1st Volume 1st Impression | Kei X Yaku: Bound By Law by Yoshie Kaoruhara – Volume 1



There will be spoilers for the of Kei X Yaku: Bound By Law.

Content Warning: There may be references to sex work, blood, police/detectives, violence, gang activity, torture, confinement, gambling, gun violence, implied corruption, possible murder, invasion of privacy, extortion, BDSM (including impact play, blood play, knife play), fake bomb threat, judgment on eating habits, and stalking, as these things do appear in the first volume.


First off, the art in this is a bit disappointing. The cover art is very sharp and intense, but the characters aren't as consistent with the cover as I'd have expected. The faces are the main culprit of this. When they're entirely facing forward or showing a side profile, they're fine, but the partial side view is strange. Their faces get really round on one side sometimes. Other times, they have an odd dip in the side of the chin, throwing off the former roundness. It's not what I expected when looking at the cover, which is unfortunate. I'd say this is not my cup of tea art-wise.

However, story-wise, this is actually much funnier than I imagined. There are nice little bonus comics scattered throughout that are a nice reprieve from the darker aspects of this mystery, political and police corruption, and gang activity-filled manga. I wouldn't say they're all funny, but it's a nice change of pace. The humor in the main story is what impressed me the most. Shiro Hanabusa, a yakuza boss, and Ichiro Kunishita, a detective, share a goal: finding a missing woman. For Shiro, it's his sister. For Ichiro, it's his senpai. She was a detective too, and while looking into some high-level politicians, including the prime minister himself, she goes missing, though not before appearing in a viral video where she's beaten and cut by a hooded individual.

This is very dark and forces these two together. Ichiro is supposed to be undercover as Shiro's lover, but Ichiro reveals his real identity, using this job as an opportunity to live together and work together. This leads to some really funny moments. One scene that made me laugh out loud is when Shiro is in the shower. Ichiro walks in, pointing a gun at him because Shiro ate his chocolate bar without permission. It's such fun in its absurdity, which is precisely what I would expect of a yakuza and detective living as roommates. There are multiple moments like this interspersed with much more serious and dark topics, and it keeps the overall tone much lighter than it could be otherwise, which I appreciate. I love my darker stories, but having some light reprieves within the story is welcome.

However, this feels like it's going to be a slow burn. We have very little in the way of romance thus far. It feels very much like two bros fake dating, which it is at this point. There's little to no chemistry on Ichiro's side of things. Shiro seems to have some level of attraction, but it's limited to pretty much a single panel, and that's it. I'm interested to see how we develop past the bro stage, especially with Ichiro being a pure virgin boy in this pairing and with the equally important mystery and espionage plot. I'm looking forward to it.


This is interesting. The art isn't my favorite, but this is only the first volume. I've read plenty of titles where the first chapters, volumes, or episodes are rough, only to develop into something I love by the end. I'm holding out hope, but within the volume itself, there is very little growth on the art front. The story is interesting as well. It's not my favorite genre, but corruption and mystery paired with lighthearted humor have me won over. I can only hope we see more romance sprinkled in so there's organic and reasonable relationship growth rather than something abrupt tacked on toward the end. Fingers crossed.

Have you read Kei X Yaku: Bound By Law – volume 1? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

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