I guess this manga would be considered controversial. We’ll see how it goes as we take a look at Volume 1 of Naoko Kodama’s Netsuzou Trap.
Genres: Drama, Het, Yuri
Themes: Bisexual, Cheating, Childhood Friends, School.
Number of chapters: 5+1 Extra
Plot Summary: Nervous about being alone with her new boyfriend, Takeda, Yuma insists that her once angelic childhood friend, Hotaru and Hotaru’s boyfriend come along for a double date. But when Hotaru begins to touch Yuma and volunteers herself as “practice”, Yuma feels inner turmoil as she enjoys the now devilish Hotaru’s kiss more than Takeda’s.
As the plot summary described this manga is about a “love square” and cheating amongst people dating each other. Basically a run of the mill telenovela/soap opera romance. My mom being an avid telenovela watcher I have seen my fair share of them over the years and maybe I am exaggerating but every single one I have seen either has a love triangle or square as a central part of the plot where one of the competitors is the conquering hero/heroine or the one destined to win and the other or sometimes even the “prize” is a douchebag. NTR throws a wrench by including both. Heck there are live-action media featuring lesbians or bisexual women that fall into this trope. It is all because the mainstream are suckers for romantic drama. I admit I fall under that category as well for you see, despite it sounding like I was complaining against NTR’s story revolving around a love square…I love it. Part of me is ashamed to say that but I enjoyed the first volume quite a bit. I will explain why in a moment.
Now this manga is controversial because of the ever loathed male interference yuri trope and understandably so. Here it is a bit more complicated because of one of the guys being written as a potential conquering hero. Not saying he will win but his “horny gentleman” nature is appealing to mainstream audiences…and really that is the main reason for his character, for the mainstream to empathize with him and look away from the real heroine of the story who I will bring up in a bit. As for the other guy, he sucks. Even if something unexpected were to happen in the second volume involving him he would still suck.
The reason I like this manga a lot is not because of Yuma, who might as well be a student of Citrus’ Yuzu but because of its main protagonist Hotaru. Hotaru is the star of the show. She is the one with the most obstacles to overcome. She is the one whose ultimate goal is not as clear as it may seem. She is the sexy beast whose attempts to conquer Yuma are the main reason any yuri fan would bother checking NTR out. A sweet angel turned seductive, raging otaku boner inducing, devilishly clever seductress whose mind is currently an enigma readers can only speculate what thoughts roam within other than her desire to “eat” Yuma. I suppose I could talk about Yuma’s own inner struggles but as it is tied to Hotaru there is not much to say that the plot summary did not explain.
Overall Netsuzou Trap Volume 1 is a deliciously crude love square whose main protagonist reigns supreme. It is not for everyone as there are some yuri fans in the world who are fully experienced with telenovelas/soap operas or even certain romance dramas. It can be rough for some so proceed with caution unless your mind is prepared for the glory of the conqueror.