My A to Z Yaoi Challenge is back on track! The letter J was quite hard to come up with. I could only find less than a handful of titles and they weren’t very interesting for me to write about. That’s when I heard a divine calling: “You’ve been wanting to read Jealousy for a while, right? Don’t you think now’s the time? Blame it on the New Year and splurge a little~”. I’m a weak person, so of course, I obeyed the calling and bought the first two volumes.
Author & Artist: Scarlet Beriko
Release Year: 2016
Status: Ongoing, 4 volumes.
Licensed? (Y/N): Yes, 2 volumes are out on SuBLime!.
Don’t you just hate it when you’re taking your daughter to her ballet lesson on a peaceful day and some random guy jumps in front of the car to extort money from you, faking injuries? Totally ruins the father-daughter bonding time. That’s how Rogi Uichi and his daughter Reika meet Hachi. Rogi takes Hachi away to ‘deal with him’ but because Reika insists on keeping him, Hachi starts living together with them instead. He opens the door to Rogi’s past, how he became a yakuza and eventually met the object of his desire and jealousy, Oyamato Akitora.
This is where Jealousy connects to Beriko’s 2014 work Fourth Generation Head: Tatsuyuki Oyamato (also available on Renta!). Akitora is Tatsuyuki’s father and is the 3rd generation of the Oyamato family.
Right from the get-go, Jealousy signals that it’ll be an emotional rollercoaster with grey areas, choices that are hard to make, and messed up dynamics between the characters. In Akitora’s words, Rogi is a person ‘who is loyal only to his own sensibilities’, an overgrown child who will go after wherever his interest takes him without a second thought. This stems from, what I concurred from the two volumes, the desperate need to be happy and feel nothing else. He tries so hard to get rid of the ambivalence or frustration in his life, which makes up a great deal of being an adult. And in doing so, he jeopardizes the lives and feelings of the people around him. This attitude and constant danger that surrounds him, in turn, creates a wall around Rogi that keeps others at a distance. Akitora sees that wall, and that feeling of running after what interests you tirelessly is where he resonates with Rogi. Asoda, who is the right hand of Akitora and an old schoolmate of Rogi, recalls that he was ‘ever so slightly off’, not able to fit in with the rest. In the second volume, the wife of Akitora, Asami, becomes a part of the equation as well. I’m curious how things will progress from here on.
Probably a weird way to start praising Beriko’s art style, but I’m so fond of the way they draw hair and eyelashes! Especially the hair, I feel like it would feel so silky to the touch. A great deal of time and effort must be going into it because the hair is drawn till the strands and the flow looks so natural. The lines are neat and sharp and I love the character designs a lot. As for the characters themselves, I felt as much frustrated with Rogi as the rest of the cast, Akitora exudes the ‘reliable, confident and macho’ air perfectly, and Asami is a solid, sensible woman unlike some of the female representations we see in yaoi. I also want to pat Asoda’s back and tell him it’ll be okay.
Overall, I’m enjoying Jealousy a great deal! 3rd volume is open for pre-orders now and can’t wait for the release. Needless to say, the manga is 18+ and is uncensored so be warned before going into it. I have to add that, things in Fourth Generation Head make a bit more sense now that I’ve read Jealousy. It may be a better order to read these manga if you haven’t before. I’ll leave you with some illustrations from Scarlet Beriko’s Twitter and wish you a nice day ~