After some traumatic experiences, Komugi Kusunoki transferred from the city to start a new life in rural Hokkaido. But on her first day of school, the school heartthrob Yū Ōgami blurts out, “You smell good!” Despite the hijinks, Komugi tries to adjust to her new school, but it’s not long before she stumbles across Yū dozing off under a tree. When she attempts to wake him up, he transformed… into a wolf?! It turns out that Yū is one of many other eccentric boys in her class year – and she’s the only one who knows their secret…!
The transforming into animals trope is a tried and tested story in the field of manga. From Ranma ½ to Fruits Basket, there have been several successful takes on this genre. Rising star Yoko Nogiri therefore has considerable competition when it comes to her debut English translated series That Wolf-Boy is Mine! Fortunately, this is a great opening volume showing a lot of promise for what is to come.
Despite her tough parental situation, Komugi is a likeable lead who comes across as very real in comparison to the overly cheery characters that many times occupy her role or situation in this kind of story. Her quiet disposition also makes for a great contrast to Yū’s rather forward and playful character which combined with his more wolf-like habits makes for plenty of great comedic moments (highlights being their initial classroom meeting and a later post discovery scene where he sniffs out her lunch when wondering why her scent is stronger than it was previously). As it’s early into the series, we don’t get too deep a glimpse into many of the supporting characters beyond brief introduction to Yū’s fellow transforming friends, but there is enough to keep you intrigued and the troubles that come with their abilities. Nogiri also shows some great skill in the art department being able to switch between the dramatic and quieter moments to the more light-hearted and comedic moments easily, and some great looking characters that are easy on the eye.
Anyone looking for a strong new shojo series will find a lot to enjoy and Nogiri is clearly a creator that you should keep your eyes on.
That Wolf-Boy is Mine! 1 is published 11 August by Kodansha
Post by Leo
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