Mar 9, 2009
I go totally weak in the knees when I encounter effeminate beauty in bishies (Eh, don't all bishies look girly to some extent? Well, sure but...) so the male lead here completely fits the bill for that symptom. And it's not just good art with regards to the characters, their costumes and expressions that makes this one shot stand out.
So Akagi is a no nonsense teacher who is strangely drawn to this pretty and cheeky student, Usami, who plays female roles in kabuki theater. She learns this after their first exchange when he goes so far as to smell her! There he calls her a
red princess, and while researching what that means, she finds out his after school activity. Soon, she sees him perform and is captivated by his convincing acting skills. But is that all that's attracting her? Then why is she making him take extra lessons during vacation in an empty classroom, and not making a move? (What a waste!) And why does he say she makes his heart race when his classmates are talking about another teacher with an impressive rack?!
Let's start with the very novel premise of Kabuki theater and a cheeky student playing female roles onstage, and smelling femininely attractive at school. Growwf. It immediately draws you in. Then there's the sharp banter exchange between Usami and Akagi where they're straightforward yet restrained. Usami isn't typically trying to get into his hot repressed teacher's pants and Akagi isn't instantly having inappropriate fantasies, she's only fascinated with his elegant female persona at first. It's refreshing. She's never unnerved by his brazenness, she openly admits everything.
The mangaka does the plot a great service by inserting clever little scenes where the precocious maturity of Usami shines through. Both characters are given concrete personality development during their many short interactions, and those make for some charged scenes! There is little humor in this story, but a lot of intensely engaging chemistry. I doubt one person who reads this one will find reason to complain!
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