Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen Manga Review

Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen

Reviewed by: Linny

But aren’t we all in secret?

Synopsis: Colette works in a popular Parisian brothel in the early 20th century. Through her and her co-workers’ eyes, we see the various perversions and personalities that come to seek their services while also learning about Colette herself and the man she loves, and the men who fall under her spell.

Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):

First up, lets make it clear that Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen is extremely NSFW if the summary blurb didn’t make it clear already. It tells the tale of life in a brothel and the people whose lives are entangled with it. Its a short and quick read at only 9 chapters so it would be a perfect read for anyone who is a fan of darker and dismal fiction especially in relation to the darker shades of human emotions and desires. It’s written by Moyoco Anno, whose characteristic art style is easily recognizable if you have read other works by her. In fact, if you’ve been following CrunchyCrawl, or have been reading through Crunchyroll’s manga library, you’ll find that this isn’t the only series available written by her that deals with prostitutes and forbidden love and desires. For those curious and unaware, I am speaking of Buffalo 5 Girls, whose review you can read here and you can read the manga here.

The lies we tell ourselves are often the worst.

Let’s start with the good. Memoirs is graphic without being cheap. The panels depicting sexual acts are done tastefully and with some censoring, adding to the aesthetic and atmosphere of the story. Our lead. Colette is honest about the darker side of her own personality, and even when you cannot agree with some of her opinions and thoughts, you can atleast understand where she is coming from with them. She isn’t exactly the cliche hooker with a heart of gold though she does lean a little towards the jaded stereotype. There’s a lot of drama brewing between the girls working at the brothel and it is interesting to see their interactions with each other and how they each handle being in their current profession.
The clients discussed and featured in the show are unique and amusing, with their perversions coming in all shapes and forms. Some might leave you chuckling while others might leave you scratching your head in confusion. They might end up being the best part of the story for some as you read about their strange fetishes. Also, none of them engage in any extreme morally upsetting fetishes so there’s no fear about seeing something that might really disturb you. And the author does come up with some rather unique scenarios, such as a funeral being held in a whorehouse.

That’s a rather interesting wish to have.

Now on the negative side of the spectrum, Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen suffers from the same issues I found in Buffalo 5 girls. There are a LOT of cliches abound. If you have read or watched a few books and movies about the life of a hooker, you could virtually play a game of bingo crossing off the cliches abound in the story. Let’s start with our lead Colette, who has the cliche back story of being an innocent small town girl who comes to the city looking for work, falls for the wrong guy and ends up in a brothel earning for him. Then there’s the man she loves, Leon who is ever the smooth talker, constantly sleeping with any woman who can support his expensive lifestyle all the while carrying on a hot affair with a prostitute much more attractive and experienced and conniving than Colette will ever be. Their entire relationship reads formulaic and for more well read people, you will probably find yourself dismissing most of it as something you’ve seen a million times before in similar themed tales.

More like a ripe idiot falling for the oldest trick in the book.

Also, because of its short length, the story ends rather abruptly and if you got invested in any of the characters, you’ll be left grasping at straws, forced to draw your own conclusions. This series really needs to be best approached as a glimpse into the ongoings at a brothel, rather than an in depth look if the 9 chapters content wasn’t already a big tip off about that. Still, the rather quirky end might leave some readers upset about how we leave some very intense story lines up in the air.
Shoud you read Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen? Yes, you should if you enjoy reading quick little tales set in a brothel and revolving around the workers and customers in it and enjoy the cliches abound in such tales. You could also check it out just to see some of the quirky scenarios the author conjures to show the fetishes of some of the customers. However, if you’re hoping for a fresh and unique look into the world of brothel workers, this isn’t going to do that for you.

Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com

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