One Yen Man (not to be confused with One Punch Man) is a collection of yaoi one-shots by Monden Akiko. So many of my guilty-pleasure buttons got hit with this one, it isn’t even funny.
Guilty pleasure #1: Sex workers.
I will pretty much read any story featuring sex-for-hire. Give me a sympathetic gigolo and I’m golden.
The first story doesn’t exactly center around a gigolo, per se, but ‘getting paid for it’ is part of the whole meet-cute, if you will. So, what happens is that we have a detective, Sanjou Keisuke. He’s a classic tough guy sort, who will do any job for any one. In fact, when we first meet him, he’s dog sitting for a client. But, he returns to his office one day to find a brusque, icy investment banker waiting for him. They exchange the usual insults: “What kind of detective leaves his door wide open? Though clearly there’s nothing worth stealing here!” / “If you don’t like me, try another detective agency.”
Destined for sex, wouldn’t you say?
Well, except, of course, our hero is presented as fairly straight. I say ‘fairly’ because the client he’s walking that dog for is a super-queer–queeny, even, guy–he gets called ‘mama-san’ and I don’t think he’s also a pimp, (though….more on that in a bit). Anyway, Detective and super-queen are clearly friends, so, like a lot of straight guys in these yaoi, it’s not like it’s completely foreign to him.
Anyway, Banker wants to hire Sanjou to find his sex friend, a rent boy who has run off with a briefcase full of several million yen.
At this point, I kind of thought the story might get plot-heavy and we’d spend some time chasing after rent boy. But, no, Sanjou is a good detective, and finds him right away. He let’s the banker know where the rent boy has holed up and is about to take his leave when banker is, all, ‘I’m worried I can’t confront him. Will you help? I can pay.’ Our hero, being a gentleman is very, “No worries. I’ll do this gratis.” Banker is very insistent. We start to get the sense that paying for things is a THING for him.
Maybe you can see where this is going?
Well, it takes awhile to get there, because, of course, Sanjou needs to figure out he’s bi, first. Luckily, an opportunity presents itself fairly immediately. When banker and Sanjou go to confront Rent Boy, Rent Boy is out. Banker convinces Sanjou to break in to the apartment because he really just wants that briefcase back, even if the money is gone. As they’re looking for the briefcase, Rent Boy returns. They hide in a closet. Rent Boy comes back with company. Sanjou tells banker he shouldn’t watch this, so he covers banker’s eyes, watches the whole thing, gets super turned on to the point where, banker very prissily says ‘this is ridiculous’ and starts giving Sanjou a blowjob on the spot.
This is all very awkward, but they manage not to be discovered. The banker is suddenly, ‘it’s fine, I don’t care any more’ and Sanjou figures, well, that was weird, but whatever the client wants, *shrug*… until he runs into Rent Boy. Then, things get interesting. Turns out, Rent Boy stole the money in an attempt to get the banker to chase him. Rent boy was kind of falling for banker, but banker was very insistent that theirs was a PAID relationship.
Sanjou makes it his mission to uncover why banker is so cold and focused on the paycheck. Meanwhile, of course, he starts to fall in love with him. When Rent Boy returns the money and briefcase to Sanjou, Sanjou discovers a picture of banker as a young boy looking adorable. Later, Sanjou finds out there’s a tragic backstory with the picture–banker’s mom was a single mom, cold and calculating, the kind who gave receipts after paying allowance, etc., and banker had the picture taken in the hopes of trying to win her over with sheer cuteness. It doesn’t work, so this is part of banker’s brokenness, apparently.
Now Sanjou wants to fix this, and in the way of rough-and-tumble meets Ice Queen, basically Sanjou bullies the banker into falling for him.
Also a trope I like. (Guilty pleasure #2? Probably.)
Then we switch gears and we have the story of two childhood buddies. One of them is a stereotypical easy-going, charismatic lady’s man who is the rising star of his company, and the other is a nebbish food critic, who specializes in alcohol. They meet-up regularly for drinking dates, because Food Critic doesn’t want to drink alone.
Cue: drunken sex.
At the love hotel, Food critic drunkly tells Lady’s Man that the reason he can’t settle down and find a wife is because he’s barking up the wrong tree. Food critic decides that a bit of seduction is the ticket to get salaryman to wake up and smell Teh Gay, as it were.
And literally the rest of the two chapter story is salaryman trying to figure out how to be better at the gay sex thing, because he REALLY LIKES the gay sex thing.
I found this story adorable.
I also really loved that the first thing salaryman does is rent all the gay porn and tries to study up. He also starts asking his ex-girlfriends for blowjob tips (ha!) and even tries out a little bondage because he gets obsessed with making sure his partner is as aroused as he is.
Then we return to Rent Boy, who, it turns out is actually secretly the son of a yakuza boss and the gang needs him back. Rent boy doesn’t want to, so he tells his lieutenant, I’ll come back if you can seduce me so hard I cum.
Cue: random hot tattoo sex.
Works for me! (Bonus Guilty Pleasure #3 AND #4 — Yakuza and Tattoos!)
I honestly enjoyed this one pretty well, but, I’m not sure how you will feel about it, unless some of your guilty pleasures align with mine. The art, as you can see, is hit and miss. I felt like the writing was pretty good in that all the straight-turned-gay guys did, at least, attempt to do some research, so that makes me happy.