A Death Wish and an Alien
死にたがりと異星人 (Shinitagari to Iseijin)
Boys’ love, mature, smut
1 Volume (complete)
Media Do (MediBang)
Yukinari regrets being born, but he’s still off to do some work. Arriving at his job, his guide forgets to pick him up and then says he’s an alien! Not only that, the supposed alien knows that Yukinari is gay and asks if he’d be interested in him! What’s the deal with this free spirit?
Warning: this review is of a series that is recommended for ages 18+ and is not safe for work!
Yukinari is a gloomy guy. It’s not too surprising considering that he’s been the target of much gossip since people discovered he likes men. He’s “encouraged” to go to a faraway lab, and it’s there he meets a pale man who somehow knows Yukinari likes guys. Then the stranger says he knows because he’s an alien and asks if Yukinari is his type.
Gloomy Yukinari can’t handle Futaba’s bright, open, and insightful personality (not to mention the whole bizarre, unfunny I’m-an-alien thing), but they sleep together after Yukinari gets drunk and goes after Futaba. Futaba wakes up the next morning incredibly embarrassed, and Yukinari takes another knife to the heart when he hears Futaba saying he wonders if he [Futaba] did something wrong since it wasn’t good. Then Futaba asks Natsuki, the person he’s talking to, to “practice” some more, and Yukinari feels a strange twinge in his chest. Meanwhile, Natsuki has his own issues when someone he knows returns.
Basically, depressed college guy falls for bright alien who doesn’t understand different forms of like while childhood friends reunite.
The title is A Death Wish and an Alien, and Yukinari does spend a lot of time thinking or saying, “I want to die.” Now — and I know this is going to sound horrible and insensitive — he doesn’t sound serious. You should always take threats of suicide seriously, but this manga treats it more like the comedically depressed and slacker loses you see in Japanese fiction. For example, Yukinari is carrying heavy boxes, and according to Futaba’s response, he’s been saying it every three minutes. He also thinks about wanting to die after eavesdropping on Natsuki and Fubata’s conversation — but most people would want to die of embarrassment if they heard last night wasn’t good. I think the title would fit better if Yukinari had come to this remote place to kill himself. Instead, it feels like it should have been titled Depressed Self-Proclaimed Loser and an Alien. Yukinari is probably clinically depressed since he feels like a failure, and unfortunately, depression does often lead to suicide if not treated. But he takes no action to make readers think he has an actual death wish.
Another thing that makes me say that is because we follow Yukinari’s thoughts closely. There’s nothing about wanting to grab a rope or find a bridge. Sometimes he goes off on a long, rambling inner monologue, and we see his confusion over Futaba’s off-the-wall comments about blooming and such. We also follow Natsuki’s thoughts as well as those of his childhood friend (with benefits), Shusei. Both are conflicted about Shusei’s sudden appearance back in this village, especially since they end up back in bed together.
So the four men deal with love and physical attraction. But the manga ends up a little cold since it feels too short to cover two couples. It should have either been two volumes long or restricted to one couple. That might have shown the more suicidal side of Yukinari as well as how Natsuki and Shusei had misunderstandings. The emotional climax of the story could have been built up more, to show Yukinari finding a reason to live. Instead, it’s a bit sudden both in its introduction and resolution. Too bad, as all four men are likable characters.
I would have also loved some more humor featuring the professor. He spends all day playing gacha games until his assistant drags him to work, lol.
The art is beautiful, if you couldn’t tell from the cover. Everyone looks beautiful, especially the ethereal Futaba. Plants are a big focus in the story, and you can almost smell them. The smut scenes are tastefully done, showing the physical side of a relationship without making them the sole purpose of the manga. I like how Natsuki is fully tanned to reflect the fact he’s an island boy without having him look like some sort of playboy. The manga sort of suffers towards the end with not showing the flow of time very well as it prepares to show the final crisis, but it’s not completely terrible. But there is no doubt that this series is very eye-catching.
Honorifics are used. There are some typos: “ehre” for “here”, “Yukinaru” for “Yukinari”, “Yui” for “Yuki” as well. There were also many times were the text was — I guess I’d say glitched? Like there’d be space for an i in Yuki, but it’s messed up and looks like it’s missing.
A Death Wish and an Alien was an enjoyable story, but both couples suffer a bit in the romance department as a result of the manga being only a single volume long. I liked the characters and the storyline and wish I could have spent more time with them.