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"This made me depressed."
—A Crossing Man and Woman reader, summing it up perfectly.
Netorare (寝取られ, lit. "cuckold", also commonly abbreviated as NTR) is a notoriously controversial genre of Hentai (or in rarer cases, Ecchi), with a degree of infamy perhaps rivaled only by full-blown Guro. Even the horniest /d/viants are resistant of embracing the genre, and if one finds an example uploaded at certain shady websites, one would only need to look at the comments section to see the Internet Backdraft that will inevitably ensue.
On the bad side of Good Adultery, Bad Adultery, and as its name suggests, Netorare is essentially a genre whose goal is to project discomfort on the audience's part (much like horror flicks are intended to provoke unintended bowel movements), where the discomfort comes in the form of sexual jealousy. Typically, a heroine will be introduced as having a significant other, which may be a husband, a boyfriend, or even a partner in a BST affair. The story will then show the aforementioned heroine being intimate with another man (another girl just doesn't pack the same punch), thus provoking jealousy in the audience by proxy. The nature of the affair varies, and the parties involved may be willing or unwilling: sometimes the girl is simply cheating, sometimes it's in the form of a Scarpia Ultimatum, some other times, it's rape, or the man may simply be pimping his sweetheart out to earn their bread. Netorare's also on the good side of Good Adultery, Bad Adultery, as explained in more detail in both this article and on this blog
Of course, the parties involved may be of either gender. Most Writers Are Male, so commonly it's the woman who engages in the proceedings. Also, it doesn't have nearly the same effect if the genders are switched; in fact, most of the guys love it.
As one might effortlessly predict, many people seriously detest this genre/trope. It might have to do with the oft-idealised nature of relationships in anime/manga culture, along with the fanbase's obsession with purity — a phenomenon apparent by the popularity of tropes like Sacred First Kiss, Lolicon, Yamato Nadeshiko, or Moe. That is to say, Otakudom seems to have a strong connection with a specific, sugary perception of romantic relationships, built around pure, sincere, genuine commitment. Hence, Netorare, being at the opposite side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, tends to rub people the wrong way. In spite of all the hate, some people are genuinely attracted to this kind of story, for various reasons. Inversely, most fans of the genre are also obsessed with purity, which is what makes it all the more enticing when that purity is broken.
See also Adult Fear, Be a Whore to Get Your Man, Defiled Forever, Ethical Slut, I Have You Now, My Pretty, Mrs. Robinson, My Girl Is a Slut, Please, I Will Do Anything!, Sacred First Kiss, Scarpia Ultimatum, and Your Cheating Heart. Very often features an Idiot Plot, and is perhaps one of the few non-comedic techniques which may execute it to good effect. The reverse of netorare is netori, cuckolding someone else's love.
- An interesting essay on Netorare by Tsurupeta.info may be found here. It directly uses TV Tropes as a tool to aid understanding, too.
- The Other Wiki has cuckold explained under the light of evolutionary psychology.
- A magazine-style article on cuckoldry.
- In this essay, sex therapist and relationship counselor Dr. Susan Gower explains the science of Netorare.
- Hotwife/cuckold marriages are explained on on this page.
Anime and Manga
- Another World
- Its extension Dreamlike Days.
- Crossing Man And Woman
- A chapter in Girl Material.
- Painfully done in Ill Protect You.
- The first story Animal Trainer in the series Choukyoushi Fujii is about a woman who has an affair with her boyfriend's friend, even though he's practically perfect.
- Immoral Sisters
- A brief scene in My Sister.
- Hen Zemi: Komugi harbours this particular fetish, his girlfriend Miwako has slept with other men when she was dating him on request of Komugi
- Otona Ni Naritai: Pictured above
- Otona Ni Naru Mae Ni
- Briefly touched in A Triangular Love Affair.
- Various Tsukino Jyogi works, including b 37°C and Prince Of The Stars.
- Touched in Wanna Do It.
- BLUE Series
- Triangle Blue: the OVAs heavily focused on the cuckold part, disregarding the romantic moments from the Visual Novel.
- The original version "Trouble!" (Triangle Blue is the remake) had no cuckold (it does have male cheating but apparently that's okay). The added cuckold made the series so much more famous.
- Present in True Blue and it's OAV. NTR is only one part of the Visual Novel and it was not nearly as bad as the OVA made it out to be. The same thing can be said for most eroge that have NTR elements.
- Triangle Blue: the OVAs heavily focused on the cuckold part, disregarding the romantic moments from the Visual Novel.
- Ditto Warau Kangofu.
- When You Let Go Of My Hand (A rare example where it's resolved, though it's highly arguable if you would consider it a happy ending.)
- Evergreen. It gets ugly...
- Cat Head Imako - Infamous for its unexpected change from a comedy oneshot H-manga to a darker tale of drug addiction-fueled NTR ...and its equally unexpected ending.
- The School Days anime adapts an optional netorare event from the game. Basically, it has Makoto first being surprise-kissed by one of the girls in his Unwanted Harem, then having sex with almost all of the girls and getting worse and worse with time, until the girl who kissed him first snaps so badly that she kills him. Then another of the girls kills her, and then runs away with Makoto's severed head.
- If a Shoujo or Josei manga has a Bastard Boyfriend as a male lead, it'll have at least a NTR variation in the plot. I.e., the infamous Sensual Phrase scene in which Sakuya snaps on Aine, drags her home by force and barely stops himself from raping her comes from a misunderstanding in which Aine was unwillingly given a hickey by a Hopeless Suitor and Sakuya thought otherwise.. And Haou Airen has Hakuron raping his girlfriend Kurumi in front of her newfound friend Kaafai when she leaves him, to force them see that Kurumi is with him and only him, as well as Kurumi having Sex for Solace with Hakuron's Dragon Fuuron despite being still with Hakuron, and Reilan trying to get Kurumi gangraped in front of Hakuron specifically to taint her in the eyes of everyone. (Two of the three HA examples, however, backfire HORRIBLY.). .
- Netori Netorare although it seems more mild than other netorare doujins.
- Nozoki Ana: A very huge, hurtful example that many readers were predicting for ages. Not only was Yuri Kotobuki, the girl in this situation, cheating on weekends, but she decided she'd rather have sex with her rich boyfriend instead of spend Saturday with her other boyfriend, the lead male Kido. On Kido's own birthday.
- Alluded to in Air Gear, with Hako referring to Ringo as "NTR # 1" and accusing her of cockblocking either her or Kururu, as they both squabble to become Ikki's link turner. Ikki chooses Ringo anyway.
- While there's no 100% direct netorare in Mawaru Penguindrum, the extremely complicated Love Dodecahedron that includes almost all of the current cast has given place to the following Memetic Mutation: "(insert name) is getting NTR'd". It actually started as "Kanba is getting NTR'd", due to Kanba Takakura showing open jealousy towards his little sister Himari's closeness to her handsome new doctor, Sanetoshi Watase.; the subtle and not-so subtle parallels to the Netorare Genre were immediately noticed by the fandom, and one thing led to another...
- There are many PG-13-rated parallels to the Netorare Genre in the plot of the Ah! My Goddess movie. More exactly, the Anti-Villain Big Bad, Celestine, sends out his right hand and local Dark Magical Girl Morgan to ensnare Keiichi's attentions and try driving him away from a amnesiac Belldandy. Since Belldandy had retained some of her feelings for him despite having been mindwiped... when she saw Morgan plant a Forceful Kiss on Keiichi and mistakenly believed that they were lovers, her mind collapsed completely... and Celestine used her jealousy to get to her and turn her into his Apocalypse Maiden.
- A large portion of H-Doujin of Ah My Goddess are NTR. So much that they make multi-volumes from differant artists.
- Invoked in High School DxD by Diodora to Ise when he decides to steal Asia from him. Ise wipes the floor off of him.
- In Black Lagoon during El Baile De La Muerte, there was a scene between Roberta and a former colleague during her assassin years, and Garcia Lovelace is watching close-by. Soon after that Roberta kills the guy and almost killed Garcia after he revealed his position, she is far from sane.
- Kuroinu Kedakaki Seijo wa Hakudaku ni Somaru uses the concept in the scene where Grave Levantine not only rapes his daughter-in-law Claudia to forcibly impregnate her with a kid that'd become the heir to the Levantine family, but has her husband Klaus (aka his own son) Bound and Gagged brought to the nearby hallway and Forced to Watch Claudia's rape, while saying that he'll give her so much pleasure that she'll end up forgetting Klaus.
- In Darling in the FRANXX, a partner swap between the Squad 13 members becomes vital to the plot: Kokoro is originally Futoshi's partner and he has a crush on her, but she's falling for Ikuno's partner Mitsuru instead and, once they switch partners, she refuses to return to Futoshi's side. Mitsuru and Kokoro stay as partners and become an Official Couple.. The Netorare-related memes pretty much POURED from then on.
- A PG-13 version takes place in Jo Jo's Bizarre Adventure's Part 1, Phantom Blood. One of the then-teenaged Dio Brando's first villainous moments, aside of his literal Kick the Dog deal with Danny, was him forcibly kissing a girl named Erina Pendleton, who happened to be the girlfriend of his adoptive brother Jonathan Joestar (doubling as taking away her Sacred First Kiss). And then it turned out to be a big mistake, as Jonathan beat up Dio for his mistreatment of her.
- The Gibo OVA has Yusuke Yagami's Hot Mom, who initially does this because she's being neglected by her husband Ezio and wants to regain his attention. As such she sought help from an older man (the Mysterious Gentleman) who's quite good in bed, and they were supposed to have sex solely so the lady would become a better bedmate and make sure Ezio wouldn't want any other women. . . and then she actually fell in love / lust with the guy and they "officially" started cheating on Ezio. . . and unknowingly traumatizing the HELL out of Yusuke, which is the reason why he's a He-Man Woman Hater.
- In PITCH, Light has sex with L and, after tying him up and gagging him, forces Aiber to watch. It's different in that L and Light are already together, and Light is trying to make Aiber realize that L is not available.
- A possible interpretation for Prussia torturing and raping Hungary in front of her ex-husband Austria in the infamous All He Ever Wanted.
- There's also a kinkmeme fill in which Denmark gets so jealous of Norway's close relationship with his younger brother Iceland... that he fucks Norway in front of Iceland solely to "show Iceland who Norway belongs to".
- Defied in Reconciliation, a Katawa Shoujo fanfic in which Lilly and Hisao get together after Hanako's bad ending and Hanako, despite having isolated herself from the two out of guilt, harbors feelings for Hisao. Word of God states early on that the fic is not intended to be NTR, and in the third chapter, Lilly calls Hanako to tell her about Hisao's death.
- The ending of the Voltron: Legendary Defender fanfic Across the Multiverse can be seen as a PG-13 version of this since after Akira/Keith spending several reincarnated lives stalking the fuck out of the Takashi/Sven/Shiro incarnations, he finally "steals" him away from his last non-Keith love interest Curtis in the middle of Shiro and Curtis' own wedding. And readers are supposed to see it as a good thing.
- Indecent Proposal has this as the main plot point, with the handsome millionaire John Gage offering a million dollars to David and Diana, a couple with serious money problems, in exchange for sex with the very beautiful Diana. She ends up having a relationship with Gage, but in the end she returns to David.
- In Paul Di Filippo's short story And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon, the heroine is stolen by an intelligent assembly of household objects, including a vacuum cleaner, a food processor, and a blanket. That hurts.
- Sublime, "Doin' Time/Summertime".
- The Killers, "Mr. Brightside".
- Lustra, "Scotty Doesn't Know".
- Maroon 5, "She Will Be Loved"
- Summercamp, "Nowhere Near", It should be noted that this may be a subversion, as the protagonist Does not wallow in self hatred and in a broken state, and chooses to leave the girl. Of course, Your Mileage May Vary.
- The Irish ballad Seven Drunken Nights is sung from the perspective of a man whose wife is cheating on him.
- Jairo, "Para verte feliz" ("To see you happy"). It's sung from the POV of a guy who knows his beautiful girlfriend's old flame is coming to town and chooses to rather have them almost tongue-kissing in front of him rather than confronting and then losing her, since he's that much of a Love Martyr towards her.
- "Younger Men" by K.T. Oslin, is sung from the POV of a married cougar who cuckolds her same-age or older husband with young men with his encouragement.
- It's not surprising that this happens in Vampire: The Requiem. Netorare is usually just implied with the art and a few throwaway lines, but there are some large, heart-breaking plots that emphasize it.
- Ancient Bloodlines speaks of a vampiric Babylonian priestess' lesbian lover being taken from her forcibly by the En emperor. Turns out the lover eventually fell for her abductor in typical NTR fashion. Unlike other netorare stories, the priestess got her revenge on them by creating the Iltani and edimmu.
- The trope is taken Up to Eleven with the Honeymoon Hijackers Charles and Charlene Greengrass. They were kidnapped and turned into vampires on their respective wedding nights by cruel sires, with their spouses killed. Charles and Charlene meet one another ten years after their abductions, instantly recognize the predicament of the other, and fall in love. They diablerize their sires, escape vampire society, get into a scary codependent relationship, then perform netorare scenarios and serial killings on any recently married couple they can find.
Mess with their heads. Get it so the victims love their keepers, will do anything for them (even better if they can work one of the couple against the other--so sweet, that betrayal).
—Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners, pg. 74
- Coming full circle, Charlene cheats on Charles. He doesn't know, but she wants him to.
- On Literotica this genre is a source of Flame Wars in the loving wives section.
- In Sailor Nothing, Seiki is forced to watch while his Yamiko rapes Himei.
- Gaia Online has this item. It's notable for being one of the earlier items on the site.
- In this video, Gracie X explains this kind of open marriage.
- Here's the giant list.
- Tends to happen quite often in The Sims, especially if you're not careful with relationship management and/or don't have a No Jealousy hack installed and decide to have a threesome or Love Dodecahedron.
- The Visual Novel of School Days, mentioned above.
- BLUE Series
- Various pornographic films are based on this very theme.
- Not necessarily those ones
- Diablerie causes vampires to sometimes pickup traits of the soul they ate. It's implied that's why the couple do what they do, despite their actions mirroring their own tragic histories.