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