My first introduction to the wonderful and prolific BL manga-ka Yamamoto Kotetsuko was through her series Honto Yajuu (‘Like the Beast’), detailing the romantic adventures of Aki (the young scion of a yakuza family) and Tomoharu, a good-natured neighbourhood cop. Volume 6 has started appearing in bookshops in recent weeks, but until I get around to picking it up, here are some brief thoughts on Volume 5.
(The photos below are from my Chinese edition — I already sent my Japanese copy back to Australia because I live in fear of soon having to carry a library’s worth of books back home in my luggage).
Unlike previous volumes, this entry in the series reads as one long story arc, with a short but thematically connected oneshot at the end. Unfortunately, most of the plot is taken up with one of those idol drama-style love triangles that has a forgone conclusion (i.e. one guy is pining hopelessly on the periphery while the main couple basically ignores him/her).
But Yamamoto-sensei manages to redeem this mundane storyline somewhat with near-constant touches of humour and with the series’ characters, who remain as over the top as they are endearing. The scenes with Tomoharu again having to pretend to be some bigwig yakuza to hoodwink Aki’s family were particularly delightful, as was Aki’s oblivious selfishness towards, well, everyone.
Now that Aki and Tomoharu have been a stable couple for a year in-‘verse, part of me is wondering if there’ll be much more in terms of relationship development, or if the series will simply trundle along charmingly from here on out. In either case, I’m still happily following along with this series as it continues to unfold.