Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru is a funny and actually closer to shoujo rather than shounen-ai manga. Would I recommend to read it? Definitely, I LOVE it. But if you are doing it because you expect Luka and Yuki to kiss, forget it. At least for now. The story begins with the young boy Yuki, who’s living in an orphanage and trying his best to not be a burden to anyone–which proves difficult as some curious supernatural abilities of his get harder and harder to hide. And then he’s introduced to the Zweilt, who claim to also have supernatural abilities and the means to help him control his. Turns out the Zweilt, along with Yuki, are all reincarnated soldiers in a centuries-long war against a mysterious figure called Reiga and the demons he summons to Earth. And while the other Zweilt remember their past lives, Yuki seems to have lost all memories of the demons, his comrades, and a man called Zess who seems determined to protect Yuki.
It’s always baffled me how this manga seems so vastly overlooked, but I suppose the severe decline in updates over the past few years hasn’t helped. And then there are people who go “ew, hints of homosexuality, ew,” and, like, your loss for being so immature that you still care about the genders of people who love each other. The relationships here are beautiful and deep, whether they are platonic or romantic. Uraboku manga covers two arcs so far: the first is the one on the anime (even though the meeting with Reiga, Elegy, Cadenza and Luze was quite different if you compare both versions) and the beginning of the second arc. If you are here because you want to pick up after the anime, the meeting with the bad guys is different (even in terms of personality traits, which is going to make you confused if you don’t read the manga completely). I’d advice reading the manga on its whole to understand what is going on but if you don’t want to, I can tell you the second arc starts on chapters 36/37.
There’s a rather large cast of characters, each of them with distinct and well-rounded personalities, some that complement each other, some that clash. There are really interesting dynamics between all the members of the Zweilt: some are like family, some are like lovers, and some are like enemies, but there is still mystery surrounding why these characters don’t necessarily get along. It’s actually really refreshing to have some animosity; usually large casts are depicted as all being bffs, but it’s more realistic to include some tension and recognize that a large group of people who are thrown together are not necessarily all going to get along. I am glad because there is some character development on this manga. In fact, Yuki (the main character) changes everybody around him a little.
I really love Odagiri Hotaru’s art (even though there’s a little problem with her artstyle: the limitation on character designs. For example: Yuki and Senshirou [without glasses] look almost the same). This fact alone may make you confused about who’s talking sometimes. But her art is stunning and makes up anything. To say much more about the characters or the story would give away too much. But watching the story unfold and slowly introduce the puzzle pieces of why Yuki lost his memories, what past lives were like for the Zweilt, and why Reiga wants to destroy humanity is a tortuous yet delicious treat. Tortuous because it is rather slow–and more painfully slow due to the mangaka’s long, frequent hiatuses. But I love the mystery of it.
The general plot does move very slowly, but there’s usually some new hint introduced frequently enough to keep you hooked. And there are many more storylines threaded throughout to help give you the full scope of Zweilt abilities and relationships, their roles in the real world and the demon world, and to just give you some humor amidst all the drama. (And I LOVE the humor of this mangaka–there’s more than you’d initially expect from such a dark story, but it never feels out of place and it’s so genuinely hilarious and adorable.)
It’s a pity the mangaka has health issues (it’s hard to get news, but I believe she has some hand troubles?) so updates are few and far between. But worry not, it seems like she has returned from hiatus (probably around last year) as there’s been a few updates. But this manga absolutely deserves more love and attention. Great characters with amazing dynamics, beautiful art, a really unique and intriguing plot, and a lot of badass supernatural elements. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you……well, that’s a shame……but if it does, don’t pass this one over!