This is probably my second favorite manga by sensei (Empty Hearts is my number one). That being said, I didn't give this manga a 10 because I like the story or the characters a lot (but the art is wonderful). In fact, the story is messed up, and though I thought Nagisa's character was pretty cool, I found Taiga despicable. No, the reason I gave this manga a 10 was because it took all these usual yaoi as well as romance tropes and flipped them on their head.
First off, the reason Taiga and Nagisa get together is because Nagisa's ex said that Taiga is better than him in bed, so Nagisa asks Taiga to prove it to him. Taiga might be the "seme" in that he is the top when they are in bed and he controls their kisses, but it is undoubtable that Nagisa controls their relationship. It is Nagisa that says "let's kiss" or "let's have sex." Taiga might be more experienced, but Nagisa is the one that says "Go take a shower" ;D.
Taiga on the other hand is the clingy, even slightly innocent half of the relationship, and this contrast with them in bed makes their interactions interesting. The reason I say that Taiga is despicable is that he treats women like trash. Whenever a woman got close to Nagisa, Taiga would seduce and sleep with her, and when she broke up with Nagisa, Taiga would dump her. Basically, he's scum. Thinking about it, the dichotomy between Taiga with Nagisa and Taiga without Nagisa kind of makes his character, I don't know, cute?
But I think Nagisa's strong character makes up for whatever faults Taiga has. I like how Nagisa is decisive, unyielding and doesn't second guess himself.
One last thing I wanted to mention. I get annoyed by how often women are portrayed in a negative light in yaoi. I just don't get it. Isn't the main audience of yaoi women? Why would mangakas portray the gender of their audience in that manner? I mean, yes, I read bl, but that doesn't mean I hate women! That being said, women in yaoi are usually just sort of annoying and make one cringe. They are generally not as over-the-top clinically insane as the women in Tonari ni Iru no ni, Tooi.
The woman in this manga was crazy! And I liked it. Just because we are women doesn't mean we're all innocent and sweet and stuff; we can be evil and conniving too! Moreover, I liked Nagisa's reaction. You show her, boy. :P
But really, maybe this manga should be labelled as a comedy. I think this is the first time I've read such an exaggerated reversal of Damsel in Distress :D. read more