Double Trouble by Takashi Kanzaki: C-

Fearful of acting on his attraction for his new stepbrother, Naruki, Kou Sawara moves away from home and into the dorm at his high school. Soon thereafter, however, Naruki transfers in. His meek and innocent personality is a hit with the guys at school and Kou works himself to the point of exhaustion protecting Naruki from their advances. When his roommate suggests hypnotizing Naruki so that he’ll be able to protect himself, Kou agrees. Unfortunately, this hypnosis manifests as a super-aggressive seme personality that has Naruki turning the tables on all his would-be seducers, Kou included.

Most of the story revolves around Kou’s conflicted feelings—he’s in love with the original Naruki, but that Naruki is not in touch with his own love for Kou. The aggressive Naruki openly confesses his affections, but Kou doesn’t want to be the “bottom” in the relationship, nor does he consider this personality to really be Naruki. Add in a manipulative roommate who wants Kou for himself, and you get the basic gist. The art and storytelling are both competent, and I did appreciate that the sex scenes are suggestive rather than explicit.

I should probably steer clear of boys’ love titles with wacky premises, though, because even though I know they’re meant to be comedic, I still end up taking them too seriously. For instance, I was really bothered that Kou never once thought about how wrong hypnotizing Naruki was. Now he’s basically hypnotically compelled to sleep with a whole bunch of guys and not remember doing so. Is that not rape? Is that not violation most profound, no matter how implausible the means?

It also really bugged me that there’s no resolution at all to the story. I might’ve liked it a bit more if Naruki had regained his own personality in the end, but as things leave off, it seems like he’ll be stuck with his split personality forever. Sorry, but inflicting permanent mental damage upon the one you love does not strike me as terribly romantic.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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