Oyajina! ~Ryuu to Shinomiya no Baai~ by Hiiragi Nozomu

Oyajina! ~Ryuu to Shinomiya no Baai~

I couldn’t decide what manga I should cover and then the answer became obvious: Oyajina! was one of the reasons I started this blog almost 2 years ago and it’s still unloved. A fandom fail. I don’t get it. Perhaps Docchi mo Docchi will build a considerable Hiiragi Nozomu fanbase and draw more attention? But instead of wallowing in sorrow, I’m going to take another stab at encouraging it so I’m not the only vocal, crazy bitch who loves it. I probably talk about Hiiragi Nozomu too much, but some things just need to be done.

Oyajina! is a (mostly) BL series by Hiiragi Nozomu.  The qualifier comes from the premise:  teenage girls are physically transformed into older men and continue on with their teenage girl lives. The tone is comedic, hyper, with a touch of romance throughout. Gender lines and sexuality are blurred–what happens when your best friend has a gender flip and becomes your ideal type? What happens when they flip back? The first volume, Oyajina! ~ Chinatsu to Tomoe no Baai, focused on this idea. Adolescent confusion, budding romance, lots of old dudes.. it was fantastic. It’s one of the best BL manga I’ve ever read and I’ve read a mountain of them. The second volume continues this theme while featuring other characters. There’s three major stories and a fan-service chapter in the second volume, Oyajina! ~Ryuu to Shinomiya no Baai. Honestly, it suffered a bit due to this fragmentation, yet it’s still one of the better manga, particularly BL manga, that I’ve read.

The main story follows Shinomiya Ryo and Kurosaki Tatsumi (nicknamed Ryuu).

Both forms of Shinomiya and Ryuu. She should draw yuri manga too.

Outwardly, their personalities and social circles are completely different.  Shinomiya is elegant and has many suitors while Ryuu is athletic and very innocent in terms of romance because she’s self-conscious of her less traditionally feminine looks. So while they’ve never really interacted, Ryuu’s attention is inevitably drawn to Shinomiya–there’s both resentment and curiosity.

After they turn into older men, Ryuu confronts Shinomiya after her attempt to steal Tomoe (see Oyajina! 1). Seeing that she has Ryuu’s full attention, Shinomiya challenges Ryuu’s accusations of her being loose.

And there went Ryuu’s first kiss.

This leaves a lasting impression on Ryuu’s pure maiden heart.

Fantasy

Reality

The two clear up some misunderstandings about Shinomiya’s aloofness towards Ryuu and Ryuu’s hostility towards Shinomiya when they were female. They become friends and Shinomiya sometimes teases Ryuu, making her attraction known (while Ryuu is an utter failure at hiding hers). These two mesh together really well in any form. Shinomiya is quiet, collected, and observant in nature. Ryuu is awkward, earnest, and honest.. unless it has to do with romance. Then she’s in constant denial. Having Ryuu be direct about their changing relationship and not just swept away is their biggest issue. While they aren’t some big official thing like Chinatsu and Tomoe, Shinomiya complains that Ryuu has never kissed her on Ryuu’s own accord and wants a kiss for a birthday present.

When Ryuu seems unable to comply, Shinomiya presents a miffed cheek as a cop-out for Ryuu. Ryuu ends up going for a peck on the lips, but..

Any small amount of encouragement is done at your own risk/benefit.

In addition to Ryuu and Shinomiya, there’s two other story arcs in the book. The second story deals with Shiro, the class’s resident fujoshi. Except now she’s an oyaji, thus dubbed a fuyaji (rotten old man–I kinda like that).

Shiro “talking” with her online friend, a teenage male otaku.

Honestly, I thought I was going to hate Shiro.. she embodies everything I hate being associated with because I read some BL manga. But her character worked well for this story. I’m disturbed by my lack of faith in Hiiragi Nozomu. So Shiro decides to meet up with her online friend to go on an otaku adventure in Akiba.

The Akiba meetup between the otaku and fuyaji.

Not a word was spoken. None were needed.

Words were exchanged later. They’re telling each other how gross/weird the other was and then make plans to meet again, ha.

I liked how they got along despite their different tastes. The nerd-on-nerd hate that goes on in the anime/manga fandom is a bit ridiculous. These two tease, but the malice and judgement is not there.

The last story arc dealt with Misoji’s continued pursuit of the class mascot, Tama-chan. He tries to show off his manliness by making sure Tama-chan gets home safely (but looks more like a crazy stalker instead). Once there, he has some MILF moments with Tama-chan’s mom and confesses to Tama-chan.

Tama-chan responds to the confession. Hang in there, bud.

That was probably my least favorite chapter in the book. It relied heavily on the events from Oyajina! 1 and didn’t stand-alone well. Being so short, it also didn’t add much to the overall Oyajina! story.

There was a final chapter about a school festival–so basically fanservice. Maid, butler, doctor, yakuza, military costumes.. I’m not complaining that much.

Shinomiya wants to bounce and go on a date instead.

The best part of the chapter is when Shinomiya was caught straddling a flustered Ryuu, trying to disrobe her. Go for it~

Oyajina! 2 brought more of the greatness found in the first volume while allowing some of the other characters to shine. My biggest complaint is that we STILL didn’t get a longer story about the hot class rep despite so many others getting some face time. Oyajina! 1 introduced us to her and her crush: a gay childhood friend who is seemingly still uninterested in her (ridiculously super hot) male form. There’s a little something there (one of my favorite manga panels ever), but so much more to develop. Oyajina! is still serialized in Opera, so perhaps we’ll see that in a future story arc?  PLEASE?!

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22 responses to “Oyajina! ~Ryuu to Shinomiya no Baai~ by Hiiragi Nozomu

  1. LOL, for some reason, that fujoshi shopping event reminded me of when guys go fishing. No talking the entire time, but the moment they leave, they have all these different exciting stories of what happened. “ZOMG, did you see that big one during when so and so happened?” Eh?

  2. Actually, I’m more interested in that class rep character you were talking about… :D If not a side story on them, then maybe a sequel? ♥

    • She was my favorite in the first volume. Their story didn’t feel complete, so I’m really hoping for a continuation. Shiro was on the cover of Opera, but I don’t know if she’ll be the complete focus of Vol 3 or it will be fragmented like this past one.

  3. I feel your pain, sometimes I have no faith in fandom. I don’t understand exactly what’s going on but I still found it funny, and I’m a bit flabbergasted that the English fandom shows no interest.
    I don’t like Satou and Tama-chan together, and it might be because I don’t really understand it, but I ship Satou with his dark haired friend(the taller one).
    I like otakus in bl, so I’m looking forward to Shiro’s story line.

    • I’m not a fan of Satou/Tama-chan either.. it’s mostly comedic relief and Tama-chan just isn’t given the depth to take her seriously when it comes to romance. I’d enjoy the friend with Satou more as well.

  4. Well, I don’t think it really matters whether the English-speaking fandom likes Oyajina or not. As long as it’s got enough Japanese fans it won’t get cancelled, and that’s what matters, right? I feel kind of sorry for the people who don’t know Japanese, though. They’ll probably be waiting forever for this to be scanlated or published in English.

    I suppose the not-so-warm reception is because of the constant GL undertones here? Most BL fans don’t like GL (though I know a few who do). It’s kind of annoying when I tell someone I like both and they ask me, “Oh, that must mean you’re bi”?

    • Well, it matters to me. You see such shit taste out there, which is far more tolerable if the well-written, witty, awesome stuff gets a *little* love. I’m assuming it has enough Japanese fans since Opera renewed it immediately. I’d still like to see more Hiiragi Nozomu love in English (banking on Docchi mo Docchi).

      That’s odd–we’re talking to different groups of people then. I don’t hear that much. Many I’ve talked to seem open enough to GL, even if they don’t pursue it directly. I don’t buy a lot of yuri because what I want just isn’t there–I want classic yuri, drama-driven stories like Gunjou, more mature stories like Rakuen oneshots (need longer serialization).. the light stuff from Yuri-Hime gets a bit old at least.

      Unless it’s the creepy 13 year old kids who only read the nastiest hardcore BL that message me on MAL–they tend to think yuri is “gross” and are often women-haters at well. At that point, they get blocked anyway.. yikes.

      • Actually, the people who suspect me of being bi are mostly the guys I chat with, not the girls. I don’t tell girls I like G; I don’t want them to start avoiding me.

        True, most GL are a bit too fluffy. I don’t like shoujo GL much, because they always seem to end in tragedy, abandonment, realizing it was just sœurism, and the like. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that ’cause that aspect is somewhat realistic too, but it seems to be done too much for the sake of doing it; Claudine is the only one of that sort that I appreciated. Seinen yuri has too much fan service, the exception being Gunjou, which is definitely the best yuri I’ve read so far. I can’t wait to get the 3rd volume.
        But the josei ones are good (Love My Life, Pieta, Blue, Indigo Blue, Moonlight Flowers–though the man-hate was a tad too strong in this last one). And I’ve come across some nice Yuri Hime titles; Otome Cake, Yozora no Ouji to Azayake no Hime, Ruriiro no Yume, Otsu Hiyori’s Clover, and my guilty pleasure, Strawberry Shake (which is as juvenile as can be but just too damn funny).
        Still, I wish someone would write a manga like Fingersmith or Ash. Though I was pretty shocked by how awful Sarah Waters’ other F/F novel, Tipping the Velvet, was. Whoops, sorry! I shouldn’t be talking about Western fiction here.

        I guess in terms of romance demographic hate BL hate is the most common thing (good heavens, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way a guy on Mangafox told me what he thought of yaoi fans; I learned 90% of the cuss words I know from him), but I was pretty surprised to find that there are a lot of guys who hate GL, too. My RL manga-reading associates despise it with a fiery passion (I’m too afraid to even ask them what they think of BL LOL). But then again, India’s an awfully conservative country when it come to homosexuality, so it’s to be expected.
        I’ve come across het-hating BL fangirls online on occasion, which is a complete and utter mystery to me. I mean, the fact that they read yaoi must mean their heterosexual, so why on earth would they bitch about what they’re probably doing with their own BFs? And I remember someone not so very long ago commenting on how “awful and gross and perverted” yuri was, while her forum avatar had the couple from Finder with the uke two (very narrow) strips of cloth away from being butt-naked. I couldn’t help but laugh my head off. Some people are too absurd.

    • It is more important that the Japanese fandom likes it, but since I depend somewhat on the English fandom to read manga, I wish their taste would change a bit; I’m tired of the same old same old.

      I haven’t come across gl hate(apart from one time in mangafox people were complaining because the author added a gl couple to a bl manga) but I have come across het hate. So yeah, it’s probably prevalent in the bl community.

      • Het hate does seem more common than GL hate.. maybe because it’s more likely to be included in the stories the haters are reading?

        • Yeah, a lot of m/m shippers are shipping characters that are canonically straight(and sometimes have a female love interest).

          Since you are a HN fan, did you enjoy 海老原さんの言うとおり?

          • Oh yeah, enjoyed it. Both the title story and the other main story. The one character was a pretty big asshole even for a tsundere type, but it was still a lot of fun. I wish there was more of the Ebibara story.

  5. Well, as a scanlator it’s sad to see people say ‘as long as it’s famous in japan, who cares about the outsiders?’. At some point most people, even the elite ones who can read and buy manga would have depended on english translations, legal or not. Seeing mangaka interact with fans after they get published in english, after people tweet them they got a book or a drama cd – that kinda feels awesome. Sales add up and books selling out, like It’s not my fault I’m not popular’ or konbinikun or doushiteme furetakunai or seven days getting licensed – it’s a kind of neocrowd sourcing. The mangaka can get some exposure, write more awesome stories. but hey, going by what people like treepeony say, it doesn’t really matter right?

    • I wouldn’t take that as a popular opinion—after all, there’s a very small subset of people who visit my blog and don’t hit the back button once they realize there’s nothing to download. Even less once they realize it’s not in English. Even less when they realize it’s not 100% BL. Nothing to be sad about–the amount of people who love scans and the work you do is by FAR greater than a random person or two (out of like the dozen here total, ha).

      In terms of support for mangaka, the much bigger problem is the privileged leech type, not those who buy only raw or download/buy raw. That’s still buying at times. I’ve interacted with literally hundreds of the leech type on MAL, either them directly messaging me about “where I read it” (their wild enthusiasm drops immediately with the word “buy,” even if available in English) or having to remove countless forum topics asking where to download (Google is a mystery). I find that the most disheartening. They are the real enemy–far more numerous and offer zero support for mangaka. The new breed seems proud of that, even mocking of those who are “dumb” because they buy.

    • Well, an American dollar is 60 Indian rupees, while a yen is only about 50 cents. You do the math why I spent 5 years learning Japanese so I could buy straight from Japan instead of America. Because unlike the rest of the world, I’m sorry to say my salary is in Indian rupess, not American dollars, Pounds or Euro.

      Sorry for being rude, but I don’t buy manga so I can here this kind of thing from people.

      • I mean “hear”. Wow, being angry completely butchers my vocabulary :)

        • And just to be clear, I was replying to Miss. Scanlator Anon’s comment…though this ended up below shinkeikaku’s reply.

      • I understand your righteous anger. The rest of us have to work, earn and buy books too if it makes you feel better – it doesn’t magically appear on our doorstep for free no matter how much I wish for it.

        I’ll also assume you’ve NEVER read a scanlator’s release or read a manga on mangafox (but you have been to the forums as you said above) – yaoi or otherwise – in the past 5 to 10 years or watched an illegal youtube video not posted by the company that owns the rights or listened to an unofficial music file or torrented a movie or borrowed a dvd from a friend that you did buy. Because buying yaoi manga is not a charm that protects a person from other forms of infringement (please enlighten me if you buy every single title of every other genre that you read too).

        It’s just a bit rude to say “only the japanese fandom matters” when we poor outsiders have to slave away for hours trying to keep up with the japanese fandom, learn Japanese just like you and of course, work to earn our keep and buy manga to support the industries.

        Of course, I’m not referring to the readers who don’t buy anything – to clear up confusion.

  6. Thanks for the review! I cracked up laughing at looking pages you posted lol. It seems like an interesting read so I’ll be buying it and the previous vol.

  7. Pingback: Favorite Manga Purchases from 2012 | the manga habit

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