Fourth Generation Head Tatsuyuki Oyamoto Graphic Novel cover image
Rated “M” for “Mature”
Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato is a yaoi manga from creator Scarlet Beriko (Jackass!). Yaoi manga is a subset of boys' love (or BL) manga, which depicts amorous situations between male romantic leads. Yaoi manga usually features explicit depictions of sex between those male leads. SuBLime Manga recently published Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato in English as a standalone graphic novel.
Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato (Chapters 1 to 8) introduces 24-year-old Tatsuyuki Oyamato. He is the fourth generation heir of “the Oyamato Syndicate,” Japan's largest yakuza organization. Tatsuyuki, however, is not interested in being a yakuza boss, but enjoys being a playboy. After Tatsuyuki has an erotic encounter with a masseur, Oyamato Syndicate retainer, Asoda, decides to send the wayward heir on an “adventure” to the city of Fukuoka.
Not long after arriving, Tatsuyuki is practically kidnapped and raped by a man who claims to have a past with him. But who is this Nozomi Koga? If he did know Tatsuyuki in the past, was Nozomi different? And just how connected to Tatsuyuki and Nozomi's pasts is the loan shark, Uichi Roga?
[Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato includes extra material, including an illustrated “Afterword;” the manga short story, “Personal Space,” and another manga, “Bonus.”]
THE LOWDOWN: One thing that I can say with utmost confidence is that the Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato manga is intense. The second thing I can say confidently is that this manga depicts dirty, crazy lust.
Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato features sex – rough and passionate and consensual. Sometimes, the story does present that kind of romance novel did-not-say-yes-but-did-not-say-no lovemaking. I guess it's kind of rapey. The truth is that Tatsuyuki and Koga have so much personal baggage from their respective childhoods that it would make sense that creator Scarlet Beriko would have her lead characters be a little troubled, both in personality and in attitude. But they grope, thrust, hump, lick, and suck their way to happiness and happy-ever-after.
I have to be honest. The yakuza angle and subplots don't really work. It all seems forced and contrived, but translator Christine Dashiell makes the best of it in English. Still, I cannot call this some kind of romance slash crime-drama. It is a yaoi manga.
Beriko's compositions are loose and fluid, sometimes shifting and impressionistic. Her art fits this story of mercurial personalities and conniving liars. James Dashiell lettering perfectly conveys the secrets and lies and the cries and whispers... and the sounds of sex. “Pant,” “thrust,” “slap,” and “Ha” make frequent appearances as sound effects.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of truly explicit yaoi manga and of highly melodramatic boys' love with want to read Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato.