Manga-ka: Kazuto Okada
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: January 2009
Synopsis: “When Kurumi and Hideo are left alone in the “Roman Club” classroom, Kurumi makes a special “request” of Hideo… From that moment on, Hideo’s dull life gets far more…frustrating. The climax builds as Kurumi says she wants to visit Hideo’s house. Now the Aiba family is in an uproar over their son bringing his first girl home!!”
It’s more of the same and then some in this fourth volume of Sundome with the sexual encounters of Hideo and Kurumi becoming more frequent and more daring. Kurumi lets Hideo have a little more each time, moving forward their physical relationship but never crossing the simplest of lines. Hideo’s fetish for her grows as the story continues, one that could easily turn the stomachs of some and stimulate more than the curiousty of others.
I’ve decided I see this as a porn. Porn with plot, and one without any all-the-way sex scenes, but a porn none the less. It may not be its only intent but the urine fetishes, tight panty shots, nippled shirts at every turn and the constant hand jobs and masturbatory scenes earn this more porn-title merit than many titles actually released as hentais out there.
What fortunately remains the miniscule saving grace of this story for readers awaiting it to amount to something less skeevy than a borderline-hentai, is the yet to be explained back story of the mischievous, Kurumi. Those mysteries are even more apparent with the reappearance of the older man who visits her apartment. What’s the nature of their relationship? Relative? Doctor? Four volumes of this series has certainly done a decent job foreshadowing the possibilities, such as implying that Kurumi is ill, and you can’t help but be curious about where it’ll all wind up. Moments still seem on keen on showing us that this could all be for Hideo’s benefit, turning him into a better man. But is that it? Is that the conclusion Sundome wants us to arrive at? What is Kurumi really doing with Hideo?
Watching the characters evolve is also something that makes reading four volumes of this tolerable. Kurumi finally seems to be treating Hideo more like a human being and may actually have some real feelings for him. Hideo doesn’t seem to notice, or else enjoys the way things are now so much he’s intentionally ignorant, but there’s undoubtedly a need for a frank confrontation about where their relationship is now (or where it will be).
Essentially though, I can’t help but see Sundome as the closest thing to porn you’ll be able to buy under generally mainstream-pretenses. It has its oddly sinister feeling moments as Kurumi’s control over Hideo becomes a nearly everyday habit to the two and her rewards are a continually yearned for treat to him (which are still often ripped away at the last second). My curiousity pertaining to Kurumi’s past and connection to the older man continue to hold my interest, resigning me to reading this pornographic piece to find the answers despite how skeezy it feels. By this point, Sundome may have its tiny threads of plot but it earns a recommendation to those looking for porn more than those looking for prose. Psychological subtext or not, I call it as I see it and after so many fondled-genitals, you can only see so much.