Manga Reviews Reviews

Manga Review: My Beautiful Man Vol. 1 (2024) by Yuu Nagira & Megumi Kitano

cover art for volume one of the manga My Beautiful Man
"His arrogance, which showed neither anger nor sadness, suited that unbelievably beautiful man."

” official synopsis from : “Hira has always dreaded the first day of new classes. Ever since he was little, he's had a stutter that only worsens when he's anxious, causing Hira to always sink to the bottom of the social pyramid. This year of his high school career might not have been any different if it weren't for him: Kiyoi, the most beautiful and kingly man Hira has ever seen. Normally, their lives would never intersect, but Hira suddenly gets a chance to grow closer with Kiyoi when he's made the popular group's gofer and gets Kiyoi's phone number! Hira treasures every order Kiyoi gives him and every bit of change he's handed to run errands… Is this what they call love?”

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My Beautiful Man vol 1 cover

Tokyopop's Love Love imprint has become home to some of the most exciting LGBTQ+ content currently in print. The recent addition of both the manga and light novel “My Beautiful Man” is a testament to their commitment to representation through stand-out titles. While not offering anything groundbreaking in the BL genre, there are many positive elements to “My Beautiful Man” that, despite its predictability, put it among the best in the genre.

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Before even getting to the work's narrative substance, the series' artistic direction is the most prominent element that will instantly draw in readers. Megumi Katana's artwork is so clean and picturesque that it leads perfectly into the lusting of Kiyoi from the introverted Hira. With the series selling the idea of pristine beauty, “My Beautiful Man” does not fail to embody that in every depiction of Kiyoi. However, it is the minor details that bring everything together, with backgrounds and the flow between panels imbuing a constant sense of romanticism. Considering that the manga series is adapted from a light novel, it seems that this did not cut into the artistic vision; it does not feel like an afterthought or an addition to its source material.

Often, the unrequited love hook, especially from one lusting over someone who has power over them, can lead to a morally uncomfortable forming of a relationship. For now, protganist Hiro is treated as and even called a ‘slave' to the more popular boys, including Kiyoi, and his admiration grows despite cruel treatment.

This is still slightly uncomfortable for those who don't like lopsided power dynamics as the prerequisite to romance, but “My Beautiful Man” does an exceptional job of exploring the reasoning behind Hiro's lust. Notably, having spent much time in his thoughts due to a stutter, Hiro has a rather poetic way of viewing the world through observational monologs written by . His views of the past and how he ties his childhood imagination to a floating duck (you must read to understand) resonate with that tragic beauty you want in a story about longing for acceptance in the arms of another.

While the story of Hiro and Kiyoi is in its infancy in the inaugural volume, the lush visual direction and the strong writing should be enough to draw fans of BL right into the content. While many enjoy a play on power dynamics, those who find imbalances unsavory will feel at ease with the content through how well-realized Hiro is as a character. Ultimately, “My Beautiful Man” is a success all around, weaving through the tropes of boys' love with an infectious grace.

About the author

Adam Symchuk

Adam Symchuk is a Canadian born freelance writer and editor who has been writing for Asian Movie Pulse since 2018. He is currently focused on covering manga, manhwa and light novels having reviewed hundreds of titles in the past two years.

His love of film came from horror and exploitation films from Japan that he devoured in his teens. His love of comics came from falling in love with the works of Shuzo Oshimi, Junji Ito, Hideshi Hino, and Inio Asano but has expanded to a general love of the medium and all its genres.

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