dad what is this
its your first waifu
dad this is a pillow with a cartoon on it
alright listen here you little shit
Story of my life.
This… is, to me, the most beautiful and terrifying scene in Yubisaki Milk Tea, and my favourite scene in any manga ever.
Ikeda has lived so long crossdressing as Yuki that he’s come to consider her a separate part of himself. He is Ikeda, and she is Yuki. They’re not the same person any more. It’s important to Ikeda because he created Yuki as part of his passion for photography, modeling for himself as Yuki, and then going out into the world and making friends as Yuki, letting his girlfriend of the time Minamo know about Yuki and even dating his best friend Wataru as Yuki. Yuki becomes such a big dramatic part of Ikeda’s life that he can’t imagine living without Yuki. Minamo knows that no girl can ever compare to Yuki for Ikeda - he even modeled aspects of Yuki on Minamo so that he would know what a girl feels like, what a girl acts like.
Yuki becomes Ikeda’s idea of perfection.
And of course, he falls in love with her.
It gets to a point where Ikeda wants to give everything up and become Yuki forever. Failing that, he wishes Yuki were real so he could love her like he loves Minamo or Hidari - he even asks Minamo to wear Yuki’s wig and imagines Yuki when he hugs her.
He takes pictures of himself as Yuki, and then dresses up as Yuki and masturbates over them.
That shit ain’t normal, okay. That’s Ikeda’s desperation at chasing an impossible goal. Yuki is something more than human to him. She is purity to him. His idea of how a girl should be, and how he should be, all rolled into one.
So as he gets older and becomes more manly, he despises himself more. He thinks of himself as a filthy male and quits soccer to maintain his slender arms and legs. He gets mad if anyone goes for his face, because that’s Yuki’s face too. He hates that he’s growing up and becoming a man.
And then there’s the theme of butterflies. Kodoma paints butterflies, collects butterflies, paints girls with butterfly wings and at one point, paints Yuki with butterfly wings. Butterflies crop up again and again. Their importance is one thing - preserving perfection.
“Beautiful things must be ceased in their beautiful forms.” The idea that once something has gone past the point of beauty, it is no longer worth anything, and so it is better to be stopped at its most beautiful. This is how Ikeda thinks about Yuki, too. If he can find the point of perfection with Yuki, that’s when he’ll stop being Yuki, because anything after that wouldn’t be as good.
He won’t release his beautiful butterfly yet, because she’s not ready. He will hold onto her for as long as it takes. But he doesn’t realise that he doesn’t have a say in that matter. There’s another limitation too.
In Ikeda’s opinion, the act of sex is the final threshold to becoming a man, and once he becomes a man, he can no longer be a woman. Once that boundary has been crossed, there’s no going back.
Knowing this, he still continues on a path of destruction. He dumps Minamo for Hidari, he dumps Wataru by revealing Yuki is Ikeda, and then he lets himself have sex with Hidari.
On the night after they do the deed, he dreams that Yuki comes to him and tells him that he has forgotten about her in his endeavor to have sex with Hidari, and that she hopes it was worth it. She says that no matter what, she can no longer be the woman Ikeda desires because he has made his choice now.
The final panel of Ikeda’s dream, with himself becoming Yuki and the butterfly wings bursting out of his back, ripping the skin away as they do so, is Ikeda finally realising that the moment has passed, the perfection is gone and he can no longer preserve it. And it hurts. It hurts him to know that Yuki is gone. Everything he has worked for, everything he has perfected over the last year or so… everything he did for Yuki, it’s gone because he has become a man now, and there’s nothing he can do about it.
He is a man, and so Yuki is gone forever.
And it hurts.
I’m crying and it hurts.
Ikeda is my GPOY and this manga is the story of my life.
Thanks for writing a really well thought of piece.
無題 by ぱむ (x)
I wish my sewing machine wasn’t in another country. I want to try the pattern so bad!