Manga-ka: Hinako Takanaga
Publisher: June Manga
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: August 2011
Synopsis: “It’s been a long and winding road to victory, but Souichi has just moved in with Morinaga! Sure, it’s only meant to be temporary…and he’s got to do all of the cooking…and the cleaning…but these are small sacrifices for the sake of love, right? Too bad Morinaga is still struggling to keep Souichi out of his pants! Will he surrender control and let his stubborn heart lead the way?”
The Tyrant Falls In Love returns with another 200 pages of will-he-won’t-he as Morinaga continues to romantically persist after Souichi. A lot of the same material may be rehashed here (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) but this book really steps things up with some drama you won’t expect. Finally more than their sex lives is now at risk. This fourth volume proves one of the most enjoyable yet as Souichi wages a one-sided war against a stalker and Morinaga fights to survive helping him with it.
Part of what I like about this story is that I find Souichi a sympathetic character, to a point. I’ve often heard the opposite from readers and maybe that’s what draws me to him and this series all the more. Yes he’s an insensitive, presumptuous, repressed jerk most of the the time but it’s clearly because he suffers from a cause of having ‘way’ too much pride. He’s a really exaggerated example but I can’t help but read and think of the silly things I’ve done and seen others do in the name of maintaining your pride. Souichi was a walking homophobe in volume one but after accepting a weekly sex schedule with another man, it’s impossible to believe he actually hates it. Does he want to be proven ‘wrong’ though? Does he want to admit he’s ‘lost’ to Morinaga? Of course not. He’s a walking, screaming, childish contradiction and I can’t help but love him for it. It’s Morinaga who proves that much more an anomaly to me – talk about determined! And I’d wager he’s a bit of a masochist too.
Just when we may think four volumes of the same chase game may be getting a bit old though, the story treats us with a dramatic multi-chapter arc with Souichi finding himself the target of a prank pulling stalker. When the activities of the stalker escalate, Morinaga temporarily moves in with him and his sister to make sure everything’s okay. It came as no surprise that Souichi was venomously against the idea but like every other baby step in their relationship it’s great seeing him accept (in his own special way) the help. What I didn’t expect was the stalker problem escalating as much as it did. I cheered when it was Souichi’s turn to come to Morinaga’s rescue in the book’s climax.
It was cute seeing more of Souichi’s little sister in the book, even if I keep forgetting when I see her that she’s his sister and not Morinaga’s (based on how they look). I found myself missing Souichi’s little brother, Tomoe, who was the lead of the prequel series, Challengers. The more we see of Souichi, the more it becomes impressive Tomoe was able to get in a relationship like he did (though it wasn’t easy!). Brief as the scenes were, it was sweet seeing Morinaga, Souichi and his sister living and cooking together. Morinaga’s struggles at seeing Souichi’s casual attitude to him being there was hilarious too, and it was cute seeing how Souichi acts when in an environment he feels at home.
The Tyrant Falls In Love (Vol. 04) ends with a decision that will undoubtedly add another level of entertainment to the story, not to mention a whole slew of new opportunities. I’m giddy to read volume five and see what kind of situations it gets the two in next. I’ve no doubt it’ll be more ‘I-don’t-want-this-but-actually-do’ but Hinako Takanga writes and draws it so well that I’m more than happy to stay on-board. Digital Manga’s work on the series still strikes me as one of the best in their recent library as well. It’s well-written adaptation and good lettering (minus a couple tiny little spelling blips) is a level of care worth appreciating in a book that’s so fun you don’t want anything to distract you from it.
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Book bought from Strange Adventures