*This Review is Spoiler Free*
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Punch Up! is a yaoi manga that follows Motoharu Maki and Kouta Ohki. Motoharu is an architect who is reunited with his cat, Shinobi, which Kouta had been taking care of since finding. Due to his act of kindness, Kouta was kicked out of his apartment and is technically ‘homeless’ when his path crosses with Motoharu. Motoharu offers to have Kouta stay with him until he’s able to find a new place to live. As the two men begin to share a space, they inevitably end up sharing a bed…well, for about as long as it takes for them to get down and do the dirty.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fairly even balance of the sexual and emotional relationship that these men share. There is a good amount of smut…which I enjoyed being able to read. The main characters were not that shallow and sexed crazed that a believable relationship was unable to be formed between them.
I enjoyed my overall reading experience, BUT I was very put off by the way that Trans issues were discussed and portrayed within the overall series. Now, I will be the first to admit that I don’t know enough about how transgendered people are viewed in Japanese culture and what the experiences of trans people are in Japan, but I couldn’t help but cringe while reading the series. I feel that it doesn’t matter if something or someone is not accepted in the culture that I am reading about…I don’t have to act like I’m okay with it…because those aren’t the views that I share. I did however factor that cultural difference into my rating of Punch Up!…so with that considered I give Punch Up! 7-out-of-10 unicorn horns.
The series as a whole progresses organically and leaves very little to be desired. The conflicts and obstacles that the MCs have to venture through were executed interestingly enough for the mangas to not just be considered based on the delicious smut they contain lol. I would recommend this to other yaoi readers, but would do so making sure that I disclose my apprehensions.