A few days ago, I noted the rise of Yaoi manga at Borders and wondered where the culture police were hiding. Now after reading volume one of Yubisaki Milk Tea I’m wondering if I should quit using coupons and start paying for things in cash! Yubisaki Milk Tea is the first manga I’ve personally encountered that features cross dressing, and a heavy dose of lolicon (lolita complex) including underage nude girls, all in one package. I know such things have existed for some time in Japan, but this is the first I’ve seen of it in a mainstream bookstore. The story is interesting and I like the exploration of gender identity introduced by the the cross dressing Yoshinori/Yuki. But the lolicon undercurrent is a little pervy putting the manga right on the borderline of hentai. So the book is shrink-wrapped and marked with an M (mature ages 18+) for good reason. But there is nothing graphically explicit that would push the title over the line, so while it may inspire some really naughty thoughts, the police are not likely to come a knockin any time soon.
All of this makes me wonder if we’ll see another volume of this stateside at all. It also makes me wonder if manga in the U.S. has already peaked which would make catering to niches within manga another way to support sales. Or is this part of a greater trend in the entertainment industry to cater to more mature tastes?