The title of this Manga ( Keikenzumi na Kimi to, Keiken Zero na Ore ga, Otsukiai suru Hanashi ) has varying English localizations. We’ll go with You Were Experienced, I Was Not: Our Dating Story, but others include Our Dating Story: The Experienced You and The Inexperienced Me.
This manga blew my expectations out of the water. Japan is a pretty conservative country, and in a time when women are seen as “losing value” the more they sleep with others, this manga is a complete breath of fresh air.
Ryuuto is a gloomy high school guy who has a bit of trauma from a past confession of his. After a bet with his two friends at school, he confesses to his crush Runa Shirakawa, the “whore” of the school. What he realizes about this girl is that she’s far from it, and that these rumors about her are horribly untrue.
Shortly after dating her, Runa is willing to sleep with him immediately “because that’s what girlfriends do”. She sees sex as an obligation, or a duty, of women — because that’s what she’s been taught. Whether it’s dating locations or when to meet up, Runa is used to going with whatever her partner at the time wants. This has led many perverted men to come to her, seeking nothing but her body. She’s given up all agency of herself because she simply wants to be loved.
But Ryuuto is different. He genuinely likes her and wants to foster that relationship, and isn’t interested in “using her and throwing her out”.
And that… is the basis of their love story.
The first volume goes through a few different scenarios regarding Ryuuto and Runa — whether to talk openly about their relationship, how to do dates, etc — and it was the most I’ve ever enjoyed a Romance manga. Truly, I loved it.
What’s amazing is that Runa actually acts very shy and blush-y, just like a virgin would, when confronted with the man she likes. You don’t change as a person when you lose your virginity. That’s a really, really accurate depiction of Runa, and I really enjoy it.
Ryuuto is also totally written for the female gaze. He’s so adorable, he reminds me of my own partner!
There’s an additionally extremely interesting commentary when the original girl Ryuuto confessed to re-emerges in chapters 4 and 5 of the first volume. I won’t spoil it! But omg it’s so good!
I highly recommend this story if you’re waiting for the anime adaptation to air this Fall 2023.