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Live a Charming Life: Elegant Men

Konnichiwa! I've recently acquired the bad habit of spending more time than I should trawling through the extensive artwork of Tsukiji Nao. If I had thought a simple glance with suffice, I thought wrong. It all started with manga about exploits of a duo of elegant men...

Are you confused? I apologise. It was not my intention to baffle you! I do mean it when I said men though. Gender ambiguous characters seem to be the forte of Tsukiji sensei. Honestly, I never thought I'd rank a manga with this many flowers and effeminate boys high on my recommendation list, but there it is, a shoujo manga nestled among a sea of shounen ones! Despite their willingness to conjure up feminine wiles out of thin air (really, those arched backs look painful!), the males are decidedly skirt-chasers. Some people would do anything to charm the living daylights out of you.

Even these beauties are more than what meets the eye...
Back to the topic on hand, the manga I will be sharing with you today is called Adekan! Adekan is about Shiro, a laid-back and absentmindedly seductive umbrella craftsman burdened with secrets, and Kojiro, a hot-blooded young police officer who befriends him. Before long the duo find themselves uncovering the private affairs of the townfolks, even as Shiro tries to prevent Kojiro from walking into a shadowy plot awash with blood and war...

Despite it all, Kojiro and Shiro's interactions are amusing, to say the least.
Even the author pokes fun at her own character's androgynous looks
Adekan has all the elements of a perfect mystery manga: an intricate yet well-paced plot, beautiful art, appropriate smidges of comic relief and last but not least, characters with shadowy pasts. I'm quite demanding when it comes to shoujo manga but a few chapters in, my apprehension was thrown out the window! I do love a good convoluted plot.

Art like this certainly boosts its appeal
Adekan has one underlying plot, but it is mostly made up of short and mysterious stories of the people of the town Shiro and Kojiro live in as well its neighbours. The huge conspiracy meanders its ways through; Shiro's behaviour, the people who meddle with him and scenes away from the town inserted into these stories give us some indication but never any clarification.

Speaking of short stories of the townsfolk, the most popular secondary characters are definitely the "mermaids"...

... although they're not the only beautiful ones.

Now you realise why I ended up spending so much time immerse in Tsukiji sensei's work... Her art is opulent and absolutely breathtaking! She puts equal effort into the background and the clothes. New details seem to present themselves with every look. Even the military uniform of the males have teeny tiny details. Her fearlessness of using colour makes my heart go dokidoki!

This love of details have apparently spread to cosplayers. Adekan cosplayers are definitely on the same as Trinity Blood cosplayers: hardcore. They're a whole other level!

Perhaps the one con of this manga is its homoerotic undertones as several characters treat their bodies as tools of seduction. The fanservice is generally great for females (although I feel Tsukiji sensei should tone down on the number of males in heels) and while males may be put off, I'll still recommend this action-packed, borderline-psychological mystery and occasionally comedic manga! Honestly, the pros far outweigh this not-really-a-con in my opinion. Do give it a chance, you might end up charmed just as I was~!

Written by Nana

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