Wolves are a girl's "just friends"

Title: That Wolf-Boy is Mine! (Watashi no Ookami-Kun)
Genre: Drama, Supernatural
Publisher: Kodansha (JP, US)
Creators: Yoko Nogiri
Translator: Alethea and Athena Nibley
Original Release Date: November 1, 2016

At the end of the first volume Komugi accidentally admits to Yu that she’s in love with him and it’s a very predictable turn. Despite the fact that Yu is part wolf, a yokai, Komugi feels very relaxed around Yu and it seems like he understands even Komugi’s unspoken thoughts. Komugi is connecting with him even more that she is with her new female friends and it’s understandable that this affection has taken a romantic turn.

But instead of Yuu admitting he feels the same, rejecting her, or acting flustered, all things one would normally expect from a shojo manga, Yu asks Komugi if he can just pretend she didn’t say anything. Being in such a gray area understandably confuses Komugi and she spends the rest of the volume trying to figure out where she stands in relation to Yu, especially as Yu himself acts inconsistently and seems to try and draw Komugi in closer to him. Yu’s friend Rin explains to Komugi that since Yu is half-human he can never bring himself to simply hate people, but he’s also clearly afraid of being abandoned again. With that Komugi is the perfect “friend” for Yu; she’s fully human and yet she’s unable to be hypnotized which means that Yu can be his true self around her and also have a relationship that he can’t quite find in his yokai friends, although Yu doesn’t seem to quite know what he wants right now.

It’s an odd set-up to force a love triangle but, in classic shoujo form, Komugi and Rin almost seem to make a better “couple” than Komugi and Yu. Yu’s friendly distance makes it hard for Komugi’s relationship with him grow in any way but the frank conversations Komugi and Rin have seem to be drawing them closer together. With the series already halfway done it’s tough to say if Yu will come around and welcome Komugi into his life more or if the growing closeness between Komugi and Rin will “win” in the end.

I do wish the series gave a little more focus to Komugi’s family life as well. It’s unusual to have a main character with divorced parents who are on speaking terms with each other and even outside of that particular dynamic, the small, tidbits of conversation we’ve already seen between Komugi and her parents hint that there is real potential for deeper growth and themes but again, with only two volumes late in the series it’s unlikely that the manga will have the time to add in that focus and fully develop it satisfactorily. It would certainly be an interesting contrast to Yu’s own familial relationships, although there do seem to be one or two hints that Komugi’s ancestry might play a role in why she can’t be hypnotized by the yokai.

There seems to be just the right amount of mysteries left to wrap up in two volumes, it’s rather convenient that Yoko Nogiri has just the right number of monster boys for the number of covers!