Ken Kanashiro is second-in-command of the Washio Clan – he’s yakuza by way of and thru, from his facial scars to his pencil-thin moustache, each inch the formidable, hard-bitten gangster. At some point, Megumi, the daughter of the clan’s president, tells him she’s received front-row tickets to the upcoming area live performance by MNW, a South Korean male idol group that she’s stanning big-time – and she or he needs him to accompany her. To organize him, she exhibits him a documentary concerning the group and Ken is completely blown away! So after they attend the live performance collectively, whether or not it’s the music, the hard-working ethos of the charismatic idols, the live performance environment or a mixture of all three, the top result’s the yakuza’s life won’t ever be the identical. In a single day, he turns into a devoted follower of Jun – Jun is his ‘bias’.
The Yakuza’s Bias © Teki Yatsuda/Ichijinsha Inc.
Nevertheless, his subordinates are deeply confused. They notice that there’s one thing unusual about Megumi and Ken spending time collectively – however misread their secret fannish actions for the plotting of some nefarious felony actions. Sotaro Kamiki, Ken’s devoted lieutenant, is satisfied that the 2 are both arranging drug offers or organ trades. Eavesdropping on the 2 within the hope of allaying his suspicions, he ultimately bursts in on them – solely to find them unboxing a MNW live performance Blu-ray. Megumi just isn’t happy, particularly when Kamiki confesses that he doesn’t ‘get’ Jun’s star enchantment. Because the obsession intensifies, Megumi exhibits Ken find out how to arrange an internet account so he can share his emotions with fellow followers and even commerce merchandise. “You understand,” Ken says, impressed, “swapping merch like this… it’s just a little like… doing a hostage commerce.”
The Yakuza’s Bias © Teki Yatsuda/Ichijinsha Inc.
Nevertheless, when Ken and Megumi arrange a commerce on-line, who ought to take an curiosity in it however Kinji Mizuhara, an officer of the rival Jashima household. When Kinji swaggers alongside (with backup) anticipating to see some type of deal happening on the road, he’s astonished to see Ken holding an MNW banner – and exchanging it with a younger lady. “I feel it’s time,” he vows, “to consider how I’m going to kill him subsequent time… as I’m going again dwelling!” however as soon as again dwelling, feeding his cute pet cat, he can’t cease serious about the change in Ken. He has to seek out out about MNW for himself. Might it’s that he too will likely be received over by the charismatic younger singers? Will Ken and Kinji keep it up their clan rivalry – however over their biases within the idol group? And the way do the idols really feel about gaining a lot consideration from such shady older male followers?
This can be a genuinely enjoyable – and humorous – learn! Mangaka Teki Yatsuda is a really completed artist and her paintings for The Yakuza’s Bias brilliantly reproduces the type of yakuza manga, from character design to the dark-smudged, sinister backgrounds and, better of all, the exaggerated facial response sketches. It’s additionally very completely different in tone and art-style from her transferring however tragic Boys’ Love A Dwelling Far Away (KUMA) which is a manga street film, set within the USA. The blurb suggests that it’ll enchantment to readers of Phantom of the Idol and Means of the Househusband which isn’t so far-fetched a comparability because it might sound at first look. There’s a lot stable character-building and watching laborious males like Ken and Kinji fall underneath the younger singers’ spell is fairly charming in addition to amusing. The idols’ reactions to their ‘uncommon’ followers is fascinating too; sudden but plausible, which makes for an intriguing learn. Teki Yatsuda employs an awesome number of panels to inform the story – and when real hazard and violence erupts on the finish of the amount, it offers us a salutary reminder of the felony world wherein Ken lives.
The Yakuza’s Bias involves the West in a good-looking commerce paperback version from Kodansha with a wonderfully embossed, metallic cowl. The interpretation is by Max Greenway and offers expertly with the fan-based terminology and the sinister yakuza exchanges equally nicely; the 4 pages of translation notes on the finish are particularly welcome. Nicole Roderick’s lettering covers the various completely different exchanges seamlessly, from smartphone texts to tune lyrics, to not point out the dialogue between completely different teams (once more, yakuza). There’s additionally a pleasant mangaka’s afterword/thanks. Quantity 2 is due out in mid-August 2023. For a ‘gag’ manga that started in a really modest approach on-line, this has grown into a piece that’s a lot extra (with out dropping its sense of affectionate parody).