Tyrant Falls in Love 3

August 7, 2011

Hinako Takanaga – June – 2011 – 8 volumes

After having a stormy conscience over enjoying this series despite the non-con in the first volume, reading Ze 3 put things in perspective for me. That book made me feel truly bad for reading it, whereas here, especially after reading Challengers, there’s definitely an emotional attachment between the characters. Still, that doesn’t excuse it, but… reading a real rape scene is much different.

Anyway! Volume three only made me like this series more. Morinaga goes away through the first half, and Isogai puts in an appearance. Isogai was my second-favorite character from Challengers, and very capable when it comes to judging people. Isogai sees something he shouldn’t have between Souichi and Morinaga (PDA that made even me blush), and with a leer, he decides to use it against Souichi. His blackmail is exquisite. He also gets as much mileage as possible out of it. I laughed all the way through the first half of the book.

Morinaga misunderstands the blackmail (given the way he was “blackmailing” Souichi for the first couple volumes), and after making a big public scene, Souichi angrily reassures him that the only person he wouldn’t beat to death for doing that is Morinaga. Because he hates gays. Morinaga is the exception.

Souichi’s emotional moments are a thing of angry, completely affectionless beauty. They are what they are, though, and it makes Morinaga happy.

Seriously. Every volume of this series is hilarious, romantic in just the right ways, and makes me like both Morinaga and Souichi more and more despite the terrible qualities they both possess. I don’t know how it manages to be so utterly charming and addictive every time, but it’s great stuff.

One of the biggest kicks I get out of this series are the facial expressions on the characters. This is definitely a change from Challengers, where Tomoe basically has one face he makes at all times. Souichi actually only has a few facial expressions, but I love how they suit his character in every situation. Basically, he always looks angry, pissed, or nonplussed, and occasionally surprised. He even manages to scowl all the way through sex, which is a source of amusement to me. Similarly, Morinaga has a couple unusual facial expressions in his repertoire, particularly when Souichi finally does something that makes him angry. His face hovers somewhere between amused and horribly depressed at these points, and usually he’s doing something terrible while making this face.

Another one of the finer points I happened to notice while reading this volume is that… Souichi doesn’t use an honorific with Morinaga’s name. Ever. This is highly unusual, since even the most devoted lovers in BL books usually still call each other by their last names along with the super-polite “-san.” I thought this was a show of closeness on Souichi’s part, but I notice he does this a lot, actually. Kurokawa, from Challengers, is also never addressed with an honorific. Neither is Isogai in this volume. And I don’t think he often uses honorifics with his siblings either, both of whom call him “nii-san.” I don’t think these honorifics are lost in translation, since all the other characters use them all the time. I’m inclined to believe he feels close to Morinaga and his siblings, but I’m baffled about Kurokawa and Isogai. Is he doing it to be rude? Does he just not use them? Is he the only Japanese person ever that finds these honorifics bothersome, for some reason? I notice he occasionally uses them to address other students at the university, but that’s been, like… one time. Maybe he just doesn’t bother for people he needs to be himself in front of?

Anyway. I’m happy I read the volumes when I did, because now I don’t have long to wait for volume four. Again, I’m troubled by its beginnings, but this is probably one of the best romance comics I’ve ever read.

6 Responses to “Tyrant Falls in Love 3”

  1. P-chan Says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am you love this. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. Tyrant is one of my all-time favorites (I even wrote my own review to convince a friend to try it) and i totally get why people can’t stand to read past volume 1. But I did and it’s one of my all-time guilty pleasure manga.

    Volume 3 has has some really big progress in their relationship though. Chapter 4 can be boiled down to one big gigantic confession scene with both sides coming out and saying what they want and why they do what they do, how they feel about what they do, and what will probably happen from now on. They stop one development short of giving the series an aborted ending (thank god! the next few volumes are absolutely brilliant, from various coming-out episodes to Souichi realizing that being a violent asshole may not always be in his best interests, so more solid comedic GOLD). But this was a huge volume for me (actually I read the series:Tyrant 1 -> Tyrant 3 -> Tyrant 2 -> Tyrant 4 -> Tryant 5, and so on. Which also helped.) and hearing Soichi’s viewpoint when his REAL thoughts are usually anyone’s guess did wonders from my enjoyment.

    Also, Doraemon theme song. I will now buy EVERYTHING Hinako Takanga publishes in english from now on (with the exception of Study Hard!, the only manga by her I absolutely can’t stand) JUST for that.

  2. Connie Says:

    The Doraemon thing was AMAZING. I love authors that know the perfect ways to humiliate their characters for maximum entertainment, and I don’t think there’s a better way to wring any more out of Souichi.

    I do like that the relationship stuff mostly comes from Morinaga’s point of view, because it makes scenes like the one in volume three so much better. Even after admitting his feelings here, I love that Souichi’s thoughts are mostly left ambiguous for the rest of the series (I’ll admit I read waaay ahead after I finished this volume). It somehow makes things more endearing, especially since he’s still trying to figure out the whole “why” thing.

    The first volume does make it really hard to recommend to others, unfortunately. But it is so ridiculously addictive. You’re right, a serious guilty pleasure.

    Also, I’m almost afraid to ask what makes Study Hard so awful.

  3. P-chan Says:

    As a BL there is nothing reallly that WRONG with Study Hard!, but I found the main characters to be such horrible people (especially the longer-haired one) and unlike Tyrant, nothing to compensate for it.

    Souichi is violent homophobic jerkass with the sensitivity of a rock, but he DOES have some good qualities buried underneath it all. This justifies Morinaga’s feelings for him, and well as forming an attachment between the character and the reader. For as bad as Souichi is, I love him. But neither of the characters in Study Hard! have ANY redemptive qualities. It’s a sick relationship with unlikeable characters and no matter how good the story, I couldn’t even enjoy it.

    That being said, there was no real cardinal sin of BL being commited here. It’s just the characterization was so prominent that it destroyed any chance of the (slim) plot saving it.

    I’m not one to hate on series, but Study Hard! was seriously just that bad. I think it’s notable that of all of Hinako’s early stuff, only that one was unlicensed. I don’t particularly remember disliking A Capable Man but i also don’t remember anything about it, even what the story was.

    My absolute favorite by Takanaga is Little Butterfly with Tyrant as a close second (probably because I own all of Little Butterfly and I’m a bit peeved that Tyrant 4 isn’t out yet). She has some other good stuff you have’t reviewed like Liberty Liberty and You Will Fall in Love (which is the first in a set of [currently] three series), as well as some unlicensed stuff like Bukiyou no Silent and Turning Point.

  4. Connie Says:

    I just got Liberty Liberty and all three of the You Will Fall in Love-related books, they were the cheapest of her books available. I did like the first volume of You Will Fall in Love a lot more than I thought I would. I usually avoid teacher/student stories like the plague, but Takanaga is good enough that I decided to give it a try.

  5. P-chan Says:

    Cheapest?! Where?! I can’t find Liberty Liberty for under $20. And the Love series books range from $40-$80 a volume! The Devil’s Secret is the cheapest I’ve found (for $15)

  6. Connie Says:

    Liberty Liberty is in stock over at Right Stuf for around $10:

    http://www.rightstuf.com/cgi-bin/catalogmgr/Af1WirPK4Ai7Gmc62e/browse/search/5/4/0/0/results/desc/asc/50/1

    I got the later two volumes of the “You Will Drown/Fall in Love” series there, though it looks like they’ve sold out of one. The first volume of that series I got really lucky with, one of the booksellers on Amazon was a store I recognized. They sell manga in their store very cheap, so I just called them and had it shipped to me for the in-store price without indicating I saw it online.

    Funny enough, last time I checked, Devil’s Secret was over $30. I was very interested in that one since I have a high tolerance for what are often terrible books with demons in them. Where did you see that one for $15?


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