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