This is a little bit different from my usual posts, I would upright say it now that this manga is an h- doujin so it is something that may easily shy away a lot of people. But as you can see, I am putting it out here in the open despite the notoriety of the genre because I found something in it that is worth sharing. I would refrain from using my usual antics and take this one seriously.
Okay let's start!
Author: Da Hootch
Artist: Shindo L
Looks familiar? You might have stumbled upon this image since it has been circulating around the net as a meme, that was how I found it by the way. The way people described it piqued my interest so I gave it a try.
It is pretty standard on its first chapter. A girl named Saki, that was once anti-social decided to change things up and fit into the crowd, going as far as to change her looks and demeanor. But of course things wouldn't end up as peaceful as that, this is an h-doujin after all. I would like to point out once again, especially if you are new to the genre, that there are a lot of disturbing types of work out there and this one is no exception or maybe it is more accurate to say that this contained a whole lot of those unsettling stuff including drugs, incest, bullying, abuse to say the least that this is not something you would normally read even if you are used to the genre.
Now back to the story, the image above is how she looks like after bidding goodbye to her past self. She became the apple of the eye of many and became part of the crowd, all according to plan right? That is until she met a guy named Hayato that introduced her into a whole new world that she never knew existed, by a whole new world I mean she was introduced to drugs and sex. After that she was introduced to compensated dating by her friends and got screwed again. Some of her classmates found out about it and blackmailed her and I guess I no longer need to say what ensued, right? To make things worse even her father couldn't hold himself back anymore and broke the taboo. You know what hurts more than that? Her mother took the side of her father without hearing her side of things. Now she is left with no one to turn to, neither her house nor her school can shelter her anymore, except for one, yes, she still has Hayato.
I know that it sounds so convenient, it is like everything conspired and decided to f*ck her life up. I don't know how things are for other people out there but I believe that though not completely similar, there are those that may have been through the same experience. It is still in the territory of a typical h-doujin stuff at this point so let's continue the story.
With Saki having no one else to turn to she decided to live together with Hayato. She is too blinded by her love for the guy, because Hayato's the first guy that made her feel like she is wanted, something that Saki longed for so she easily took the bait. She is far too naive that she never suspected the ill will of the people around her and from that moment on, her life totally went downhill. She changed her looks again and became a full pledged prostitute to earn money so that she can clear Hayato's debts and remain by his side.
It was at this point that I started to feel bad for Saki and this was also the point where this work, for me, differentiated itself from a normal h-doujin. The story become too deep and depressing that I was forced to look at this as entirely different work from what it was a few chapters ago. It presented a topic that most of us probably ignored like the issue of drugs, prostitution and other illegal dealings. These are issues that I know exist (in my country at least they do) because I can't think of any good reason why someone would enter prostitution in the first place, unless of course, the circumstance forced them to do so which is what this work portrayed be it a little bit over the top. Let's carry on with the story again.
Unfortunately, the worst is still yet to come for Saki. With her addiction getting stronger she prioritized getting drugs than earning money, long story short she no longer benefits Hayato so she was kicked out of the house. The man that served as her last shred of hope that she desperately clings into all this time throws her out of the house, talk about kicking a person that's already down. This time around she truly has no one else to turn to, so she wandered aimlessly and became prey to other social outcasts. Later on it was revealed that she is pregnant, others might hate the idea of getting pregnant at such an inopportune time but Saki thinks otherwise, she made the child her new beacon of hope into returning into a normal life.
However, returning to a normal life is not going to be easy given how deep she already is in that world. Saki continued to whore herself despite being pregnant but it was shown that she is indeed trying to change back, she is doing that to save money for her child. Everything looks like it was going to be alright until a group of strangers saw her savings and started to gang up on her, even after taking away her money they decided to beat her up for a petty reason that they think Saki is society's trash and doesn't deserve anything, not even respect.
That was a rare moment for me, I was genuinely mad at a fictional character in a fictional story. That was a revolting feeling that made me remember something from a show called Shinsekai yori, the ugly side of humanity. I won't generalize things but I am pretty sure most people here have at least an experience with people who hurt others for the sake of their own principles and worse for their entertainment. But this is not yet the end, let's see how things played out.
After that incident, Saki slowly walked towards the comfort room, looked at her reflection in the mirror and...
As someone who has witnessed her whole story, this part made me tear up a little inside. It was heartfelt sadness and I felt so bad for what happened to her character. Saki was once a pure innocent girl that only longed for other people's acceptance, so this outcome, how did this things ended up like this? I don't care if you think I am being way too dramatic over this but when I think about how this might have happened to someone in real life, it reminds me that our world maybe a beautiful one for majority of us, but that is not the case for everyone especially those who have endured too much hardship that their only way of salvation is to take their own life. Let's finish the story.
After looking at her reflection and bawling, she gave in and injected a lot of drugs that possibly ended her life. This might be the saddest part of the story but a scene about her and her daughter in a future where they are both living happily was shown, a beautiful dream started as her life ended and you know what?
She smiled for the last time.
That was a sad yet very beautiful scene. I am not glad that she died but I think she deserved the peace, she's been through too much suffering and even though I wanted her to return to her normal life, I think as things stand that may not be possible anymore. She has only herself and the child she bears, her family didn't bother finding her, her friends turned their back on her, Hayato discarded her, her patrons when she was a prostitute are disgusted by her and even strangers on the street either picked on her or turned a blind eye on the acts performed towards her. I am not patronizing her last resort but I think she had enough, I think she no longer need to carry that burden anymore.
Emergence is a sad story about how an innocent girl emerged out of her shell and turned into a beautiful existence, like how a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, she grew a pair of wings but eventually fell victim to the unfairness of the world. It is about a beautiful soul living in an ugly distorted world. It is about losing sight of yourself as you go after things you think you need to be.
This might sound an exaggeration, but despite the fact that it is an h-doujin I can say for sure that this is one of the few works where I was plunged deep in thought about how things are operating. It presented me a story that is not easy to forget and an issue that is not easy to talk about, even in all the titles I've read/watched to date I can only name a few that divulged in topics that affects how an individual views the society. I guess this just shows that you can't really judge a book by its cover, that's why I don't discriminate on how stories are portrayed or what medium was used. If I know for myself that it was a good one then by all means I would talk about it even if it means that some people might turn against me.
I am lost for words on how I would bring this one to a close, I don't know if I gave justice to the story with how I explained things but if you don't mind explicit contents then I can only encourage you to pick up the material itself. It has 7 chapters and will probably take an hour or two to complete the entirety of it. With that, I will be saying my goodbyes for today and see you again on my next post!