The Manzai Comics
Story by Atsuko Asana
Art by Hizuru Imai
Published by Aurora Press
Copy supplied by publisher
Review by Linda Yau
Ayumu Seta is a new student at a Japanese middle school; he prides himself on being a normal person, but what happens when his classmate, Takashi Akimoto who is a guy no less, asks you to go out with him? And if this going out is more different than what you expect. Then what? This is what Ayumu experiences, as he is unexpectedly thrown in the world of Manzai comedy.
Manzai comedy is a stage performance where there is a duo that has verbal spars or plays on words, which would make it pretty funny for those who know of this culture. I see a lot of this being part of Chinese state comedy, or within Japan’s on culture as well.
This manga is not a strict bl story though. It plays on the stereotypes and assumption, which may surround guys who are seen as homosexual or effeminate, when their orientation is not. Taking from a bl-fan’s perspective, this manga might be disappointment. There is chemistry between the two characters; however as a light comedy with gender issues, I recommend it.
The rating for this story is 13+, and at a time when there are adolescent gender issues, this is a satirical look at it. Oh and throw in a jealous female childhood friend, Meguna Hagimoto, and you have yourself a pseudo love triangle Ayumu develops a slight crush on Meguna who chases after an oblivious Takahashi. I happen to like reading this book and it does have an interesting beginning, I look forward to reading the next installment.