“That Wolf-Boy is Mine!” by Yoko Nogiri is one of those series that I decided to pick up without really knowing anything about it. I actually decided to give it a try mainly because the back cover promised that it was ‘perfect for fans of Fruits Basket!’ Well, Fruits Basket is one of my all time favorite manga series, so I figured that this Wolf-Boy series was worth checking out. Good job Kodansha Comics marketing team! Your strategy worked!
So let’s dive right in here. “That Wolf-Boy is Mine!” vol. 1 starts with our protagonist, Komugi, moving to a new town to live with her dad. She had been having some trouble at her previous school, so she is determined to avoid any social blunders at her new school. However, right off the bat she draws unwanted attention form her classmate Yu Ogami, one of the school’s top hotties, who likes the way that she smells. This, of course, draws the ire of the school’s mean girls (who have apparently all made some kind of a pact that no one is allowed to get close to Yu or his hot friends. Not unlike the Yuki fan club in Fruits Basket. So there’s parallel number one). Komugi initially tries to distance herself from Yu, but then she discovers his secret… which (surprise!) is that he can transform into a wolf.
Komugi is a very likeable main character. She is level headed and tends to tackle problems head on. Most importantly she has no problem sticking up for herself, or for others, when she needs to. I think she is this manga’s greatest strength. It’s greatest weakness, on the other hand, is probably Yu. As a romantic lead he leaves something to be desired. Sure, he seems like a genuinely nice guy, but he comes off as spacy and oblivious most of the time. Hopefully he gets fleshed out more in future volumes, because as it stands now, I am not really feeling that invested in seeing him and Komugi get together.
So, did “That Wolf-Boy is Mine!” live up to the hype of being perfect for fans of Fruits Basket? Not exactly. Aside from the boys having the ability to transform into animals there aren’t that many similarities. At least not in this first volume. That being said, it was still an entertaining read. The art is nice, if not spectacular, the story moves along at a good pace and there were a couple of pretty funny moments. So, while I’m not in love yet, I think there is enough potential in this series that I will be picking up volume two when it comes out.
Final Grade: B
For more information on this series, visit the publishers website at: http://kodanshacomics.com/volume/wolf-boy-mine-1/