Story: Kuriki Shinobu
Art: Takao Hiroi
Release Dates: March 25, 2020 (Vol. 1), March 25, 2021 (Vol. 2)
Publisher: Tokuma Shoten (Chara Comics)
I had ordered the first volume when it came out but it got lost in the mail so I reordered it when purchasing the second volume. I really like the novel series so when I heard that they were making it into a manga I became very curious. I am glad they didn’t squeeze the story into one volume and Takao Hiroi did a wonderful job adapting the novel into a manga. This is my favourite novel series by Kuriki Shinobu and I have been a big fan of Takao-sensei’s art style so this is a match made in heaven for me. The novel illustrations are also by Takao-sensei and there are four books out in this novel series. The two volumes of this manga covers the first volume of the novels.
“Tamanokoshi” is wealth achieved by marrying someone and “goyoi shimasita” means “I have prepared for you…”
Twenty-year-old Ebata Aoi has been living an unfortunate life. After he graduated from junior high school his family members all dispersed to hide from debt collectors. Aoi was left alone but things were ok at first since he had a job. He then got injured and had to move out of the company residence. He couldn’t get a job after that since he was only a junior high graduate. He would live with women who he was financially dependant on and also hung out with a not-so-good crowd. With them he would make money by faking accidents. He would pretend to get hurt and the driver who is startled by the accident would pay big money to what they think would be covering hospital fees. They would go after expensive cars, so these people would generally pay a lot not knowing better. One day during their regular routine, things don’t go as planned and the driver and passenger of the car realize that the accident was caused on purpose. Here Aoi meets thirty-two-year-old entrepreneur Inami Takane who was just dumped by his boyfriend and had wine poured over his head. Inami suggests that if Aoi plays the role of his lover, he would not report him to the police. Inami had told his former boyfriend that he had a lover already. He now needed someone to prove that this lover was better than his former boyfriend. This was so that he could get him back for the misery and humiliation that was caused.
With no choice and a promise that Inami would pay him ten thousand yen a day, Aoi agrees to take on the role. Inami who usually has a grimace on his face and is straight-laced doesn’t seem to trust Aoi at first. However, he tries to change his usual ways slowly after his interactions with Aoi and suggestions by his friend and secretary Sakou. Aoi on the hand is a very cheerful and bright hard worker. He tries his best to fulfill the role, even after having some conflicts with Inami at first. He is enrolled in English lessons and manner classes, and even while complaining at first he does his best to become Inami’s ideal boyfriend. He even learns to cook meals and greets Inami out the door and welcomes him home each day as the story goes along. You can really see the two progress and become closer to each other. Aoi is not shy and lets Inami know how he feels of his treatment. But he isn’t stupid either so he feels remorse for his actions when he felt that he caused trouble for Inami and Sakou. Both of them influence each other in positive ways and both grow to respect and love each other.
The main highlight of the series is where they bump into Inami’s former boyfriend Hoshi at a high-end restaurant. It’s really refreshing to see how they both act to make Hoshi regret even trying to make them feel uncomfortable.
My favourite part is where Aoi makes “okosama lunch” for Inami, calling it “otonasama lunch”. Okosama lunch is a kids meal in Japan usually with hamburger, flavoured rice with a mini flag sticking out of it, ebi-fry and more. Aoi made a “otona” or adult version of it for Inami after hearing from Sakou that when he was a child he was never allowed to eat food like that.
My favourite line in this manga is where Aoi says to Inami, “Do you have some kind of disease where you will die if you don’t complain each time?” I also like Inami’s line where he says “I don’t understand why you don’t understand,” after hearing that Aoi is not doing well with his English lessons. I have started using these lines in my daily conversations now.
What I like about Chara magazine adaptations of novels is that they always use the same illustrator for the manga. This way it is comfortable to read even for the novel readers. This manga is another successful adaptation. Takao-sensei has managed to fit in all the important scenes and details and they are arranged in a natural way. The story flows smoothly and even the chapter title pages tell parts of the story. They are all beautifully drawn and the layout of the manga is also well thought out. And like the novel covers you can see Aoi and Inami get closer in their relationship on the covers of the two volumes. The good news is that the manga adaptation is continuing so I have something to look forward to.
Cover images from Amazon Japan.