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Teppen Kaketaka  
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In the Teppen Kaketaka series:

V.1 - Teppen Kaketaka
Torajirou and Sakura have survived their harsh childhoods by watching each otherís backs. When Sakura finds himself at the mercy of a yakuza gang, Tora has to do what he can to save his best friend. Will he be able to win back Sakura's freedom, or has Tora bitten off more than he can chew?


V.2 - Amai Mushi


Related Series

Associated Names
Betting My Life With You
Cuculus Poliocephalus Cries Out
Gambling My Life on You
Teppen Kaketaka - Amai Mushi
Teppen Kaketaka Amai Mushi
The Calling Sound of the Lesser Cuckoo

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)

Status in Country of Origin
2 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 6 / 10.0 (3 votes)
Bayesian Average: 6.78 / 10.0
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Last Updated
November 10th 2015, 7:52am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Craft (Taiyou Tosho)
HertZ (Taiyou Tosho)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Digital Manga Guild (1st Volume Only - Complete/Digital)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #1082 increased(+257)
Monthly Pos #2398 increased(+204)
3 Month Pos #3577 increased(+1131)
6 Month Pos #6569 increased(+489)

List Stats
On 16 reading lists
On 117 wish lists
On 7 completed lists
On 2 unfinished lists
On 39 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Ended way too abruptly.   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by cyclamen
February 13th, 2012, 3:48am
Edit: It appears that this series now has a 2nd volume. Please note that the review below applies to the first volume only. I'll edit this after reading the 2nd one.

But it's a pretty good story -- and despite what the cover might suggest, isn't all that romantic or explicit. There are a couple of scenes that stray dangerously close to yaoi territory, but they don't actually get there and you won't see anything (much), so I think "shounen-ai" is a more appropriate choice for the demographic tag.

I must emphasize the fact that the cover is rather misleading: for one thing, Torajirou (the seme) looks nothing like that even in his adult years; for another, 95% of the story focuses on their childhood so you won't see them with that appearance (or even as a couple, because they didn't do anything while they were still kids XD) in anywhere but the (short) first chapter and the last few pages of the final chapter. Which is both a good thing and a bad one -- I'll explain the good first and then move on to why it's bad:

Don't expect sweet and lovable characters or perfectly linear and conventional (as far as BL goes, that is) storytelling here; because what the plot does is introduce us to this couple (yes, they're all set by the time we first meet them -- there's no actual romance here for Tora and Sakura), give us a brief glimpse of what they're doing now, hint at their goals (especially Tora's since he has some pretty grand aspirations for his future with the Yakuza while Sakura, in typical uke fashion, seems to have chosen a tamer path), and from the next chapter onwards until the end of the book, show us how they both ended up where they are at present. It's done very well, and the two guys interact really believably given their age gap (unlike in typical BL with older ukes, where the uke always behaves as though he's the younger one) -- but if you've read anything else by this mangaka you'll know not to expect sappy melodrama or romantic love confessions.

The greatest con to this story, however, is that it badly needs a 2nd volume focusing on their adulthood; and I'm not saying this because I want to see more romance or -- god forbid -- sex. As it is the whole thing reads more like one of those prequels that some writers turn out after the end of a series in order to satiate the readers' curiosity about the origins and motivations of the other words, despite being able to do perfectly well as a standalone, Teppen Kaketaka feels oddly incomplete. I don't know whether it was Ishihara Satoru's choice (she does seem rather fond of leaving things up in the air) or whether the publisher canceled the serialization (this got switched from Craft to Hertz mid-run and the tanko release was delayed for over a year, so there were probably some issues there), and at first I thought the incomplete feeling was due to my copy of the raws being messed up or my awful understanding of Japanese -- but after reading the comments on TK's Amazon Japan page, I can only assume that I'm not mistaken.

About the BL -- like I mentioned earlier, there are a few pages at the beginning which make it clear to the readers that Tora and Sakura are already in an established (and of course, sexual) relationship. What little 'real' romance there is comes in the form of two Yakuza guys who turn up during the latter half of the manga -- Hidaka and Yashiro -- who're in a totally stereotypical gangster boss x subordinate relationship. There was one scene involving them that made me burst out laughing...but then again, I have a pretty weird sense of humour.
The lack of overt BL is a huge plus for me, since I'm sick and tired of those stupid love stories everyone else so adores, but I can see how the majority of readers won't like it.

Do I recommend this manga? Not if you're into cute shounen-ai or smutty yaoi. Not if you can't handle somewhat vulgar humour or explicitly stated (and non-explicitly shown) sexual harassment -- some of it paedophilic in nature. Not if you dislike the "childhood friends --> adulthood lovers" cliché or the "good Yakuza vs. evil rapist Yakuza" deal. And most importantly -- not if you expect the guys to be "hot", or handsome, or pretty...or even remotely good-looking. This mangaka's art style is anything but attractive.

Tl;dr: Teppen Kaketaka is a very niche title that'll be read by very few people and enjoyed by even fewer. I personally liked it quite a bit and will be re-reading it in the future after my Japanese gets better -- and there are very few BL I'd care to even look at more than once. If you haven't been put off by everything I've said above you should definitely give it a go.

... Last updated on November 10th, 2015, 6:59am
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