Seems my new segment was well received which made me so happy from last week. So last week I read something historical, this week I’m dipping into the boys love section. So this might not be people’s manga taste but if it is, click to find out !!
Welcome back to another edition of Manga Mail Weekly where each week I give my thoughts on my weekly manga pick ups. It will always be spur of the moment each week depending on what it is I feel like picking up. Right now my amazon manga wish list is filled to the brim, oops. Going back a week and a half ago, I ventured into the city for a wander around and ended up picking up first two volumes of boys love series Ten Count. Volume one I borrowed from the library last year sometime and loved the plot focus and knew this was a series, needed to have for my own.
Getting into anime never dreamed of becoming swallowed into the genres of yuri and yaoi. For the longest time I kept it to myself as when you have no-one to discuss this with, it does make you feel a tad isolated. Obviously now there are many I’ve met that I’m talking yaoi and yuri with every week and it’s great. Yaoi and Yuri are probably the only genres I’ve not watched or read a lot of in anime’s vast genres. But that is changing as right now my first two completed series for 2019 was a yaoi and yuri, haha.
I take with great comfort and confidence in writing this post with no fear. As before there was no way you would see Lita talking about Yaoi and Yuri. Fully well in understanding yaoi and yuri genres are not for everyone but doesn’t mean it will stop me from discussing them on this blog. Boys love genre like with ecchi and yuri genres are ones I can dive into with much happiness and forget life stresses. Boys love genre is always seen upon through well-known titles Junjou Romantica, World’s Greatest First Love. There is nothing but focused rape and assault which is something you’ll see in a lot of boys love titles. This representation has never reflected well for the boys love genre and it’s sad, but at the same time consuming boys love gives me much joy despite this fact.
After reading the two first volumes of Ten Count, proved in not wanting to be like other boys love titles. It tackles on the theme of mental health heavily through it’s protagonist Tadaomi Shirotani who suffers from obsessive-compulsive-disorder in dealing with germaphobia. Through a near accident involving Shirotani’s boss he meets Riku Kurose who is a Psychotherapist at a local clinic. Kurose offers to help Shirotani with tackling his germaphobia through exposure response prevention therapy. Which involves creating a list of ten things for Shirotani to tackle one by one. But slowly Shirotani begins to feel a strong attachment to Kurose.
This series had me the moment it began to go into depth in the true extent of Shirotani’s disorder. How bad it really had gotten in every day life, even the most simplest of tasks. It’s no laughing matter as for someone who is a dealing with this germaphobia disorder in real life. There is a deep realistic perspective that has been in embedded in Shirotani’s character and it was beyond interesting. To feel yourself getting into the head space of someone who deals with on a day to day basis. Where it may not seem such a big deal on the surface, but the root is deep. Learning the fear of just being in contact with others makes him feel disgusted and low self worth for himself. The coverage on germaphobia through Shirotani is very impactful and connecting with his character was instant.
It was just so fitting having a character like Kurose as a counsellor, to bring even more meaning in the importance of mental health. It was handled with such care the growing relationship between Kurose and Shirotani, it was all about going at Shirotani’s pace. Never loosing spotlight on our main protagonist, the pacing in the first two volumes was spot on in how Shirotani deals with these new changes in his life. That have thrown him off balance coming to terms with some hard truths. Kurose is a patient saint with Shirotani even when he messed up, he remained cool about it and to try again.
Things between the pair, do escalate in volume two not in a bad way. Shirotani goes through experiences he has always dreaded to ever go through, which come to light, let’s just say. Right now Shirotani is in position he doesn’t know what to do with himself or how to feel. There have been mini accomplishments for Shirotani as small as touching a door knob bare handed then we have the new feelings beginning to creep in. I JUST CANNOT TELL YOU HOW DAM GOOD THIS SERIES HAS BEEN SO FAR. Especially with the handling of a important subject such a mental health.
Ten Count I must have all of it. There is only six volumes, more than do able. Seriously this boys love series is something special with it’s ability to highlight over the fact it’s a ‘boys love’. But “hey mental health is important, not when the next smut scene is” You should not forget there is explicit content in this so read this at your own discretion, I’m telling you so I don’t feel bad, in not mentioning it.
So if you have never known where to start in boys love manga Ten Count I feel is a great starting point. The explicit is kept to a minimal (so far) with a sole focus on mental health through it’s endearing two protagonists. A well-thought out boys love series indeed heavy but so sweet at the same time. I cannot wait for how Kurose and Shirotani’s relationship pans out.
If you have read this series don’t tell me nothing from past volume two, I do not wish to know. But still your allowed to comment that you read it and if you enjoyed it but no more. Ten Count has left me wanting to be surprised because I went into blindly and let’s keep it that way. But I’ll definitely be getting all the volumes then doing a full review!!
For next week at this stage have no idea what I want to pick up, I’ll be going to the city next Friday having a chance to pick up a volume then, so it’s a mystery. Hope you enjoyed this week’s manga mail weekly and I’ll see you next week !!