There are a lot of great romances in anime and manga – in fact, it’s one of the most popular genres! It’s a heart fluttering journey of two consenting people choosing to share a life together.
Except for these series…they think “consent” is optional. Here are some “romance” works that wrongfully excuse sexual harassment as a form of love.
Hatsumi Narita and her family lives in an apartment that is ran by a crazy landlord who will evict them for bad behavior. She gets talked into buying a pregnancy test for her sister…only to get caught by Ryoki Tachibana, who is the son of the landlord. Ryoki blackmails Hatsumi into becoming his slave and uses every opportunity to get in-between Hatsumi and Azusa. Romantic, isn’t it?
Himegoto feeds into the unfortunate stereotype that it’s okay to fondle cross-dressers, because “they have no dignity.” The series follows Hime Arikawa, a boy who is forced to dress as a girl just because he is cute. Throughout the series his “friends” molest and nearly rape him, which the audience is supposed to laugh at…despite Hime’s protest.
For the most part, Shimoneta does a great job breaking down the ecchi genre and critiques sexuality in society. Except when it comes to the relationship between Tanukichi Okuma and Anna Nishikinomiya. Early in the series, we see Anna get “sexually awakened” due to an accidental kiss with Tanukichi. She then spends the majority of series trying to rape him, which is something we are supposed to laugh at? For a series that commented on the importance of sex-ed, they did nothing about this plot point other than force extra sex jokes and Tanukichi’s expense.
Sexual harassment plays a big role in Junjou Romantica. Misaki Takahashi is a timid high school student who gets caught up with the older Akihiko Usami. Akihiko constantly forces himself on Misaki and ignores pleas asking him to stop the harassment. Eventually, Misaki gives in…because every romance needs a lot of coaxing?
One story arc is basically a yuri version of Junjou Romantica. Shizuma Hanazono is constantly molesting Aoi Nagisa, because Aoi needs a little push to go yuri! It’s strange that the series focuses on these two as the main couple, as Strawberry Panic has other consensual yuri couples.
This is a reverse harem that is lead be a very timid girl named Yui Komori, who is forced to live with hunky vampires. The guys are constantly verbally and physically abusing Yui, and she just accepts it. Bullying someone isn’t a healthy way to start a relationship
1Okane ga Nai
A university student is sold to an older man as payment for a debt. Naturally, the older man forces himself onto the young lad, awakens his gay side, and start a vague thing called a “relationship.”
Media often takes things to the extreme for humor or to stand out among other series and it’s great to have open artistic expression. But hopefully no fan is taking notes from these shows as being good models for how to get a date.