By Leroy Douresseaux
Jan 3, 2009 - 19:47
|His Arrogance cover image is courtesy of Anime Castle Books.|
“18+ Mature Content”
Ryou is a high school student who lives in a dorm for male fashion models. Ryou’s father started, T.O., a modeling agency, to manage the career of Ryou’s older brother, Tomohito, who went on to become one of Japan’s top male models. Ryou absolutely adores his older brother (whom he calls “Tomo-nii”) and admires Tomohito’s tremendous professional success. Tomohito returns that love tenfold, so much so that some think he has a brother complex.
Suddenly, a new figure comes in the middle of all this brotherly love. Kazuto Aihara is one of the latest models to join the T.O. stable. He’s ultra-competitive and his lousy attitude soon makes enemies of his new colleagues. Kazuto openly declares to Ryou that his goal is to unseat Ryou’s precious Tomo-nii as the agency’s top model, but even that’s not enough for the arrogant, dark-haired, athletic looking high school student. Kazuto also wants to take Tomohito’s place in Ryou’s heart. Ryou takes it personally that someone would challenge Tomohito, and he begins to despise Kazuto. So why does Ryou find himself choosing between brother and lover?
THE LOWDOWN: With its raunchy depiction of lustful teens playing grab-ass, His Arrogance, a yaoi manga by Takashi Kanzaki (Love+Alpha), is a direct follow up to Kanzaki’s Falling into Love. Two characters from Falling into Love, the superstar model, Tomohito, and his lover, Hisashi Yoshizawa, are now supporting characters in His Arrogance. Here, the stars are the earnest Ryou and his haughty paramour Kazuto.
In Kanzaki’s hands, Ryou and Kazuto make for an engaging romantic comedy couple; Ryou is a star, and he and his lover deserve an encore graphic novel. There is certainly some dramatic conflict in His Arrogance, but unlike in Falling into Love, the romance here is played for light comedy. Kanzaki isn’t making fun of her mismatched, star-crossed couple. She’s merely following the narrative line found in many movie romances, in which two people fall in love in spite of the fact that each person’s differences often rub the other the wrong way. In this case, the abrasiveness and the physical comedy make for light entertainment. The romance and comedy are so good that the rough and tumble sex ends up merely being the cherry on top.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of Takashi Kanzaki’s lean, long-legged pretty boys will find His Arrogance irresistible.
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