Just a warning to start that the contents of this manga are not suited to everyone containing explicit (and sometimes graphic) sexual non-consensual relationships between male characters. While I have included no images below, the story content will be discussed.
Ryuka is out of luck in love having just lost his girlfriend to some rich guy and has decided to drown his sorrows. After a night of drinking he climbs a hill and while musing to himself makes a wish for someone to genuinely love who will love him in return. So appears Ixto, the spirit of the last quarter moon, who tries to grant Ryuka’s wish but every option provided is a guy. After Ryuka rejects these choices, Ixto then casts a spell on Ryuka which causes him to embark on a journey to chase after Ixto.
This one was recommended to be as a fun BL read and given I had a discount from the Book Depository, I decided to give it a go when I made my last order of books. I don’t read a lot of manga and I don’t overly like the format but every now and then it can be fun. I wasn’t quite expecting this to be as explicit as it was, though I guess it is still kind of tame compared to some stories. Basically the very first page opens with the rape of the main character by the spirit who is apparently going to be the love interest so if that is going to be an issue, maybe save yourself the trouble and not go here.
Admittedly, even I wondered at that point if I’d make it to the end of the first volume. What surprised me then was how much I ended up liking Ryuka as a character. Okay, every guy he meets is either the moon spirit who definitely just wanting to attack him, the cat boy who is acting as his guide, but also tries to attack him, or numerous male travellers, who mostly also end up trying to kidnap him or take advantage of him, but he’s actually kind of an interesting character. I’m not buying him falling in love with Ixto given how they met, but much like my previous encounter with Junjou Romantica (that essentially started with one character forcing himself on another), if I kind of try to ignore how they met, future interactions are kind of sweet. Still, really unhealthy from any kind of standard measurement for relationship foundations, but sweet.
Where this story shines though is in the adventure and world building aspects. We don’t learn a lot about Ixto in this first volume but it is clear there’s a lot going on behind the curse and the rules Ixto has to follow. He can’t help Ryuka unless Ryuka directly calls his name. Ryuka is drawn in the direction of Ixto but can choose to go another direction (though that usually leads to disaster fairly quickly). Ixto is also concerned about others noticing when he does break one of the rules so I’m kind of curious about how that aspect of the story will develop.
Ryuka’s journey takes him through cities, across the desert, and he meets various characters along the way. Aldin and Ral are a great addition to the cast and clearly have their own very complicated back story (given Ral is cursed so is a horse during the day but can now retake his human form at night). For various reasons they continue to travel with Ryuka and Coon (the cat boy), and I’d also really like to know more about their past and how they ended up in their situation, which I am sure they would like to given they don’t remember either.
Of course, the volume barely manages ten pages before someone tries to pin Ryuka down, tear his clothes off, or makes some kind of unwanted advance and I’ll admit this aspect was kind of wearing thin by the end. Also, the absence of females from this story. They are travelling, staying at inns, getting lifts from strangers, etc, etc, and yet every single person they encounter is male and interested in Ryuka. They were kind of pushing credibility the way most harem anime do where every female character just falls hopelessly and completely irrationally in love with the generic male lead.
I should probably comment on the art given it is a manga but as I said earlier, I don’t read a lot of manga so I don’t have much to compare it with. I really liked the look of the characters here and found it really easy to follow and read. There’s a lot of panels that are just close ups of faces and the few action sequences are pretty straight forward. So, no real complaints with it visually, but again I don’t have much to compare it with.
Still, I finished volume and immediately set about seeing what else the book depository had available and discovered that the third and fourth volumes were on sale and I had another 10% discount voucher sitting in my email so I’ve ordered the next three volumes to find out where the story goes, so I clearly had more fun with it than cringe worthy moments.
Thanks for reading.
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