Can't Win With You Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1569708126
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Can\'t Win With You

Can't Win With You Vol. #01

By Patricia Beard     August 07, 2007
Release Date: August 15, 2007


Can't Win With You Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yukine Honami/Satosumi Takaguchi
Translated by:Earl Gertwagen
Adapted by:

What They Say
Yuuhi-kun planned to build a soccer field on the piece of mountain land that was his inheritance, but when his brother's elite Shuuiku Academy needed a new campus, Yuuhi was forced to reconsider. Now he finds himself both the landlord, and a student at the school! Needless to say, the other students are none too happy about being shipped out to the boonies, so Yuuhi - AKA "chicken-head - has become the object of their collective ire. But there's something about the country bumpkin that has many students eyeing Yuuhi in a different way...a way that makes him uncomfortable. Seems there's a lot more than "book-learnin" going on at this school, and Yuuhi's about to get a whole 'nuther kind of education!

The Review
Yukine Hanami (Rin!, Desire) and Satosumi Takaguchi (Shout Out Loud) team up for a story about one young man's Gakuen Hell.

Packaging:
The usual June trim with the print quality that has become their standard - lines are clear with no bleeding and there is moireing of tonework. The cover picture shows country boy Yuuhi confidently peering out with the three Shuuiku Academy council members filing past him. The back cover shows the second student council along with Yuuhi's old school friend, Hayato. There are afterwords from both Honami and Takaguchi, as well as advertisements for other June books.

Artwork:
In this collaboration, Honami takes on the task of the artwork. In her previous works, including Desire and Rin!, she has effectively and tenderly depicted young men at emotional crossroads. But Yuuhi Torishima is very different - he's confident and secure, and Honami draws him that way. There's an eagerness and sparkle to him that, when added to the openness and honesty Honami gives to all her main characters, makes him unusual in her works. Supporting characters are distinct and well depicted. As part of her usual style, Honami provides only enough background art to place a scene and her panels flow well.

SFX/Text:
Don't worry, Yuuhi's country accent isn't as hideous as the back cover blurb would imply. The only time it ratchets up is when Yuuhi is being ridiculed for it as part of the story, and the emphasis is correctly placed. A nice touch is the intentional misuse of specific phrases by Yuuhi to show how unsophisticated he is. All in all, the text reads well with all characters having a distinct and individual voice. Sfx are very few and discreetly placed, no artwork is adversely affected.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
All Yuuhi Torishima wanted to do was to play soccer. But he lives in the country and can't always get a place to play. His dream is to level the mountain that he is to inherit from his father, and put in a soccer field. His dream is quickly shattered when his father announces that the mountain is to be signed over to Shuuiku Academy for the creation of a branch of the school. ("It's already decided. Is that okay with you?". Ahh, parents.) Yuuhi is protesting loudly to his friend, Hayato, when he is overheard by two young men, who it turns out, are two of the three council members of Shuuiku Academy come to talk Yuuhi out of signing over his mountain. Yuuhi had no intention of signing over his inheritance, but when these two city guys insult the countryside, Yuuhi decides not to sell his mountain, but to rent it!

Yuuhi, flushed with the power of being a landlord, takes Chairman Ezaki's invitation to become a student at the school against the advice of his brother, Morio, a teacher at the academy. Yuuhi is resented by most of the students at the school because of his lease of the mountain land. And his life at the school becomes even more problematic, when as RA assigned by Chairman Ezaki, he posts a list of prohibited behaviors for the dorm, and is subjected to cruel jokes and pranks, even death threats as a result. Yuuhi's resolution of the conflict initiates some introspection on the part of his fellow students and is the turning point in their behavior toward him.

This series is about acting truly and sincerely from the heart, and the power of this to change people, even jaded students at an elite academy. It is about a young man learning about himself, learning about love and affection, all in full view of others, who begin to realize what they themselves may have lost in their "sophistication". Honami and Takaguchi have produced an engaging school story with characters that are believable and involving.

Comments
I have great hopes for this series. There is Yukine Honami's expressive art and Satosumi Takaguchi's track record of story-telling going for it. (Shout Out Loud! is a personal favorite.) And although there's quite a bit of cruelty in the jokes the students perpetrate, and in the behavior the students exhibit, it's no "Rika the Breeder". Probably normal for a boy's school, and a BL boy's school at that.

There are some unintentional(?) laughs though. It was difficult not to chuckle when Morio was explaining to Yuuhi that the school harems, excuse me, groups " all play a certain role. Improving academic performance...providing experience in a social environment...that's why the school tolerates them." Only in the rarified world of BL!

Honami or Takaguchi have not done graphic sexual depiction in previous works and have not done so in this one. Any sexual activity is discreetly rendered or occluded. It's often more a visual shorthand than anything else. What earns the 18+ rating is the addition of more frank sexual talk and more verbal cues to the action. It is an appropriate rating.

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