Thursday, March 12, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: YARICHIN BITCH CLUB: Volume 1

SUBLIME MANGA/Gentosha Comics Inc. – @SuBLimeManga

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Ogeretsu Tanaka
TRANSLATION: Satsuki Yamashita
LETTERS: Mary Pass
EDITOR: Hope Donovan
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0832-1; paperback (November 2019); Rated “M” for “Mature”
266pp, B&W, $14.99 U.S., $19.99 CAN, £9.99 UK

Yarichin Bitch Club is a yaoi manga from popular mangaka, Ogeretsu Tanaka (Escape Journey).  Yaoi manga is a subset of boys' love (or BL) manga, which depicts amorous situations between male romantic leads.  Yaoi manga usually features explicit depictions of sex between those male leads.  Yarichin Bitch Club is set at an all-boys school where a new student accidentally finds himself a member of a lascivious boys' club.

As Yarichin Bitch Club, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1-6) opens, hapless Takashi Tono transfers to “Mori Mori Academy,” an all-boys boarding school located deep in the mountains.  The first student Tono meets is Kyosuke “Yacchan” Yaguchi, a soccer player, who recommends to Tono a club he might like to join.  It is the “Photography Club.”

What Tono learns too late is that the Photography Club is also known as the “Yarichin Bitch Club” (or simply “Bitch Club”).  The club's main extracurricular activity is providing sexual services to the rest of the student body and also to some of the faculty.  Each member has to provide “sexual relief” to the student body five times a month.  If a member fails that quota, his fellow club members will “gang-bang” him at the end of the month.

Tono isn't interested in having sex with any male students, but he does find himself attracted to fellow transfer student, Yu Kashima.  Or maybe, Tono likes Yacchan...

[This volume includes bonus content:  an illustrated “Afterword,” four-panel comics, bonus manga, and illustrated “Character Introductions.”]

The Yarichin Bitch Club yaoi manga has a title that immediately forces you to pay attention to it, dear readers.  The back cover copy will also pique your interest, or maybe even make you aroused...

Yarichin Bitch Club Graphic Novel Volume 1, unfortunately, does not quite live up to its title.  Creator Ogeretsu Tanaka draws sex scenes that are way too busy and are filled with what I see as excessive line work and too many sound effects.  This art is the kind of distorted composition that creates static in the graphical storytelling.  Letterer Mary Pass does not do anything to alleviate the static interference.  It is not that her work is of low quality; it is that she adds to the sound and fury that sometimes results in overwrought and muddled storytelling.

Satsuki Yamashita's English translation finds some nuance in the characters and in the character drama and development.  Yamashita focuses on the potential of the characters, and this manga does indeed have an interesting cast.  This series does have potential, and quite frankly, at this point, I am more interested in the characters than in the jumbled sex scenes.

6 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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