I Will Train You
シゴいてやるよ。(Shigoite Yaru yo.)
Josei – Romance, smut
4 Chapters (complete)
Midori is happy working temporary jobs, but the benefits of working at her aunt’s Japanese-style inn are too good to pass up! But the job is harder than she thought it would be, no thanks to jealous employees and the strict hotel manager, Yu. But Midori won’t give them the satisfaction of her quitting, and Yu agrees to make Midori into the perfect employee.
Warning: this review is of a series that is recommended for ages 18+ and is not safe for work!
Huh. That was different.
First of all, while the title sounds perfect for a BDSM story, Yu actually trains Midori in the art of being an employee. While this is one of the longer Manga Reborn titles I’ve read, this is pretty light on the smut. In fact, there’s more sexual scenes of fellow employees Akane and Hiro than of Midori and Yu, and the latter two only consummate their relationship toward the very end of the series. So if you are only reading these for the bow chicka wow wow parts, this series will let you down.
Speaking of the ending, that is probably the aspect that stands out the most among all shoujo and josei manga, let alone these Manga Reborn titles. This story doesn’t finish with a wedding or even a promise to be married. Of course, this being a romance, of course the two leads care for each other, but it’s left to readers’ imaginations as to how their future together will play out. This is not a romance story for the ages.
As I also mentioned earlier, this is one of the few smutty manga with a beta couple. Love triangles are fairly common, but it’s usually limited to either another man or another woman — or if both are featured, they play an extremely minor role. In this case, Akane’s and Hiro’s feelings are a significant part of the story, and while Akane in particular can be quite unlikable for much of I Will Train You, Hiro’s romantic struggles make him an interesting character.
Fortunately or unfortunately, they don’t overshadow the two leads. Midori is one of the best heroines in these manga. She starts off somewhat lazy, just working to pay for her shopping habits. But she grows to love her work at the hotel, and, more importantly, she doesn’t give up just because the others complain about nepotism. Like any person, she is upset when Yu doesn’t seem to like her romantically, but by the end, she’s a woman with goals and is now working toward them. And hey, Midori has other talents besides being a target for sexual assault, so she’s definitely a rare find!
Yu, meanwhile, has a sadistic streak found in most smutty josei leads. However, it’s mostly work-related rather than sexual tension (or harassment or abuse, if you prefer). He knows starting a relationship with a fellow employee (especially one related to the owner) isn’t the best idea, especially if they may not be staying in the same place for long. He does “warn” Midori about her mole on the neck and sends a few mixed signals, but he won’t be joining the meeting of Sexual Assaulters Anonymous any time soon. (Also, is a mole on the neck really a turn on??) You can see moments of jealousy throughout the story, but what I really loved was his emotion when he made his choice. I hope I can care that much about my job one day.
Midori reminded me of an older Sana from Kodocha: Sana’s Stage. She may not look like it on the cover, but Saki draws Midori in a similar style: long neck, almost oversized head, and an greyscale quality in the face. That being said, manga fans won’t have much to complain about in regards to Saki’s art. It’s clean, easy to follow, and features some beautiful shots of a moonlit lake and forest. Saki really knows how to let the visuals doing the talking sometimes, and it’s nice not to be overloaded with sound effects, screentones, or side comments. Just don’t expect the manga to be as overtly suggestive as the cover makes it seem.
I Will Train You stands out the most from the lackluster crowd, but if you want a steamy romance or just to see romps in the hay, then the manga will be a major disappointment. However, the true love stories are Midori x Inn and Yu x Inn, so if you want to follow along with a story where the characters work instead of just working up a sweat, I Will Train You should be considered.