Welcome to Queer Fudanshi. Let’s Talk. Today, we’re going to talk about The Tyrant Falls In Love Volume 1.
The Tyrant Falls In Love or Koisuru Boukun is a Japanese comic or manga by Hinako Takanaga. The manga is under the genre of Boys Love or yaoi.
The official premise goes:
University study Tetsuhiro Morinaga has been in love with his homophobic, violent and tyrannical sempai Souichi Tatsumi for more than four years now. Even though he’s told Tatsumi how he feels and even managed to steal a kiss, expecting anything more seems like nothing more than the stuff of dreams… That is until the long-oppressed Morinaga gets his biggest chance ever. Might his unendingly unrequited love finally be returned?
My Thoughts Before Reading
I’ve actually never read this comic. I know, that’s basically fujoshi/fudanshi (yaoi fan) blasphemy! For some reason, a few of the most popular yaoi manga out there never interested me. This comic and View Finder being possibly the biggest offenses. But keep in mind, this then means that I’ll be giving a fresh and unbiased review for you guys. That could be either a positive thing or a very negative thing. I guess we’re all about to see.
This is The Tyrant Falls In Love Volume 1.
*Warning: Due to the context and content of this comic centering around rape I have given it a NSFW label. Younger readers should turn away.
Where to Buy:
The Talk (Spoilers Ahead):
As always, once you finish reading this blog post head over to the accompanying QF Youtube video.
Story about gay romance starts off with an extreme homphobe. Great. And then if that wasn’t bad enough, the story starts off with a rape scene in the first chapter. So, what we’ve got is a story about a homophobe who gets (accidentally) drugged and (purposefully) raped. Sounds like a great way to start off a love story worth 10 volumes!
Now, of course I understand that this is a yaoi manga. (If you’re new to some of this terminology head over to the Important Terms page). Let’s be honest, this genre is setup to be a fantasy to women, and most often than not is presented as smut. That said, this particular manga is not covered in pages full of pornography. There is a story and that story is supposed to be a romance. Due to this (and possibly the fact that this is a wildly popular story), I feel a special apprehension to the fact that the relationship starts with rape.
I’ve gotta say, I’m majorly not a fan of Morinaga. He’s childish and oppressive with his “love” (aka obsession). At a first glance he seems tolerant of his aggressive friend and a poor soul who’s lost in love. Then, the rape scene happens and that goes out the window. Morinaga immediately goes for the old “You knew my feelings,” victim blaming crap. Heads up, if that didn’t work for Tan it surely won’t work for you.
In addition, he then took his actions to an extreme by trying to dropout. While I understand that he can reason this away as guilt for his actions and trying to do the right thing for Tatsumi, I still see it as being selfish. Making a mistake and then running away from the mistake fixes nothing. It just eases his own pain. Ultimately, this character is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s presented as loving and sensible, but all his actions show that he’s just toxic to this story and Tatsumi.
Then we have Tatsumi. How did this story end up making me root for the homophobe? I like Tatsumi, despite him being a homophobe, because as the victim I want to root for him. He was wronged and then he was kind enough to forgive and tried to see the full picture. This is especially poignant because Tatsumi is a homophobe and getting raped by a gay guy is literally his worst nightmare come to life.
That said, I do acknowledge that the character does have some feelings that he is unwilling to confront. In fact, my favorite chapter was chapter 4 when the character started to reconsider his feelings for Morinaga and recognized that maybe there was something more there. That chapter actually helped turn this story into an actual romance.
Hinako Takanaga Pulls it Off
As much as I do not like the premise of this series, I have to say that Hinako Takanaga at least made something of it. The way the mangaka handled this clear black and white situation and added some emotional grey was almost inspired. In fact, by the end of chapter 3 I was disgusted with this story. By the start of chapter 5 my disgust softened to a light dislike.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still majorly not a fan of the story and the Morinaga character. That said, I fully support the Tatsumi character and his willingness to forgive made me feel the need to (kind of) forgive Morinaga as well. In addition, the way Takanaga was able to subvert this disgusting start into a somewhat more mellow love story makes me interested in reading more. I want to know if this story can fully get past its terrible begining, and if so I might just have to give Takanaga a round of applause.
Clearly I am strongly opinionated about The Tyrant Falls in Love Volume 1, which shows that it’s doing something right (or horribly wrong). In addition, the well crafted fourth chapter lead me to start forgiving, but not forgetting, the terrible setup for this “love story.”
In fact, that is what saved this manga from getting a totally bad rating from me. I think the mangaka was smart in how she approached this story. She found a way to show this disgusting act and then soften the after effects of it. That said, I don’t like the story and I really don’t like Morinaga. With nine volumes to go however, it could be that my opinions on both may change. We’ll see.
My rating for The Tyrant Falls in Love Volume 1 is 3 stars out of 5 (it would have gotten lower if it wasn’t for chapter 4). What’s Yours?