One of the latest new titles from Juné Manga is Tamaki Kirishima’s Your Wish is My Command. The manga stars Takeru, the son of a yakuza boss, and his bodyguard Naruse. Takeru feels stiffled by Naruse’s constant badgering and clinginess, resulting in frequent conflicts and misunderstandings between them. With that said there’s a lot of affection beneath the surface, as you would expect in a boys’ love story. How effectively does Kirishima convey the complicated romance? Is Your Wish is My Command good?
Plot-wise this manga plays out about how one would expect, which isn’t a bad thing. Takeru gets annoyed by Naruse’s overprotective quirks but comes to realize he has romantic feelings for the other man. Takeru then decides to become more independent so as to not be a nuisance, but the increased distance just causes more conflict. It’s very much your standard story of would-be lovers obscuring their feelings with good intentions gone awry, and the execution is solid. Takeru’s development throughout is well-paced and the characters’ yakuza backgrounds help the manga stand out from other similar boys’ love titles. Takeru’s school friends also make nice contributions to the plot, egging him on and acting as sort of audience surrogates with their commentary on the lead pair’s romance. There’s also some good humor throughout, such as when Naruse vows to commit seppuku because of Takeru’s rude behavior.
Nonetheless, while a lot of the foundation here is solid, the writing as a whole still lacks polish. All the plot threads relating to the gang’s power succession conflicts feel a bit rushed and phoned in. Takayama, who is for all intents and purposes the antagonist, isn’t very interesting as a character despite the multiple scenes he shares with Takeru in which their personalities clash. This can largely be attributed to the fact that, while Takayama is certainly villainous, the book’s most important conflicts (both in terms of romance and plot) have nothing to do with him. He ends up coming across more like a force acting upon Takeru rather than a fleshed out character in his own right.
While the manga’s yakuza trappings create a unique backdrop to Takeru and Naruse’s courtship, the actual criminal intrigue is shallow. There’s also the matter of the main couple’s age gap which isn’t unusual in yaoi but may still give some readers pause. Besides all this, my main qualm with Your Wish is My Command is just that the page-count doesn’t feel sufficient for fleshing out the characters and their dramas to their utmost potential.
Art-wise this manga is solid and very genre-typical. The facial expressions are quite emotive and effectively convey both comedy and more introspective moments. There’s also some nice shading and use of patterns. Unfortunately, the rest of the art just feels by the book and doesn’t do much to elevate the story. The characters can look rather stiff at times and the physical world doesn’t have much sense of depth. The page layouts and overall visual presentation aren’t exactly bad, but there’s not much sense of uniqueness or creativity.
All in all Your Wish is My Command is a decent if fairly run-of-the-mill romance manga. The characters’ facial expressions are emotive, the yakuza setting has potential, and the lovers’ clumsy interactions are well-written. Unfortunately the rest of the art feels a bit stiff and there’s an overall sense that the story isn’t executed as effectively as it could be. This isn’t a bad manga but I wouldn’t say it’s a must-read either.
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