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‘Drug and Drop Volume 1:’ Advance TPB Review

I wrote an entire review for this and am scrapping it, because I realized something: Drug and Drop is not written for me. It’s not written so that a 36-year-old American male can understand it. I’m not even close to its target audience.

So, much to my Managing Editor’s frustration, I’m submitting an entirely new review.

First off, Drug and Drop, a manga from Dark Horse, picks up from where Legal Drug left off. With a little research, Legal Drug stopped in 2003 due to the publication that it was a part of coming to an end, and it didn’t pick up again until 2011 as Drug and Drop. That is a long hiatus, especially to pick up immediately where the previous issue left off. So, anyone looking forward to the return . . . wait no longer!

This is an X-Files-style story, but with a young adult as the lead. And, I’m proud to say that’s who this book is for. This is a YA comic book. I know this because for the 184 pages that I spent reading it, I had absolutely zero idea what was happening. Switching hats and writing like a 13-year-old fangirl of manga, I can say I absolutely get it and think it is super great. (Do tweens say that?)

The lead character is named Kazahaya, and he is the Bishonen of Bishonens, roughly translated as “pretty boy,” something I’ve seen in manga and anime, but not to this degree. Writing as my 36-year-old self, I thought the lead character was a girl. I was so confused when they referred to him as male. This comic is full of Bishonen, which excited my teenage fangirl’s heart and confused the hell out of my male adult side! Why are they calling all of these women “sir” and “boy?!"

Kazahaya works at a drug store with Rikuo (the only masculine male of the bunch), and they are sent out on X-Files-like missions by the person running the drug store, Kakei (Bishonen). In this issue it is so crazy, because Kakei sends Kazahaya and Rikuo to a mysterious house to get this really weird kid (Bishonen?) with unknown powers out of a room. They aren’t told why. It’s kept a secret! When they get there, the really weird guy won’t tell them why they are there unless they do something for him, but he won’t tell them what that something is. This is when Kazahaya’s powers start to go crazy, because of the little, weird guy. No one knows what Kazahaya’s powers are, or how he got them, or who he really is. He could be really, really old, too. He’s so mysterious to my fangirl head! The weird guy floating around might know, but he is so mysterious and weird! They somehow do what they’re supposed to without realizing it and end up back at the drug store, where everyone else is really mysterious about everything going on! It’s so funny when Kazahaya gets frustrated and starts yelling like a cartoon character!

As a 36-year-old American male, I was simply lost, which I don’t expect to be after 184 pages. I had no idea what this comic was actually about or what was happening at any given point in time. Everything is presented and explained in incredibly vague ways, and yet, they speak as if everything they are saying isthe most important thing they have ever said in their lives.

It was a quick read. Some of the images are very surreal and interesting. It’s also completely innocuous and safe for your tween: any sign of blood is disconnected from anything remotely real, David Lynch-lite. I imagine anyone who was a fan of this back in 2003 will know what’s happening and love it. My adult male self probably wouldn’t put myself through that again. My young adult female manga fangirl self can’t wait for the next issue.