Can't Win With You Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-821-7
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Can\'t Win With You

Can't Win With You Vol. #03

By Patricia Beard     May 02, 2008
Release Date: March 11, 2008

Can't Win With You Vol.#03
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yukine Honami / Satosumi Takaguchi
Translated by:Bruce Dorsey
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Shuuiku Academy's students are leaving for summer vacation, but Yuuhi-kun is stuck in the dorm. It doesn't matter that home lies on the same backwoods country property as the school campus - his house is being remodeled, so Yuuhi's got nowhere else to go! Likewise, Sango-san will be staying behind to keep an eye on things, leaving the two of them all alone with nothing but time on their hands. Will being away from prying eyes lead Sango to temptation? When the students return, will they discover that Yuuhi has ...changed somehow?

The Review
This title, which started out with some controversy, ends on a pathetic note. In volume 2 both mangaka backed off from the challenge to themselves and to readers by moving the focus of Can't Win With You to Houjou and Miki, two Shuuiku Academy students whose relationship was more in line with genre expectations. It wasn't a bad choice. Houjou and Miki, while a more conventional couple in terms of age and type, were faced with tests to their relationship that gave them a surprising amount of depth and interest given that this title is intended to be a BL high school comedy. It's this couple that redeems the series along with Koneko, who goes from annoying brat to impish conspirator.

The final volume in this series, volume 3, is where Yuuhi and Sango finally find their voices in expressing what they feel for each other. This couple, so lively as individuals, hasn't had much chemistry as a fledgling romantic couple throughout this series. The consummation scene (yes,there is one) is so dull that one would need quite an imagination to attribute much of anything to it. This is not the best from Yukine Honami, known for her sensitivity and subtlety, but as these mangaka backed off from the dealing with this couple in a meaningful way, this is probably to be expected. Unfortunately, the low pulse rate also affects Houjou and Miki, whose pillow scenes are visually boring and whose verbal interactions are words without any content. People like to blame the translator for this kind of thing, but I don't think it's his fault - there's nothing going on here.

Instead of providing closure to the emotional and social entanglements in the goings-on at the school, the mangaka treat the reader to a variety of fanfiction scenarios to close out the series. While the reader might wince at the "Sango and Yuuhi must spend time alone at the deserted school during break" episode, it's Yuuhi's dream that really annoys. Yuuhi's dream seems to be a jumble of normally isolated BL fetishes, such as cross dressing and male pregnancy, presented in an unfunny and creepy way. Is this supposed to represent Yuuhi's unconscious now that he has committed himself to Sango?

BL series often lose their momentum and punch after a few volumes, so it's not surprising that this third volume of Can't Win With You would be a let down. Last volumes may run out of steam, but they rarely offend as this one did. If readers enjoyed the first two volumes, as I did, skipping the last volume won't deprive anyone of any essential story resolution.


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