Underrated Manga: Yubisaki Milk Tea

Posted by Guest Author on Jan 17, 2008 in Comic Books |

Underrated Manga: Yubisaki Milk Tea

With American anime sales on a downward trend, a lot of attention is being paid to its partner in crime manga, the Japanese comics that are often adapted into anime (if they’re not already adaptations themselves). In North America and Europe manga has exploded, but the sheer volume of manga published in Japan means that not every series makes it over here— and even the ones that do don’t always get the attention that they deserve! So here’s one of our Top Ten Underrated Manga that we recommend that you should get your hands on:

Yubisaki Milk Tea

There once was a boy named Yoshinori whose face was remarkably similar to his sister’s. As a result, he once had to take her place in a modeling session, dressing in a bridal gown for a local photography shop. Ever since then he’s had a taste for both cross-dressing and photography, and Yubisaki Milk Tea follows his exploits both as male Yoshinori and female “Yuki.” Yoshinori winds up in a love triangle with his childhood friend Hidari, who doesn’t know about his cross-dressing, and a classmate named Minamo, who hates men and will only talk to Yoshinori when he’s dressed as Yuki.

It sounds like such a wacky tangle that it could only be an over-the-top comedy, but it’s actually not. Instead, Yubisaki is a high school drama that wavers back and forth between being too emo and being too real. The characters are inconsistent in their desires like any high school kid; the approach to their avid interest in sex is frank (leading some volumes, released by TOKYOPOP, to be shrinkwrapped in stores). Like Kodomo no Jikan, some aspects of the story may make a more conservative reader uncomfortable, but the payoff of peeking into the psychology of the characters is immense.

Tomochika Miyano’s manga is still running in Japan and in the U.S., so give it a whirl!

Gia Manry is a Portland, OR-based professional writer specializing in pop culture/entertainment writing. Read up on more of her work at giapet.net or hire her at GiaManry.com.

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