Let’s Talk About 18+ Manga

Don’t read this if you’re under 18.

You all know it, and this is by no means a secret. I enjoy reading 18+ manga, doujinshi, visual novels, and fanfiction. It doesn’t always need to be in a dirty way, but if done well, these works tend to have their own charm, which makes some of them irresistible to me. But it’s surely not just me. It’s quite obvious that a lot of us yuri fans enjoy reading a nice NSFW story every once in a while or even a bit more frequently. How do I know that, you might ask? But that’s easy to answer. Whenever there’s a new adult manga popping up that at least looks decent, it will very quickly climb up the weekly popularity ranking on the Dynasty Reader.

This is probably not the best indicator, but it at least gives us an idea just how popular adult works are. With that said, let’s come to the actual post, in which I will simply discuss my personal likes and dislikes in NSFW stories and tell you which work I think comes closest to my ideal one. Yeah, I know, this sounds like an odd idea, but bear with me. I think this is actually quite interesting.

To start things off, there are quite a few themes that I don’t much like or that at the very least irritate me. I guess right after tentacle porn, rape and violence might take the second and third place in this ranking. I’m too much a fan of gentle and overly romantic love stories, that I could ever enjoy any kind of force in a relationship. Humiliation is probably part of this trinity of no-gos as well, though, I have to admit, there can be some exceptions for any of the listed themes. Anemone by Chobipero is actually one of them. What’s happening there is horrible in a way, but at the same time it doesn’t feel that rape-ish, especially since it ends in such a nice way….

So I guess that just means that any hint of mutual love helps me tolerate themes that I usually wouldn’t enjoy much. Incest, on the other hand, is still a genre that I don’t quite understand and that I don’t really want to judge. I’m mostly fine with it, but the less they mention that they are actually sisters/related, the better. I guess ignorance can be bliss, in some cases. Funnily, I’m absolutely okay with it if the two characters are “just” cousins, or even better, step-sisters. In these cases I mostly don’t even think about it, just like in Citrus or Aoi Hana.

Then there is age gap, one of the genres that I don’t dislike for what it actually stands for. I don’t have a problem with anyone being in a relationship with someone who is much older or much younger. The problem here is rather that the majority of age gap yuri manga depict an adult being in a relationship with a child, or at least a loli character. I don’t even mind this much in SFW stories, but as soon as things drift into a sexual direction, I’d rather read about characters the same age, preferably of legal age. You could say it makes me uncomfortable, and the fact that most of the NSFW age gap manga are quite graphic too doesn’t help at all….

i fell in love for the first time doujin
Asagi Ryuu might be the perfect artist to name here….

And even if those characters are of legal age, it’s not always a given that they also look like it. Some artists like their characters to look really thin, small, and fragile, which just make them look a lot younger than they might actually be. Small and fragile looking characters might have their own charm, but I simply prefer them to look a bit older. Anything else just feels a bit unpleasant, especially in adult stories. Well, giving them huge breasts and an enormous butt is also not always a solution. It can yet again be rather counterproductive, but I much rather prefer this kind of character design than having childlike characters in any kind of NSFW doujin or manga.

yuri manga
Though seeing proportions like this makes me want to take back what I just said….

I guess I could go on with this little list, but we should rather guide this into a more pleasant direction. So after naming all the no-go’s, how about we now come to the themes that I actually enjoy?

Probably the most important thing for me happens to be whether the manga or doujin can be categorized as romance. I simply need to know that the sex is based on mutual feelings, otherwise the story might drift into a rape-ish direction anyway, though, that is, of course, not always the case. Still, for me to really enjoy a work like this, the author needs to make it clear to me that whatever happens between the characters happens out of love. And if that is the case, the story can pretty much go into whatever direction at that point. It can be BDSM, it can involve toys, futanari, or whatever theme you can think of. As long as it is apparent that both characters enjoy it, I’m mostly fine with it. Though, being fine with something doesn’t mean that I can fully enjoy it, which is why I have to note that even though I can enjoy the three themes I listed above, I still prefer a sex scene that leaves out anything unnecessary.

You might wonder what I mean when I say unnecessary, but it’s quite easy to explain. Any kind of toys or a futanari character is optional, but these “additions” are what I call unnecessary, since I think a story without all this might be just as great, or even better. I think the focus shouldn’t be on how fancy the sex looks, and it’s no secret that many, many authors just try to create something exciting and full of fancy themes.

They add as many different sex positions as they can fit into their work, and if possible, they also add toys, futanari, or simply more than just two characters to the sex scene. This might make the whole thing look a little more exciting for some people, but I think the simpler the whole scene is, the better. These little extras are not necessary for me, and if possible, I’d just like to see a gentle and romantic scene between only two characters.

Finally, the art style can also be quite a huge factor when it comes to how much I enjoy a specific work. If drawn well, a single manga panel alone can deliver many feelings, and delivering them the right way and at the right time is something crucial for me. As already mentioned in many other posts, I usually try to stay away from artists that use weird “sex faces” too frequently in their works. I think this usually just looks ridiculous, and it delivers the wrong message for me. I mean, what’s the deal with sex faces? I think they are supposed to make a scene look more intense, but most of the time, they just make it look ridiculous. Feelings and emotions can be delivered way better by other facial expressions, like a little blush, a warm smile, or simply by making the character look happy—or in case of a NSFW story, satisfied. Yet again, please note that this is just my opinion, so feel free to disagree with me.

yuri manga sex faces
Both pictures show characters having sex, but which one do you think I prefer?

To come to a conclusion, what does the perfect NSFW doujin/manga look like to me, and which already existing one do I think comes closest to this ideal?

To make it short; It should involve characters of legal age that also look their age. It should have a bigger story, instead of just random, meaningless sex. And most importantly, the sex scene itself should happen because of the characters’ love for one another. How this eventually plays out is not as important anymore, as long as it all happens out of love.

As for the doujin/manga that comes closest to this ideal, it’s important to note that it’s not just one standalone work. For this definition to work out, I usually need a little more story than the little plot that you can squeeze into a typical 30-page long doujin or manga chapter. So the work that I’m going to name has several chapters, slowly telling the love story of two girls, with the last chapter showing their first time having sex. You probably know it already.

I’m talking about Vivit Gray’s MokoKeine collection, starting with Blanket and ending with Gentle Pulse. There is simply no better yuri story for me, and that is all I have to say about this. This is my little definition of the perfect NSFW manga/doujin. Do you agree or do you have a completely different one?

As I said in the beginning, I think this is really interesting, so feel free to tell me how you see this. Since I quite enjoy simply talking and ranting on about yuri-related topics, I think I’m going to make this “Let’s Talk About…” into a regular thing, just like Reviews, Top 10 Lists, and Doujin Releases.

I’ve already made a few other entries like this, like Let’s Talk About Yuri Visual Novels, as well as Let’s Talk About Art-Styles.

And if you have suggestions what you want to see me talk about in the future, feel free to name them. I’m always open for new ideas. 🙂

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21 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About 18+ Manga

  1. Aoi Hana I would mark as a negative example, Fumi's cousin was using her underaged cousin for her own pleasure, seduced her, and first opportunity she had, threw her away for a male partner whom she marries.

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  2. It definitely is a negative example if you see it like that, but I used it in a different way.
    By naming their relationship I just wanted to make clear that in their case, I simply didn't mind that they were related.
    Though you're right of course, their relationship was still pretty horrible.

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  3. I think most yuri fans will agree with most of your points, as do I.

    I can't like overly big breasts or “sex faces” either, but actually don't mind incest or toys, as long as it's done well. I'd probably name a KyoSaya doujin as my ideal. yuri-ism has so many good ones I couldn't decide though.

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  4. Yuri-ism surely is one of the few scnalation groups that always pics adult douijinshi that can be enjoyable in one way or another.
    I learned to trust their judgement, even when it comes to themes like toys.

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  5. tho I do get what you mean by a slight discomfort at somewhat childish characters (size-wise) in adult yuri manga. I don't mind them as much. One thing I just don't like is that particular overly muscular art-style that I see on rare blue moons (once again, refer to the image above xd)*

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  6. Ugh, the sex faces… I'm so glad you mentioned it. They just make the characters look stupid and seem desperate for sex/ starved for attention. It's obviously directed more towards male audiences who enjoy submissive female characters.

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  7. As someone who wants to draw an adult yuri doujinshi someday, I really pay attention to both the execution and the mood. I understand that some artists want to max out the sexiness of their work, but cramming in every position possible in a limited amount of space just makes the piece tasteless IMO.

    I myself prefer my adult yuri as vanilla as possible, but I'm open to anything that's not too extreme/rapey.

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  8. Lena-san, I think you are my long lost sister! I mean, hey, we mostly share the same point of view in many things (not only regarding this matter, but also regarding other things from your previous post) 😀 As for this matter, the only difference is that I can never fine with toys and futanari -.-

    So, what I hate the most from 18+ works is sex face. It really just looks so… ridiculous and not real at all. Some blushes, smiles, eyes gazing, and a bit of sweet talking are definitely better (and IMO, sexier) than sex face.
    While for the likes, I really love it when the characters go from cuddling into sex, or from sex into cuddling, with a bit of flirting and sweet talking here and there. That's just sweet and fluffy yet hot and sexy. (If you happen to know some titles, please do let me know :3)

    On another matter, your “Let's Talk About…” topic is definitely a great idea. Would really love to read (and of course, talk more xD) about other things in the future. Don't really have any suggestion atm though ^^

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  9. I think the picture I chose might have been a bit misleading 😛
    I was just trying to refer to the huge breasts, not the muscles, though I have to admit, they seemed kind of weird to me too 😛

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  10. I think so too, but I think I shouldn't connect themes like this to a specific gender.
    The funny thing is, even if it is mostly men who draw stuff like this, I'm often in for surprises as well.

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  11. Vanilla is probably the one word I should have used many times in this post, but I somehow forgot to mention it.
    I'd love to draw my own stories too, not necessary adult ones, but it would be so nice to be able to do so.

    How far did you get so far?

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  12. Cuddling is one thing I miss A LOT when it comes to adult works.
    It's either not even shown, or only presented in one panel at the end.
    It's one of the things that indicates love far better than the kind of sex scene that happens out of pure lust, so I totally get you.

    Gentle, loving and fluffy, yet still sexy. That's probably really hard to accomplish in one work, but there are quite a lot I think this applies to.
    As mentioned above, Gentle Pulse has pretty much everything I want and need to see in an adult work, but pretty much every work by Tokoharu comes pretty close too.
    Then there's also the ShizNat Doropanda Tours doujinshi.

    If you don't know Tokoharu or Doropanda Tours, be sure to check them out~

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  13. Energia's KyoSaya works are the best NSFW things i can think of ~
    But there's a lot of NSFW things i like, in fact as a yuri fan, most of the time i can't conceive manga/doujin as of “good yuri works” if there isn't any NSFW scenes at all.
    But as you said, balance is important.
    the only no-gos for me are weird sex faces, guro, rape and such…
    i'm totally fine with toys and futanari, as long as it isn't graphic enough to be 'gross', example: any doujin by this artist http://dynasty-scans.com/authors/yudepii

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  14. I haven't read anything by this artist, but let's see whether I feel the same way about it.
    The art style already makes me think that whatever happens in these can't be that bad 😛

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  15. I feel the same way as you about rape/violence/incest, and when I do accidentally enjoy something before realizing that it's in one of those categories, I feel really bad about it. One of the reasons I like Dynasty is because of how obviously stories are tagged. I have a stronger aversion to incest than you, just because for some reason, it ALWAYS comes off as mutually destructive to me. Maybe someday someone will convince me that it's okay and moral and whatnot, and I'm open to being convinced, but right now it just makes me cringe every time. I can selectively ignore illegal age gaps if my brain can convince me that both members are over sixteen/eighteen depending on the context (age of consent in my country.) I really don't go for loli though so it's rarely a problem I have to face. With that being said, I love me some mature ladies and for some reason, they seldom get to romance one another. So age gap often turns out to be pretty hot (again, assuming the younger member is capable and giving of active consent.)
    In terms of YES!s for me, I really, really like enthusiastic H scenes. There is so much Yuri where “no” appears to be the most common form of dirty-talk, and I don't like it. If we were to classify Yuri rape manga by actual indicators of rape, a very large portion of 18+ manga would be considered such, if not a majority. I don't like this “Blurred Lines” pattern in adult yuri manga. I also don't understand why readers find it preferable to scenes where both characters are completely into it, considerate of one another, and just going the hell at it. BDSM and power exchange overall is a major turn-on for me IRL, but I avoid it like the plague in this genre, because it's usually rape.
    I feel you on weird sex faces in Yuri. I'm probably a minority but I even felt a little weirded out by the crying in Vivit Gray's work. I know some people have that physical reaction during sex but it's odd how common it is in Yuri. It isn't just teary eyes, it's often genuinely sad expressions. Why is sex either violent or sad??
    I don't mind some of the “fancy” things, but if you're going to use them, use them well. Shitty cheap toxic-looking toys are a weird pet peeve I have, which probably carries over from terrible “lesbian” porn videos. Eugh. I actually happen to think that futanari can be really beautiful, empowering, and inclusive. Unfortunately, it usually isn't, marred by mediocre art and unrealistic fetishization. I actually stumbled upon a really pretty one earlier today, though, here: http://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/ill_hear_your_excuses
    It's well-drawn and full of expression and love, and it feels like it could really just be an encounter between a transgirl and her girlfriend who are still just discovering themselves and each other. I like this and there should be more of it.
    Also I'd just like to mention that Vivit Gray's collection is one of my all-time favourites, too, if not the absolute best. It's incredible, and a hallmark of the genre.

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  16. After reading your comment, I immediately clicked on your link, because I had a feeling I'd like it 😛
    As it turns out, I already read it and I loved it.
    This is one of the very few futanari ones I really enjoyed.
    There's another one, I think a AlicexSakuya one that I also enjoyed quite a bit, though it was a little different than that one.
    Maybe I can find it. Let's see.
    Yup, there it is: http://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/kono_ato_futari_ga_sex_shimasu
    It's far more graphic I'd say and it's not even a pairing I could ever approve of, yet I still kind of liked it.

    Anyway, I'm quite happy about your comment.
    I was waiting for someone who shares my view on Vivit Gray's works and finally someone showed up.
    I sometimes wonder how people are not able to see the brilliance of these works, especially Gentle Pulse, so thanks for telling me.

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  17. Oh, totally forgot, I was also wondering why in so many manga and doujinshi the characters are either crying or saying stuff like “stop it”, even if they clearly enjoy it.

    I always thought that crying might make the characters look vulnerable and some people probably enjoy seeing that, though maybe you're right and it's a natural reaction?
    I really don't know, but I kind of got used to it, so I don't really mind anymore.

    The constant “Yadas” are still really annoying to me though.

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