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A Capable Man Manga Review

3 min read

These stories about exceptional boys and their kinks are almost absurdly adorable, even when they shouldn’t be.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Hinako Takanaga
Translation: Blu

What They Say
Shingo has always liked guys who are exceptional. His best friend, Koji, is the smartest, fastest, and hottest guy in school. But what Shingo doesn’t know is that Koji has worked hard to be so exceptional – and he’s doing it to impress Shingo! Why? He’s in love with Shingo of course! But all is about to be revealed, because when Shingo’s just-as-impressive cousin comes into town, Koji realizes he’ll have to confess everything or risk losing his one true love forever…

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Shingo’s always had a thing for exceptional men, and feels extremely lucky that he has two such paragons in his life – his older cousin Shuichi, who he’s always looked up to, and his amazing best friend Koji.  He’s noticed that Koji sometimes acts a little odd around him, but he trusts that he’ll figure things out on his own.  But when Shingo finds out that Shuichi is getting married, things change between them – Shingo’s a little upset, sure, but Koji misinterprets things badly and forces himself on Shingo.  After, Koji turns into a giant ball of guilt, but rather than being as upset as he knows he should be, Shingo finds himself rather bowled over by this unexpectedly adorable side of Koji – who somehow manages to take Shingo’s exuberance entirely the wrong way.

In “Something to Hide,” Junya is getting increasingly bothered by the fact that he has to hide his relationship with his teacher Yusuke.  Not only does he have to hide it, but Yusuke won’t even let him sleep over!  Convinced that Yusuke is cheating on him, Junya declares that he’s not going to college!  The reason for Yusuke’s reluctance, however, is nothing like he could have imagined.

Finally, “How to Satisfy Your Fetish,” about budding chef Daisuke and his cooking teacher Kazuya, and “Kleptomaniac,” about Yanagi’s mania with stealing things that belong to Tsuchida, both deal with some rather unusual fetishes and the relationships that develop when things come out.  These were both short, and I really wish they had been longer, to see where things developed from there.

In Summary:
In the afterward, the author describes this “a weird collection,” and it’s hard to argue with that assessment.  This certainly isn’t your average BL collection, with stories ranging from mildly kinky to downright perverse.  They’re also utterly delightful, well-written, funny, and refreshingly unique.  It was hard not to laugh at the panel with Koji submitting a signed form to Shingo for sex, or Kazuya’s realization that Junya might not be the only one who’s enjoying their little arrangement.  This is a book that I keep rereading, just to savor the fun.  I’d easily recommend this to any BL fan who wants some humor with their sex, or some more atypical stories than you normally find.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of Takanaga’s work in the future as well.

Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 18+
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Release Date: November 4th, 2008
MSRP: $12.99