My Mate is a Feline Gentleman UK Arc: Under Volume 3 Review

Spoilers Ahead!

I don’t belong at Mr. Alex’s side anymore. Toushirou

Omega Toushirou has sailed to England with his alpha Nyartigian mate Alex – but since their arrival, they have been kept apart as Alex’s ambassador father, Gilbert, is opposed to their partnership. Because of Alex’s work as a diplomat, Toushirou understands that his family want him to make a prestigious match and he tells Alex that they should break up. As this coincides with Alex realizing that he has to tell his mate about his traumatic early life, their relationship looks as if it might be about to break apart.

However, this is all working to someone else’s advantage and when Toushirou wakes up naked in the same bed as Jack, another human servant in Gilbert’s household, he’s horrified to be told that they’ve made love while he was in heat. Even though Alex and Toushirou then have a very frank discussion and are reconciled, Toushirou slips him a sedative (given him by Jack) whispering, “One day you will be the ambassador. I can’t let you tie yourself to Japan just for me…” He then prepares to leave for a refuge for omegas – but Jack knocks him unconscious, saying, “Didn’t I tell you? You are my omega.”

It turns out that Jack is not only an alpha, but also half-Japanese and a British spy! When he abducts Toushirou, he also abducts Gilbert, Alex’s father. As Toushirou regains consciousness, he realizes from the sound and the motion that they are on board a ship. Jack proceeds to explain that everything that’s happened up till now has been part of his plan to make Toushirou his mate. He intends to overwrite Alex’s hold over Toushirou. He just needs Toushirou to write a letter to Alex explaining that he’s run away with Jack and then he’ll put Gilbert ashore to deliver the letter to his son.

The third volume of Boys’ Love omegaverse alternate history My Mate is a Feline Gentleman jumps straight in where Volume 2 left off and brings the drama to a head. And there’s plenty of drama here for young omega Toushirou who’s been separated from his alpha Nyartigian lover/mate when visiting the United Kingdom. You’ll need Volume 2 to hand, too, as there’s no helpful plot summary or character guide at the beginning and I needed to look back to check on several plot details.

Mangaka Arata Asanae again shows a delicate touch with the colour page and attractive cover art (the rosy colours hint at a happy outcome). However, I’m still not entirely convinced by her depiction of the cat people, the Nyartigians – although other readers might not find that a problem; there’s just something about the feline/human blend in the way the features are drawn that isn’t entirely successful to my eyes. (For a different and – to my eyes more successful – depiction of cat people in omegaverse manga, it’s worth taking a look at Morry Kuroi’s Beast’s Storm series on futekiya.)

On the story side, the main human protagonist, Toushirou, seems to be always the victim and plays rather a passive role in this volume again, still too trusting and gullible and needing to be rescued once too often. Jack has much more potential as a central character and I get the feeling as this volume progresses that maybe the mangaka thought so too… And when I mentioned drama, this volume fairly gallops along from one crisis to the next, but in such a way that there’s too much going on, with the end result that less would have been more. To set up a cliffhanger and resolve it a page or so later with the in-story equivalent of ‘with one bound our hero was free’ (without showing us how, just briefly telling) feels lazy or, more likely, pushed for time, either by editorial constraints or page count. Unfortunately, this detracts from the story’s internal integrity, as do the too many coincidences that lead up to the climax on a ship. Jack’s backstory competes with Alex’s backstory and, given the number of pages per chapter, one needs to take precedence over the other.

Conveying the events of a story in a coherent and compelling way through images and dialogue is an art and the most successful mangaka sweep the reader along, making them forget about the mechanics. Even though Arata Asanae has an interesting omegaverse story to tell here with an alternative historical twist, it doesn’t quite come off. One of the strangest passages is when Alex and his mother Shelley learn that Jack has taken Gilbert and Toushirou to Poole Harbour (a two-hour drive from London) Alex resolves to run there (“It’ll be much quicker”) and his mother says she’ll accompany him. Run. Over a hundred miles. Is this a Nyartigian skill I missed when reading these volumes?

The translation for Yen Press for Volume 3 of My Mate is a Feline Gentleman UK Arc: Under is again by Leighann Harvey and flows well; the lettering by K.T. B. conveys the changes from Japanese to English and back very clearly. There’s a Parental Advisory Warning about explicit content and the book comes shrink-wrapped but most of the scenes of a sexual nature are relatively discreetly portrayed. There’s a fourth and final volume already available in Japan but no sign of it yet on the Yen Press schedule; however, the UK Arc comes to a conclusion in this volume, with the final page setting the stage for the events of the fourth volume.

In spite of my reservations about the hastily resolved plot issues, if you’ve read the first two volumes, you’ll want (as I did) to see how the story develops and learn more about the Nyartigians.

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

6 / 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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