Friday, August 20, 2004

As something of a consolation prize for Hot Gimmick vol. 6 not coming out when they said it would, I went and bought the ill-named Tramps Like Us. This is a manga originally published as You're a Pet, which isn't much better as a title, but at least has some bearing on the theme and plot, unlike the Springsteen-lyric-pulled-out-of-a-hat non sequitor that TokyoPop saw fit to hang on it. I'd have guessed it was josei given that the protagonist is a professional of a certain age, but this resource identifies it as shoujo, and I'm willing to take their word for it.

Sumire is a journalist with a large Japanese newspaper, who's laboring under the jealous eyes of her non-peers. She's too tall, she's too smart, and she's too successful for her age. Her fiance recently dumped her ass for his knocked-up mistress, and she's recently vowed to find a boyfriend who satisfies the so-called "Three Highs" - higher income, higher intelligence, higher stature. Sexist as hell, but so are the Japanese. Just after she makes this vow, she finds a slight little bishounen hiding in a box nearby her apartment. She takes the injured guy in, names him "Momo", and declares she's going to keep him as a pet. He's a professional dancer, but the sort of kid who can't keep himself, who'd probably starve to death if left on his own. She keeps herself amused by feeding him, babying him, and bullying him as an outlet for all of the "ice queen", passive-aggressive harassment, and nonsense she puts up with from work and her unenviable social life. Even though she bathes him every night, it's theoretically platonic. She leaves her co-workers and boyfriends with the idea that Momo is literally a pet - a cat to her co-workers, a dog to the boyfriends, which makes for some slapstick and misunderstanding-comedy. Very cute in a sketchy sort of way.

It's not nearly as salacious as it sounds, but I still liked it anyways.

No comments: