I Got Reincarnated in a (BL) World of Big (Man) Boobs Omnibus 1 Review

As Nagare Otokawa is mown down in a traffic accident, his dying thoughts turn to his one regret: the tragic absence of big bosoms in his sheltered, gloomy otaku life. So when he reawakens to find he’s been reincarnated into a BL world and blessed with dazzling good looks, his first thought is that he’s going to make up for all the disappointment in his earlier life and get himself a hot, big-boobed girlfriend. Just as an attractive high school girl appears, he hears the clang of falling metal and rushes to the rescue – and somehow ends up pushing someone else out of the way, landing head-first in their pillowy pecs. He’s saved the life of Ryuji Onizuka, infamous and muscular school delinquent who is now blushingly thanking him. Could it be that Onizuka – for all his formidable fighting prowess – is an uke at heart?

And so Otokawa’s BL high school life gets underway. Thanks to his ‘hardcore’ fujoshi sister in his previous life, he’s quite au fait with the tropes of BL stories – but that doesn’t stop him falling instantly for Haruko Sakura, an attractive female classmate (who, natch, is very well-endowed). Inevitably, when they go on a tea-time date at a themed cafe and run into Otokawa, Haruko can’t help but reveal her true fujoshi nature; she’s more obsessed with seeing Otokawa and Onizuka together than contemplating any kind of relationship with the hapless Otokawa.

It’s not long before another good-looking delinquent swaggers up, intent on causing trouble: third-year Ginga Yubuki, accompanied by his left-hand man, Sachio Takanashi who although bespectacled, is a very strong fighter. (Of course he is!) With the BL clichés coming thick and fast, Otokawa has become aware of the BL ‘title god’ watching over him, setting up situations that should lead to romance with one or other of the many potential male partners (unfortunately for Otokawa, Haruko’s two girlfriends are as BL-obsessed as she is). And then a fifth contender arrives in the form of Yuto, Onizuka’s younger androgynous brother, whose innocent looks conceal a predatory nature and – of course – develops a fixation with our hero at first glance.

  • I Got Reincarnated into a (BL) World of Big (Man) Boobs © Tsukiji Nao/Kodansha Ltd.

If you’re looking for subtle humour or a sensitive BL isekai, step away now. I Got Reincarnated in a (BL) World of Big (Man) Boobs does exactly what it says on the tin and much more besides. However, if you’re looking for beautifully drawn characters (alternating with distorted comedy caricatures and expressions that rival those of Aoki drawn by Aruko in My Love Mix-Up) then you’re in for a treat. Because the mangaka is none other than the gifted Tsukiji Nao, famous (infamous?) for one of the most controversial and gorgeously illustrated titles of 2007 (which is still going at 18+ volumes!): Adekan! Sadly, it only had a brief US digital release from the much-lamented JManga, but luckily, in Europe we fared better and the German edition is still being released (France and Italy also published). But sensei’s latest work relishes its full-on bad jokes and has a great time sending up the most well-worn clichés of Boys’ Love, isekai, and romance manga while giving the reader a great time too. Yes, it’s in really bad taste. But because it’s so attractively drawn, you can’t help but relate to the characters, even if the protagonist, reborn otaku and boob-fetishist Otokawa, is not presented in an especially sympathetic way (he has much in common with Arajin, the protagonist in Bucchigiri?!).

The story is delivered in short self-contained chapters but Kodansha have spoiled us by giving us a chunky 2-in-1 volume in trade paperback size which showcases the artwork in all its detail (although some colour pages would have been a great bonus as the mangaka’s colour artistry is superb, as showcased on the cover.)

Much kudos to the excellent work by translator Jacqueline Fung, who seems to have had fun working on this title and has made it fun for us to read in English too! Excellent lettering (as always) from Nicole Roderick who rises splendidly to the challenge of so many different thoughts, sound effects and significant visual nudges from the title god. The second omnibus volume is due out in September 2024.

The underlying story of Otokawa and shy, blushing delinquent hunk Onizuka, is soon caught up in ‘the cliché romance manga trope “the main character’s trauma arc” is still in the ‘will they, won’t they?’ stage’ as the mangaka continues to shamelessly shatter the fourth wall. There are plenty of extras, including ‘Bunny Day’ at the end of Part 1 and ‘See-Through Glasses’ at the end of Part 2, both self-explanatory, although not panning out in the way you might expect… There are also two interesting afterwords from the mangaka as well as a trailer for Omnibus 2: ‘The School Festival’. Recommended for all readers who love a strong dash of earthy humour enlivening the love lives of beautiful boys (and girls)!

And just don’t ask about the song sung at the Hammocchin-themed cafe event (Hammocchin is a popular anime hamster character…)

Our review copy from Kodansha was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.

9 / 10


Sarah's been writing about her love of manga and anime since Whenever - and first started watching via Le Club Dorothée in France...

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