Battle Rabbits, Vol. 1

By Ameichi. Released in Japan by Ichijinsha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Comic Zero-Sum. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

Back in my pre-blogging days I used to write up the week’s manga shipping list on my LiveJournal, similar to Manga the Week of but with less commentary. I noted the Japanese company the work came from, and what genre it fell into – shonen, shoujo, seinen, josei, or “whatever Wings is”. The last was my running gag for Shinshokan’s flagship magazine, which by all rights should probably have fallen under shoujo, but always had a bit more action and fantasy than your typical Margaret or Hana to Yume works. Of course, this was about 7-8 years ago, and now we know there’s also GFantasy, and indeed Comic Zero-Sum, which is where today’s title comes from. Battle Rabbits not *quite* BL, as there’s never any actual follow through, but I would say it caters to BL readers who don’t mind just being teased. And oh do they get fanfic fodder here.


I had actually forgotten this was a Zero-sum title until it arrived. Based on title alone, I was expecting a different kind of Seven Seas series, catering to their flagship demographic. And to be fair, there is a young girl wearing rabbit ears in this first volume. Mao is cute, and a bit of a ditz, and there are precisely zero readers who would get this title for her, because oh those guys. We start with our hero, Kaguya, who really should have known what was going to happen just by looking at his name. As a child, his father was murdered by a mysterious demon, but no one believed him and called it a suicide. Now he’s in high school and still dreams of getting revenge. Which, good news! A delinquent with a grudge against Kaguya gets possessed and attacks him, and we find out that Kaguya is actually a Battle Rabbit – which technically are supposed to defend the Earth but in actually seem to, as many of these titles are wont to do, stop people whose personal life problems are making them turn into monsters and heal them.

Despite the delinquent clearly being tsundere for our hero, the real BL tease comes in the 2nd half of the volume, when we meet Hijiri, leader of the Battle rabbits’ base on Earth. It turns out Kaguya is not only a Battle Rabbit but basically King Battle Rabbit, and thus everyone’s calling him “Young Master” and such in the best Little Lord Fountleroy-sama tradition. Hijiri meets him by putting a ring on his finger, uses mind control to get him to agree to fight as a Battle Rabbit for them, and later pops up in a dream literally in a wedding dress marrying him. So yeah, the authors (who have mushed their names together as a single pen name) know their audience. I’m less taken with Kaguya himself – I liked the idea that his need for revenge is just too emotional a reason to actually fight, but when he’s reluctant he’s far more generic. Oh yes, and Mao, the female Battle Rabbit, does the third-person speaking thing, for those who don’t like that style.

If you enjoy handsome guys looking cool and saving the day with a smile and a smirk, you should get a lot out of Battle rabbits. I’m not sure I’d be desperate to continue it, but as I said before, this series has a demographic and knows how to hit said demographic right in its sweet spot.

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