At my age MILFs aren’t as appealing as they were in my teens. Why? Practically every woman I know is a MILF.
One staple of the manga industry, as well as other media industries, is adult material. While I’ve read my fair share of adult manga, and even professionally translated some, for the most part these manga are designed to entice and excite. Yet, while there are some that try to incorporate a narrative, the emphasis always seems to be on the sex—I mean why else would men be interested in pornographic material? That being said, there are a few authors of adult manga who dabble in creating a narrative for their works. Though it’s difficult to classify all of these works as adult material, for all intents and purposes, they are no more than an adult manga with the veneer of a young adult story. However, Youtoku Tatsunami’s 2014 series Twin MILF was a rare instance where the story transcended the soft-core and hard-core genres of adult manga. This requires a great deal of understanding of how adult manga are published in Japan, so Twin MILF is truly a unique opportunity to examine that part of the industry. The series itself is another story, though. While it certainly had its enticing moments, there was a cohesive narrative running through the two volume series. Yet, much of the series seemed rushed, leaving little time to become acquainted with the auxiliary characters.
The soft- and hard-core genres of pornography can be relatively easy to classify: soft-core pornography generally doesn’t show any act of sexual intercourse or genitalia, whereas hard-core will. This makes it very simple and easy to keep hard-core material out of the hands of minors—though minors will find ways to access adult material. Yet, when examining the manga industry the lines between what is soft-core and hard-core and age appropriate and adult becomes rather blurred. Yes, some of the same rules still apply, but authors and publishers have found ingenious ways to circumvent Japanese laws to present material that is sexual in nature to minors. Mind you, I’m not speaking about children between the ages of five to eleven, but closer to fifteen to seventeen. However, in order to understand how authors and publishers are able to accomplish this, we must examine the different categories of manga and exactly what kind of sexual content they can display.
In general, there are three classifications of manga: shonen and shojo—I classify these in the same genre if only because both are meant for children—young adult, and adult. This isn’t much different from other forms of media, but the type of sexual content within each genre is relatively tightly controlled. Though there are outliers, this begs the question of exactly what kind of sexually explicit content is allowed in each reading level of manga. At the shonen and shojo levels there is very little in terms of sexual content. Yes, on occasion there are characters who are drawn in the nude, but there are no distinguishing features on them. This makes the characters more akin to a children’s doll rather than the naked people found in pornographic material. Ken Akamatsu’s Love Hina is rife with examples of the female characters drawn like this as was Mattsu and Asu Tsubaki’s He is My Master. In fact, the third volume of the latter series had a fairly easy to understand explanation of how sexual content works for children’s manga. In terms of the actual act of copulation, there are cases where it may be alluded to, but never explicitly shown. Hanayome-sama ha 16 Sai is a great example of this.
In turn, with young adult manga the amount of detail added to the physical features of the female figure is increased, but no more than their nipples. As such, manga in the young adult genre are slightly more enticing, but they hardly have any content that a reasonable adult would find inappropriate for the age group the material is intended for. Much like shonen and shojo manga, very few young adult manga explicitly show the act of copulation, but again, there are outliers. I think adult manga are relatively self-explanatory, but I feel it’s important to understand how adult manga are published in Japan. While much more of the human figure is displayed, as well as the act of coitus being shown explicitly, Japanese law prevents publishers from showing the phallus or female member in full. Thus, when reading adult manga, the sexual organs are censored. Yes, some publication houses will censor the entire organ, but many only use a thin black bar to cover the organs. This is what we have to keep in mind, that is, how the sex organs are censored, when we discuss Twin MILF.
However, before we examine how Twin MILF transcended the young adult and adult genres of manga, we have to address the outliers in shonen, shojo, and young adult manga first. While I say most shonen and shojo series don’t expose much of the human form, there are manga series that have pushed the boundaries in how much is shown. A recent example would be Saki Hasemi and Kentaro Yabuki’s To Love-ru and To Love-ru Darkness. These series really push the amount of the female body that can be shown in shonen manga series and as such caused the Tokyo Prefecture legislature to try and classify series like this, at least within Tokyo Prefecture, as adult material. Unfortunately for the legislature of Tokyo Prefecture, there is no sexually explicit content in either series and it’s not as though the female characters are always naked. Though far different, many young adult manga also incorporate sexually explicit material into the narrative. Two series I’ve written about, Wako Honna’s Nozoki Ana and LINDA’s Sekirara Kanojo, and one that I plan on writing about in the future, Katsu Aki’s Futari Ecchi, all display the act of copulation in rather great detail. Yet despite this, they aren’t classified as adult material. This is because, as I stated above, the sexual organs are completely censored. As such, so long as an author removes the sex organs entirely or draws the act in what would amount to textbook diagrams, a young adult manga will generally not be classified as adult material.
This was one of the aspects that made Twin MILF a remarkable series. That is to say, the first volume was a young adult manga with sexually explicit content while the second was an adult manga. Granted, the adult content was exactly the same in both volumes, but how it was presented gave the series a very different tone. For example, at the end of the fifth chapter in the first volume, the protagonist, Shinji Kano, was ejaculating on the two heroines, Yumi Mishima and Nami Ōtake. Whereas in an adult manga we would have far more detail in terms of what the sex organs looked like, here they were completely censored. This gave the scene in question a far less erotic tone and made it patently obvious we were reading a work of fiction. Yet, in the second volume the sex scenes lacked much of the censorship in the first volume, making it far more erotic. The tonal shift in terms of the erotic material is something that is rarely seen in a young adult manga series and seeing such a stark transition certainly distinguished this series from others within the genre.
Though the shift from young adult content to adult content was admittedly a unique feature of this series, the narrative, while cohesive, was blasé to say the least. It was no more than a romance story with an emphasis on the sexual content. As such, a handful of the tropes from adult manga could be seen here. These would include the heroines becoming enamored with the protagonist’s phallus, trysts, and to a lesser degree, cuckolding and adultery. Sure, for those not familiar with these tropes these were a new way to experience romance, but like the tropes in the harem genre of shonen series, they are relatively played out. However, it’s the consistent nature and the natural progression of the story in Twin MILF that made these tropes far easier to stomach. Again, while the story was predicated on the sexual content, we saw how Shinji engaging with Yumi and Nami slowly altered their relationship with those around them. Granted, while there are a few we could examine, I felt the relationship between Shinji and Nami and Yumi and her husband, Tatsuhiro, were the most prominent. Taking a look at Shinji and Nami first, what essentially began as a relationship born of sexual desire slowly evolved into a romantic one. Though I won’t claim it’s impossible for a romantic relationship to develop from sexual attraction, seeing how Shinji and Nami’s feelings for each other changed over the course of the two volumes was interesting.
For example, during the eleventh chapter in the second volume, it became apparent Shinji felt a strong enough connection to Nami that he made the proposition they should begin dating. It’s not something one would expect from an erotic series, yet this moment was oddly satisfying. In a similar sense, the change in the relationship dynamic between Yumi and Tatsuhiro was fascinating to read as well. This was for a number of reasons, but the most notable was because Yumi was committing adultery with Shinji. As such, watching Yumi interact with her husband became thrilling in its own right. I mean, I’m not one to become involved with other people’s adulterous affairs, so I’ve rarely seen how these matters play out, but seeing Yumi plot, plan, and scheme how she would spend time with Shinji and hide it from her husband was captivating.
Granted, while these relationship dynamics made the story far more palatable, there wasn’t enough time spent with the supporting characters to give them much weight in the story. This was certainly true with Tatsuhiro, but also with Shinji’s friend, Naoto, as well. With Tatsuhiro, even though we were given some backstory to his character, the effect it had on the series was negligible. Yes, it affected minor aspects of how the story progressed, but just as the series was wrapping up we were beginning to get a better sense of his personality, wants, and needs as a husband and as a man. Had the series continued I’m sure we would have seen Tatsuhiro develop even further, yet as it stands while he was an interesting addition later in the story, he was hardly noticeable. Naoto was in a similar satiation insofar as he provided Shinji with another person aside from Yumi and Nami to interact with. While more fully formed than Tatsuhiro, Naoto only seemed to be in the series for the explicit purpose of comedy relief. However, there seemed to be another layer to his character, that of an avid soccer fan, that could have been tapped to make the series much more engaging. Then again, if Youtoku Tatsunami went in this direction, the core narrative of Twin MILF would have been drastically changed and his vision for the series would have therefore been altered in the process.
I won’t claim Twin MILF to be any sort of masterpiece in the manga medium, but it was truly a unique entry, not because the narrative was riveting or the characters leapt off the pages, but because it transcended two similar, but ultimately different publishing genres, the young adult and adult. This allowed readers who aren’t familiar with the publishing practices of both genres to really examine the differences between the two, and while not explicitly clear, if one were to pay close attention they would see the differences. That being said, as much as the content was sexually stimulating, the narrative was concise throughout the two volumes making it easy to follow. Though it initially centered on three characters, Shinji, Yumi, and Nami, as the series progressed we saw more characters enter the mix. Granted, little time was spent fleshing out the supporting characters, but I’m sure if the author had been given a longer publishing schedule, he would have done far more to incorporate those other characters into a multilayered story. Unfortunately, we were only left with two volumes of some rather vanilla flavored sexual content and a story with tropes that have been well played out. It may seem I’m suggesting people shouldn’t read Twin MILF, but that isn’t exactly the case. Instead, what I want to say is that if you are interested in exploring manga publishing practices in Japan as well as read a sexually stimulating series, this isn’t a poor choice.
Title: Twin MILF
By: Youtoku Tatsunami
Under: Angel Shuppan
Official Site: N/A
More Info: N/A