Ever since reading an article on a festival for the male genitalia, Mochizuki Yumeko can NOT stop thinking about the penis. It's not that she wants to have sex. She is just feeling this uncontrollable fascination with the penis. The only problem is that she has never seen a real penis. To satiate her obsession of witnessing a real penis, she looks into nude modeling. Now, she succeeded into convincing the timid, and only, member of her school's art club into nude modeling for her. Her journey into avant-garde male genitalia art beings.
You might know Shuzo Oshimi already, from The Flowers of Evil, Happiness or Inside Mari. But while those all have a certain degree of popularity, everyone just ignores his older penis masterpiece: Avant-garde Yumeko. Story The premise of this manga is exceedingly simple: after the highschooler Yumeko read an article about dicks, she became obsessed with them. And it's not a small problem for her... But she has never seen a real one, and when she overhears her classmates talking about sex she decides that has to change. In her search for a real dick she stumbles upon nude modelling - after which she decides to join her school's art club and pushes Masachi (the only other member) to become her nude model. Turns out, Yumeko likes drawing (as long as it's dick), and her obsession is proven to be almost a fetish. Thus begins Yumeko's adventure of penis-drawing, which slowly escalates into crazier stuff. It's quite bizarre, yet comical at times, and the story kept entertaining me through it's absurdity. I won't go into further detail about the story, since there isn't much else I can tell you without spoiling this, and the manga is short anyway. Characters This is where the manga falls quite flat in my opinion. In the first place the cast isn't all that large: there's Yumeko and there's Masachi, but apart from them there's only some nameless classmates, one teacher and Yumeko's mom - and they're rarely seen. So the characters who have to carry the story are Yumeko and Masachi, while Yumeko's only trait is that she's obsessed with dicks. Now, her thought process is quite interesting to see at first, but it gets stale after a while. She doesn't really grow all that much, and instead of becoming more interesting she got more boring. On the other hand we have Masachi, who's only purpose is to "have a dick to show to Yumeko". Apart from that he's handled like every generic high schooler in manga is, so there's not much to say about him either. Art As is Japanese tradition, all dicks are censored in this manga, so don't read it just because you're obsessed with dick and want to see one. Apart from that remark, I like Oshimi's artwork. It looks different enough to distinguish it from other mangaka, and it looks good enough to make it visually pleasing. Overall This manga might be a bit odd and probably not the greatest thing you'll ever read, but for those who think the premise is interesting I'd certainly recommend giving it a try - since it's short you wouldn't lose much by trying anyway.
The synopsis made me feel that this would be interesting and the contents did not disappoint. It was riveting. Well, maybe "riveting" is too intense of a term, but it held my interest and I felt invested in the characters' actions. It was funny. Well, maybe "funny" is a bit too generous, but it was definitely amusing. Like when Yumeko is on the edge of her seat eavesdropping on a classmate relate a sexual experience, hoping that she'll describe her boyfriend's penis. Or when she gets all philosophical and asks "What is a cock?" Or just her over-the-top obsession with penises in general. She goes to great lengths to see a real-life penis and it inspires her to art. The characters aren't drawn all that well, but I love the parts showing Yumeko's twinkling eyes and panting (in general, I think the emotions were conveyed well) as well as quite a few of her drawings we can see in the background.
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