Otaku USA Magazine
Mobsters in Love Is a Zany BL Comedy about Yakuza

There’s a subgenre of manga where yakuza, known as tough gangsters, are shown as being something other than what you would expect. Think of things like The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting. Mobsters in Love is a zany manga that fits perfectly in this subgenre.

Aki, the main character, is head over heels in love with his boss, who is the head of the Sawatari mob. Aki looks rugged, and he regularly fights off people trying to hurt the boss, but he’s terrified of admitting his true feelings. The manga goes a little into the backstory of their connection. Aki used to be a down-and-out punk, but the boss gave him another chance at life, and Aki feels he owes his boss pretty much everything. At some point, respect turned into love.

Aki’s infatuation is shown in a humorous way, like silly misunderstandings or his over-the-top inner thoughts. There’s a little bit that’s serious in Mobsters in Love, mainly in a flashback where the boss got hurt long ago. But for the most part, Mobsters in Love is just about laughs and absurdities. For instance, in one scene, the boss says to Aki, “Could I get you to slip out of those clothes for a bit? I want you.” Aki, misreading the situation, rips his shirt to pieces and shouts, “Yes, take me!” To which the confused boss answers, “Y-you didn’t have to rip your shirt open . . .” and explains he found some of his old shirts in the closet and thought one might look good on Aki. “I was going to give it to you if it fit,” the boss says. Another dead end in their relationship.

Later in the book something of a love triangle shows up, further complicating the situation, and making the story a little more serious. Still, it remains mostly a comedy, particularly a comedy of errors. Mobsters in Love is rated Older Teen, mainly for some suggestive scenes.

Story & Art: Chiyoko Origami
Publisher: Square Enix Manga & Books
Translator: Jan Mitsuko Cash


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.