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Literature / Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend

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Sometimes I worry I’m not a people person. Hell, even my cat doesn’t like me.
"Shut up, Johnny. I had a late night, and I’m not in the mood. Hangover’s working me over like George Foreman’s speedbag, I barely slept, and worst of all I’m harboring half a crush on a good for nothing yakuza leg-breaker."
Mina Davis

Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend is the second Mina Davis book by Nick Feldman (after Hungover and Handcuffed), and the first novel-length Mina story. This time, Mina's looking for an abducted teenage girl and instead finds a badly wounded yakuza thug, whom she hides from both the police and the yakuza in the hopes that he'll lead her to the girl. Mostly, though, he just watches her TV and drinks her booze until the plot catches up with them.

Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend is available here.


Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Reno is this to Mina. Mina tries really hard to hate her for it.
  • Action Girl: Mina and kinda Rose. Linda is pretty obviously one as well, but doesn't get to show it off.
    • Reno Bangs is apparently the most extreme version of this, parachuting out of a jet to fight an assassin in her only scene.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The normally dour Mina ends up laughing at Rose's parody of her.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: Well, this book's title fits that pattern.
  • A Father to His Men: Matsunaga is a rare female example.
  • Affably Evil: Pointe, if you count him as evil. Matsunaga is also always polite and respectful, though usually still pretty terrifying.
  • Always Someone Better: Mina feels this way about Reno, and resents her for it.
  • Anti-Hero: Mina's still intensely negative, mean spirited, judgmental, and a borderline alcoholic... and she's still the hero.
    • Shiro's an even more extreme example, bordering on Villain Protagonist, but ultimately heroic thanks to his weird code of honor.
  • Anti-Villain: John Pointe is mostly a really good dude who loves his daughter. He's also complicit in some pretty heinous shit.
    Pointe: Just because I’m a bad guy doesn’t mean I can’t be a good guy. Really, kinda makes it easier.
    • Matsunaga may be one of these as well. She's a murderous yakuza kingpin, but she's a pragmatic, polite murderous yakuza kingpin who is disgusted by the sex trade and gives Mina a lot of slack when she can.
      • She also goes way out of her way to save Shiro's life, despite him technically betraying the organization.
  • Asshole Victim: Johnny Nagasaki gets it pretty bad, but he has it coming.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Mina attempts several of these against lower-level yakuza, mostly successfully.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Shiro refuses to turn on the yakuza even after they shoot him, but he kills three members after they bury Mina alive.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: Kawada is dead and the girls are safe, but Shiro died in the process and Mina had to spend most of the money she made on the case to stop him. Worse, she owes Matsunaga a favor. On the upside, Linda forgives her and both Linda and Rose refuse to allow her to sulk alone.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Invoked by Mina.
Mina: The world isn’t black and white, obviously, but once grey goes to a dark enough shade the difference is largely opinion.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Mixed with Everyone Is Bi. Linda is openly gay, Mina is queer, and Rose makes some comments that paint her as at least bi-curious (though Word of God claims that Rose is straight in the writer's head, he's also not going to write anything that screws up anybody's head canon of her as bi.)
    • Word of God confirms that Reno is bi and Matsunaga is gay, the author just didn't have a good occasion to bring up their sexuality in the story.
  • Buried Alive: Happens to Mina, who gets out of it, and Kawada, who does not.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Kawada threatens Rose with a particularly sadistic package of these, including road-hauling her ex-boyfriend and leaving the remains in her bed while she sleeps.
  • The Cynic: Mina. Rose calls her out on it.
  • Death Seeker: Mina might be one of these. Shiro shows signs as well.
  • Distressed Damsel: Subverted. Rose is made out to be one of these, but is already deep into her own escape attempt when Mina shows up.
    • The other abducted girls are a straighter example.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Shiro and Mina destroy her coffee table while fucking on it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first thing Mina does in the story is rescue Shiro- a mobster- but she does it to help someone else and/or herself, not out of any desire to actually help Shiro. She also chooses not to involve the police for reasons both defensible (they won't get anything out of him) and selfish (she won't get paid).
    • We've already heard a lot about Rose before we meet her, but when we do she's already pretty far along in her own escape attempt.
  • Film Noir: Not actually a film, but consciously invoking the genre at every available opportunity.
  • Gender Flip: Less dramatic than in the previous book, but still present for several traditional film noir archetypes. Mina is the traditionally male Hardboiled Detective and Linda is the Friend on the Force, while Shiro fills the role of Femme Fatale, and Matsunaga is The Don. Reno's also implied to be a Distaff Counterpart to James Bond.
  • The Ghost: Many. Nice Guy, Callet, Linda, and Jasmine don't appear, but the four of them are all mentioned and Nice Guy especially looms over the story.
    • Jack Darwin and Matamoros are both mentioned, and Mina's victory over Jack is the reason Reno knows her name and agrees to help.
      • They both also loom over the story in other ways, as Mina's scars from Jack are a plot point and her attraction to Matamoros is contrasted with her dynamic with Shiro.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Mina's a complete and total jerk, but she's ultimately a hero.
  • Guile Hero: Mina's main schtick; she's tough but not much of a fighter, but she becomes really dangerous once you let her talk.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shiro makes one near the end of the book.
  • Hero of Another Story: Reno is chasing a Turkish assassin around the globe trying to stop him from killing the Italian Prime Minister. She's in one scene.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Mina, right down to the trench coat and fedora.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Shiro and Pointe are both debatable cases, as Shiro's never *really* a full heel, and Pointe only ends up on the right side of things thanks to a combination of money and blackmail. Still, both start off on the side of the villains, and both end up helping Mina take down Kawada.
  • Hidden Depths: A recurring theme. Shiro, Pointe, Rose, and Matsunaga are all much more than Mina initially assumes. That Kawada isn't is part of what makes him so dangerous.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kawada ends up buried alive in the grave he dug for Shiro, which is incidentally the same grave he tried to buy Mina alive in.
    • Matsunaga is neutralized at the end of the story by a record of her own Exact Words manipulated to make it seem like she killed Kawada.
  • Indy Ploy: Both of Mina's rescue attempts turn pretty quickly into these. Both also work.
  • Ironic Echo: Mina's big monologue near the end liberally quotes from a similar speech delivered earlier by Kawada.
    • Mina's tells Rose at one point to "Get tough." She does not explain that that sentence was the last thing Nice Guy ever said to her.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Mina.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mina has a moment or two.
  • Morality Pet: Rose becomes one of these for Mina, who is somewhat less than thrilled about it.
  • Murder by Inaction: Mina doesn't kill anyone, but she does help Pointe capture Kawada, before watching him bury him alive.
  • Noble Demon: Matsunaga is as good as her word.
    • Also Pointe.
    • Shiro's extremely noble as well, if you consider him a villain.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Pointe's life gets a lot more complicated once he lets Rose and Mina go.
    • Mina gets this bad, as her decision to go back for the rest of the girls starts the chain of events that ultimately gets Shiro killed.
  • Pet the Dog: The first sign that Shiro isn't really a bad guy is the way he takes to Mina's cat, who otherwise hates everyone but *loves* Shiro.
  • Police Are Useless: Mina feels this way, though she thinks Linda is the exception.
  • Private Detective: Mina.
    • Reno as well.
  • Private Eye Monologue: The entire book, from Mina.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Pointe. As far as he's concerned, he's a loving father and all-around decent guy who just happens to have an evil job.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A rare villainous example in the form of Matsunaga.
  • Reluctant Hero: Mina, from when she saves Rose until Shiro dies, at which point she turns into The Determinator.
  • Replacement Goldfish: For Mina, Shiro may be one of these for Nice Guy. Both are good-hearted mobsters who care way more about another woman than that woman cares about them, and both of them ultimately die for it.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Mina and Shiro.
    • To a lesser extent, Mina and Linda.
  • Smug Snake: Kawada.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Rose fakes it in order to gain a psychological advantage over Amuro.
  • Title Drop: Mina sarcastically refers to Shiro as her "asshole yakuza boyfriend" at the end of chapter four.
  • Villainous Crush: Amuro has one on Rose. It ends poorly for him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Mina settles into this with basically every non-evil supporting character.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Linda gives Mina a very angry one, and decks her to emphasize it.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Shiro and Mina. They will.
    • Also Linda and Mina. They won't. Yet.
  • World of Snark: Mina's the best at it, but Rose, Linda, and Shiro are all pretty snarky themselves.