Mikado-kun (Shimazaki Nobunaga), who is also a Megane-kun, works in a bookstore and has a much undesired ability to see dead people. In less than two minutes in the first episode he’s scouted by the ML and dom-seme of the show: Hiyakawa-san (Hatano Wataru), who induces Mikado into an orgasm-state by ‘touching something akin to his soul’ which in consequence exorcises the spirit wandering around the store. Mikado-kun is then entrusted by his boss to work as Hiyakawa-san’s assistant in his ‘cleaning services’–three times a week and for a catch of ¥118k x 4 : 3 = ¥157k ~ USD1.411 in what I suspect is a monthly pay. By the state of Hiyakawa-san’s shabby office, I’d say monthly. Also, what’s up with the granny outfit? Ha ha.
Hiyakawa’s character is by no means portrayed as an easily accessible, charming or even trustworthy sort of character. Mikado mentions on more than one occasion his strange use of the Japanese language, his odd remarks and behavior. You see, I don’t have any issues with their dynamic and I often find that people conflate fiction/fantasy with reality and choose to shame, ostracize and condemn way too many works of fiction.
ON DARKER THEMES
I won’t turn this review into an essay, but an interesting way to look at this work is to think about BDSM dynamics–where BL anime/manga takes a lot of inspiration from. What some find appalling can be someone else’s treasure box and vice versa. Not every work is for everyone, but I like to think fiction and fantasies are the space where people can explore not only what is deemed ‘acceptable’ and ‘healthy’, but also the darker and taboo topics of the human experience. So while I enjoy reading works that depict incest, dubious consent, noncon, rape, kidnaping, Stockholm syndrome and adults engaging in relationships with minors, this does not mean I condone these behaviors in real life. I think they should be prosecuted.
Fiction has always been my safe space to indulge, engage, experience, experiment, transform and even heal. I don’t think it’s healthy or productive for people to police each other on what they’re allowed to think and enjoy. Some brains, like mine, find solace in darker works, in the shady alleys of the imagination, in the dungeons of the underworld. And I’m saying all this because I noticed in certain websites (breaking my rule not to read other people’s reviews of what I’m reviewing) that what seemed to be the main critique to this show was precisely that: Hiyakawa’s ‘despicable demeanor’, predatory tendencies and the dubious consent between the main pair, you get the gist. And I find the people who watch a show like this, and understand that it’s niche (even if it wasn’t) and still choose to focus on that, are actually narrow minded, self-righteous wannabe dictators of thought who contribute to the weaponization of shame and guilt in fandoms.
With all that said, what didn’t excite me, or rather, what I found lacking in their relationship was something simple: chemistry. They didn’t win me over as a pair. I’m not familiar with the original manga, so perhaps this is something the author developed as the chapters went? We’ll have to wait and see. While the premise is not innovative by any means, the actual investigative work and how they access supernatural information (by combining Mikado’s eyes and Hiyakawa’s ears) to uncover crimes and how they’ve chosen to animate the scenes was interesting. There was also the curious case of heart eating by Hiyakawa and I also really liked the cynical detective character, Hanzawa-san (Mikami Satoshi). And it seems we’ll be delving into curse territory, I’m curious enough to see where this is going.
Full-length images: 36.
It was definitely more on-the-nose about wedging in eroticism into the Hiyakawa and Mikado’s dynamic.
Where they could’ve had it be more subtle and have Mikado project the supernatural through other means than being grabbed by the main guy, but it wouldn’t have kickstarted the BL aspects as quickly if Hiyakawa respected Mikado’s personal space.
To the show’s credit, it is the first BL I’ve seen where both of the guys are conventionally attractive and don’t follow the pitfalls that other series’ have where they have an disproportionally bulky seme and the uke who looks nearly identical to the artist’s girl characters.
Hahahaha I literally laughed out loud with that last paragraph. That’s partially one of the reasons why I don’t actually consume a lot of original BL and end up in doujin/fanfiction of shounen works. I actually liked Hiyakawa’s creepy handsome vibes, but I still don’t understand Mikado’s granny outfit, I felt like that was a bit of a fashion crime compared to his first one.
About the whole ‘exorcism per grabbing’: my suspicion is that this was actually one of the ‘differentiating’ factors the author came up with to make the story more unique/authentic (to her point of view), standing out from others.
Maybe he wears his mom’s clothes, haha.
Legit creepy. I like it. Is Hiyakawa even human? His otherworldly vibes remind me of Ryo from Devilman Crybaby. I wonder what portion of the manga they’ll adapt (it has 10 volumes in total).