365 Days of Manga, Day 12: Ichigenme: The First Class is Civil Law


ichigenme011.jpgICHIGENME…: THE FIRST CLASS IS CIVIL LAW (Ichigenme wa Yaru Ki no Minpô, “The First Class is Civil Law”) (??????????) • Fumi Yoshinaga • 801 Media (2007) • Biblos (1998-2002) • 2 volumes • Yaoi • 18+ (nudity, graphic sex)
Although most Boy’s Love artists couldn’t care less about the psychological and social associations of homosexuality–and repressed homosexuality–Fumi Yoshinaga revels in them. Tamiya is the lone serious student at Teinou University, a super-elite law school where most of his classmates are spoiled rich kids. Tohdou, the slacker son of a congressman, hits on Tamiya, who rejects his advances but later helps Tohdou when he is in trouble. (“I…I’m not gay, got it?” “Of course, of course. But, we’re friends, right?”) But soon both the hedonistic Tohdou and the straight-laced Tamiya must reassess themselves. A story of young people growing up and becoming adults, Ichigenme… combines humor, mostly believable characters, and some of Yoshinaga’s most explicit sex scenes. (The seme-uke, top-bottom, roles are unusually unclear.) The second volume jumps seven years in the future.
**** (four stars)
Just in time for San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair, it’s a special event here at 365 Days of Manga: Yaoi Sunday! Each Sunday we’ll be doing reviews of yaoi/shonen ai/BL manga. Fumi Yoshinaga is possibly the best yaoi author available in English (her only real competition is est em), so what better way to start out?
Today’s manga winner is Stephanie H. of Oregon! Congratulations, Stephanie! We’ll be sending you some (non-yaoi) manga ASAP!