Otoko no Isshou by Nishi Keiko

Otoko no Isshou

“At this age, I believed I wouldn’t fall in love again.”

While I love oyaji, this preference is not necessarily shared by many, considering the endless sea of bishies and hunky young men in anime and manga.  However, one manga ignited “oyaji fever” in a large number of readers:  Otoko no Isshou.  It sold very well and was even nominated for the 3rd Manga Taisho Award.  So what about this manga drew out the dormant karesen in everyone?

Otoko no Isshou is a romance manga that focuses on the atypical relationship that grows between a quiet, but capable office worker in her mid-30’s and a 51 year old philosophy professor.

Following her grandmother’s death, Douzono Tsugumi takes leave from her busy job in Tokyo and decides to watch over her grandmother’s property in the country.  However, she’s not alone,  An older man, Kaieda Jun, shows up with a key and informs her that he was given an open invitation (and key) to stay any time he wants–and he intends to do just that!  Having no legal claim to the property, she can’t do much.  Thus begins their unconventional cohabitation.

Tsugumi thinks Kaieda is rude at first, but is drawn to him:  he is confident, engaging, and kind.  He can be rather playful at times and has a good sense of humor, but still has the maturity and grounding of an older man.  Turns out Kaieda was a former student of her grandmother.  He says he deeply respected her, but was there more?  Why does he have a key?  What was the nature of their relationship?  These questions, her growing attraction, and her past bad relationships put Tsugumi on guard: a guard we get to watch Kaieda pick away at.

Kaieda’s initial mild amusement turns into attraction and he makes his interest known.

“Think of it as practice and try experiencing love with me.” Gotta love her reaction!

He casually tells the locals that he plans to marry Tsugumi–much to her own surprise.  While initially an attempt to both tease Tsugumi and deflect prying questions from nosy neighbors, this joke turns into something more serious as the story progresses.

“You don’t understand… dinner comes later. Don’t think a man over 50 is like one in his 30s.” You get one guess about what he’s referring to!

We watch Kaieda slowly win her over, despite her strong reluctance.  Tsugumi is no pushover who pines for male attention; she is mostly content, but still somewhat resigned to being alone and very guarded in her personal relationships.  Great chemistry and a firm, but kind hand make her wonder if it is okay to love again–a central theme of this manga.  The other theme is hot oyaji, of course.  (see right!)

The only drawback is that this manga loses sight of that theme (the first one, not second) and its sense of direction in the final volume.  This is a common opinion, not just my own rant for once.  Despite this, overall, this is a very enjoyable manga for anyone looking to read about a relationship between two adults.

7 responses to “Otoko no Isshou by Nishi Keiko

  1. Thank you for your pingback.
    Do you love oyaji?^^

    • You’re welcome–thanks for having a great blog that explains a lot of those terms. It’s a handy reference I’ve used over the years 😀 And yes, I’m a bit crazy for oyaji! Oyaji give a good change of pace after reading/watching so many manga/anime about teenagers!

  2. Hiya! How’ve you been? Glad that you picked these volumes up and enjoyed them! I have yet to read this series. I read on Comic Natalie that Ikuemi Ryou is in the latest issue of Feel Young magazine with the second story of her uhmm…”adultery” series, so I picked it up. Pretty good and definitely mature material with just a wisp of lightness to it. I’ll let you know when the tankoubon becomes available…It’s promising so far! It doesn’t have oyaji, per se, but I assume these are folks in their 30s. ^^;;


    • Hi again! It’s been good—better now that I have some free time. I hope things are going well. Thanks for the heads up! It seems like all josei stuff I want lately revolves around Feel Young and that one sounds interesting. Cool 🙂

      Having oyaji is just a bonus, not a requirement! Although I do generally prefer young to older adult characters over teenagers/children. I just have fun and exaggerate the whole oyaji thing to draw it out in others; before doing so, I hardly ever saw anyone talk about oyaji and now some approach me about it. But it’s all good. 🙂

  3. First of all, thank you so much for your posts. Almost all the manga(s) you’ve written about/recommended suit my taste so well, and I can’t help being excited finding a friend of the same taste like you :). Oh and secondly, after reading “and” by Okazaki Mari and finding this blog, my oyaji fetish was kindled =). Initially, all my friends were like: “are u serious?”, which made me a lil upset, until now! So thanks again for great posts. Im gunna catch up all the new ones!!!

    • I’m glad you like the manga picks. It’s always exciting when you find someone with overlapping taste and it’s also much easier to hunt out new titles. I hope you find something good while catching up.

      That’s great that you’ve awakened to the great oyaji, particularly with &. I think that story is unique because it relies so heavily on him being older and kinda beat down by life. It would have been completely different (and boring and likely unremarkable) if Shiro was the main love interest instead. Tell your friends that the oji-san lover ranks are vast and growing every day (and have refined taste~). You can see it pop up more and more within shoujo/josei and BL manga!

  4. this manga is definitely a change of pace for me.. starting from Kore wa Koi no Hanashi i looked for age-gap relationship mangas and stumbled upon this one. it’s refreshing for me and really different from the cool and handsome main characters. thanks for this.

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