Manga Review

Sweet Poolside

Sweet PoolsideSweet Poolside
Author: Shuzo Oshimi
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
First Published: April 9, 2011
Genres: Ecchi, Shonen, Slice of Life, Sports
Pages: 184
Format: Webpage
Source: Read Online

two-stars
Synopsis:

Oota Toshihiko is a meek 7th grade boy who's teased for having an unnaturally hairless skin. Meanwhile, his female classmate Gotou Ayako suffers from having unnaturally hairy skin which she must shave everyday, despite being terrible at shaving. One day, Oota accidentally walks in on Gotou shaving, and is then roped into helping his hairy classmate shave.

Also by this author: A Trail of Blood, Happiness, The Flowers of Evil


My Thoughts

The premise for this manga was ridiculous enough to pique my interest and I honestly don’t know what I expected. A teenage boy who hasn’t grown any body hair meets a girl with a lot of body hair, and the two band together to shave. There is some good commentary about the way that society judges both men and women about body hair underneath the obvious ecchi scenario of a boy shaving a girl. This little manga would definitely appeal to folks with trichophilia, particularly the ones that find shaving arousing.

Ayako actually has a normal amount of body hair, but like many teen girls is embarrassed by it. I could relate to Ayako in that way because bodily hair can be a source of teasing from other teens. When I was in middle school I didn’t shave my legs or my armpits, my mother had warned me to hold off on shaving as long as I could so that my hair wouldn’t grow hard and thick like hers and she was right, I had soft baby hair. I began shaving in seventh grade, after wearing a shirt vest that had no sleeves and I got ridiculed mercilessly by a boy in my class. I was so embarrassed I went home and took my dad’s razor to shave my armpits.

“Even though our genders are different, Gotou and I might actually be similar…”

Ayako struggles with shaving, cutting herself left and right. It sounds ridiculous but when you first start, especially when nervous and ashamed, it’s understandable. I too used to get tons of nicks and cuts because I was clumsy and would push too hard, so in a way the manga is not entirely unbelievable. Like many slice of life manga, the story does not really go anywhere beyond the strange shaving friendship shared between the two main characters. However, I liked the message that body hair is natural and beautiful, it is a message of body positivity that I didn’t expect to find in a silly ecchi manga but here we are.


Warnings: sexually explicit content


About Shuzo Oshimi

Shuzo Oshimi is a Japanese manga artist who publishes works primarily for Kodansha. He made his debut with Superfly in Kodansha’s Monthly Shōnen Magazine. He is best known for his manga Drifting Net Cafe, The Flowers of Evil and Happiness. His works have been adapted into many different media including television drama, anime, and live-action film. In 2001, he won the Tetsuya Chiba Award.

Jamie

I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply