Ltd. All rights reserved.
While her mother is away on a year-long business trip, Komugi “Goody Two Shoes” Kusunoki moves to rural Hokkaido to live with her estranged father. She has high hopes of starting afresh in a new school, but the consequences of the social faux pas she committed back in Tokyo—standing up for a girl being shunned by the girls in her class for selfishly attracting the attention of the class hottie—have left an emotional scar.
To Komugi’s surprise, the “idols of Maruyama High School”—Rin Fushumi, Aoshi Awaji, Senri Miyama, and unofficial leader Yu Ogami—almost immediately take a liking to her and accept her into their social circle. It seems like a good thing on the surface, but it causes outrage among their adorers and anxiety to Komugi. After all, now she has to help keep Ogami’s secret … the fact that he’s a Wolf Boy!
The story may be reminiscent of Fruits Basket and the character designs of Kamisama Kiss (at least Ogami), but author/illustrator Yoko Nogiri crafts a genuinely endearing romance with That Wolf Boy Is Mine! The complementary back stories of Ogami and Komugi, even without the titular spoiler, make them seem destined for one another. Watching their bond grow and the planted possibility of their romance sow denial like an essence-threatening weed is sheer joy as illustrated in shojo sparkles.
Aside from emotional squees from the will-they-won’t-they plot and the pleasantly quick pace, one of the best things about That Wolf Boy Is Mine! is the creative panel layouts. Instead of cramming rectangles into the allotted space, sporadic portrayals float ethereally behind plot blocks, reflecting either the discord between memory and present or euphoric envelopment in the moment. While the character designs are derivative, the animals, drawn with loving precision, and their postures (in both animal and human form) speak to a greater love and competency. Recommended.
publisher: Kodansha Comics
story and art: Yoko Nogiri