Review: Jackass!

When the panty hose go on, all bets are off between these best guy friends!

Practical Keisuke’s incredibly handsome best friend Masayuki has always rubbed him just a little bit the wrong way. Maybe it’s because Masayuki is rich, carefree, and so stunningly handsome that he can, and does, have any girl he wants? But one day, when Keisuke accidentally wears his older sister’s panty hose to gym class, it’s suddenly his hot friend who’s doing the rubbing…on Keisuke’s panty hose-clad legs! Has he unwittingly unleashed a secret fetish that will change their relationship forever?

I won’t ever get tired of saying this: friends to lovers it’s my favorite kind of romance. Having a character slowly realizing “hey, this person I can always be myself with might just be my favorite person” it’s just… *chef kiss*

With very few panels, Jackass! does a great job establishing Keisuke and Masayuki as a pair of very, very close idiots. Their playful friendship feels very natural and their moments together were very entertaining, endearing even, to read. The set-up that kickstarts the events of the manga it’s almost hilariously convenient, but I was so sold on those two that I just laughed and shrugged it off.

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The main couple avoids most tired BL tropes, but their tentative exploration of sexuality, although it gets some things right, doesn’t push too hard against the conventions of the genre. On one hand, Jackass! features a positive depiction of a fetish. Keisuke has a childhood friend, Katsumi, who is openly gay, and he’s there to help him when he starts developing feelings for Masayuki. On the other hand, Masayuki’s sexuality remains mostly ambiguous, and both of them suffer from different levels of “it’s not that I’m gay, I like him.”

The secondary couple (or couples, I suppose) is a different story. While I enjoyed Katsumi’s scenes with Keisuke, his romance happens with the school nurse. I’m not exactly crazy about age-gap relationships with minors, or the “homophobic because closeted gay” character archetype that’s also around him. But to be honest, I didn’t care about neither of them, so it wasn’t particularly hard to ignore them.

Jackass! it’s at its best when it focuses on Keisuke and the people surrounding him. It’s always good to see active, non-threatening (to the couple) female characters in BL, and Keisuke’s older sister, Akiko, it’s absolutely amazing. I found Keisuke serious, reserved and cautious attitude relatable, and while Masayuki is very much a typical playboy, he has enough depth to make me care about him. The conflict between the two originates from an understandable clash of personalities as well.

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Scarlet Beriko’s art it’s clean, playful and elegant, sometimes at the same time. Her sex scenes are either very playful, with lots of personality, or both. I always felt like I could get what the boys were feeling in the moment (rather than just looking at their bodies) and I spend a good time laughing with them during the climax (all puns intended).

Overall, the main couple (and Akiko) makes Jackass! one of my most enjoyable BL reads. It stumbles when it tries to focus on the secondary couple, but whether or not that’s a deal breaker for you will greatly depend on your tolerance for those tropes.

This title is licensed by SuBLime, with 1 volume available. You can find it on SuBLime’s website or on Amazon (affiliate link)

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