MANGA: Aiseyo Bakemono
Aiseyo Bakemono – Tsukizuki Yoshi
Reiji Kuze is the son of doctors and the new transfer student in his last year of high school. As someone whose socioeconomic background and academic grades are in the top 98th percentile, Reiji immediately stands out like a sore thumb in his new school. And in high school, standing out means you will be targeted. Presumed to be a delicate prince swimming in cash, Reiji gets picked on by the third strongest person in the school… and beats him and his entire gang to a pulp without breaking a sweat. As if Reiji didn’t stand out enough already, he seems to have caught the interest of the king of the hill, Akira Ohara, the cat-like lone-wolf that nobody can seem to tame…
Just Love. The Monster is what the uber-violent, homoerotic movie Crows, would be if it had gone full-on gay. At least the first parts of this high school, friends to lovers story.
Reiji is an elite, straight A student from an education-obsessed family. The last person you’d expect to be quite strong in a fight, as the notorious delinquent and strongest fighter, Akira, was delighted to discover. He challenged Reiji to a fight and was quickly enamored with the other boy’s fighting skills and good looks.
Akira has no qualms admitting he likes hot guys, and he’d likely fight a guy and fuck them too. Reiji initially didn’t feel anything but friendship towards the intriguing Akira. Later, he thought they had something special going on, but Akira suddenly ghosted.
Going in, I thought this was going to be fluffy and cute, so I was surprised the second half was very emotional. The story focus on the very different lives of the two boys and how it drove a wedge between them. A wedge created by internal angsting over how different their paths are, particularly by the doofus Akira, even though Reiji was doubling efforts to get close to him again.
I have mixed feelings about this manga. There are a lot of background speech balloons in lighter ink. I liked that they give the scenes a dynamic atmosphere, almost as if you can hear the susurration of the crowd. This had the makings of a top manga but suffered from awkward storytelling. I’m not sure if it’s the translation, but I was a bit confused with the plot.
Many goings-on are known through dialogues that are sometimes unclear, so the flow is not that smooth. I felt the mangaka only skimmed the surface because there were also backstories that needed to be explored further. I’m not one for long manga, but I think this one needed at least one more volume.
Biggest complaint is the part where Akira was almost beaten to death. Reiji took him to a motel where the horny Akira and his med student boyfriend had sex instead of taking care of injuries. The boys certainly had their priorities straight. Magic dick for the win because right after that, our boy was good as new. Meh!
If you like my content, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi or PayPal Your donations will help keep this website going. Thank you so much!