Tyrant Falls in Love 1
August 4, 2010
Hinako Takanaga – June – 2010 – 6+ volumes
I reviewed this over at Manga Village,
so you can check it out over there.
EDIT: Actually, turns out that the review went down with the old Comics Village site. It was one of the few I had saved on my computer, so I’m going to paste it here under a cut since I’ve recently taken an interest in this series again. A very serious, obsessive interest. Because I love it now. I’m sorry.
There were some good things and some bad things here. I liked the characters a lot, but it makes use of some of my least favorite BL plot devices, which takes what could be an interesting story and makes it work against the characters. But it was good enough that I’m going to keep reading, and I did pick up the 4-volume prequel a few days ago, so there’s that too. I’m hoping the characters are just as good in that prequel as they were in this one.
I had no idea that Hinako Takanaga was so prolific. I’ve missed every single one of her releases in English, and there’s been quite a few. Along with Challengers, I’ve got the Little Butterfly omnibus on preorder too.
EDIT: I really do think reading Challengers is necessary to enjoying this work. The beginnings of what’s going on between Morinaga and Souichi are told in that series, and it is important how infinitely patient Morinaga is with Souichi before he does what he does in the first chapter here (read: a really horrible assault). Also, that Souichi really is an angry, violent, insensitive jerk that everybody except his little sister is afraid of. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a lot easier to forgive Morinaga the awful rape after all the things both Souichi and Morinaga say and do in Challengers. And it’s hard for me to believe that, with a scene like that starting the series off, I grew to absolutely love it as much as I did.
University study Tetsuhiro Morinaga has been in love with his homophobic, violent and tyrannical sempai Souichi Tatsumi for more than four years now. Even though he’s told Tatsumi how he feels and even managed to steal a kiss, expecting anything more seems like nothing more than the stuff of dreams… That is until the long-oppressed Morinaga gets his biggest chance ever. Might his unendingly unrequited love finally be returned?
You know, I read a lot of boys’ love and yaoi manga, and one thing I’ll never get used to is the non-consensual sex that happens so frequently. I take issue with it every time, and it’s a stumbling block even for otherwise great series like Gerard and Jacques. With an entertaining opening, it was hard for me to take that this series used non-con as the catalyst almost immediately.
But that aside, this book was good in a lot of other ways. It’s a follow-up to Challengers (released by DramaQueen), but this series follows a different set of characters. The foul-mouthed gay-basher Tatsumi steals the show, and makes for an unlikely romantic interest. Nothing seems to please him, and he even yells and complains all the way through the sex scenes, when most victims of non-con simply take it in these series.
I was a little disappointed that a character like him was somewhat wasted here, since there could be a really great story built up around relieving him of his prejudices. Non-con isn’t the way to start that story, though, and he unfortunately… begins to pine after Morinaga after he disappears at a certain point in the book. Happily, he’s not head-over-heels, or a total convert, but there’s at least one sappy scene that I didn’t want just yet.
I also like the setting, and the fact that the characters are adults, which are things I prefer when reading yaoi manga. The art is also quite good, especially for a BL series, with great anatomy, crisp thin lines and just enough detail.
The series is five volumes long, and with so much condensed in the first book, part of me wonders if there’s four volumes of material left, but on the other hand, I do very much want to see how Tatsumi develops a soft side. A great character is really all it takes to hook me in one of these series.
Falls into a lot of BL plot traps, but with an entertaining main character, but an entertaining love interest makes the book stand out. Definitely worth a look for yaoi fans.