I bet you’ve been asking yourself, where is all the shinigami yaoi porn, haven’t you? Well, I found it for you in Shinigami no Koi.
This manga describes itself as “shinigami x clumsy office worker,” and I kind of feel like that sums everything up quite nicely. Our hero, Thanatos, doesn’t really like his job. As a shinigami, he’s supposed to watch over human’s lives. He finds humans dreadfully boring… well, most of them. There is this one he finds amusing: Asahi Shintaro. Shintaro is a big-hearted, goofy office worker, who has the tendency to act first, think later. His antics make Thanatos chuckle.
So, of course, the assignment comes down. Time to take out Shintaro.
Even though Shintaro is a favorite, Thanatos doesn’t figure it’ll be a big deal. Shinigami aren’t human. They don’t have time for all that messy copulating and procreating. Feelings aren’t really their strong suit.
I have to say I’m kind of enamored with the supernatural imagery in this yaoi. This is what it looks like when Thanatos steps out of heaven and heads down to the Human World.
Meanwhile, back in the story, Thanatos has tracked down his prey and is ready to strike him dead…
…when all of a sudden, Thanatos remembers a cute story of this guy’s life and suddenly falters. The boss of the shinigami gets an instant ping (no kidding,) and, believing that Thanatos has been ‘possessed’ by this human, intervenes to ‘change his fate.’
At first I misread the pronoun and thought that the shinigami-boss was interfering on behalf of Thanatos, but it becomes obvious that it’s Shintaro that the boss is after. Since Thanatos hesitated, the boss plants what looks like a kitten drowning in the river. Shintaro is halfway over the rail to save it when Thanatos pulls him back. It’s only a stuffed cat.
And… here’s where things get… weird, or maybe badly translated. Shintaro and Thanatos have a back-and-forth about which one of them was trying to commit suicide and Shintaro seems to be under the impression that Thanatos is either an escaped mental patient or trans (and/or a cross-dresser). Irritated, Thanatos gives Shintaro a laundry list of all the ways he’s been kind of stupid and nearly died in his life, and Shintaro decides Thanatos is a stalker… but invites him back to his place anyway, to which Thanatos basically replies, “You moron, this is why you’re going to die young!”
Which is cute.
When Thanatos tries again, Shintaro is half asleep. Shintaro wakes up a bit and sleepily mistakes Thanatos for a dream wife and kisses him. That’s it for Thanatos, all hope of murdering this guy is out the window. He stumbles his way out…. and gets his ‘pink slip.’
Thanatos isn’t exactly fired. Let’s call it a semi-permanant transfer to the human world and a human body. He’s now going by Tanato Subaru… and is working at Shinato’s office.
The second chapter is a whole series of ways in which Thanatos keeps saving Shintaro’s life. He keeps doing this ostensibly because he wants to be the one to kill Shintaro. It gets very silly. Though there is some serious implication that because Shintaro has outlived his due course, his body is breaking down and is now more vulnerable to death in all its forms.
Then, there’s a left turn. While Thanatos is watching over Shintaro when he has the flu, Shintaro suddenly remembers the dreamy kiss. The memory of having kissed Thanatos triggers a desire to try out gay sex before he dies. Only Shintaro can’t get away from Thanatos in order to try it out. Apparently, masterbating to the gay videos isn’t the same (which we never see ‘on screen’ so this feels completely out of the blue), and so he contrives to sneak out and hook up with a pro.
Thanatos stalks Shintaro, of course, and confronts him about all the STDs he could catch… and then offers to “mimic sexual reproduction.”
They’re just getting to it when the chapter ends.
According to MangaHere, the final chapter is coming out soon.
I think I’d like this better if it wasn’t for the sloppy writing. The art is alternately very cute and very spooky. The humor… almost works for me in the way a lot of translated Japanese humor nearly does, (that is to say, I can often see where I’m supposed to find things funny even if I don’t.)
But, I had to really think to parse what the hell Shintaro was doing with the gigolo and then we got the whole confession of how the doing it solo to the videos wasn’t working because real life was somehow hotter… and while I liked the IMPLICATIONS of that, I was like, “Wait, when did Shintaro have any time alone to even try this? Also, hot? Couldn’t we have seen that on screen???”
Probably my issues have to do with humor, in general. I much prefer serious stories, so, for me, the silliness got in the way of a potentially hotter storyline. Milage may vary.