Toshiko Momojiri—an ordinary kind of girl—falls in love with Kuroo Samehada, a gangster who is on the run after stealing the mob's loot. Toshiko, too, is on the run from a weird uncle. This is the story of two fugitives who meet and fall in love amid violence and gunfire.
First, let’s point out the elephant in the room: the art. The art is not you’re typical anime or manga style that we’re so used to seeing. On top of this, this came out in 1993 so, I suppose, this is a retro manga. Obviously they made Toshiko extremely beautiful and the rest of the women kind of average but that’s the point – Toshiko is a hidden beauty who had been under the watchful (and extremely disturbing) uncle who had raised her since she was orphaned as a little girl.
The story starts out with Kuro after he had sex with two women and someone tries to kill him. The women actually scold the guy for trying to kill him… Anyway, meanwhile, Toshiko is trying her best to work in her aunt and uncle’s hotel but a mysterious guest messes with her that causes her to drop her stuff (as it was a lot). The uncle berates her and sends her to the post office.
While that’s going on with Toshiko, Kuro is running around in the forest in his underwear and the guy who’s after him nearly catches with him until Toshiko manages to save him in time and, despite it all, gets caught up in the drama. They ended up in one of the hotel’s cabins that’s available on the site and, apparently, someone Kuro knows owns it because John Woo, at first, tries to attack him until Toshiko calms him down.
Kuro and Toshiko fall in love in first sight and have sex after some tender moments. Also, there’s a Doberman named John Woo; real subtle there…! Anyway, Kuro decides to leave the sleeping Toshiko because he didn’t want to endanger such a beautiful woman like her.
However, she ends up falling into it anyway when she realized that Kuro was gone when she woke up. She takes off in the forest after she overhears a couple of gangsters talk about him and realizes that he had apparently stolen some money. She decides to help him and eventually catches up with him and they decide to just run away. They make their way out of the forest somehow and they wandered to find a car from Tokyo parked.
They steal it and head towards Tokyo. They take a rest in a hotel only for Toshiko to pass out as soon as she got in the bath. In tattered clothes and a hundred million yen to spare, Kuro tells Toshiko to shop for some new clothes as, well, the dirtied clothes she wore into something sexy and something to help her confidence. Toshiko goes into a store and asks one of the girls to do so with the money she had. Not only that, she got some clothes for Kuro as well.
When the two meet up, he had just gotten off the phone with someone he had known from his younger days and so they go visit there. However, his friend tells him it’s the last time he’s going to help him – he has a family now. He couldn’t do crazy stuff anymore… but that’s when Kuro gives the man some leftover money as a gift for the man’s kid. The two of them leave only to be followed by the guest, who will eventually start calling the shots, and the man who’s been chasing Kuro all this time.
The couple go to a hotel to rest for the night after a bout of sexy times, they start talking about what to do since the money is dwindling down now. When Toshiko had lost her virginity to Kuro, she had called her uncle to tell him to essentially fuck off and that she’s not going back to him and her shitty life but in this moment, she admits she had savings back home that she should have brought with her.
So she calls up the uncle, who had been fretting over her sudden departure by admiring her panties, cutting it up, and eating it, and tells him to meet at an undisclosed location with her money. He agrees and then gets ready himself to “take Toshiko back”; because hey that’s what any normal worried uncle would do.
Anyway, so they meet him but he’s sold the couple out because apparently the gangsters looking for Kuro had been back at the hotel, asking for him. So he managers to knock Toshiko out and kidnap her while the gangsters come by and try to kill him. They fight for a little bit while the uncle goes to a mine that he had apparently set up in secret in case something like this were to happen.
What the fuck? Like, this guy has everything planned, doesn’t he?!
So he tries to rape her in her sleep but she manages to wake up in time and hit him hard enough to knock him out (yeah, a heavy rock to the head will do that to someone). She grabs his rifle and runs away to try to find Kuro, now she’s running in her underwear now.
She runs into the guest who made her fall in the beginning and they start fighting. Ultimately, Toshiko kills her and tries to protect a slowly dying Kuro. They make a promise to each other to survive and to depend on each other since Toshiko made her first kill. She’s no longer a normal member of society.
Then the final showdown happens between the main guy who was chasing Kuro (I could honestly never remember his name) and they have a stalemate. Everyone is pointing a gun or a knife at each other and then…
Well, the ending is just literally someone driving in a car and saying, “Oh, you thought that they made it out of the forest? Hahaha…”
Honestly?? In any other manga, I’d be furious and probably give this two stars easily but with the way everything was set up, I believe this was done on purpose to keep it an open-ended ending. I want to believe Toshiko and Kuro made it out, but barely, but that’s the romantic in me and that’s the one who rather have a bullshit happy ending than a more realistic/tragic one.
From beginning to end, I really enjoyed this manga. Even though it’s wildly over the top, even with some plot holes I’m trying to figure out (like, when did Toshiko learn how to use a gun behind Kuro’s back?), it’s still really good and the art reminds me of American comics during that era (1990s)!
Apparently, there was a movie released in 1998 that added and edited a few things out (like the whole creepy uncle thing, I hope) but hmm. Usually this kind of stuff, I wouldn’t consider it really but there was just something about the art style that intrigued me and I feel pretty good about it.
There really isn’t a lot of complaints I have about this manga. The sex scenes were treated with respect (does that even make sense?) and it wasn’t really gratuitous as much as a typically usual manga would. I’m actually kind of glad this manga was only two chapters long. Same thing with the ending – if the ending wasn’t open-ended, it probably would have cheapened all the action and everything that the couple went through in the span of a few weeks.
Also, I really like Toshiko’s transformation. It’s kinda believable in that kind of situation but… again, when did she find time to learn how to use a pistol, much less a rifle?!read more