Yomeiro Choice – a poor choice

Yomeiro Choice is all about excuses.

Sakuraga finds excuses to ditch girls and avoid relationships. His female friends find excuses to spend time with him and/or avoid confronting their own feelings. His time-traveling future daughters (yes, that’s right) try to find excuses for him to get their mothers teen pregnant in the present. Mangaka Tenkla uses this improbable setup to justify a ream of fanservice and visual gags.

Yomeiro-Choice_apes

While we’ve seen time-traveling daughters before in manga such as Little Jumpers, there at least the father-daughter attraction was largely kept at bay as an uncomfortable possibility, a consummation devoutly to be avoided. In Yumeiro Choice, there is none of that: the daughters openly strip not only their mothers but themselves, pandering to Sakuraga in every conceivable way.

At first this seems explainable by their desperation – if sex doesn’t happen between the main character and their mothers, they will be retroactively wiped out of existence – but it quickly becomes painfully evident that this is only a paper-thin excuse for the exploitation to take place. There is no serious approach to incest, as might be found in works like Koi Kaze. Instead it’s all about putting a high school boy together with a harem of willing, underage lolis who happen to be his descendants.

Yomeiro-Choice_fine

I think “sick” is the word we’re looking for, and not in its vernacular sense of “excellent.” I can only describe Yomeiro Choice‘s target audience as, “those who think rape is somehow inherently funny.” When a manga devotes several panels to a daughter’s attempt to take advantage of her sleeping father after first inserting a contraceptive device in her anatomy, all so she can get a sperm sample and then implant it in her mother sleeping up the hall, we’ve clearly taken a sharp detour from reason and taste. Worst of all, it’s not clever or funny, merely tired and crass.

True, father-daughter incest rape is present at some of the oldest levels of literature – in the Bible, Lot’s daughters got him drunk and had their way with him – but there it is the direct result of twisted duty rather than desire. Yomeiro Choice goes far afield of its initial premise of survival, as the sex-obsessed daughters eclipse their mothers. Ultimately their obsession with their father is something out of wild, Freudian fantasy rather than any simple matter of self-preservation.

For all the ruthlessness of the women in Yomeiro Choice, the story never seriously addresses why they don’t simply go for the most obvious solution: Sakuraga could simply father all three future daughters out of wedlock. Monogamous love is presented as a barrier to this, but since his spawn can be coldly amoral about sex to the point of actively fomenting the rape of their own mothers, the asides about “love” seem at best lip service and at worst hollow jokes which consciously underscore the fact that love has little to do with any of this. Random visual gags that add nothing to the story occur with equal frequency, so perhaps the true point of it is to disillusion the reader about love, instead offering sex and desperation as the prime motivators in relationships between men and women.

Yomeiro-Choice_notmybiz

Yomeiro Choice attempts to redeem its trashiness by presenting itself as a story about how choices have consequences. Take this lesson, and choose to not read it.

26 thoughts on “Yomeiro Choice – a poor choice”

  1. That looks like one of the most horrible things ever put to paper. Thank you for the un-suggestion, though I very quickly came to the same conclusion after throwing up in my mouth a few times.
    Oh God, here it comes again.

  2. This is great manga, you can laugh at every chapter at new insanity they cook up. It’s not for those who are too serious, thought.
    You know, this is comedy, it does not attempt to preach any morals. It’s fun exactly because it’s so twisted. Best comedy is always made by making fun at most serious matters.

  3. I never take ecchi-mangaka seriously when they claim that their work has a plot. It seems like the kind of thing they only say because they feel obligated to.
    No matter how I look at it, Yomeiro Choice is about fanservice. That’s it. I don’t think it was ever meant to be “good” in the way that you expect it to be.

  4. Way to miss the point of the series.  Did you somehow not see all the impossibly wacky gadgets and the constant breaking of the fourth wall?  Yomeiro-Choice is meant to be a shocking ecchi-gag manga full of archetypes while making fun of cliches, not a serious plot-driven romantic drama.  Only one of the daughters ever shows genuine interest in her father, by the way, and it’s meant to be strange (she even comments on that); the others are trying either to not fall behind or to harvest what they need from him (which only happened once, if I’m not mistaken).  I’m not saying you should like it, but it would be nice if you had acknowledged what the series really is.

    I think if you take this review seriously, then and only then have you made a poor choice.

  5. @ETERNAL
    I didn’t really have any expectations going in.  I heard that it was popular, but I didn’t know anything about it aside from that.

    @Anonymous (both of you) –
    Ultimately, it comes down to how big a deal you make of rape.  If impossibly wacky gadgets and silliness are all it takes to justify the inclusion of rape for bonus shock value, then perhaps you’ll enjoy the manga.  If you happen to think that rape is a topic that does not fall under the category of “random hilarity,” then you probably won’t enjoy it.
    As I noted, Little Jumper is a good manga to compare here.  It has a lot of the wacky gadgets, time travel, and antics without being quite so crass.  I didn’t miss the point of Yomeiro Choice – from the start I talked about “a ream of fanservice and visual gags.” Rather, I think the author missed his target, and the result was crude and not that funny.
    I’ll agree that “[the] best comedy is always made by making fun [of the] most serious matters.”  If I may step outside the genre, Get Your War On was a triumph of black humour, as was Dr. Strangelove. Both made fun of terrible things like war and genocide. However, merely including rape does not automatically guarantee comedy gold.  I believe this is an important distinction.

  6. I’m surprised that you see the sexual content as being “rape”, as I don’t believe it was the point and none of the girls are unwilling (although it doesn’t make it through in the translation, one in particular is always depicted through the sound effects as enjoying it, one is a sex maniac herself, and one is a tsundere who is shown to do it regularly with the main character in their respective future).

    Oh yes, and a large part of what makes me think you did miss the point of the series is your criticism of the story itself. Aside from some moments that quickly become gags, Yomeiro-Choice is never about consequences of choice, and being a gag series full of archetypical characters, any “love” presented is not something to be taken seriously. The girls like the main character for no reason, but this is likely a play on the typical harem setup.

  7. Fundamentally, the very premise of the story is choice and consequence. If he doesn’t get with the girls, the future daughters disappear.  That the mangaka chooses to ignore this is a failure of consistency, which I mention when I talk about it being “only a paper-thin excuse for the exploitation to take place.”

    You say, “I’m surprised that you see the sexual content as being ‘rape.'”

    Let’s review:
    – Statutory rape? Check.
    – Taking advantage of him when he’s knocked out? Check.
    – Drugging him with something that overrides his will?  Check.
    Just off the top of my head, I count three different kinds of rape.  I’m pretty sure this is not an exhaustive list, either.

    Your blindness towards the obvious rapes pretty much proves the point I was making about its target audience.

    ” The girls like the main character for no reason, but this is likely a play on the typical harem setup.”

    It’s only a play on the stereotype if Yomeiro Choice says something witty.  It doesn’t; it merely uses the stereotype.  Let me go back to Dr. Strangelove, and give you an example.  Bombing the USSR isn’t automatically funny.  The bomb technician straddling the bomb, waving and yelling like a cowboy at a rodeo, is funny, because it visually conflates the archetypical cowboy of yore with this deluded, warmongering man.  It makes the argument: if we continue blindly down the path of the cowboy, this is our future. This is immediately applicable to the real-life situations of the intended audience (the Cold War is real, to them.)  Yomeiro Choice lacks that deeper connection, unless you want to argue that there is a real-world population of men who need to be warned against having sex with their time-traveling daughters.

    I do not think you have thought through the supposed cleverness that you attribute to this manga.

  8. Judging by your first paragraph, you apparently haven’t read the whole series, as the disappearing element becomes relevant again when the author feels like using it.  Realistically though, this is a gag manga full of references to Doraemon, Dragon Ball, and the harem genre, complete with frequent fourth-wall breaking where the characters talk about the magazine the series runs in and the author herself, so why you expect a serious story to develop in most chapters is beyond me.
     
    Statutory rape?  You’re kidding, right?  ALL of the characters are underage (Karin’s mother notwithstanding, but she’s only relevant in a single chapter and never gets very far with Saku himself anyway), and virtually all of them are willing to go at it.  Apparently you were referring to chapter 7, which is a single chapter, so it’s not like this is a frequent occurrence.  The daughters themselves generally admit that feelings are important, so they try to go for it that way.
     
    This whole manga is a play on the harem genre taken to the extreme, or at least that’s how I see it.  Every character is a common archetype you see in harems and most situations are cliches.  Why the HELL are you looking at it for a deep meaning or moral, or even thinking of comparing this to Dr. Strangelove?  There isn’t any moral or message intended, and this should have been clear from the start.  You connect Rape in Yomeiro-Choice to Bombing in Dr. Strangelove, but frankly this connection is weak for a number of reasons, first one being that Rape is not the point of Yomeiro-Choice and it arguably occurs in only one chapter.  Yomeiro-Choice isn’t trying to take something negative and make it funny; it takes a common genre of shounen manga and increases the risque level about 10 notches.
     
    I’m not sure I ever said the manga was clever, but I do like the basic story concept, how off the wall and nonsensical things tend to be (reminds me of watching old cartoons, in a way) and I find the gags to be hilarious much of the time.
     
    TL;DR: You’re taking this ecchi shock gag series WAY too seriously.  Stop it.

  9. Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.  However, your comments show that you either don’t understand literary criticism, or are deliberately bringing up nonsensical arguments in an attempt to troll.   For example, when you argue “the disappearing element becomes relevant again when the author feels like using it,” you only prove my earlier point about “a failure of consistency.”

    I don’t see why you’re so desperately invested in proving the review “wrong,” unless maybe you actually find some of my criticisms valid and this makes you uncomfortable. Either way, effective communication between us is impossible.

    There isn’t any moral or message intended, and this should have been clear from the start.”

    That is precisely what makes it an inferior work.

  10. You know your critisising the work without actual context, and simply looking at it from a foreigners point of view.
    1. The author mentions  in his comments that this is not suppose to provide sexual materials to anyone, but rather its more like a test of irony. Irony that your reading something so close to pornography, but yet it never goes beyond what is taboo in Japan. That is why this manga is not published in any of the month “Hentai” magazines but in a “mature” aged monthy magazine.
    2. If you think this is sick, once again you’ve applied a foreigners eye on Japan. Japan has a very different view on sexuality, for instance you may find in magazines aimed at adolescence girls, to contain instructions that promote underage sex.
    Personally I also believe it is sick, but at the same time the Japanese believe us westerners are sick to have nuclear weapons.

  11. Thanks for your comments, though ironically enough, I think actually you are the one missing a bit of context.

    First, all my reviews are from my point of view.  It’s what makes them my reviews.  I know my biases and I don’t feel it’s productive to try to compensate for them; see the article Meta, Meta, Meta for a discussion of that.

    Second, I am well aware of the differing context between Japanese reading of things and an American reading of things.  See my earlier articles Arthur Kirkland Hates Lolis or Kannagi and Virginity if you want to see me discussing the cultural differences.  All this said, my awareness does not, however, change the fact that I will still occasionally react like a product of the culture I live in.  This isn’t a bad thing; it’s a good thing – it makes my reviews pertinent to other people from Western culture.

    Incidentally, you seem to be implying that Japanese in general wouldn’t find this manga sick at all. I assure you that this is not the case. Sexualization of young girls is culturally accepted but that still doesn’t mean that drugging people or raping them is (and for the nth time, yes, having your way with someone unconscious is rape. Consider Shinji’s scene in EVA. It’s not meant to make us laugh.)

    My issue with Yomeiro Choice isn’t that I can’t understand it.  Irony is fine, but it’s also at present become a reflexive defense for things done poorly in literature and the arts.  Kodomo no Jikan has literary merit as a deconstruction of genre archetypes.  Yomeiro Choice has none, because it doesn’t do any of that.  It stops at the level of pastiche. The author may have attempted more – I have no reason to doubt your assertion – but this attempt was not a success.

  12. If you don’t feel like regretting, you can always take the choice and see how it goes (like you did). Live to tell the tale, or don’t. Let the others do some self-mindrape.

  13. Nothing is inconsistent when you do it carefreely(The author).
    I want you to write a review that actually stands on both sides.You should always show the pros and cons about the story.
    Right now you are only one sided.Try to find why it has no consistency.It is not a failure of consistency,it is just the way they do their work,don’t you find it in other mangas as well?To-Love-Ru or something.It is too bad that the author is too carefree and didn’t think about others feeling or how it would affect other society with different point of view.
    It could be that the author was directing it to the people that are carefree too and wouldn’t take that kind of jokes seriously.
    It’s not like it is a cult that would like to brainwash people to do all that you stated in real life(That’s the age limit for though).You really have to stop for a while and think,when people read and face the reality.They find it funny in mangas but will they find it funny in real life?Of course they won’t find it funny!Like you say incest,I bet all of the people who read that don’t find it funny when they face it themselves but not when seeing other people/character.
    haha and stop with the comparing thing.People will act differently in different situations trust me.This is between different types of people not race or something,so every race would have people like this or most of the race.You yourself said that people have different tastes.
    His daughter is just teasing him not obsessed(except that one daughter the one you put her picture).Still didn’t considered obsess because she is swayed by her father words.Seriously,it is not like until they planned on marrying him right?She came to notice her true goal which then made by the author that she joins for humour(It’s a fantasy anyways).About polygamy thing I have faced this,I also thought that why didn’t he just marry all of them even in real life,but its about the girls feeling really.
    I am in the losing side actually because its the author himself making the mistake,harem mangas always do have this “paper-thin” excuse for things since it’s stupidly funny for some people(I am not talking about the “those who think rape is somehow inherently funny.”Also which is why they are not well knowned like other big shot mangas)
    I myself don’t read it always since it has no good plot.If you want some bad mangas try bashing Aki-Sora.That is more sick than this since this manga which is about humour at least(in a bad way to some people).
    Well conclusively I don’t think this manga is that bad compared to all the hentais.At the least it has some meaning in it.Like you say consequences even though that is not what the author really wants to forward to the readers.You want story with consequences  fundamental, try watching/study “School Days”,that is the real anime that fits what you’re talking about.
    I don’t know why you hate this manga despite your open mindedness.I know this is your review but other people also would read it.I knew how you see things,maybe it’s about respect…(I like the drawing best,I hope the author would do some more manga with a more clear target in mind)
    I understand,just next time say back to the people don’t discriminate others.It’s what you call mutation.You can’t stop it when it could already called a culture because it’s already part of humanity.People keep evolving and it is just a matter of time people will accept it or kill them if they don’t want to accept it…(Besides things that would bring negative effects which wouldn’t come in a large group like psychopaths they will get caught and sent in jail or something)
    All in all I don’t feel like debating or fighting.We are on the same level here.You have your rights and I have mine.
    By the way have you read Bloody Monday?(not an ecchi but cool manga,I don’t know whether they have an anime for it)
    don’t reply since I am not a member and tend to forget to go back.

  14. This article = a guy who takes fanservice-based lite-porn mangas serious.
    Disregard this article.

    People read this to enjoy the “sexy pictures”.
    Some people even use it as inspiration for the position of the protagonist.

    Call them weird if you will, but there’s people like that out there.

    There’s a website of a community filled with millions who enjoy it for so.

    It’s called 4chan. /swt

  15. WTF R U TALKING ABOUT THIS MANGA IS GREAT.I don’t think that its really an issue about its crudeness i thinks its an isssue with you reading it. If u don’t like it let us who like it like it. Stop taking the fun out of likeing manga. This Is the BEST MANGA I HAVE READ IN YEARS.

    -Suck my balls,
    Kidding,
    No Im NOT,
    Anthony

  16. Haters gonna Hate.
    This is a fantastic manga.
    I understand if you believe rape isn’t funny.
    I don’t think it’s funny either,
    unless it’s in a fictional comedy anime/manga/cartoon.
    Then it’s hilarious.

    There is a difference between real life and fiction.
    Please grow up.

  17. You are too harsh on this manga. This is like the Looney Toons and Tom&Jerry cartoon hundreds of millions of people grew up with, but instead of addressing physical violence ( how many thousands of times were Tom/Daffy Duck hit in the head/blown up?), it’s addressing sexual content. It was simply not designed to be taken seriously.

  18. why so serious? this manga is for good laughs and to enjoy ecchi scenes. of course rape and incest and all that are sick, but you can relax as you read the manga. cuz its jst for laughs.

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