Wild Adapter 1
November 28, 2010
Kazuya Minekura – Tokyopop – 2007 – 6+ volumes
Okay, okay. I’ve read enough of these BL/vaguely BL action series to know these have exactly what I want. Fantastic action coupled with vague romantic hints. Wild Adapter isn’t very BL at this point, but I don’t mind too much. The comraderie is tinged with hints and one or two scenes worth of kissing and vague implications, but the strong friendship element appeals to me quite a bit here, even without the romance.
I like this one because this is probably the first yakuza story I’ve read that is both sympathetic and not full of gross old men. The moral question about whether one should sympathize with yakuza is valid, but considering heroes can be all sorts of bloodthirsty monsters, the mild-mannered kid that gets pulled into mob activities here isn’t so bad. So that we know these are bad people, the main character (Kubota) splatters someone’s brains across a wall without a second thought as part of his initiation, but after that very little yakuza-like activity takes place. In fact, the plot revolves around the fact that Kubota is so ill-suited for his new leadership position. He’s lazy, frequently doesn’t show up for work, and doesn’t seem to get involved in any of the syndicate’s business. But he’s also an absolute shark when it comes to mahjong, and doesn’t take a second thought when it comes to violence.
Most of the volume is spent fleshing out this incredibly strange character. A great leader despite not really doing anything yakuza-like, carefree and somewhat lighthearted despite being a killer, and even somewhat charismatic despite the fact that the rumors circulate about what a terrible leader he is. There are also hints of politics about a rival yakuza group and a new drug called “W.A.” that seems to turn people into beast men. Mostly it’s about Kubota, and most of what we see is through the eyes of Komiya, his second-in-command that starts out hating them, then grows to respect and even admire him. There is an implied romance, but it is more about camaraderie, as I said.
The volume finishes up at the end of what is probably a very major story line, and it looks like we pick up next time with a new character, a “stray” that Kubota takes in off the street. I’m interested to see more of the action-packed bright side of the underworld. It was definitely a page turner, and most everything about it was quite excellent. Can’t wait to read more.