A fantastic character drama with hope
What a fantastic read that I’m not hearing enough about!
Boys Run the Riot begins by introducing the reader to Ryuu, a teen who shuns the traditional uniform for school constantly as he’s more comfortable in his tracksuits and more masculine clothes. We find out that Ryuu is dealing with gender dysmorphia, though he hasn’t informed anyone else in his life of this. At the same time, there is a new student in his class, a third-year named Jin who must retake the second year. At first glance, Jin seems like he might just be a typical manga jackass character, but he’s a lot deeper than at first glance. He proposes that he and Ryuu start their own fashion brand to make clothes that people will be comfortable in; comfortable enough to be their authentic selves. This first volume is them figuring out the logistics of setting up a brand as well as dealing with detractors from school who are constantly asking if they’re dating or causing problems for them. In the process, they begin to discover more kids at school who also feel alienated and start to help them open up and be their authentic selves as well.
I absolutely loved this and I am very excited for the second volume to be released soon. The characters were fun and compelling, and it had an interesting premise while not shying away from the personal struggles Ryuu is going through. Also, the art in this is really nice and adds a lot to the street style their brand is going for.
Title: Boys Run the Riot
Author: Keito Gaku
Three Descriptors: Intriguing, Hopeful, Rebellious