Author/Artist: Yukari Hashida
Rating: M – 18 and up
Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Romance
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org. Check it out! ***
Eugene is an impoverished student at university. Because he's poor and only getting by because of his scholarship all he does is study. At his university there is a very high profile student there. It happens to be the prince of the country, Willis. Eugene doesn't have time to worry and speculate what the prince is up to, unlike many of those that live in his dorm enjoy doing. When the dorm Christmas party arrives Eugene is holed up studying when his roommate and other dorm residents ambush him and dress him in drag for the party. Since Eugene is nearsighted (his fellow residents hid his glasses) he stumbles right into the Prince Willis. Since Eugene has no idea who he's addressing, he pulls no punches in his comments. Willis thinks that Eugene is dressed this way for a gag and immediately is drawn to him. It turns out that there was a paparazzo following Willis and took a picture of these two in an embrace.
Eugene's life is virtually over. Willis is taken by Eugene's stuffy attitude and he will do anything and everything to have Eugene as a friend. Willis is extremely clever and tries to gain favor with Eugene. Eugene seems to be drawn to Willis as well but isn't willing to go as far as admitting that. Willis bombards Eugene with tons of unwanted attention, but he will do anything for Eugene. Plus, Willis is bored so he finds being with Eugene breaks the monotony of Palace life. Will Willis be able to break down Eugene's will?
In crawling through the web and reading other reviews for Tricky Prince I share a different view. The other reviews seem to enjoy the first half of the manga but then become disillusioned by the end. I enjoyed this manga from beginning to end. Initially when I first picked up a Yukari Hashida-sensei title I didn't think I was going to like it because the art was kind of distracting, but once I was drawn into the story I found that the art and story make Hashida-sensei one very cool mangaka. I will admit that if you've ever read her works you'll notice that many of her characters all look alike (like the character of Prince Sardony, Willis' brother, in Tricky Prince and Joe's father in Waru look like the same person just a different hairstyle). But I find Hashida's wit and comedy that you find in her works refreshing and fun. I laughed from beginning to end. Willis's attempts to woo Eugene all fail but he doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. Eugene is able to rebuff all of Willis's attempts where most people would give their right arm to be with Willis. This push and pull is what made this story enjoyable to me.
This is one of the final volumes released by Juné that has a dust jacket. It's glossy and gorgeous, but that isn't what makes this volume a good read. It's the story and the wit of Hashida-sensei that makes this a fun manga. If you are looking for hot, sweaty passion you aren't going to get it. It has an M-rating but it isn't because of sex (since there isn't really any). But sometimes you need to read a BL manga for something other than sex and Tricky Prince is a great one to curl up with for a good laugh.
If you want to avoid this title because of other reviews, that's totally cool, but just know that not all of us think that way and know that I found this to be a jewel in a mountain of mediocre BL titles.
***Review Copy provided by Juné***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***