, also known as Manga Sutra, Step Up Love Story, or Manga Love Story, is a manga series by Katsu Aki.
Futari Ecchi is a story about a newlywed couple in their mid-twenties, both virgins when they married. The story chronicles their sexual explorations. The manga combines pornographic elements with factual and informative statistics. The title Futari Ecchi ("two person ecchi") is a play on a slang term for masturbation, hitori ecchi ("single person ecchi"). So far, thirty-nine tankōbon have been released. Two other issues are set around the sexuality of women, called "Futari Ecchi for Ladies" and there's an artbook with the title "Yura Yura". A four-episode anime OVA series was produced in 2002 and 2003.
As of June 17, 2007, the manga series has been licensed in North America by Tokyopop, with the first volume released on January 8, 2008. Also, on July 2, 2007 at Anime Expo, Media Blasters announced that they had licensed the OVA series.
In Germany, both the manga and the anime are called Manga Love Story.
, voiced by Yūji Ueda
(OVA) and Mitsuo Iwata
- The series protagonist, a 25-year-old(26 by volume 7) foreign cosmetics maker and elite salaryman. He was introduced to Yura through an omiai. He is very critical of his own sexual abilities, but that doesn't hinder him from having sexual fantasies with any pretty girl in his vicinity (ultimately, though, he stays faithful to Yura). Nevertheless, after his marriage he attracts the attention of a lot of female admirers., voiced by Tomoko Kawakami (OVA) and Yumi Ichihara (Radio drama)
- Makoto's wife. Also 25 years old, Makoto is the first man she has ever had sex with. She is loving, but extremely naïve on sexual matters and too shy to try something new by herself. Beautiful and charming, she is also the target of attention by many men (although their behavior is - compared to the women who adore her husband - mostly passive longing). She also has the knack of befriending most of the women whom she should consider her rivals for Makoto's affections; Makoto's colleague Makie Sugiyama is a notable exception.
- Makoto's father. A 52-year-old company officer. He is overly sensitive about his sex life, and way too protective of his youngest child, Jun.
- Makoto's mother. A 54-year-old housewife. Akiko proves to be more liberal (and encouraging) than her husband is when it comes to the topic of her sex life.
- Makoto's brother. A 29-year old lawyer. He is very nosy and frequently pesters Makoto about his sex life and fancies himself as Makoto's tutor on the topic of pleasuring the wife. In order to appease his own sex drive, he frequently visits bordellos.
- Makoto's sister-in-law and Akira's 27-year-old wife. She is annoyed at Akira's habit of bordello-visiting.
- Makoto's 19-year-old sister. Initially she has a rather romantic look on a relationship, and her quest for true love lets her drift through a number of affairs before she finally finds happiness with her first boyfriend, Yosuke. Her experiences and introduction into the sexual world are followed throughout the series.
- Makoto's second cousin and an obstetrician and gynecologist. At the request of Makoto's mother, she moved in next door to the Onodas to encourage them to reproduce. A very dominant personality, she was still a virgin at age thirty and worries that she may be "running out of time". When she finally does get hooked up with Koichiro Matsuzaki, her new worry is that she may not be good enough for him.
- Yura's father. A 49-year-old camera operator. He has a liking for cats and dogs, and raises a large number of them. He is also a fan of the Hanshin Tigers. While not as active as his daughters, he still enjoys a fulfilling sexual relationship with his wife Chiharu.
- Yura's mother. A 47-year-old with a youthful appearance and a tender personality. Like her husband, she is a dog affectionado. She frequently suffers from lumbago., voiced by Naoko Takano (OVA) and Fumie Kusachi (Radio drama)
- Yura's 20-year-old sister who works as an editor. Experienced and promiscuous (even to the point where she keeps more than one boyfriend), she constantly teases and goads both Makoto and Yura into improving their "night life". She is actually in love with her "number-one boyfriend", Taku Yamada, but is too proud to admit this too often, even to herself.
- Yura's 81-year-old grandmother. Her husband died while having sex with another woman.
Makoto's work colleagues
, Mai Nagao
, and Ikuyo Tonegawa
- They form a trio of single women who are still looking for "Mr. Right". Makie is the most aggressive of the three; always targeting married men - she doesn't want to get "tied down" - she constantly tries to seduce Makoto, with little to no success.
Inagaki and Okahama
- A duo of two male colleagues who are rarely called by name. While Inagaki is rather calm, buck-toothed Okahama is an obnoxious sexist who constantly pesters his female colleagues to go to bed with him (of course, this does nothing to endear him to them).
- A secretary at Makoto's office. She had a long-standing crush on Makoto while he had been working as her home tutor, but never told him (at least not in a way which was easily understandable; she tends to lapse into intellectual jargon when being nervous around men). She still longs for him in secret, but maintains a rather distant front. In turn, she is the object of affection by her lesbian co-worker Arisa, much to her annoyance.Arisa Miya
- Works as an accountant in Makoto's firm. Arisa is a rather fluffy-headed joy de vivre persona with a great degree of optimism. She is also a lesbian. Ever since she has heard that her co-worker Miyuki is - seemingly - not interested in men, she incessantly flirts with her, hoping to win her affection. They have become sort-of friends, but Miyuki's repeated rebuffs have done little to dampen Arisa's hopes.Koichiro Matsuzaki
- Originally appearing as a macho trying to seduce any women he comes across, handsome Matsuzaki found his true match with Makoto's cousin Kyoko. While she rules him in everyday life, he is the more dominant in bed; but he also cares much for Kyoko and has resisted the temptation to conduct any more affairs.Misaki Manaka
- The firm's first new receptionist. She (both physically and emotionally) suffers from an overly large breast-size - a trait shared by her mother and her younger sister Kotone - and is therefore quite self-conscious and shy. Because of Makoto's kind treatment towards her, she had for a time hopelessly fallen in love with him, even though she knew that he was married; but finally she finds a new love in Muroi. She has made friends with Yura (despite her affections for her husband) and Miyuki, and is also close to her fellow receptionist Suzuka.Suzuka Takahashi
- The firm's second receptionist, who joins the firm some time after her friend Misaki. Like Misaki, she is rather self-conscious about her bust size - which is (in stark contrast to her friend's) very small. She is also very affectionate and prone to hugging people she likes when emotionally upset.Kurumi Maki
- The new head of Makoto's department is a very stern and (outwardly) unforgiving woman. It is revealed, however, that she is actually emotionally and sexually frustrated since her fiancee had left her ten years ago to further his own career; she vents this by lashing out at others. She is still interested in finding someone for a relationship, though she never shows.Yoshiyuki Muroi
- An executive from a partner firm, who has fallen in love with Misaki. With his help, she has finally managed to get over her unhappy affection for Makoto.
and Takeshi Yabuki
- A couple who meet Makoto and Yura while they still lived in their old apartment. Mika has suffered from a sexless year, which caused her emotional frustration and insecureness, thinking that she was no longer attractive to her husband. In fact, Takeshi's refusal came from a medical problem, which was solved after Makoto was able to give a hint. Ever since the Yabukis have restrengthened their relationship, and Mika has even managed to get pregnant. Just before the Onodas move into their new apartment, the Yabukis have moved out to a larger domicile to raise their growing family.Narumi Ogata
- This dreamy-looking young woman is the first of the neighbors Makoto and Yura meet in their new apartment. She is the lover of a business executive who visits her regularly. While she is rather absent-minded and behaving strangely (which includes openly talking about sexual matters or answering the door in her underwear), she is also very friendly.Shoko Shiina
- An author of erotic novels, Shoko is the token lolita of the series; while she is in her early twenties, she looks like a ten- to twelve-year-old, and even dresses and acts the part. She has come to be friends with Rika, who shares her sexual experiences with Shoko for new inspirations, but Shoko is quite knowledgeable about sexual matters herself.Ken Shiina
- Shoko's husband, Ken, is a stay-at-home since Shoko is rather busy writing one piece after another. Tall and hulking, he is often mistaken for a yakuza at first glance, but he is actually a kind gentleman.Rui Tsutsumi
- A sixteen-year-old student at an all-girls school who lives with her divorced father and has yet to experience her 'first time', she has taken the mother/wife figure role for her insecure father and therefore was annoyed that he was getting close to Mrs. Ichijo for a time, but she has come to accept her as a surrogate mother. Rui models her image of romance and love on the Onodas and has developed a crush on her teacher Keisuke Watanabe, who has recently moved into the same apartment building.Hisao Tsutsumi
- Rui's father is a very nervous and depressed person, especially since his divorce. With a lack of intimate company he has taken to peeking in on his daughter (mostly in improper situations) and had a very bad outlook on life. Recently, however, he has become close to Mrs. Ichijo and eventually marries her.Kaho Ichijo
- A piano teacher in her late twenties, she represents the stereotype of a Japanese noblewoman: beautiful, dignified and quiet. Her most distinctive habit is obscuring her mouth with a handkerchief when she feels bashful. She is a divorced wife and suffers from a weak constitution, which also makes her highly susceptible to alcohol. She has (more or less accidentally) harassed Makoto on several occasions, but she eventually marries her neighbour Hisao Tsutsumi. To him, she later reveals that her divorce was caused by her own extreme lecherousness, which made her husband have an affair with a less 'stormier' woman and which also made her bashful in her relations with other people from that point on.Kiyomi Mizuhara
- For some time after her introduction, Mizuhara represents the frustrated housewife in the series, mostly because her husband Masatoshi, who works at a commercial agency, rarely helped with the housechores, and when they did have sex he didn't give much for her satisfaction; Mizuhara therefore had taken to vent her displeasure by collecting and spreading bad gossip. Some time later, however, their marital life has improved considerably. She has two little daughters at ages four and five.Keisuke Watanabe
- The new tenant at the apartment complex. A teacher at a girls' school, he is quite shy and also a parasite single - two factors he is very conscious about when dealing with women. He has developed a crush on Yura and in turn is the object of affection of his student Rui Tsutsumi, who lives in the same complex.Atsushi ("Akkun") and Momo Kubota
- They are a young married couple who have recently moved into the apartment complex. They are very devoted to each other and are not afraid to show in public (which was, until recently at least, considered a social taboo in Japan; this fact was hinted at in previous issues of the series).Sachiko Minami
- A 26-year-old single mother who lives with her 11-year-old son Kazuhiko in the apartment complex. She is first featured in the first volume of the special Futari Ecchi For Ladies, but in the mainstream series she has only a small cameo in volume 34.
- Rika's "number-one boyfriend", who is a rather self-centered sexist. And just like Rika, he is not very concerned about having more than one relationship, although he does react jealously when he finds her involved with other men.Yosuke Inoue
- Jun's first and current boyfriend; also her former classmate and now fellow student. Jun had her first time with him, but due to their then differing views of a relationship they broke apart for a couple of years before finding each other again. They have since moved together and are exploring (and deepening) their feelings for each other. Shiori Tetawaki
- A young porno star and a former classmate of Makoto. She actually had a long-standing crush on Makoto, but he has been too oblivious to realize it. She has a few cameos in the series; her movies are a favorite of Makoto's when he feels the need to masturbate.Kotone Manaka
- Misaki's younger sister (and like her, fitted with overly large breasts) and one of Rui Tsutsumi's best friends. Aggressively flirtatious, she has even tried to seduce Makoto (her sister's love interest) on one occasion.Shiho Shouji
- The second of Rui Tsutsumi's best friends. With her shyness, she rather sets a strong contrast to her two friends. She quiets with Makie.
Style and theme
There are many scenes in the series that look like they are actually happening but are then revealed to be the sexual fantasies
of Makoto or another character. This means there are many scenes of Makoto having sex with other characters, while in truth he only has sex with Yura.
One of the fetishes explored in the series is cosplay among many others.
Though most of the first volumes focus on Makoto and Yura's relationship, the later chapters deviate to other characters' love/sex lives and their development on it (possibly to cover more events to teach the readers with).