Ryou was dumped because of his lousy sex techniques and in order to improve his skills, he turned to JS Pro, a company full of handsome men. His debut as a seme was a complete failure! He decided to challenge the uke role by teaming up with Tatsuya, a man he admired, however...
First off, I loved the character interactions. Hot yaoi scenes presented directly next to laugh-out-loud comedic moment. A carefree, joking atmosphere Ukes that are tall, well muscled, and have signs of hair on their bodies, a short, pretty boy seme - combinations that are practically unheard of in most yaoi. It was refreshing to see. Also, despite the explicit nature of the manga, there are definitely sweet moments between the characters, especially during the story of Shino and Josh.
I like the art, though it's not outstanding. If I had to categorise it, I'd say it leans to the intricate side of shounen-style, rather than shoujo
like many shounen-ai stories. Screentones and backgrounds are used well, though faces are usually fairly simple, with minimal shadow. Realistic anatomy is where the mangaka really succeeds. The characters aren't overly muscled, but you can certainly tell they're men, and it makes the sex scenes all the more impressive. And let me say, they're damn hot to start with - the pacing, the expressions, the scenarios.
The story concept itself is entertaining. Like most one-volume yaoi, that's not exactly the focus. However, it's something I had never seen before. The fact that the main character is far from perfect in bed is a rather entertaining change from the norm in mangas. And his struggle coming to terms with his seme/uke orientation at least adds a good dash of conflict to it.
Be aware that this is not a very relationship-based yaoi. Most of it is sex minus romantic feeling - it is based around a group making adult videos, after all. But it isn't composed entirely of smut. As I mentioned, it has a definite comedy element and entertaining characters. Overall I was very impressed, and I'll probably be rereading it.
I guess this is what one would call hardcore? But I don't really see it as "hardcore yaoi," because usually manga that gets labelled like that is full of rape and other unpleasant stuff. Which leaves me in a pinch, since I enjoy, shall we call it, explicit(?) yaoi, but I hate those rape tropes.
Ikenai Otoko is certainly explicit (actually, explicit might be an understatement). Well, it is about a guy named Ryuo who is told by his boyfriend that he is lousy in bed, so he decides to become a porn star to learn; I guess he means learning new techniques :D (yes, because
that would be the solution any person would come up with in this situation :P). Thus, if it wasn't explicit it wouldn't really fit it's subject matter. But though the premise sounds a little silly, Takao sensei actually pulls it off really well.
Don't be fooled, there's no character development and the such to be found here. But that's not what Ikenai Otoko is about. This manga is more about how we perceive sex. Are porn stars immoral because they normalize sex? Why should sex not be normal? What's the difference between sleeping with a friend and sleeping with someone you love?
These might not be the usual questions we see in a manga, but just because they are unconventional doesn't mean they are of less worth. Speaking of unconventional, who doesn't love a short seme? Or a tough guy who'd "never bottom," but then gets swept away by his carnal pleasures? :D
However, I think it's only a fair warning that this manga can be seen as provocative if you're used to the "Only You, I Am Completely Obsessed" yaoi or "If It's You, It's Okay" trope. In this manga, sex is casual, like playing tennis ;). So there are threesomes.