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Yubisaki Milk Tea Ends Today; Why You Should Check It Out

The manga finishes its run in Japan.

Comic Natalie reports that Yubisaki Milk Tea's last issue is now on sale in Japan, so I thought this would be a good time to talk about the manga-- and why you should seriously consider picking it up. And not just because it involves a dude in a dress (though for me, that's an added perk).

Yubisaki Milk Tea is a romantic drama about a young man who's torn between two women; one is his slightly younger childhood friend, and the other is an emotionally damaged classmate. The twist is that the man, Yoshinori Ikeda, has a hobby: he cross-dresses. In the end he actually creates an entirely alternate identity named Yuki, as whom he originally befriends said classmate.

 Yubisaki Milk Tea v8
 Yubisaki Milk Tea v8
It sounds like the setup for a wacky comedy, and there are some amusing moments, but this M-rated manga is a bit more of a dark look at growing up and discovering one's identity. It's also a manga that's often brought up in conjunction with Kodomo no Jikan due to the frequent sexual tension and occasional nudity and other content, because the characters involved are young: Ikeda and his classmate Minamo are in high school, and his childhod friend Hidari is in middle school. Yubisaki is one of the titles that sometimes comes into question when people talk about the potential fallout of Chris Handley's sentencing-- but volume 8 is still currently scheduled on TOKYOPOP's website.

The story that develops, in all honesty, doesn't really deliver as much as it could. The result is in large part an angsty love-triangle soap opera.  But in my opinion it's still a bit more creative than your average love-triangle manga (more so than, say, the earlier chunks of Vampire Knight, which was entertaining but let's face it, pretty trashy). 

It's also published in Hakusensha's Young Animal seinen anthology, which is known for some of its more fanservicey titles (and photos of real women in bikinis), but I think its story combined with its more sketchy, fairly neutral art style makes it one that will appeal to members of both genders who like a bit of romantic drama in their lives.

If that's you, go pick up a copy of Yubisaki Milk Tea #1 today. And then come back here and tell me what you think! (Or, if you've already read it, get a-commenting!)    
cfatalison March 12, 2010 at 12:05 p.m.
well i read it in a irregular way, it's kind hard to see who is who if you don't really follow it carefully, said dude in dress, never looked like a dude at all when in dress, and suddenly shifted to being a guy when not in dress, as for the story it's good, not that special, but good nonetheless
rocketbomberon March 12, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.
I recommend Yubisaki Milk Tea without reservations or qualifiers.  You should read this.  Yeah, yeah, cross-dressing, whatever... it's just a plot point and a way to deepen characterization: and we all like more complex plots and deeper characters, right? 
It can't be action and magic and weird stuff from Japan all the time, right?  Right? 
If you find the pesky details to be a distraction, well, that's your problem.
giaon March 12, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.
@rocketbomber: I still feel that at least as of volume 6 (where I last left off), it hadn't gone as far as it could...but it is certainly better than your average fluff piece, defintiely.
cfatalison March 12, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.
@rocketbomber: well depend on your mileage of weird stuff
JackSukeruon March 12, 2010 at 2:41 p.m.
Well I am a big fan of masks, crossdressing is sort of a mask right? or is it the other way around? 
Lately I've been excited to read new stuff so I might try it out.
rhkalogeon March 12, 2010 at 3:06 p.m.
Did you seriously just recommend a manga with connections to the Handley case?  Well, as long as I don't get it by mail...
Axersiaon March 12, 2010 at 7:44 p.m.
I'm 6 volumes into this manga and have been for the past... I dunno... well over a year now I think. Perhaps vol. 7 wasn't out yet when I finished vol. 6 and I just ended up forgetting about the series. I liked it quite a bit, though. Admittedly, I started reading it for the cross-dressing protagonist, but it has a lot more than that going for it (like, for example, hot brother-sister incest -- WIN!)
But seriously though, if you're into comedy/romance/ecchi manga and want to read one with a deeper plot than the average manga in that particular genre, you can't really go wrong with Yubisaki Milk Tea. Oh, and despite the fact that the protagonist is a cross-dresser you really don't need to worry about any yaoi moments...
Except for that one kiss in vol. 6...
giaon March 13, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.
@rhkaloge: Just because bloggers and pundits have brought it up in conjunction doesn't mean it was directly involved. Does it have some questionable material? Yes, but remember that the "obscenity" test includes a question about whether the item has any serious literary or artistic merit, and I don't think anyone would question that Yubisaki does.
John_Martoneon March 16, 2010 at 3:27 p.m.
@rhkaloge said:
" Did you seriously just recommend a manga with connections to the Handley case?  Well, as long as I don't get it by mail... "
ha! Was Yubiski Milk Tea one of the "noted" ones? I thought he was only called out for the manga that included "violent sex acts" against minors. Got the feeling that isn't the tone here.
@rocketbomber said:
It can't be action and magic and weird stuff from Japan all the time, right?  Right?
I will take your recommendation heartily, as I consider you a man of good taste. Though I'd like to note that cross-dressing to allure your intended girlfriend is probably considered "Weird stuff" in the mind of many people.
Eleutheriaon March 18, 2010 at 5:38 p.m.
It ends well.  Not on a generic happily ever after note, but on a somewhat Murakami-esque modern Japanese note (thinking specifically of Norwegian Wood)

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