License request Day: Amai Seikatsu

Work has been extremely busy lately, and yet my yearning to read more workplace manga only seems to increase. What’s that about? Whatever the psychology behind it, I find myself turning to Shueisha’s Business Jump for this week’s license request.

Now, among the professions I’ve considered over the course of my lifetime, I cannot say that “lingerie designer” has ever even hovered on the periphery. Would I want to do that for a living? No. Would I want to read a seinen manga about someone who does? Oh, yes, my friends. Hence, we arrive at Hikaru Yuzuki’s Amai Seikatsu.

Now, the likelihood of this being published in English seems extraordinarily slim, certainly slimmer than the models who work in the lingerie industry. If you click on “Enter” on the Shueisha page above, you should probably make sure you don’t do so at work, because here be nipples. So we’re definitely talking about a manga for legally adult males, which isn’t synonymous with it being a manga for a mature audience, but it looks like it might be amusing.

It’s about a young designer, Shinsuke Edo, who works with a lot of women at a lingerie company. Based on the little animations and sample panels, Shinsuke seems to find himself in the kind of wacky circumstances that come with being in a seinen comedy manga set in an at least partially clothing-optional milieu. He also seems to be surrounded by the usual mix of harridans, temptresses, and good girls, so we probably have a harem vibe in play. (I know. Duh.)

Honestly, this is more of a dare than a license request. I’ve often thought that there’s a fine line between American comics readers who like to read about women who appear to be wearing underwear and posing suggestively and American comics readers who like to read about women who actually are wearing underwear and pose suggestively. There’s generally a heroic narrative providing a veil of “I read it for the ass-kicking” respectability that Amai Seikatsu simply doesn’t seem to possess.

It’s also really, really long. In fact, it’s the longest-running series currently in Business Jump, having recently hit the 40-volume mark. So that limits the chances even more. But it never hurts to throw out a little reminder that seinen can be cheesy and smutty and ridiculous and possibly sweet and funny at the same time.