Shinobeyo! Stalker – Fujiwara Asahi
As a runaway ninja, Benimaru has little to no prospects in life. As he was lying in the woods, contemplating his death, a stranger approaches him and gives him back his will to live. Benimaru finds out that the man was none other than the province’s feudal lord’s son, Lord Shinosuke Kiyohisa Yamato. Putting his skills to use, Benimaru sneaks around and secretly looks after Lord Shinosuke, who may be much more clueless than he lets on…
Benimaru’s pretty face on the cover grabbed my attention. I was expecting gritty ninja action, but it turned out this manga has scenes so completely ridiculous one character consigned them all to perdition and high-tailed it out of the scene. If he could break the fourth wall and run out the panel, he would.
Benimaru, at one point, was at the lowest he has been, with no desire to live. The kind-hearted Lord Shinosuke found him and encouraged him to find a reason to live. Benimaru did just that, falling in love with Shinosuke and secretly taking care of him from the shadows.
The opening panels showed Benimaru stalking the young lord. Things were pretty benign here. Then, it got a turn for the best? Worst? Or just plain silly where medicines were oh so conveniently given in error. Medicines that “make certain parts more energetic” making that a cue for our naive ninja to help his beloved lord release tension.
Add a voice of reason in the chaos in the form of Shouta, a young ninja who admires Benimaru and wants him to come to his senses, a.k.a. return to their village. I expected a love triangle, but no. Shouta was the only sensible character who nudges our heroes in the right direction, popping up just in time when needed.
This is one of the most hilarious stories I’ve read this year, with Gintama humor and clueless characters finding themselves in one silly situation after another. It’s also one of the cutest romances too!