Wolf in the House by Park Ji-Yeon

After reading Not So Simple, I wanted something fun and smutty.  I went to Mangago and my eye was drawn to this:

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And the title Wolf in the House.

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Wolf in the House is a Korean manhwa.  It’s back cover copy goes like this:

After ending an on-again, off-again relationship of 10 years, Minsuk decides to foster a Siberian husky named Bexan to mark the start of his new single life. He can’t wait to cuddle with his new furry roommate, take him on walks, and play fetch. But Bexan is no ordinary dog…and when night falls, Minsuk is in for a surprise. 

I bet you can guess Bexan’s big surprise!  Yep!

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You’d be close. ACTUALLY, Bexan is a werewolf.  Kind like the guy from the 1985 movie, Ladyhawke, Bexan is a wolf during the day and a human at night.

It takes Minsuk a bit to adjust to this idea. Even when he sees the transformation, he doesn’t want to believe in the idea that werewolves are real.  Bexan convinces him in kind of a clever way. He says, “Well, but you’ve HEARD of werewolves, right?” Minsuk is all, “Yeah, but only in stories. I’ve never seen one.” Bexan counters with, “Well, you’ve only read about kangaroos, too, and you’ve never seen one of those in real life either, have you?”

I mean, it’s kind of goofy logic, but it amused me.

What follows is a slow-burn romance.  Bexan is kind of a troublesome dog/wolf.  He really wants to head to Siberia, because he’s heard rumors that there are other werewolves in Russia and he’s never met another werewolf besides his parents.  The problem, of course, well, there are a lot of problems, including, as Minsuk points out, North Korea is between them and Russia.  But, the big one, of course, is that he has no resources and half the time, he’s a wolf that looks like a dog.

Dogs without leases get picked up by animal control in a busy city like Seoul. In fact, that’s how he ended up with Minsuk.  Minsuk saw Bexan advertised as in need of adoption, as he was scheduled to be put to sleep.

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What becomes interesting in this story is that Minsuk likes Bexan in both his forms. Sure, as a human guy, they can haz all the sex.  But, Minsuk also finds ways to include dog-Bexan in the rest of his life, even going so far as to changing his reporting beat to cover life as a pet owner.

There are some classic ‘my lover is a dog’ scenes–‘mounting’ and neck biting, and JEALOUSY, particularly of Minsuk’s editor

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The line is: “God he sure looks sexy FOR AN EDITOR” (which, as a writer, made me snort my coffee!)

But, it turns out the editor jealousy bit is really just a side story (at least so far. There are only 16 chapters at this point).

The main excitement comes from an internet troll who taunts Bexan on his Instagram account.

Instagram? Really?  I know, it seems like a dumb plot twist, but Bexan can’t STAND not being loved by everyone and gets all worked up and agrees to meet up with this troll in person.  They have a tussle. The guy is so super-athletic that there’s something odd about him….

Yeah, you guessed this one too!  The troll is another dog/wolf shapeshifter! This one a white wolf:

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The white wolf and his… owner seem to have a very different relationship than Bexan and Minsuk.  The white wolf’s person actually calls him to “heel” while in human form, and as Minsuk notes, they both seem very sad when the sun rises.

Earlier, we get a flashback from Bexan’s point of view in which his mother warns him that he should never fall for a human. They’ll only bring you heartache.  They can only love one part of you, either the dog or the person, never both. Bexan says (and I appreciate since I feel it’s very, very true) that’s no way to live. If love means getting hurt, then he’ll take the hurt in order to have the love.

And, it’s working out for him, actually. So far, Minsuk actually seems to love both parts of him. I think it’s important that he wanted the dog first.  Finding out the dog he already loved was a hot dude was a bonus for him. Or, at least how it seems ATM.

The white wolf’s lover may have falling for the man, and the dog was very much opposite of a bonus.

It’s a surprisingly good story.  The smut is okay.  There are no explicit bits on display, but if you really like the naked male form, you will LOVE this manhwa.  Both of the werewolves spend a lot of time being undressed and stretching luxuriously.  The sex involves strategically placed body parts to give you an impression of all the action, without the actual parts visible and accounted for.

So, perfect for a lesbian like me?

Pretty much.

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Not Simple by Ono Natsume

Ono-sensei has such a distinctive art style, it’s too bad that, most of the time, I find her jumpy storytelling hard to follow–the sole exception being House of Five Leaves, (although looking back at my review, I had some of the same problems with the writing there).

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At least, Not Simple is intentionally set up as a frame. It starts with….

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…the main character’s death.

The whole story is told as a ‘how did we get here?’ kind of tale.  I don’t necessarily hate that kind of set-up, but I find it more rewarding when it’s not so unrelentingly grim.

Ian (he’s an Australian) has a really terrible life. You know his life is sh*t, when one of his happiest moments is VISITING HIS SISTER–who is actually his biological mom–IN JAIL.

Ian’s life is so awful that he can be traumatized by bubblegum… and you don’t even really want to know why, and, yet, Ono-sensei tells you all about it. TWICE. (It involves sex work, when Ian is SUPER underage.)

Like much of what I’ve read so far of Ono-sensei’s other work, I spent the whole time waiting for things to get better, which was especially dumb with this one given its frame. I KNEW Ian was literally doomed to die as he’d lived–used by other people for their selfish gain (with a tragic twist of connectivity).

I guess I kept hoping for some kind of explicit relationship to form between Ian and his New York writer/reporter friend, Jim.  Jim is implied to be gay, and seems to have a on again/off again relationship with a (trans?) person named Alex. Jim follows Ian around because he says he wants to make Ian the subject of his new book, because the crap that happens to Ian is almost unbelievable it’s so awful.

For himself, Ian portrayed as ‘simple.’ Everyone who meets him remarks on how weird he is, and he rolls with situations that I suspect most people would react to by yelling “RED FLAG!  RED FLAG!” and running screaming in the other direction.

I’m not sure what the point of Not Simple is.  Because, the story seems to be: sh*t happens to Ian and then he dies.

It’s possible that Ono-sensei thought she was being more subtle with the sister-is-actually-mom-by-incest “mystery,” but that seemed clear to me the first time Ian suggests that he thinks maybe his sister is his mom. Even if the Ian/sister relationship supposed to be the point of the thing, it’s deeply unsatisfactory.  Ian, who made it his life’s quest to reconnect with his sister/mom is thwarted by the fact that, just before he arrives, she dies of pneumonia in jail–actually a complication of AIDS, which Ian also contracted (from the same man, as it happens).

I guess it’s not bad enough that Ian ends up shot to death by a mobster in a case of mistaken identity, but he was already dying of AIDS, given to him by his bio mother’s boyfriend who had been pimping him out at fourteen at the behest of his ‘adoptive’ mother (his father’s wife).

Just even writing that plot point out shows how ridiculous this thing is. The amount of preposterously AWFUL circumstances that have to connect to make this work are unreal (–I didn’t even get to how the “mistaken identity” is actually part of a whole contrived thing where this seemingly random girl wants Ian to pose as her boyfriend because her mob father is going to kill her actual boyfriend, only, it turns out? Random girl isn’t so random.  Her mom is a woman that Ian actually had one nice date with years ago and he’s come back to this particular diner, three years later, in order to meet up with the mom again…).

Slice-of-life, my a$$. This is tragic magic. What can go wrong, will go wrong, and it will all sh*t on Ian in some kind bastardization of “fate.”

Hmmmm, I guess I didn’t really enjoy this manga. It made me sad.

As a bonus, as far as I can tell (and Baka-Updates reports) no one has scanlated it.  You can, however, read a sneak-peak via Viz Media’s official site for the manga: https://www.viz.com/not-simple (looks like you have to have flashplayer to read it, though, so be warned.)

 

Kasumi by Surt Lim / Hirofumi Sugimoto (Vol. 1)

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I don’t know how to feel about things like this.

Like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kasumi is an English-language original (known to otaku as OEL, “Original English-Language”), published in the U.S. by Del Rey.  Is it really manga? Does having Sugimoto-sensei, in Japan, as a collaborator make it ‘legit’? Does a property have to have a Japanese connection to ‘count’?

Readers must have decided ‘no,’ since this series was cancelled after only two volumes. Of course, that could be Del Rey, because publishers suck.*

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You can see what Del Rey is hoping for with the back cover copy:  “Kasumi is a special girl–not just because she’s a super-cute high schooler with a heart of gold. She has a major secret: she can turn invisible when she holds her breath…”

You can almost see the editorial meeting.  “These mangos all the kids are reading. They’ve got magical girls in them, right?  Let’s do that!  Oh, yeah, and my daughter is into that Host Club show, set it at an elite school and add a bunch of bullies to make her life hard (oh! And be sure her mom is dead! All anime heroes have dead moms!).”

But, maybe that’s just my jaded side coming out, because I didn’t hate this.  I was fairly intrigued by how Kasumi gets her superpowers. I feel like I’ve seen this ‘sacred tree’ motif before, in Kannagi (which I didn’t review here because I only made a few chapters of the first volume before I bailed on it.)  At any rate, she seems to develop her ability to turn invisible after an encounter in the woods with will o’ wisps/fox lights (kitsune-bi).

However, I found the high school drama to be overwrought and uninteresting. For some bizarre reason, Kasumi thinks that it’s a good idea to show off her magic tricks (she’s a burgeoning stage magician) as an intro to her first day of her new high school. She is, of course, mercilessly mocked. There’s also a high school prince, Ryuuki that everyone treats like he’s actually the school’s administration.  These parts ring a little false to the usual Japanese high school slice-of-life stuff.

Would I recommend it? Mmmmm, it’s tough knowing that all you’re going to get is two volumes, with the story incomplete.  It has been scanlated, or, I guess, just pirated, so you can try it for free at places like Mangakalot.

Do I know how I feel about this?  No.  I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with OELs. Does this still feel like a try-hard?  Kinda.

 


* I may be jaded. Having had several novel series cancelled by publishers will do that.

Gangsta:Cursed EP_Marco Adriano (Vol. 2) by Kohske / Syuhei Kamo

I had previously reviewed the first volume in this spin-off way back in August of 2015.  I finally got around to reading the second volume yesterday, because my library had them both.

Reading me made me miss the original something fierce.

I’m not convinced that’s a good thing.

But, I’m also not convinced that’s such a bad thing, either.

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The story continues to follow young Marco (aka Spaz) and his horrible gang of Second Destroyers as they slaughter their way through Ergastulum.

If we meet any interesting new Tags, they die within a matter of pages. I made the mistake of liking Chester (from volume 1, which I re-read) and rooting for him…. yeah, that ended badly.

 

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This seems to be an original doodle of Chester and Eva from Kohske’s Twitter.

 

Meanwhile, my theory that the Second Destroyers were brainwashed into their work proves false. Marco/Spaz was apparently just raised to hate Tags and believe that they’re evil.  Striker and his creepy girlfriend are just sociopaths. One of the other ones is doing it for the money, which given that they get a “tragic” backstory, we’re are supposed to be sympathetic towards? NOPE.

I had really been hoping to like this better this time around.

The only thing of interest, I suppose, is the contrived way in which Marco/Spaz and Connie meet for the first time.  Spaz stands around in a daze watching as his minder, Maverick, murders Connie’s parents (interestingly her dad looks almost exactly as I had pictured him when I wrote fan fic about him.) Apparently shaken by the fact that Connie’s parents are Normals whose only crime is helping the Tags, Marco breaks out of his murderous spell to save Connie.

We also discover that the Second Destroyers use drugs to boost their ability to fight Tags/Twilights.  I presume that, in the next several volumes, the connection between them and Monroe, another “super-human” Celebre-user.

Baka-Updates seems to think there are at least five volumes of Gangsta: Cursed available in Japan and it looks like volume three is due out in English this October.

Will I read it?  Apparently, I will–even though I’m extremely disinterested in all the blood and gore, which is what seems to make up 9/10 of this story.  The thing that happened to me when I read both of these volumes is that I remembered just how awesome I found the world of Gangsta. (which I still wish they’d have named Benriya, saying you’re a fan of “Gangsta” is just so…. embarrassing.) In fact, I ended up staying up half the night re-reading all the fic, thinking “OMG, I love Nicolas Brown so hard.”

And I still do.

So I guess if the side effect of reading this gore-fest is that I remember that I love Gangsta., I guess that’s a positive, at least.

As I said in my previous review of the first few chapters of this, I do wish that Kohske-sensei had wanted to write about the things I wanted to know more about, like the mystery that is Veronica, but at least we’re seeing a bit more of the Guild in this one. However, I still sort of feel like Marco is a cool character whose expanded backstory is actually making me like him LESS than I did in the original.

C’est la vie.  Milage may vary.

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More from Kohske-sensei’s Twitter. What I love about her art?  You don’t have to see more than this to KNOW that this is Nic.

Vigilante My Hero Academia, Illegals (chapters 1 – 15) by Furuhashi Hideyuki / Beeten Court

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Why didn’t Bleach ever get a spin-off, I wonder? Especially early on, when it was still wildly popular, something like this would have been fun.  Before you jump on me in the comments, I do know that it got several light novels, and that that’s the other thing Jump does. (Also, yeah, yeah, whatever, I know y’all think Bleach sucked. Fight me.)

That being what it is, My Hero Academia / Boku no Academia DOES have a spin-off, Vigilante My Hero Academia Illegals / Vigilante Boku no Hero Academia Illegals and it’s a fairly entertaining read.  It does, at least, explore some interesting new space, though it also has, IMHO, some of the flaws of the original, as well.

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Our hero is Koichi Haimawari, 19, a college student, with a unheroic quirk.  He can glide on all fours, skittering around, kind of like a cockroach, but like the main character of the original manga, Koichi has the heart of a hero.  He wants to do good so much that he’s earned himself the moniker “Gentle-Man,” because he does all the Boy Scout things: picking up trash, helping old ladies across the street, and finding lost puppies.

He’s a good guy, but he’s just not really a fighter.  Plus, it’s actually illegal to use your quirk in public, so even though what he’s doing is being decent–because he uses his superpower to do it–he gets a warning from a cop.  On his way to his crappy job at the convenience store, runs into a gang of no-goodniks who threaten to beat him up so he apologizes, runs into what is essentially a rave, and is late, gets harassed by his boss, AND the jerks from earlier show up and beat him up.

So, he puts on his special All-Might hoodie and goes off and to do some good, because doing good makes him FEEL GOOD.

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Koichi runs into the pop star who caused the rave, Pop Step.  She’s come by to thank him (he warned her that the cops were coming). They talk–argue, really–for a while until who should they run into AGAIN? The no-goodniks.  Only, now that they’ve got their hands on a lady, things turn really ugly.  It’s pretty clear they intend to rape her.

Gentle-Man tries to be a hero, but his power is scooting, so he’s got a whole lot of nothing.  Now would be a great time for a hero to arrive, right?

Except, as Koichi says, that’s not how real life works: heroes fight Big Bads, not the corner lads.

But someone does jump in from the rooftop shouting All-Might’s signature line, “I am here.”  Only, it’s not All-Might, it’s some big bruiser geezer, who ends up having to cushion his fall on a pile of garbage bags.

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He introduces himself as “Knuckle Duster” and he really isn’t someone you want to f*ck around with.  He’s got brass knuckles and a mean left hook.

The day is saved.

And the team is formed.  Knuckle Duster and Pop Jump end up following Koichi home and their adventures as back alley vigilantes begin.

Knuckle Duster, it turns out, is on the lookout for a new street drug that turns people’s tongues black, but gives them an unauthorized and temporary super boost to their quirk.   Besides the dark tongue, the other side-effect is that the drug makes you lose your impulse control, and so basically most people who take it turn into villains in the process. Knuckle Duster’s plan it to beat up anyone who looks suspicious and check their tongues.  Pop Jump and Koichi have to spend a lot of their time stoping the murderous old man from doing just that, and coming up with a better plan to hunt down the drug’s source.

It’s enough of a plot to keep things moving.  There are various cameos by side characters from My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia, including Stain / Hero Killer, Eraserhead, and the original Ingenium, the older brother of Iida Tenya.

It was running into Iida Tensei that made me realize that this series is actually taking place in the past, since Tensei had not yet met Stain and become paralyzed. (There are a couple of other hints, including the fact that Eraserhead is not yet teaching at UA.)

In fact, Stain, when we meet him has not yet formed his full philosophy and is acting as a vigilante himself, going as Stendal, looking a little like a perfect samurai–and kind of bad-a$$ honestly.
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If only he weren’t still so blood-thirsty, and clearly working as a mercenary for one of the mysterious villain’s hench(wo)men.

So, what did I like about this? I liked the point of it, which is that there’s this whole unexplored space of people who aren’t official heroes, but who still want to do good AND that doing that, makes them criminals.

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What I’m less fond of? What you see in the middle panel.  The fact that, kind of like in the original, the women seem to exist for panty shots.

Will I keep reading this?  Maybe.  I actually really like Knuckle Duster, especially after it’s implied he actually has no real superpower at all, but is, in point of fact, just a really tough old man.  He’s not taken terribly seriously, however, which is kind of a bummer.

Koichi is a bit too much of college-age rip-off of Midoriya–right down to the hero worship of All-Might.  I suppose that’s the point of him. He’s meant to be a window into the world Midoriya might be in, if he hadn’t gotten all that “help from his friends.”  (Though, frankly, I live in the version of that alternate universe where Midoriya grew up to be Knuckle Duster, but that’s probably just me.)

When the available chapters ended, Pop Jump was just starting to get a backstory.  Alas, her backstory felt a little too convenient to me, but at least they’re trying to give her something besides a constantly exposed backside — which might play better for me if there wasn’t an entire half a chapter devoted to a gang of vigilante brothers who have made it their life goal to steal women’s underwear off them while they’re walking down the streets.  So much with the panties. OMG. Please stop, Furuhashi-sensei.

That part makes me slightly less likely to want to keep tuning in.  The cameos are pretty great, though, honestly. All-Might has a really hilarious one, and Naomasa Tsukauchi, the police deceive, has a fairly on-going role in this, and I sort of like him for some completely unknown reason, so that’s fun for me.

The official fan wiki seems to be tracking this one, as well, so… ?  Again, I mean, if what you’re looking for is a broader exploration of the universe of My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia, then this is definitely it.

So long as you can handle all the panty shots….

My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia (Vols. 2 – 8) by Kohei Horikoshi

I’m nearly caught up with the all the tankōbon published in English so far.  Volume 8 of My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia takes us through “Chapter 71: Kota.”  If you’re a super-fan, MangaFreak has all the scanlated chapters up to chapter 153.

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I’m still trying to decide if I’m enough of a super-fan, myself to want to catch up to the “live-stream,” as it were.  I have been very burned by getting that invested in a weekly manga (and its fandom). To add to that, My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia is a Weekly Shounen Jump (WSJ) product, just like Bleach and Naruto, which both ended abruptly and so, so very badly.

I’m not sure that I trust the editorial staff at WSJ to understand *why* their product is successful and to cultivate and lead their mangaka to explore the important bits.

I mean, there’s an obvious canon ship in My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia.  If the numbers drop, are the editors going to be like, “Whelp, that’s a wrap, Hokikoshi-sensei.  Just slam Modoriya and Uraraka together, give ’em a couple of babies,  chop off Modoriya’s hair so he looks like crap, destroy any power Uraraka had on her own beyond being a breeding female, and call it the end, okay??!!”

Not that I’m bitter.

But, you can’t deny, it’s a WSJ trend.

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A lot happens in Volumes 2 – 8.  We get the sports area competition (and Todoroki Shoto’s tragic—seriously tragic–backstory,) the heroes choosing their names (very glad that Midoriya went with “Deku”), the injury of Iida Tenya’s onii-chan, and so, so much more including an internship for Midoriya in which he finally gets a better sense of how to control All For One.

Speaking of the transferable quirk, we also discover that there is an opposing quirk out there called One For All, and that maybe the origin story of the super-quirk is not entirely wholesome.

As I allude to above, there is also the introduction of the Hero Killer villain and his intriguing philosophy…. which was kind of a turning point for me.

Mason saw me reading these further volumes and he asked me what I thought of everything so far.  At the time, I was reading volume 4, and I still wasn’t sure.

As long-time readers of my reviews know, I’m a hard sell.  Comedy is hard for me, but also I really like my stories to have some… meat, some substance.  Barring that, I want a sense of the edges of the world, the places where dystopia and disaffection lurk.  I like action-action-action, but I can get bored of that if there’s nothing more there.  I managed to drop out of Assassination Classroom after having read a ton–almost 11 volumes? So, yeah, I need a strong hook–for me, I especially want a kind of dark hook, something that tells me that the mangaka has created something that could be thought about deeply, in a real-world context.

With the introduction of the Hero Killer, we’re getting somewhere.

And, more importantly, WSJ seems to recognize the interesting bits of this darker side, too.  They’re currently running a spin-off to this manga called, Vigilante: Boku no Hero Academia Illegals. I just started reading that, and might have a review of that up separately.  (I promise I will get back to yaoi, but my heart is shounen, so bear with me.)  This seems to follow people who don’t fit into the hero mode, who still want to do good, but because of the laws of society, they’re illegal–criminals.

Heroic bad guys.

Okay, you’re interesting me, WSJ.

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The other thing that intrigued me in the main story and got me thinking I may have found something deeper is that the heroes of the universe of My Hero Academia get very worried when clips of Hero Killer’s speeches get out.  His point?  The world is overrun by heroes.  All these quirks mean that no one is really special.  You don’t actually have to be heroic to be a hero.  In fact, as we see in the internship arc, some heroes spend their time selling products on TV.

Hero Killer HATES that sh*t.

Plus, and he doesn’t talk about this explicitly, but his quirk has made him physically deformed.  A lot of people don’t get the good quirks.  There’s a lot to find problematic about this quirk-filled world.

So we’re starting to ask the question that has been on the opposite side of of hero, Midoriya’s journey.  His question has always been: what makes a hero?  Like Captain America in the Marvel comic universe, his answer is pure.  It’s your heart.  Quirk or not, being a hero should mean “doing the right thing, even when that’s the hardest thing.”

Now, we’re starting to ask, “What makes a villain?”

In fact,  in these volumes, there have been some serious questions about the hearts of some of our colleagues at UA.  When Hero Killer takes out Iida Tenya’s older brother, paralyzing him, Iida starts to walk down the path of revenge.  Similarly, we see the instructor, Eraserhead, keeping a shadowy watch on Bakugo Katsuki since he is still so consumed by his hatred of Midoriya (he makes them work together on the final exam–which KIND OF works, except he’s still so angry.)

However, the implication of his concern over Bakugo appears to be that UA may have produced villains in the past, and they’re keeping an eye out for villainous behavior–which, of course, FASCINATES me.

So, I mean, this one has got a lot of what I love.  A LOT.

I will certainly follow the volumes as they come out. The only question is… how much further will I fall into it?

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Chapter 50) by Junko

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So, yeah, I’m following this pretty religiously now, and I am not sure what to make of that.  If you want to join me, you can read the latest chapter here on MangaHere.com.

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The chapter opens with the former-harem trying to figure out how to help History Guy (Mutsumi) and the heroine (Serinuma) get back together.  Klutz (Shinomiya) suggests starting a write-in campaign to have the anime kill off Serinuma’s favorite character.  This is quickly squashed by the Prince/Princess (Nishina), who is also a fan of the show.

These wacky hijinx are interrupted by Seinuma, who shows up in tears, claiming that gay boy (Yashiro) has stolen her man, Mutsumi.  When everyone asks what’s wrong she tells them she saw them kissing. As other people are kind of stunned by this sudden queer turn of events, Nishina asks where they were kissing?  When Seinuma says it was the rooftop, Nishina, who reads BL/yaoi, becomes convinced that this is a classic yaoi set-up and they could be “doing it” right now.

Everyone rushes to the roof.

The boys are just coming downstairs.  The confrontation is a cold one. Yashiro is ruthless and reminds Seinuma that she really has no place rushing in, since she still hasn’t answered the question: “who is more important, your RL boyfriend or your anime husbando?”

The “are the boys together” shtick continues, as Shinomiya happens to come across them after a bookcase has been knocked over and it seems like they’re on top of each other. Meanwhile, Yashiro and Mitsumi are  playing a lot of Japanese chess, Shogi. Dark-haired sporty dude (Igarashi) stops by one of their sessions and asks for a quick word with Mitsumi.  He wants to know if he’s done with Serinuma because he’s going after her, if so.  This riles up Mitsumi and tells him nope.  Igarashi says, okay, fine, I’ll stay away for now, because I respect you, man, but get your damn act together.

Mitsumi is so fired up he wins the shogi match in one move.  Yashiro, seeing how upset he is, asks Mitsumi to accompany him on an out-of-town trip to a shogi competition… you know, not to get you away from that girl or anything, just as a change in pace.

….which somehow Mitsumi does not see as the ACTUAL YAOI SET-UP THAT IT IS.

Back to Serinume, who is despondent.  She can NOT pick between IRL boyfriend and anime husbando.  Who could???? Luckily, her oldest friend, Ah-Chan (who is an otaku like her, but who has managed to have a boyfriend this whole time) shows up ready to kick some sense into some nerd butt.

The solution is pretty clever.  Ah-Chan whips Serinume into a frenzy over opposing ships to her anime husbando.  Could you see him with so-and-so?  NO!!! NEVER! Could you see him with this other guy???  ARGH, I WOULD RATHER DIE. MY OTP IS THE ONLY PERFECT MATCH FOR MY ANIME HUSBANDO.

Exactly, Ah-Chan says.  No one should be with your anime husband other than your OTP pairing.

Not. Even. YOU.

The choice is easy.

But, when Serinume goes to call Mutsumi with her answer, Yashiro picks up his phone.  They’re at a ryokan…. out of town…. TOGETHER.

The final scene is Yashiro making his move:

 

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Oh noz!

This is, of course, a huge threat, because, as we all know from our extensive reading of yaoi, if Yashiro gives Mutsumi a taste of Teh Gay, there is literally no way Mutsumi can retain even a shred of Teh Straight. Even a single kiss could potentially awaken Teh Gay in Mutsumi and he might suddenly start to notice how cute Yashiro is and then, literally, there is zero hope of any part of his straightness ever surfacing again.

These are the facts, ma’am.

Except, yeah, I can only hope that Junko-sensei will simply just have Mutsumi look at Yashiro and say, “You’re cute. Kissing you was nice, but I’m in love with someone else.”  A beat later: “Sorry! Also, still straight!”

I mean, as a queer reader, I do love it when people have moments of queerness, but the gay guy as threat to Mutsumi’s virtue is… well, let’s just say, gay predator is not a helpful stereotype–though incredibly common in yaoi.

So, I would rather Yashiro was rebuffed kindly and thoughtfully.

And that he stepped back, kindly and thoughtfully.

Probably it will be played for humor. I could be mad about that, too, but since this manga is literally about girls who love BL/yaoi/slash it’s kind of nice to have an actual gay subplot happening with one of the boys.

There has been decent moments of cleverness and thoughtfulness and kindness in the writing so far, so I’ll hold out a little hope.

—-

P.S. On a side-note, when I posted my review of this manga on Facebook, I got a couple of people suggesting that if I liked this, I would like Genshiken.  Once again, when I went to Crunchyroll, I accidentally ended up watching the first episode of the second season (although, as it happens, that’s all they HAD.)  I tried to hunt up the first season, but, wow, the art…. I… yeah, I dunno.

I might try reading it, though.  But, I have a bunch of others in my reading queue, so we’ll see. I offer the link here, in case any of you are interested.