REVIEW: ‘Bad Boys Happy Home,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bad Boys Happy Home

SuBLime Manga has got to be one of my favorite publishers in manga, and that is due to the wide variety of BL stories they publish. An imprint of VIZ Media, Bad Boys Happy Home is one of the publisher’s most deceptive titles that have come out this year. While the cover may look spicy and the Mature Content label may lead you to think that as well, Bad Boys Happy Home Volume 1 is an extremely wholesome story all about identity, friendship, and allowing others to help you.

Bad Boys Happy Home Volume 1 is written by SHOOWA and illustrated by Hiormasa Okujima; the volume was initially published in Japan in 2019 by Akita Publishing and is published and localized in English by SuBLime. This English edition features translation by Adrienne Beck, touch-up art & lettering by Deborah Fisher, cover & graphic design by Julian Robinson, and is edited by Jennifer LeBlanc.

In Bad Boys Happy Home, Akamatsu’s life really sucks. He’s living by himself after running away from familial problems and is just a typical high school delinquent looking for an outlet for his pent-up frustrations. His anger and frustration with the world are only manageable when he fights. That’s where Seven comes in.

Slightly older than him, Seven is a homeless guy living in a park who sits on the jungle gym eating curry buns and just trying to get by. When they meet, the two begin habitual sparring matches, which Akamatsu loses repeatedly. But he still finds himself heading to the park every day. When Seven loses his place to sleep, Akamatsu decides to offer up his apartment, and the two begin living together. What happens next is an adorable story of two delinquents becoming friends, growing closer, and learning more about each other in the process.

Bad Boys Happy Home is a stellar story. I bought it on a whim, and from the moment Akamatsu begins narrating in the opening pages, it’s clear that there is much more going on under the character’s surface. He’s stressed, anxious, and in his physical fights with Seven, he’s showcasing a moment of both toughness and vulnerability. When you learn why he left him home, it’s heartbreaking, but it also begins to put more weight on the meet-cute that our characters had. Seven may have been an outlet, but it wasn’t just for fighting. Akamatsu needed comfort from someone and a genuine connection.

This volume is all focused on Akamatsu’s perspective and his background. We get to see his story unfold, his secrets be revealed, and see that the trust he places in Seven isn’t misguided but loving. On the other hand, though, Seven remains a mystery and one that becomes darker with all the small pieces of information that we learn about him.

Where Akamatsu as a character is laid bare with his fears and hopes, Seven remains guarded. While this volume largely doesn’t have any mature content, there is one moment where Seven crosses Akamatsu’s boundaries in a way that is sad to read. In fact, the way Seven describes himself shows that there is something deeply sad behind the act. Additionally, Seven is running away from people who live on a compound, and that’s all we know. This secrecy builds up a tension in the story that has me both anxious and excited for Volume 2 in October.

Overall, Bad Boys Happy Home Volume 1 is a wholesome story that offers depth in the last act. Each of the characters are building a relationship through friendship and giving each other the space to be vulnerable.

Bad Boys Happy Home Volume 1 is available wherever books are sold.

Bad Boys Happy Home Volume 1
5

TL;DR

Overall, Bad Boys Happy Home Volume 1 is a wholesome story that offers depth in the last act. Each of the characters are building a relationship through friendship and giving each other the space to be vulnerable.