If you´re even somewhat interested in the yaoi or shonen ai universe, I know you know about Ten Count, wheter you´ve read it or heard of it, most people will recognize this crazy popular manga about a Mysophobic, somewhat tragic boy named Shirotani and Kurose, a psychiatrist that´s set on helping Shirotani, making him write a countdown of the ten things he´s most afraid of to then confront them one by one.
Written and illustrated by the infamous writer of Seven Days and Hana No Mizu Shiro, Takarai Rihito has made a fantastic comeback with yet another touching, peaceful and sensual series that´s currently counting (ha.) 18 chapters of sex and germs. I´m sure this is not the best way to market the series, but hey, I ain´t lying.
But really, what is it about this specific series that makes it stands out from the crowd, popularity wise? Continue reading for more jumbled thoughts with absolutely no basis or foundation.
I don´t think Ten Count is the best yaoi manga ever by a long shot, personally, I think that title goes to Saezuru Tori Wa Habatakanai, surely, Ten Count is above your average highschool sporty-hot-shot-fucks-the-nerd-in-the-gym sorry excuse of a story, but it definitely comes with its fault, sometimes Ten Count is just too empty, it misses the boom factor that´d make this go from a good yaoi manga to a good manga.
Having said that, there´s one thing where Ten Count could teach its juniors and seniors a thing or two, personally I think this is where it excels, it´s what makes Ten Count Ten Count, the not-so-secret secret of its almost ridiculous popularity both overseas and in Japan: Its remarkable sense of sensuality.
As I´ve said, Ten Count and Takarai Rihito herself are above the usual, trashy fuck-and-run manga that we´re used to seeing, and there´s just something incredibly satisfying about scenes like this one on the left which just screams intense passion and sexuality without even being so obviously explicit. There´s something satisfying about watching a mysophobic, shy character get his boundaries pushed by a psychiatrist with bedroom eyes, and that´s the thing, Ten Count outdoes the rest of its peers by focusing on the sensuality they lack.
And it isn´t just some internet famous manga that has little to no recognition where it actually counts (Ha.) because honestly, this is one of the very few yaoi manga that has reached the top 30 best selling manga on numerous ocasions with a wooping 40k sales on its first week.
I´m sure that, apart from my somewhat pretentious pseudo-analisis on this series popularity, the fact that a well established writer wrote it also has something to do with it.
As for my actual opinion on Ten Count, I think it´s pretty good. Not even close to my top 5 or 10 yaoi manga ever, but it´s not a bad read at all. It presents some funky ideas and the chemistry is there, if only the sensual hijinks were a bit more prominent, I would be enjoying it a lot more. Anyways, one way or another, I recommend you read Ten Count, if just to understand the communities yells and screams and come to your own conclusions.
I feel like I had more to say about this before I started writing, but now I´m ending it on a weird note. Whatever I guess.