keeping herself in check the next day, that moment opened a flood gate that would crash both of their relationships.
Returning home Manami Is thrilled to see her husband but utterly destroyed when she hugs him, smelling Kirino’s perfume. Understanding what this means she controls her emotions the best she can, wanting to be there for her husband more than anything. It is in this weird moment that she sees past this, not because she isn’t hurt but more the fact she believes that is the right thing to do to be by Kyousuke’s side. Honestly, I hate Manami in the real series but that is something I could see her doing, it makes sense for her character type, it also makes sense for Kirino to do everything in her power to take what she believed to be hers in the first place. They did physically beat the crap out of each other at the end of the show.
And given this is an adult content book and they are all in their late twenties the fairly emotionally damaged Kirino has some, interesting techniques. To avoid any spoilers all I’ll say from this point on is the declaration of war between those two to gain Kyousuke’s affection restarts. Manami doesn’t get much of a shot as Kirino has become so numb to empathy but at the same time knows in the end, the chances of her winning are slim.
When it comes to doujinshi, specifically these types they don’t seem to be written with the same mindset a lot of them seem to be. Sure they are plenty horny but usually when you look at the more pornographic side of this medium, most series fail to be more than 30 or so pages, there literally isn’t enough there to do more than just sex. Life Consultation After 10 Years is a dark, extremely uncomfortable read. The story in context to the source is reasonable and makes sense making it a twisted somber take on a possible outcome for the duo, a take that makes it hit as hard as it does.
I studied this book about four times over the past three days embedding in me this sense of grief I didn’t really understand at first. But as I reflected on it I discovered how emotionally invested I am when it comes to Oreimo, specifically the siblings. And to see both of them, more so Kirino, suffer in the way she does simply because she loves the single person she can’t have, really fucked with me.
Thanks for going on this cursed journey.