Honto Yajuu Review: Chapter 18A
Another chapter of Honto Yajuu has been released and I’m so excited about it I may or may not have screamed out loud on the bus on the way to work when I found out about it. I first recommended Honto Yajuu almost a year ago shortly after I binged through all of Yamamoto Kotetsuko’s work, but the series went dark last spring as she turned her attention to her other series Omairi Desu Yo. This shift in focus came conveniently right after I got hopelessly addicted to Honto Yajuu, thus leaving me without any new material for many long months. I’m not kidding when I say this is my favorite manga series of all time, and this new installment has everything that made me fall in love with it in the first place. Aki and Tomoharu are sweetly in love, there’s a good dash of humor, and Yamamoto Kotetsuko is more than happy to throw us fangirls some bones when it comes to dressing her characters up all pretty (thanks for putting Ueda in Yakuza glasses, seriously). In short, this chapter was perfect and I’m excited to see where the arc goes.
The chapter begins with just enough sweetness between our main pairing to rot our teeth out. Aki finds the Yakuza glasses that Ueda had used several chapters beforehand to go undercover. Aki, like many of us fangirls, find them to be incredibly hot on his partner and decides to challenge him to rock-paper-scissors to make him wear them. Poor Ueda loses and is forced to wear them out on a date. One of my favorite parts of this pairing is how they are willing to indulge each other because they are just that much in love. Sure, Ueda could be seen by people he knows while dressed to the nines as a Yakuza, and sure, that could cause problems for him at work, but his boyfriend thinks he looks hot like that and he lost the rock-paper-scissors game fair and square so he sucks it up. A small part of me thinks that if he held onto them, he really wasn’t that opposed to owning them anyway, but he’s still a cop to the core. Ueda has been and always will be a cop as much as Aki has been and always will be Yakuza, but that’s not really a problem for either of them.
While out on their date, they run across one of Aki’s ex’s, Kiyoshi, who is being threatened by a scammer named Tadashi. Even though Kiyoshi is Aki’s ex, Ueda still wants to help him in any way that he can. His moral compass is always set to good, even if he sometimes bends some laws to accomplish what he sets out to do. If we put this in Dungeons & Dragons terms, he’s somewhere between Neutral-Good and Chaotic-Good. You would think a cop would be Lawful-Good, but there’s no way he’d be able to date a Yakuza if that were the case. This is why this pairing is so perfect.
Throughout the remainder of the first chapter, Aki attempts to solve the problem on his own hoping to not involve Ueda any more than he already is. This is Yakuza business and Aki knows it’s dangerous for a cop to be involved. This shows how much Aki is willing to give for the person he loves, too, because looking out for the welfare of a cop should be pretty far down the list of Important Things for a Yakuza. And yet, here we are. Love will do strange things to you, won’t it?
The chapter ends with Kiyoshi being kidnapped, which puts Aki in an awkward position with both the Yakuza and Ueda. Aki may not have gotten involved in the matter had Ueda not offered to assist, but now he’s sort of committed himself to it. His strangely lecherous uncle has been brought into the issue and calls are being made to various mob bosses to untangle the mess. Worse yet, Ueda has been gently pushed out of the situation by Aki, but now Aki has to keep his continued involvement a secret or risk confessing to his partner that he kind of sort of lied about how things were essentially resolved. The risks are high and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter to be released.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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