Hi everyone! Happy WEEKEND 😉 One of the best times of the week, which means it’s…TIME TO DE-STRESS WITH SOME MANGA!! What better way to de-stress than with some beautiful boys in Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru or The Betrayal Knows My Name? I’ve just finished book 2 of the omnibus edition but today we’re gonna review book 1 of the omnibus edition which includes volumes 1 and 2 … Frankly, the English name is much easier to remember when recommending to folks.
“Hey Cloudy, whatcha reading?”
“Oh nothing much – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru… the first book.”
“…Oh-kay…” *walks away*
“No wait! Come back! It’s really good!!! Read my review!” Q________Q “Please?”
No, I don’t chase down innocent civilians to read my blog posts… friends maybe. JUST KIDDING… okay, now down to business.
The Betrayal Knows My Name is probably my first shounen-ai series. I thought it would be weird at first, making the transition from my easy going shojo or regular action shonen to a much more mature genre but I found myself liking the characters and plot very much. But first of all, what exactly IS shounen-ai? Well, it’s a genre usually geared towards female readers that denote romance between beautiful boys. It doesn’t go as far as Yaoi with its sexual content but there are platonic or intimate friendships between male characters. I think it really takes shojo-readers to maximum fan-girl level. EEEEEEEEKKK!!!!
In The Betrayal Knows My Name, Yuki Sakurai is a teenager whose lived in an orphanage all his life. His greatest fear is being alone and unneeded by people around him. Volume 1 begins with the fleeting remnants of a strange dream…
Soon, the strangeness of the dream translates into real life one day when Yuki is paralyzed in the middle of the street while a car is heading towards him. He is saved by an otherworldly (really really good looking) man named Zess. The plot builds with the appearance of Yuki’s older brother – Takashiro Giou, and the appearance of some strange creatures and stranger people.
It turns out that the Giou clan has always possessed special powers and Yuki’s power is the strongest of them all. It is the Giou clan’s duty to protect Yuki and at the same time, Yuki acts as a powerhouse for the Giou clan’s powers. Those in the clan who have powers are called the “Zweilt” and the demonic creatures that they fight are called “Duras.”
After some emotional turmoil, a little behind the scenes talking and some badassery (courtesy of Zess <3), Yuki decides to return to the Twilight Hall with the Zweilt. During the course of all this action, Yuki discovers that he has the power to heal generally untreatable wounds by taking the pain into himself as well as frequently feel/see the emotions and pasts of those he comes in contact with. We’re also introduced to a really kickass team of Zweilt who are souls that have been reincarnated and spelled so that they reunite with one another in their next life. Also Yuki is told that “Zess” is just an alias; Zess’s real name is Luka and Luka possesses powers much stronger than the Zweilt because he is actually a Duras of the highest class who betrayed his race to fight for Yuki.
“If we run into a high-class demon, an opast… the first and best thing to do is think of a way to escape. And you’ll be able to tell. The higher ranked the Duras… The more beautiful a form it will take… the more otherworldly its beauty. And that form exists to temp humans…” – Shuusei
When Yuki has a dream – about his past life – WHEN HE WAS A GIRL!?!?!? He has absolutely no idea why he dreamt himself that way however that little flashback tells us why Luka is so protective of Yuki.
– The really gorgeous shounen-ai and shojo art by Hotaru Odagiri
– The hilarious afterword and comics by Odagiri depicting Odagiri’s struggles with writing/illustrating a manga series.
– The awesome partnership fighting style between the different pairs of Zwilt
– Luka ❤
Feel free to skip the characters index for final thoughts at the bottom! 😉
Significant Characters Introduced thus far…
Yuki Sakurai- The protagonist of the story; he is kind-hearted and easy going despite his innate fear of abandonment. He is the energy source of the Zweilt and his gift is called the Light of God, able to heal others or perceive emotions and glimpses of people’s pasts. He himself was actually female in his last life. He is the new holder of the Covenant with Luka. In this life, he was reincarnated as a man and is really oblivious and trusts people easily.
Brand Zess AKA Luka Crosseria- A Duras or demon of the highest rank of the demon Infernus clan branded as a traitor who bears the Bloody Cross of the Demon Lord. “Brand” mean mark and “Zess” means “sinful one” though he gives his full name to Yuki alone because of their Covenant.The Zweilt trust him, but also fear him to some extent. He possesses powers greater than those of the Zweilt and is able to summon a Beast King dragon called Sodom who breathes fire and can transform into a small black puff pet. Luka only every lets his guard down around Yuki.
Tsukumo Murasama- He is one of the Zweilt of the Giou Clan. He fights with a gun and has the ability to exorcise Duras out of possessed individuals but offense is not his forté. He has a really close relationship with his sister Tooko.
Tooko Murasame- She is one of the Zweilt of the Giou Clan. She is Tsukumo’s sister and fights with a sword. She is cheerful and eager to help Yuki transition into the clan.
Takashiro Giou- He introduces himself as Yuki’s brother and is the leader of the Giou clan. Tooko tells Yuki that Takashiro is the only one who possesses all his memories from his past lives and understands the ancient war during the Sunset of the Underworld.
Hotsuma Renjou- He is one of the Zweilt of the Giou Clan. He has a hot-headed temper and –to quote Tooko– “a foul mouth.” He is generally harsh to people but his partner and closest childhood friend is Shuusei. His power comes from the Voice of God, where he can ignite fire. He’s rather hostile towards Yuki upon first meet.
Shuusei Usui- He is one of the Zweilt of the Giou Clan and Hotsuma’s partner and confidante, being the much more level headed one in their partnership. He possessed the Eyes of God and uses crystal balls to attain clairvoyance, often to help the police solve difficult crimes, or focus his power. He also fights with a pair of swords and sometimes acts as Hotsuma’s eyes while fighting in visually handicapped environments
Kanata Wakamiya- Yuki’s childhood friend from the orphanage introduced briefly in the beginning and part of Yuki’s past.
Reiga- Takashiro calls him The Peerless Necromancer. He leads the Opasts and Duras against the Giou despite being one of the Giou. They are targeting Yuki.
Shikibe- the secretary of Twilight Hall
Tachibana Giou- the steward of Twilight Hall
Aya Kureha- tasked with taking care of everyone at Twilight Hal
Isuzu Fujiwara- a messy and somewhat perverted doctor at the Twilight Mansion. He is fascinated with Luka and the Duras.
Katsumi Tooma- Twilight Hall’s cook. He is a capable and passionate slightly overdramatic chef who always wants the residents of Twilight Hall to eat his food instead of energy drinks and instant ramen.
Duras- Demons that must be summoned by a Grimoire appear. They have negative influences on the world and are often the cause of disasters and other harmful events. They are ranked according to strength and belong to certain clans.
Opasts- High-ranked duras that take beautiful otherworldly human forms to attract their prey and deceive humans
Wow, I realized this was a really long review… but I hope it helps, seeing as how many names and terms there are in this series. This is one of those Volume 1’s that have not too much and not too little but just enough and that’s usually a fairly difficult feat to achieve. Every character was introduced enough to be considered three-dimensional but not with so much as to overwhelm the reader. The inciting incidents and opening events were simple and easy enough to understand that transitioned smoothly into the complicated world of magic and fantasy. The classic manga outbursts are appropriately inserted and there is another well-planned balance of action and comic relief. Little hints of romance here and there between the characters and much of the overarching gist of the series is known.
I hope you guys give this series a try. Even if you’re a guy and shounen-ai manga are not your thing, I think you’ll like the story for its awesome fight scenes and thrilling plots. Thank you so much for reading. J This post was a real doozy… If you liked this series intro and review, feel free to like or follow me!
What are you pondering today?