This book contains sexual content and is intended for an audience aged 18 years and up.
The first volume of Ebino Bisque’s My Dear Agent made its debut in English in February and introduced us to the story of bodyguard Riichi and the newbie assigned to his team, Tachibana. Now the series returns for its second volume, which brings the story to its conclusion. Is it satisfying? Let’s find out!
After the events of Volume 1, Riichi and Tachibana are now happily in a relationship. But Riichi has also learnt that Tachibana is the illegitimate son of the CEO his team works for and now he’s left wondering what else he doesn’t know about his lover. He didn’t even know Tachibana was raised in Rio de Janeiro until curiosity gets the better of him and he finds himself inquiring about Tachibana’s family.
Later, Riichi airs his concerns with his young client Nobuyasu, who is quick to inform Riichi that he knows a lot about Tachibana and is surprised Riichi isn’t as familiar with his circumstances when they’re already in a relationship. Nobuyasu also reveals that Tachibana is earning a high wage for his job, leading Riichi to become increasingly confused about why Tachibana was always broke and resorted to living with him, rather than finding his own apartment. Just why did Tachibana come to Japan and why was he so infatuated with Riichi right from their first meeting?
Things get worse when Tachibana is suddenly fired, meaning not only has Riichi lost a capable bodyguard for Nobuyasu but they’re also spending far less time together now that Tachibana is always at home doing his own thing. With the anxiety of unanswered questions and Tachibana’s aloof approach to both his relationship and his living situation not meshing well with Riichi’s personality, it’s all starting to put a big strain on their relationship.
Volume 1 of My Dear Agent balanced the work-life and romance aspects of the series extremely well, but here in the second instalment, mangaka Ebino Bisque has honed in on the romance, leaving very little room for anything else. In some ways, this makes sense because now Tachibana is out of his role, there are not as many opportunities to see him if Riichi is at work.
However, this change means we see a lot less of Nobuyasu. And unfortunately, it feels like instead of being a fully formed character in his own right, he’s now been downgraded to occasionally popping in to offer one or both of our protagonists advice to advance their relationship and that’s it. Whereas in Volume 1 he had a whole arc about his troubles, now he’s nothing more than a plot device which I think is a detriment to a series that was bravely striking out and offering something with a lot of depth.
It’s not to say that My Dear Agent Volume 2 is a bad read by any means. No doubt other readers will be attached to Tachibana and Riichi the same way I am and want to find out how their story concludes. The troubles they face here are relatable and often quite realistic for a new couple, so it’s not as though I can fault the author on that front. And despite everything, the conclusion we reach in the end is satisfying without unanswered questions or the need for further volumes to further develop the cast.
I think most of my problem here is that I was very satisfied with how Volume 1 left the story, so despite some unanswered questions about Tachibana, I was apprehensive about going into Volume 2. This instinct being proven right is unfortunate and leads me to wonder if some readers wouldn’t be better off not continuing if they were also happy with the first entry. Sure, we’ve learnt a lot here in the second book but I’m not sure that makes up for how jarring the shift in storytelling ended up being or Nobuyasu being sidelined. It’s different, for better and worse.
My Dear Agent Volume 2 comes to the West thanks to Tokyopop under their LOVE x LOVE LGBTQIA+ imprint and has continued to be translated by Katie Kimura. The translation reads well with no issues of note. This release is currently only available digitally, but a physical release is currently scheduled for July 25th for you paperback fans!
Overall, My Dear Agent Volume 2 is quite a different product compared to its first outing. Gone is the balance between romance and bodyguard duties, instead, it doubles down on the relationship between our two main characters. How much you enjoy this entry will depend on how much you liked the romance compared to everything else Volume 1 offered, but certainly, this is still well worth your time if you are attached to the cast.