Book Review: Ten Count

 

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Mysophobic assistant meets a therapist determined to help

I do not know what I was expecting from this manga but my god is it beautiful. It’s the first time in a long while where I’ve actually felt moved by something. Shiroani Tadaomi is mysophobic, or germaphobic in plainer terms. He is the assistant to the president of a large company, and one day when the two are out together the president is almost killed by an oncoming car. Luckily Kurose, a therapist who was biking by, jumped into action and saved him. Thus the two meet and Kurose, recognizing Shiroani as a germaphobe immediately, attempts to give him guidance on how to overcome his condition.

I thought the art in particular was fantastic in this manga. There’s such a range of styles when it comes to manga, and I found this one to be really eye catching and well done. I loved the way the artist explained Shiroani’s condition through photos rather than just explaining it and leaving it. She shows what Kurose sees when looking at a door handle, and then what Shiroani sees – fingerprints and germs and grime all over it. It’s a nice way to visualize how someone with that fear may see and feel, and I thought it helped the story a lot to visualize that and his bleeding hands from over-washing.

The author toes the line carefully here where she states that Kurose is older than Shiroani, but honestly in looking at their representation in art, I wouldn’t have assumed they were anything but the same age. She also is careful to show that Kurose is helping Shiroani with his fear as a friend and therapist but specifically not his therapist. I definitely think the line here blurs as he is trying to help him but he specifically doesn’t sign on to be his licensed by appointment therapist. I have a feeling this will play into the relationship aspect of this further into the series, but for now it’s still very dubious on a surface level. There is no sexual relationship in volume 1 of this series, the duo doesn’t really flirt even, but having looked at reviews at other volumes that seems to change. I don’t know what’s to come with this series, but I’m at least going to pick up the next volume to see if it’s worth continuing because man this one intrigued me.

Title:  Ten Count
Author: Rihito Takarai
Format:  Paperback
Pages: 178
ISBN: 9781421588025

Three Descriptors: LGBT, Dark, Mental Illness discussion

 

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