AR: Emergence (Metamorphosis) – From Innocent to Horrendous

*this manga is NSFW material but you probably already knew.*

One boring sunday I was talking to my friend about a certain anime which he said eerily reminded him of Emergence. I, being the uncultured individual I am, had no clue what it was and he proceeded to tell me that it was an “emotionally exhausting NSFW must-read for artists and degenerates” I quote. So what did I do?

I picked it up of course. He had sparked a curiousity in me and I just couldn’t go without checking out just how exhausting and horrible it was. Besides, I have no problem reading NSFWs. I like admiring the level of art that goes into them and the clear effort of expressions and body parts.

Do you want to know what the worst part about reading it was? It was actually good. I repeat, it was good. It was just as emotionally exhausting and heart-breaking as I had been warned but from what I expected to be a mindless, plotless NSFW was actually a melancholy tale of the most unluckiest girl in the world and the evil of society.

Synopsis [MAL]

In middle school, Saki Yoshida was an outcast. Out of fear of being ostracized due to her introverted personality, she isolated herself from her classmates. Growing to regret this lifestyle, Saki resolved to change herself in high school.

Now donning cute clothes and makeup, Saki’s initiative quickly pays off, and she wins several new friends on the first day of class. But her classmates aren’t the only ones impressed by Saki’s new appearance—a young man named Hayato later approaches and sweet talks her into joining him for karaoke. Exploiting Saki’s obliviousness, Hayato drugs and takes advantage of her, promising that he will “play” with her again as he leaves. Stunned but left curious by the sexual encounter, Saki decides to partake in more of these “social interactions,” unaware of what her metamorphosis will truly entail.

(MAL synopsese are amazing!)

Ever since we see Saki obliviously sell her virginity off to Hayato, the reader feels an immense amount of sympathy and sadness for her. All she really wanted was to make friends and lead a happy highschool life through beauty. She never asked for guys to come to her like flies. Is it her fault that she was born too innocent? Is it her fault no one ever taught her what was ‘right’ and what was ‘wrong’ in life? Every single event that happens to Saki is absolutely horrendous to witness. Especially knowing that this can happen to anybody out there in the real world. Sex trafficking and prostitution are serious problems and I found Emergence to capture such problems efficiently. Emergence conveys dark problems and themes surprisingly well for its standard by getting readers attached to Saki’s character within a mere 20 pages only to slowly break her apart in front of us in the most viciously calm way possible.

Image result for metamorphosis manga
what a terrifying transformation.

Saki continously stays oblivious and sacrifices everything she’s ever known all in belief that its out of ‘love’ or ‘friendship’ – A mindset not meant for the adult world or even the highschool world. You’d expect Saki to learn from all her continous ‘friendly interactions’ and yes! Yes, she does! But once your in the sex trafficking / prostituion loop, there really is no escaping it. Especially in real life. I read a documentary on sex-trafficking and prostitution a few weeks ago.

Saki sadly realized the error of her actions too late into the fray and no matter her efforts to stop the men’s sexual assault and her own addiction to the sex life, it never works and Saki eventually comes to accept her fate as the ‘slut’ she’s been told she was ever since she made her decision to become a better, more socialable person in the beginning. This manga perfectly depicts the weight of change and how much you have to be aware of it no matter how innocent and small it may look.

Probably why Emergence’s alternate title is Metamorphosis.

Its heart-breaking when Saki decides to seriously get out of the sex-trafficking / prostitution loop. She finalizes that she’ll lead a good life for her baby so she spends months prostituting herself to save up money for the new life they’ll have. She spends month making sure her clients don’t do anything to mess up her baby’s growth during sex and when the due date for her baby approaches, we see the outcome of all her hardwork – piles of money crammed in a bag she worked for. Maybe we’ll get the happy ending we’ve been dreaming to see for her?

Image result for laughing gif
you fools….

No. It all goes down the drain when a group of highschoolers come around and notice her money stash. They look at her disgusting appearance, they look at her pregnant belly at her young age and come to the quick assumption that she stole it (what an societal message). They beat her, they kick her impregnanted stomach, they steal her money, they sexually embarass her in public, they mock her and infinitely more. Saki, embarassed, stumbles into a bathroom where no one will find her and wears the glassess she wore as the innocent ‘outcast’ she was at the beginning of the story, wishing she could go back to that simple, harmless lifestyle she should’ve cherished more. It was a lifestyle more than she could ever ask for and she threw it all away all because she just wanted friends. The glasses no longer match her once beautiful look. They look awkward on her ymbolizing how she can never go back to a quiet peaceful life despite her efforts as explained. Knowing this, she miserably snorts a plethora of drugs and dies along with her baby all while she imagines a future where she’s happy with her child.

Image result for metamorphosis manga
ughhhhh, this hurts to look at…

The scene closes with Saki smiling at her impossible vision as her glasses lay close beside her symbolizing the innocent, happy person she once was now broken and stained.

Emergence is one volume filled with pure despair and unfairness. It’ll make you angry, sad, guilty, miserable; just one one big mess of emotions. Emergence showcases just how terrifying sex and adolescence can be and how horribly wrong change can go in a society we’re apart of today. I found it oddly deep and heart-breaking even if it wasn’t meant to be that at all. I found it painful to read through and that says alot since 3/4 of it is Saki f*cking someone (but all of that supports the terrifiying adolescence theme and cruelty of life and society in the first place).

So, do you think you can handle a coming-of-age story about an innocent girl being dragged down into the world of deep breath, incest, pregnant intercourse, sexual violence, abuse, prostitution, drug addiction, date-rape, sex-trafficking and suicide? It’ll be hard to perservere through but in exchange, you’ll have experienced a great story about human nature, wilting innocence, digusting actions and the impossibility and unprecedented evil of change in the society we live in.

Why do you think its called Metamorphosis?

~ Word of the Review: Evil ~

Rating: 9.8

Thank you for reading!

19 thoughts on “AR: Emergence (Metamorphosis) – From Innocent to Horrendous

  1. Thank you for your courage and curiosity to read this and the share your review. I am curious, too, now, and I am glad that this sort of story is being shared because a lot of people seem to live in a little happy bubble with no idea how easy this can happen to them, their kids, their friends. And how awful it is. I’ve been in that world. Which is one reason I’m not entirely sure I want to read it. PTSD. Nuff said. But I might. Thanks for the honest review.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Its no problem. I’ve only seen people look at this as another hentai which is kind of annoying seeing how much deep thought and messages are invoked into Emergence. I believe it deserves more recognition for its realistic story than its sexual appeal. It’d be sad if people skipped this one out simply because of the questionable tags and “hentai” title so I tried focusing on the deep messages and realism Shindo conveyed in hopes someone out there would be convinced to try it for its story. It makes me happy that you’re curious about checking out Emergence for its deep storyline and messages.

      Also, i’m sorry to hear about your experiences. Metamorphosis is a strong piece of literature dedicated to the topic of dark, realistic themes as described so don’t be pressured into reading it unless you’re confident you’re mentally prepared. It can hit hard even if the such has never happened to the reader so please excersise caution.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That 9.8 rating is too enticing for me to give this a pass. I love how mangas and novels are always able to tackle such thought-provoking subjects more freely. Guess I’ll have to buckle up and give this a go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to write erotica, among other things. Some of my finest and hardest hitting fiction WAS also erotica, and I’ve also read some truly well written erotica with terrific story and character, so I know what you mean. I’d hate for people to dismiss a truly good story because it has some sex in it. Sex is part of life and like anything else can be a good part of life or a bad part of life – and both, even. So, again, kudos for bringing this work to light as more than “just hentai”. (Hopefully I don’t sound too much like someone who buys Playboy “for the articles” – chuckle)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I quite liked Emergence for going the extra mile of making even the reader feel guilty for reading it. I mean, I’m not gonna say it wasn’t intended to at least appeal to people in a sexual way (especially the earlier chapters), but I admire people who write what they want.

    My favorite ShinDol story isn’t this one though, it’s a manga called Fragile and Tough, which is a short one-shot about a woman who lost all her limbs in a car accident. MUCH more lighthearted and fluffy than Emergence.

    Also, Josuke saving Saki is CANON, YOU CAN’T TELL ME OTHERWISE:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my goodness…I needed that alternate ending in my life haha. I’m coming to appreciate Jojos references much more now.

      I’ll be sure to check out Fragile and Touch. It think I need a lighthearted manga to lift my spirits even if its about a woman who loses her limbs haha. Its nice hearing your thoughts on Emergence also and thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re probably the 2nd person to talk about this one publically since I’ve only known the anime man on youtube to actually talk about this series. technically twice since he also had an interview with Shindol himself pretty explaining how Emergence was exactly as you described it. first time I read it I wasn’t too sure what to think of it then about 2 years after it’s original release when i looked at how sex trafficking and drug abuse have an impact on people and keep in mind this is stuff I had to learn due to military lectures since i was in the army at the time, but anyway yeah it’s kind of one of those rare stories in hentai format you’re not really gonna catch on or realize the subtle messaging of the first time or 2nd time till you let it sink in and come back to it at a later point in your life.

    I think this shows how you can find and grab inspiration from any genre provided it can be done well and handled properly. not to say all writers or hentai artists have to follow Shindol’s example in how to tell something like Emergence but a story like this does need to be handled in a way that expresses the things that happen and how it affects people. So, I’m glad to see you gave this a shot and found its meanings. for the record I do read a few of Shindol’s other works like TSF which is kind of funny to see how a guy who gets turned into a girl via magic miracle drug pill and a few others. well anyway glad you got something out of this rare story that has been slowly getting that cult following once people realize there’s more to it than just your average dark hentai story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My review was close to Shindol’s explanation? Sweeeet! I’m glad I was able to catch what he was trying to get at then.

      I hope more people can see Emergence not as a simple hentai but as a deep story on realistic themes portrayed in a mature manner (explicit sex). I don’t think this manga would be as amazing without the explict sex in it. It says much more about the world that way. Imagine if the manga had light beams / steam bubbles covering up people at every panel? Yikes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that is the benefit Shindol has in being a hentai mangaka right now but even then genital censorship in japan is something he can’t avoid unless he can get approved for 100% uncensorship. But yeah Shindol when he puts his mind to it can actually tell something without you realizing it. not to say he always does this in all his works cause TFS is one of those hentai manga’s he’s done I’m not sure if he’s commenting on just prostitution or changing genders to a more extreme fictional concept or if he was just doing something that just came to his head lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Anime man’s interview with ShindoL

        Anime man talks about Emergence along with other hentai

        in case you or anyone else in this comment section was curious since it’s not an exaggeration when i said Emergence has been on small following which I guess at this point is a cult following status. hell even Akidearest talked about this one 2 year’s prior.

        Akidearest talking emergence and one other manga.

        Just to show that you’re not alone in telling people to give Emergence/Metamorphosis a read if you can and also how often do you get to see the actual ShindoL outside of his patreon to talk about some his thought process on the mangas and doujins he’s done so far.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I hadn’t heard of it either and I probably wouldn’t have read it hadn’t my friend nagged the hell out of me to read it that day.
      Thank goodness I fell victim to his nagging! It’s a truly fascinating read even if it’s designed to be a hentai.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s