Every quarter we are running a Manga Review Contest where you can submit a review from a selected list of manga. If you want to participate or learn more, click the link. Today we are highlighting two manga reviews about the same manga, Hitorijime Boyfriend, that were submitted by Sarah and Elizabeth.
Hitorijime Boyfriend is a really fun boys love (BL) manga. I would classify it as school life, romantic, and comedy. It is a prequel to Hitorijime My Hero and has many of the same characters. The story takes place mostly in the high school and homes of the main characters. The main characters are Kensuke Ohshiba (15 years old), the little brother of Kousuke Ohshiba from Hitorijime My Hero, and Asaya Hasekura (15 years old), his friend from elementary school.
Kensuke Ohshiba is a short, dark-haired, cute, and good-natured but childish first-year high school boy who is well-liked by most people. Asaya Hasekura is a tall, blond, dashingly handsome boy who is also in his first year of high school. Even though the girls all have an immediate crush on him, he has a bad personality and doesn’t get along with most people.
Kensuke and Asaya were very close friends in elementary school but parted badly when Asaya moved away. Asaya has now moved back to high school and he and Kensuke meet again. Many awkward, funny, charming, and heartwarming scenes evolve. Kensuke wants to be forgiven and to have their friendship go back to the way it was. Asaya has other ideas. You need to read the story to find out what happens.
I really enjoyed this manga. I found it to be well written. The drawings are well done. The characters are so cute and have good character development. If you enjoy BL stories that are romantic without graphic scenes, I think you will enjoy this book.
If you’re like me, you sometimes find long-running manga series intimidating. This has been my experience with Memeco Arii’s Hitorijime My Hero. So, when I caught word of the release of a prequel, I decided that Hitorijime Boyfriend would be the ideal place to start.
The story begins with a fateful flashback to sixth grade when best friends Hasekura and Kensuke have a fight that ends their friendship. Three years later, Kensuke encounters Hasekura on the first day of high school. Handsome, confident Hasekura is much sought after by all the girls, but it soon becomes clear that he wants shy Kensuke instead.
I had been reading a lot of painterly, leisurely-paced BL stories lately, so Arii’s jam-packed, rather frenetic panels took getting used to. Kensuke’s very expressive reactions are amusing, and it can be touching to see how much he still seems like his younger self.
There are many classic romantic tropes at play, friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and misunderstandings to name but a few, and so many readers will find their personal catnip here. However, I was dismayed to see that played-out yaoi chestnut, dubious consent, anchoring Hasekura’s manipulative attempts at “seduction.” The rest of the plot isn’t compelling enough to redeem this aspect. The pacing feels rushed, a problem compounded by the rather confusing artwork. Kensuke resembles his brother, while Hasekura and Masahiro have similar hairstyles. While this prequel could work as a standalone, I’m sorry to say it’s best reserved for hardcore Hitorijime My Hero fans.
Check back every month for our manga review contest page as we will be adding new manga to the list! Don't forget to submit your reviews for a chance to win a $75 gift card like Sarah and Elizabeth did!
Hitorijime Boyfriend manga features story and art by Memeco Arii and is a prequel to Hitorijime My Hero.
Before Masahiro and Kousuke’s whirlwind romance in Hitorijime My Hero, there was Hitorijime Boyfriend—and now, the origin story of one of BL/yaoi’s biggest franchises can finally be told! Back in sixth grade, Kensuke had a falling out with his best friend Hasekura that still hurts three years later. Then, one day, Hasekura’s suddenly back in Kensuke’s life like nothing happened. What, exactly, is going on? And what will Kensuke do when Hasekura wants to take things to a whole other level…? Meet all your favorite Hitorijime My Hero characters all over again, for the first time!Add to CartLearn More