Dec 12, 2021
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is about baseball playing assassins (one who is a crossdresser) and ramen. It covers the characters want for revenge and has a large cast of side characters who’s stories are explored as well as the main characters. Banba and Lin make a great duo and the way their relationship progresses throughout the novel is clear to see, as Lin becomes more trusting of him and finds family in the people around him, after confronting his past. Banba is clouded with mystery at first and when his character is revealed it is done amazingly, his past coming to light as well as the
reader (and Lin) seeing weakness in him for the first time. The way the characters are written is really amazing, they are full of personality and have fleshed out character traits. The way Lin and his crossdressing is written is something I’ve never seen before, he isn’t belittled into a weak, over feminised character but rather a strong and capable one. He can still be masculine in a skirt or dress, and he fights in HEELS. The reason for Lin’s crossdressing at the start is so he could feel closer to his sister, but as the story progresses he does it because he likes it. From the beginning Lin expresses how he doesn’t understand why men should wear certain clothing and why women should wear other certain clothing, his character is an amazing break through gender stereotypes. As well as this, the novel has LGBTQ+ characters and they are written very well, and it isn’t the focus of their characters at all! The story is full of comedy but can write sad themes and traumatic backstories just as well. Lin and Banba’s relationship and dynamic is so good, they are such a good pair and watching them interact is always enjoyable. As Lin comes to trust Banba more throughout the story you really see how Lin begins to heal from the betrayal in his past. Honestly I couldn’t name any flaws while writing this, I never lost interest while reading Hakata and I believe it deserves so much more recognition (so that their can be an official English translation and a season 2!) This novel is a great read and if you are looking for an ongoing novel to follow then I would 100% recommend!
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