You gotta love it when a seemingly innocent, general audience type anime turns out to be based on a borderline hentai manga.
Gokujo (2 volumes, ongoing)
Remember this anime?
Gokujo was it’s name. Around two years ago it debuted with no shortage of bare butts and a crude undercurrent that seemed destined for great things.
Yet for fanservice fans, it ended as a letdown. No nipples on BD. In most cases, if a manga has nipples in it, the anime gets them too. Or at least it’s sure felt that way in recent years. I just assumed the manga to be a female perspective comedy with some cross appeal (rear nudity) thrown in.
Last night I was working through my Ryuutama folder and was surprised to see “Gokujo vol 1” in there. I assumed doujin for sure.
Nope. Turns out the manga for which the Gokujo anime is based is actually a bit of a fanservice masterpiece. Not only is it more than generous with the nipple sightings, but there is even some borderline hentai elements in there as well. Waaaay more to this manga than bare bottoms. Though there are a shipload of those as well.
A female mangaka penned this series (Maya Miyazaki) which is terribly unsurprising. What did surprise me was seeing how she came up from the hentai business, with several other borderline hentai mangas including Holy Knight, among others. She’s even done quite a bit of outright hentai works. One of those hentai works was adapted into animated form back in 2010.
I think she’s pretty good at this if I may say so myself. You have to be at least a little special to start off in hentai and work your way up to a getting an anime TV series. Obviously, me not knowing about her work probably just reveals how big a noob I am when it comes to hentai manga. Which I totally am, don’t get me wrong.
As far as the Gokujo manga itself, maybe it’s just me but it kind of felt like the author was bearing her soul in this one. Though “seinen” genre (intense nudity usually means an auto-seinen tag), it’s clearly taken from a female state of mind with a female sense of humor.
Across most modern cultures men are celebrated for acting reckless, silly, stupid and sexual, while women are chastised or called terrible names if they do the same. The story here feels like outright cultural rebellion. The characters think nothing of exposing their most private areas in public view, openly lust after their (same sex) targets of affection, all while making body part jokes and using strange objects for sexual pleasure, without the slightest care in the world for men, romance, glamor, reputation, or even basic tact. Philistines in short skirts.
I can’t say I really care for the humor or the themes, but the fanservice is more than enough to keep me reading, and I earnestly respect what Mizayaki is trying to do with this manga. It’s actually got a bit of guts and ambition to it, not something you see much in a copycat manga world. Gokujo may be highly unglamorous, but it’s unique, it’s kind of fun and it’s more than sexy enough.