Wild Adapter

Kazuya Minekura, Author, Kazuya Minekura, Illustrator . Tokyopop $9.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59816-978-2

Famed for the manga Saiyuki , Minekura offers up more boys' own wild adventures in this series. High school mah-jongg gambler Makoto Kubota is drafted as the new head of the junior division of a Yakuza syndicate. His duties: keeping the area clean of infringing outsider Yakuza organizations. After befriending Nobuo Komiya, another member of the junior chapter, Kubota learns of a new street drug called "wild adapter." Strange, supernatural elements are alluded to as users of this new drug transform into part-animal and then die. In this first volume, Minekura introduces a handful of characters and different scenarios that tie together while some loose ends act as a primer for the next volume. Wild Adapter is part mystery with a strong homoerotic subtext; it's rated 18+, most likely for the bits of female nudity (a few scenes take place in brothels) as well as the mature content—drug trafficking, gambling. Minekura's gritty style will resonate with seinen (older male) readers, making a good read for anyone taken by Yakuza ideas of redemption, devotion, dedication and man love but uninterested in the sexual aspects of actual boys' love. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/12/2007
Release date: 02/01/2007
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