GENRE: Yaoi: Romance, Drama, Psychological
When it takes twelve “no”, six “sorry”, four “I’m scared”, four “stop”, two “let me go” and one “please forgive me […] I was wrong” to stop your main character’s advances, maybe don’t make him anything but a villain.
We all know the BL world is a shining example of problematic but Hideyoshico’s Wait for Me at Udagawachou takes the cake. While easy to read (for the most part), this 2011 manga fails in its accuracy or character development. Also, kids having sex? God why. Didn’t need to be drawn and I sure didn’t need to see it. (So, yeah, don’t read this, but especially don’t read this if you’re under 18.)
In this single volume, we follow two classmates in high school:
- quiet and slightly off-putting Momose,
- and charismatic and handsome Yashiro.
Momose discovers Yashiro wears women’s clothing and, à la yaoi, Momose forces him to cross-dress, threatens to tell the world about his hobby only to proceed to harass him into a relationship. This forces Yashiro to confront his proclivities and what that means for him.
The Many Problems with Wait for Me at Udagawachou
It isn’t clear who our main character is as the point of view changes from Momose (Chapter 1) to Yashiro (the rest) but that is the least of this manga’s problems.
Though some will argue that an author’s work has no responsibility to be true to reality or justice, others would say Hideyoshico is doing transvestites, gays, and bisexuals a disservice.
This is not to say that this author harbours any ill will towards the LGBTQ+ community or transvestites. Rather, the author seems confused or even ignorant. Is there any other reason why a mangaka would conflate ‘gay’, ‘transvestite’, and ‘transexual’? Hideyoshico even went through the trouble of having Momose do a cursory research on the three and the story still came out horribly wanting.
“Like I said before, I’m no homo’. Besides, you only like me when I’m in girls clothing so neither are you. You must be sterile or something.”– Yashiro, Wait for Me at Udagawachou by Hideyoshico
Soooooo many problems.
As if that was not enough, Momose is made out to be the victim as he is described as a persistent dog (which, true) that keeps letting itself be kicked in the face by a horse. This is despite the fact that Yashiro is not in a place of power. That Yashiro refuses to accept Momose as a “boyfriend” is hardly a kick in the face, and Momose is in no way under Yashiro’s tender mercies.
Momose’s self-reflection – if we can even call this half-assed introspection such – isn’t any better, nor is its result. Having your main character admit they are wrong in a public setting, at the top of their voice isn’t romantic. Actually, it put Yashiro in the difficult position of risking his hobby(?) becoming public knowledge unless he settled the matter quickly.
Not to say that Yashiro is an angel either. While he acknowledges that the very thought of having everyone know about his hobby(????) makes him suicidal, he threatens to expose Momose right back. Though the act is met with swift retribution, the whole situation is cringe-worthy.
Even so, Yashiro’s character doesn’t make any sense. While Hideyoshico tries to keep his reactions natural, his emotional development does an incomprehensible 180°. He regards Momose’s feelings towards him with disdain – which is sadly realistic and even warranted, considering Momose’s threats and bad-touch routine – but we still get a happy (trauma-bonding) ending? No, thank you.
And I know, at this point that I’m just nit-picking, but why did Hideyoshico have to go and blame transvestism on women? Seriously, having Yashiro’s first foray into transvestism be under the threat of sex withholding from his past girlfriend was not necessary. Neither was having him admit that women’s “soft skin, dresses, and unrivaled pumps” made him gay/bisexual. Or have a beautiful pull-out that… only serves to sexualize transvestitism. Or having the only reoccurring female character be constantly insulted.
So, so many problems.
If you feel like giving your eyes a workout, read this manga; it will give you plenty to roll your eyes at. But, on a serious note, this manga is an affront to those whose lives contain the same themes, and Hideyoshico’s lack of understanding only further misinforms those who neither know nor understand them. So, yeah. Don’t read it. And certainly don’t watch the live-action adaptation.
If you want better BL, check out our playlist of recommendations: