My Boy in Blue Volume 1
A schoolgirl falls in love with a policeman in My Boy in Blue, a silly, slightly off-putting romance by Maki Miyoshi.
Sixteen-year-old Kako gets dragged to a singles mixer in order to fill out the numbers. She’s supposed to pretend to be a young-looking 22-year-old student (which is complicated by the typical shojo art style, which makes her look about eight). The organizer, jealous of her youth, tries to force alcohol on her, but a stoic, intimidating guy drinks it for her.
Later, he walks her home. The two flirt (although I didn’t see any chemistry on the page — we’re just told they are interested) until he finds out her real age. The next day, she coincidentally is stopped by him and finds out he’s a policeman.
She’s attracted by his protectiveness, particularly since she keeps needing it, and wants to become worthy of his attention, which emphasizes the regressive attitudes here. She needs his guidance and the security he provides; he does a better job taking care of her than she does.
Aside from the characters looking much younger, there’s also some dodgy anatomy, such as the guy’s head being too small for his body and neck. During one scene in particular, we’re supposed to be touched by him reaching out his hand to her, but it looks grotesque. An action sequence feels played out in slow motion.
Chapters revolve around her doing silly things to try and find out whether he’s dating anyone and to try and help him. There’s a real appreciation of the hard work and dedication of local police officers that’s quaintly charming, but then he comes up with a “solution” to the conflict that drives future volumes. He can’t date a teenager, but he can marry one. (Ah, Japan.)
That leads into wacky encounters with her father, and the manga becomes less romantic — although there are always moments of angst as she wonders what he’s thinking, since asking him would be too much for this genre — and more comedic as they need to hide their relationship, he keeps getting called away for emergencies, and she worries about how he really feels.
There are at least eight volumes so far for this series, with five released in English as a digital-only title from Kodansha. It’s fluffy reading popcorn, so I’ll keep on for a bit, but it’s instantly forgettable, good only for a temporary distraction.