Here’s another edition of my little column with a focus on the manga Wild Ones. As I pointed out in my previous column, we get bits of comedy woven into a serious or tender moment which breaks the tension or awkwardness going on in a scene.
Wild Ones by Kiyo Fujiwara is about Sachie Wakamura who is visited by her estranged grandfather with the intention of taking her in after recently losing her mother. What Sachie doesn’t realize is that her grandfather is the head of a yakuza and her mother has kept Sachie in the dark about certain aspects of her family history.
Volume 1 has a lot of zany things going on in the first few pages, but these following panels are what draws my interest the most. Sachie is visibly freaking out after finding out what kind of company her grandfather keeps. She climbs a tree and refuses to get down until Rakuto, a popular guy from her school and a member of her grandfather’s gang gently coaxes her down. She decides to comply with his request to come down, and Rakuto safely carries Sachie in his arms.
As you can see in the right panel, you have a tender scene going on between Sachie and Rakuto until you see her freak out again in the panel on the left. Even worse is when her grandfather’s gang members burst in bearing a gun and a knife ready for a “throw down.” Sachie is near fainting and Rakuto is happily being the obedient servant and telling her to “hold on tight.”
I have only read Volume 1 of this series, but I enjoy this panel the most out of all the others. The way Sachie looks at Rakuto in shock or awe, it’s almost as if she is allowing her guard to go down. This feeling is short-lived and she reverts back into hyper freak out mode again as it hits her that she is the granddaughter of the yakuza’s head.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how Sachie attempts to adapt to her new home and her bizarre “family.”