Is love the answer? – Uta Isaki

The kickoff for our Pride Month is with this manga by Uta Isaki. When I order manga I try to research online what the story is about. With manga it is sometimes easier to find out because it has been published in Japanese before being translated. The brief summary made me curious about this manga.

When it comes to love, high schooler Chika wondes if she might be an alien. She’s never fallen in love or even had a crush on anyone, and she has no desire for physical intimacy.
Her friends tell her that she just “hasn’t met the one yet,” but Chika has doubts. It’s only when Chika enters college and meets peers like herself that she learns there’s a word for what she feels inside – asexual – and she’s not the only one. After years of wondering if love was an answer, Chika realizes that the answer she long sought may not exist at all – and that that’s perfectly normal.

The manga starts just with a simple question: “What does it feel like to “like” someone?”
Chika is listening to a boy she is friends with, confess his love to her. You see the confusion on her face while she is trying to figure out what the words “like” and “go out” mean to her. But his definition doesn’t fit with what she feels.

Her friends are ecstatic that she started dating, they thought it would never happen. This remark surprises Chika. “Is this something that is expected of me?” But when he takes her home, things go south quickly. When he tries to be intimate a sense of fear comes over her and she rejects him. All he could say was: “Why? I thought we were going out. Don’t you know the deal when you go over to a guy’s house?”

Later at school she is shunned by the boys, called an alien and someone that doesn’t have common sense. For me personally I really hate boys who are like that. Looking back at my dating youth, I was also ridiculed when I didn’t want to have sex on the first date. WTF men, why are you like this?

Her friends just tell her that she hasn’t met the right guy yet, calling her ex a creep but at a heartbreak karaoke meet she overhears he friend talking about the incident. When told that they broke up because she didn’t want sex with him while she was over his place, they called her a prude. That she should have known what going over to a boy’s place means and that she will never get a boyfriend until she fixes it.

These words hurt her to her core while she thinks: “I see, I just haven’t met “the one” yet…I wish someone would teach me…”How to human 101″ for aliens…”
On which she assumes she is not a normal person. Poor girl, I just want to hug her.

Chika ends up going to college and studying psychology to learn more about herself. By chance she runs into the professor that she idolizes and asks her passionately to teach her about humans, about how to be normal, about why she doesn’t have sexual urges, never liked anyone romantically. And the professor asks of her: “So you want to study psychology because you don’t understand romantic attraction?”

Chika: “I’m not sure. Romance is supposed to be great, and not being able to like anyone isn’t normal, because any regular person would definitely-

Professor: “Then why should you have to do it? Why would you force yourself to do something that doesn’t feel natural? It is the same with romance.”

And this is just the first 40 pages of the manga my friends. The professor really does a micdrop here.

This manga beautifully shows how Chika meets people that are also part of the LGBTQIA+ community, how they handle their fears and overcame their difficulties while she comes to terms with her own sexuality. It shows that you can’t always define asexual people as one whole, they experience it all in a different way and I think that the manga-ka does a great job with this book. But y’all need to know that questioning someone why they still don’t have a partner, saying things like you haven’t met the right one yet, does not help the person in question. Some people are absolutely fine with not having a romantic partner. They make their own identities and not the identity that society wants to copy and paste on every single human being on this earth.

What is asexuality?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation that is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and refers to a person who is not sexually attracted to others.

* Some asexual people do not experience sexual attraction, but can fall in love with (are romantically attracted to) others – alloromantic asexual.

* Some asexual people can have sex even though they have no sexual urges (An example is someone who will have sex if a partner requests it. Some asexual people people are sex-repulsed, while others are not, and this may determine whether they are able to have sex.)

* Some asexual people have sexual urges but don’t wnt to act on those urges with other people.

You can se that asexuality is vastly diverse that it seems difficult to find two asexual people who are the same. The manga-ka didn’t mean for the main character to represent asexuality, She is just one of the different kinds of asexual identities out there.

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