Story/Art: Yoko Nogiri
Translation/Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley
What They Say
After some traumatic experiences, Komugi Kusunoki transferred from the city to start a new life in rural Hokkaido. But on her first day of school, the school heartthrob Yū Ōgami blurts out, “You smell good!” Despite the hijinks, Komugi tries to adjust to her new school, but it’s not long before she stumbles across Yū dozing off under a tree. When she attempts to wake him up, he transformed…into a wolf?! It turns out that Yū is one of many other eccentric boys in her class year–and she’s the only one who knows their secret!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Komugi left Tokyo to live with her dad in Hokkaido when her mom was assigned to a new job far away. Komugi took this opportunity as a chance to start over. She was on the outs with girls in her high school in Tokyo when she stopped them from bullying another girl.
On her first day, she’s assigned to sit next to Yu Ogami and he immediately tells her she smells good. Komugi thinks Ogami is strange, but puts up with him, as she has no choice even though she would rather not associate herself with him. Her attempt to stay nothing more than classmates changes the morning she catches Ogami sleeping outside on her way to school. To her surprise Ogami has a fluffy tail and wolf ears.
Ogami and three other good looking boys in the class try to their best to hypnotize her to make her forget, but it doesn’t work. They end up letting her in on their secret. Each boy shape shifts into a different animal: wolf, fox, tanuki and a two-tailed cat. Komugi is overwhelmed by this, but promises to keep it a secret.
Now, she is linked to the most popular boys in the school. The snobby girls in her class don’t like this and confront her about it. Komugi stands her ground, but the boys back her up. At the very end of the volume, Komugi realizes what this strange feeling is that she has had all along. She blurts out that she loves Ogami even though she was told specifically not to fall in love with him.
There’s no doubt that the art is pretty. It’s a beautiful example of shojo art. The cover gives you a simple taste of what’s in the manga. So, that by itself makes the reading the manga enjoyable. As far as the story goes, there are things I do and do not like about it.
The story has a very strong sense of Fruits Basket. The back cover even suggests fans of Fruits Basket would like this story. I like Fruits Basket, so how could I not like the group of shape shifting hotties? I am more interested in the boys’ background. A little bit was alluded to in this first volume, but not really in depth. I hope as the manga continues that this is explored as I think it would strengthen the story.
I also do like Komugi as a main character. She’s seems to have a good a head on her shoulders and isn’t the helpless damsel in distress character as some shojo manga’s depict their protagonist. She did have her moments where she was princess carried and defended by the boys, but it was only after she did a good job of defending herself or someone else.
The only part I didn’t like was that the manga was full of clichés and tropes. That’s not always bad, but it detracted from a good main storyline. I look forward to reading more with hope that the story is flushed out more. If you’re a shojo fan, it is definitely worth giving it a try.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen (13+)
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 16th, 2016