Unlucky Strike by Mishima Kazuhiko

Unlucky Strike

Having a harem of schoolboys can apparently be a bad thing.

If I told you Unlucky Strike is different from all of Mishima Kazuhiko’s other works, I’d be a dirty liar.  However, if told you I didn’t thoroughly enjoy reading this book, I’d still be a liar.  Mishima Kazuhiko takes some ideas from her other works, mixes it up a bit, and gives us a tale about a tsundere teacher who is protected from his own bad karma by a devoted student.

The story starts with a high school teacher, Kikuchi, receiving a confession from one of his male students.  Perhaps because it’s the 15th letter from this particular student, Kikuchi takes a harsh stance, flatly rejecting his confession and even calls the student disgusting.  The poor student runs off crying, cursing him.  What a jerk!  But don’t worry, Kikuchi will pay for that behavior.

The next day, Kikuchi is suddenly transferred to the nearby all boys school.  Given no reason, it seemed odd.  Once he boards the subway train, he notices something even more odd.  All the guys are staring him down.  Complete strangers approach him boldly and grab at him.  Before their advances can get too sexually aggressive, a student beats them back.  Being from Kikuchi’s new school, Akane offers to accompany the fazed teacher.

I’d like to point out this is probably the ugliest school uniform to date. I was never a big fan of her clothing, but this is a whole new level.

After experiencing even more sexual advances, Kikuchi is at his wits end and begs the only seemingly normal guy, Akane, to help him.  Akane takes him to his friend Chiaki who is knowledgeable about “weird things.”  Chiaki practices the occult and immediately recognizes that Kikuchi has a “gay’s curse” on him. Apparently that student wasn’t bluffing and his negative feelings ended up actually cursing the man who spurned him!  While he’s not affected by the curse, Chiaki isn’t powerful enough to remove it.  The curse causes Kikuchi to be hated by women, yet unusually loved by men, which explains his unsolicited harem of boys.  Normally, I’d think this is a huge waste of a schoolboy harem, but even I’d find it unsettling if random strangers started talking about how they want to cram it in your mouth or drag you into a corner and screw you.

“Your ass is probably being targeted.” I like Chiaki–it would be awesome if he got his own spin-off series.

Faced with inevitable rape or a life of isolation, Kikuchi seems defeated.  Don’t fret, teacher!  Akane declares that he’ll protect Kikuchi from all the men in the world.  But his relief is brief–doesn’t that mean Akane is affected by the curse as well?!  Akane claims the curse has nothing to do with his feelings and that he just likes Kikuchi.

Surely you can trust a face like this.

Oh wait, it’s a Mishima Kazuhiko manga. OH SH–

Is there really no way to lift the curse?  Akane doesn’t believe that–he thinks it’s a curse because Kikuchi allows it to be.  What if Kikuchi accepted the curse and used it to find happiness?  The moment when he’s joined with his love, wouldn’t it then turn into a blessing and disappear?  Of course, this means falling in love with another man.  And guess what, we already have a volunteer!

Kikuchi isn’t exactly buying this, but he is a desperate man.  Akane says they should become closer and even starts a little notebook to remind Kikuchi of his feelings.

“I won’t let you get away” Akane has a bit of a creeper part to his personality which somehow just makes him cuter.

Slowly, but surely, the two become closer and Akane seems to be winning Kikuchi’s trust.  However, Kikuchi has a sudden realization–what will happen to their relationship if the curse is lifted?  Will Kikuchi risk Akane’s feelings flying away with the curse?

While not exactly ground-breaking or unpredictable, Unlucky Strike is a sweet story with one of her mean, tsundere types thrust into a very vulnerable position finding comfort in the arms of a gentle, yet slightly off, boy.  Although the plot sounds like a revised Reverse?! story, I think the tone and direction is quite different.  I like her character types in this work–Kikuchi is what we’d normally expect from her mouthy older guys, but he’s actually somewhat pretty compared to her normal drawing style.  Akane is caring, energetic, and has minimal ulterior motives, making it believable when he reaches out to Kikuchi in his time of need, yet he’s willing to back off when if he’s unwanted.  There’s no one really nasty in this work, save Kikuchi who gets a life lesson on being nicer to people!  I’m still not sure why, but I really enjoy reading all her works and will be first in line for the next!

Oh, I’d be mean if I stopped without giving a sample of sexy time, so here it is:

I love this kind of face–just a hint of watery eyes. I hate the crying, snot-face look. I don’t find that sexy, but alarming.

Their first (and last?) encounter – NSFW @ tumblr

12 responses to “Unlucky Strike by Mishima Kazuhiko

  1. Uniform. THAT UNIFORM >_>. It just looked like it popped right out of prom night from the 70’s. Oooh, she just destroyed my love for high school uniforms in one look XD

  2. I actually really liked all of her clothing designs. They are just so creative, it’s insane. 😀 And I love the uniforms for this manga, too. x(
    I love Mishima Kazuhiko~ She’s my idol. ❤ Her stories are always great. 🙂

  3. UNIFORM. Ohdear. I can’t decide if THIS uniform is the worst, or the sweater-vest ones with the giant bows. Some of her clothes are really cute (Necoco’s outfits :3) But dear god. No.

  4. Hi, I love Mishima’s work, probably like everybody else who came to this review page, but I can’t seem to find good places to read her stuff online. Manga Fox is where I got started, but i keep finding more and more mentions of different books that aren’t offered on MangaFox.
    So curious for more!! are there any sites that u can recommend me?

    Btw I love Necoco’s clothestoo~. And that Kid from Puchi Puri has awesome clothes toooooo!~~~ Wish i could mimick their style T3T

    • There are countless things not found on MangaFox. You can find this book online in a Japanese bookstore only. If Google doesn’t answer it, that’s what I’d recommend.

      • Why do some people think that the place where to find printed publications is some web site on the Internet? A more natural place to look for them at would be the paper that the printed publications are printed on. Sure, web sites are useful for instructing people on the other side of the world to put some printed publications in a box and take the box to the post office: today (or yesterday actually: my watch tells me that it is slightly past midnight as I’m writing this) I got a notice in the mail telling me that I’ve got another 5 kg box from Japan to pick up at my local post office. But instructing someone to put something in a box is not really the same thing as reading something. Besides, it is easier to bring a small book on the train than to bring a huge computer and a very long Internet cable. Not that I would dare to read BL (or anything else with too much nudity) on the train, though.

        This volume doesn’t look too uninteresting and it’s only 590 yen (excluding shipping). Will try to make some space for it in my next BK1 order…

      • Oh god, you’d be surprised/disgusted how often I get this on myanimelist. It *literally* doesn’t cross their mind that someone might be reading a Japanese comic *in Japanese.* It blows my mind. I usually make fun of them, bitch at them, confuse them, or ignore them depending upon my mood that day… They always leave some message like “ZOMG I MUST HAVE THIS NOOOOOW” but as soon as I mention they might have to *pay* for it, they immediately deflate. lol Or they feel the need to justify it to me and say they can’t afford it or it’s not in their country.. it’s a luxury good not in my country either and I work my ass of to afford such things. :O

        5 kg? Sounds like a good haul in there! Hopefully there’s some good treasures waiting then.

        Haha, BL on the train would be a challenge. I’ve learned to read neutral things in public too, which for me is mostly the airport. People love to stare and ask questions. I had a 7 year old boy watch every page as I read a Kingdom Hearts manga once. He was cute but boy was I glad it was clean lol.

        I have a weird, unexplainable fixation with Mishima Kazuhiko. Her works are very light, but entertaining.. so if you want something like that, go for it! I think it’s the feisty characters–she can write both unrepentant and slightly repentant assholes pretty well. I definitely liked this title better than her newest Oujisama 100%. My favorite is Baby I Love You, which is a sequel to Papa I Love You. But if you want something meaty, you’d be better off looking elsewhere likely.

      • I’ve ordered it now, so let’s see what it’s like… It will be sent by surface mail together with preorders of the 新装版 of Shimura Takako’s Love Buzz 1 & 2 (the second one not out until the 25th of February), so it will take some time. Something to look forward to in May, I suppose.

        The 5 kg box contained a big catch-up on Gakuen Alice (up to volume 19; the rest up to volume 23 should arrive in early February and early March), four October releases and some other random stuff. Mainly shōjo stuff this time, but also a few seinen and shōnen volumes.

  5. I don’t know what it is about Mishima Kazuhiko that has me addicted to her more predictable style and formulas. Although this sounds like something that has been done before (by the mangaka herself — not counting other BL mangaka), your review pinpoints why I keep on going back to read her stuff.

    • It did feel like an update of her older plots. Yet I still love it and can’t wait for her next book. At least I’m not alone in having a long love of her admittedly predictable stuff!

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