By Julie Opipari
Some girls just can’t seem to get enough of bad boys. I’ll admit that there’s a certain allure to a naughty boy, but I have to admit that I prefer a guy who treats me like a princess. It’s not like I’m exactly high maintenance or anything; just bring me an occasional graphic novel or ten, and for extra brownie points, toss a pony or two into the equation. Some girls are a little needier, and they have to have a guy pay constant attention to them. Even if it’s of the negative kind. Here’s an introduction to some manga series with really bad boys. Don’t bring these guys home to meet your mother!
Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara features the ultimate bad guy, Ryoki. Ryoki has one thing going for him – he’s stinking rich. Ok, so he’s not bad looking, either. His money and his looks must be enough for Hatsumi, because she put up with his bullying and brow-beating for 12 volumes! First she was his sex-slave, though they barely got past first base, and then she graduated to his girlfriend. Kinda. He still acted like a petulant school-boy, but at least there was some development in their relationship. It is not Hatsumi’s fault that she remained a wet dish cloth the entire series, despite my hopes that she would eventually grow a spine. Seriously, I did enjoy this series until the final two volumes, so if you decide to dive into it, just stop at volume ten!
I am so on the fence about Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji. I really want to like this series, because it has demons, but I am having a really tough time with romantic lead Kyo. He’s a bird demon, and he’s the head of his clan. He’s handsome, dangerous, and has an ability that should make him the most popular guy in town. He can heal. With a lick. He’s singled out Misao, and that’s probably a good thing, because she keeps getting attacked by supernatural beings. Kyo’s talented tongue comes in handy. Does it matter that he is insanely jealous when another guy even looks at her? Probably not, when demons the world over want to eat Misao because it will give them eternal life. So that leads to the question of whether Kyo will be content with a little lick here and a little lick there, or is he eventually going to want to gobble her up?
Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino is a series that has taken me a long time to warm up to. Probably because Yuki is such a pushover with the men in her life. There’s dark, dangerous Kaname, a powerful, deadly vampire, and not so dark but just as dangerous Zero, a vampire hunter. Both of these guys profess to want only the best for Yuki, but they both keep getting her into mischief. Like a vampire is going to kill her mischief, and like, another vampire is going to kill her mischief. With friends like these, does she really need any enemies? I think that there should be a couple of requirements for any potential love interest. They should be human, and they shouldn’t have an overpowering desire to drink your blood. Both of these guys = FAIL!
I really like The Name of the Flower by Ken Saito. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to fall in love with a guy who is one popsicle short of a full package. Chouko should have gotten a clue when her dour new guardian, Kei, barely spoke a word to her after she moved into his quiet home. Then she should have gotten another one when he started getting weird when she started to get a life. There are demons that threaten to consume him, and his growing attachment to Chouko seems to bring out the worst in him. Of all of these bad boys, Kei is the most unstable. He teeters over a black abyss of desolation, and it’s going to take a lot of inner strength and determination from Chouko to pull him back from the brink. Where will one shy, gentle young woman find the courage for that? Just do yourself a favor, Chouko! Fall for Akiyama instead!
So there you have it, just a few examples of getting caught in a bad shoujo romance. If falling in love with one of these guys doesn’t land you in a mental institution, count your blessings!
When Julie Opipari isn’t mucking around the barn, she can be found trying to make a dent in the massive pile of manga that keeps following her home from the bookstore. Not wiling to admit she has a problem, she blissfully continues to anticipate the latest releases despite the cries of agony from her credit card. She cheerfully blames her addiction on the stresses of college and post traumatic work disorder, and is grateful that her family grumbles only occasionally about the amount of time she spends buried in her books. In addition to reading Your Manga Minute every Wednesday, you can read more of Julie’s work on her blog, Manga Maniac Cafe.