With shoujo manga, there is often an incentive to immediately start staging romantic and couple moments. What I appreciate about the new Viz series’ B-Side, however, is that it begins more with character development for Utage as well as potential love interest and pop star Tamon.
This is funny, considering how B-of Tamon Side started. It begins by identifying Utage as a superfan who loves Tamon, a member of the boy band F/ACE. Super fan is probably a more appropriate term, given her actions with her friends, her devotion to following him, and collecting his goods. We saw the outpouring of support for the performers she saw on stage.
She then meets the real Tamon while he is offstage. Her part-time job is as a housekeeper, and she fills in for his absence. But because her name and real person are so different, she had to stop. Although his stage presence implies that he is a spoiled, flirtatious extrovert, he is actually a pessimistic, quiet, and even depressive introvert.
Image via Viz Media
This leads to the first really interesting volume of the shoujo manga! Instead of jumping into Utage and being awkward around his idol, although there is some of that, the huge difference between who Tamon is on stage and in person means there are no qualms or awkwardness. unrealistic devotion. Instead, some parts were originally Utage that reconciled the differences.
With the rest, we can see mangaka Yuki Shiwasu as the foundation of a truly fun relationship. Because Utage is a huge fan, she knows everything about Tamon’s stage performance. As his manager even noted, she became adept at helping him do his job better. Her support, insight into his character, and assistance in getting him involved in a fan event he had previously avoided benefited her. he. Likewise, through the connection, she permanently becomes his housekeeper, spending time with her idol and going out to see what he is like as a person. I feel like we see her start to lose a little love for the character he created and instead appreciate him for who he is.
Of course by the end of the first episode of Tamon’s B-Side, we see this laying the groundwork for the “will they or won’t they” relationship in shoujo manga. There are clear moments where we begin to see evidence of their emotions. In a way, it seems like this is one of those situations where Tamon falls to Utage. Which again, makes it really fun to read. We’re getting this character development going and seeing everyone learn about each other before immediately jumping into any kind of emotion, and the first episode shows that in an interesting way.
Volume 1 of Tamon’s B-Side is available now and Viz Media will publish volume 2 of the shojo manga on January 2, 2024.