If you are one of those yaoi fans who will lap up anything with two remotely handsome-looking men on the cover, regardless of content, then you will most likely love this manga. If, however, you like your romance to have depth, emotion and a love story you can truly get behind, then please, steer clear of this abomination.
Otokogokoro begins with an older, experienced man forcing himself on a young, timid man after the latter takes care of the former, who was ill. Already, we have two clichés: 1) the seme/uke power-play, which is not explored, subverted or made fun of, but played straight (heh-heh); and
2) sexual assault played off as sexy/romantic. The latter is disturbingly prevalent in yaoi, and it needs to stop.
The mangaka makes no attempt to satirise the slew of yaoi that readers have to endure, instead preferring to jump on the bandwagon.
After this, we don't get much in the way of content. Shinomiya blushes, Saki forces, and the whole story offers nothing in the way of character development, conflict or romance.
I recommend this only to yaoi fans who care not for quality.
This review is for the entire Series as a whole as I read it all in one sitting (at least all the currently Scanlated chapters).
Because I love this Series; I must make a review to counter the incredibly bad rating by the only other person to make one. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there are many different opinions out there and mine is the complete opposite of theirs. I want to help convince other readers that may be skimming for yaoi manga worthy of there time, that this one IS!
Yes, it may seem like a manga chalk full of clichés, but, it
is a series. Sometimes all the necessary ground work has to be laid so the rest of the story can unfold. That is true for this series.
Otokogokoro is the starting point for Jun and Saki’s love story. It gives a bit of background information on how the two meet, the age gap issue, and the walks of life each of them are from; in a very convenient and easy to understand (albeit cliché) format.
Now the stage is set and other developments can begin to unfold gradually. This lets the reader follow along and not get lost in all the weird (wait, when did that happen; or why is that bit of information just now being revealed) kind of writing that you see in so many other yaoi manga.
Art and Character
The mangakas way of drawing is neither too sparkly or too muscly. Each character is recognizable and drawn proportionately. The personalities of June and Saki evolve slowly, bit by bit, and it is easy to understand the train of though each character has. Even if sometimes you don't agree with it or think they are being overly simplistic. Jun makes you want to hug and squeeze him forever. Which is what Saki tends to do, so its like you get to live out that fantasy through the seme, hehe :)
Dear Saki, rationale as he may think he is just makes you go, ya, um no!, and giggle a bit at his "older so have to be the adult in this situation" attitude. He tends to loose his "adult thinking" in matters concerning Jun and tends to just go with his emotions.
I personally love this couple and couldn't wait for each of the next sequels to be released. In each release you see the characters mature, and get to know them a little bit better. Each new dilemma that arises helps to show how the relationship grows stronger as they over come them together. Even if the dilemma is as simple as telling your friends about your older/younger, male significant other. It all had me reading through each volume within an hour or two.
So, if you can get over a few clichés I am sure you too will enjoy this series as much as I have. (I have reread the entire series multiple times, it is just that good, in my opinion). Give it a read and just see if you can step away from the computer screen!