Ten Count is a Yaoi manga series written and illustrated by Takarai Rihito, which was serialized in Dear+ magazine from 2013 to 2017 and compiled into six volumes.
The story follows Shirotani Tadaomi, a secretary with mysophobia, who meets Kurose Riku, a clinic counselor who was able to diagnose Shirotani accurately on their first meeting. After their second run-in, Kurose decides to help Shirotani with his affliction by way of exposure therapy. Kurose has Shirotani creates a list of nine things he has trouble with due to his condition, leaving number ten blank. Shirotani and Kurose begin going through this list one by one...
Because Kurose offers to help him at no cost, Shirotani is initially suspicious of his motives, but Kurose asks that his only payment is for Shirotani to become his friend and that he'll reveal his reason for helping Shirotani once he writes down the tenth item.
A Drama CD was released on December 18, 2014. A second drama CD was released on May 29, 2015. An anime has been announced and is planned to be released in 2020
Tropes present in Ten Count include:
- Almost Kiss:
- Happens once. Later, Kurose declares that he won't kiss him until Shirotani can mark sharing drinks off his list.
- Happens again in count 17 to a frustrating degree.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kurose and Shirotani have loads, which is only amplified by the lack of physical contact. Originally, anyway.
- Bishōnen: Kurose.
- Bridal Carry: Kurose carries Shirotani from the subway in this manner, rationalizing that carrying Shirotani on his back would have far more contact.
- Caught with Your Pants Down: Shirotani, in a flashback. Implied to be at least part of his trauma.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The story starts out innocent enough, with Kurose helping Shirotani with his mysophobia. Then around volume 3, the story begins to explore Shirotani's past and the underlying cause of his mysophobia, which gets considerably dark.
- Cliffhanger: Most chapters end with one of these.
- Conspicuous Gloves: Shirotani is never without a pair of gloves for two reasons: they enable him to handle touching things a little easier and they conceal the cuts all over his hands.
- Covert Pervert: Kurose is a pretty serious and reserved person, so one wouldn't think that he would go from kissing Shirotani's hand to licking his fingers.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Kurose has shades of this, judging by his reactions whenever Shirotani brings up Mikami.
- Erotic Eating: Kurose helping Shirotani drink from a water bottle when he was sick was certainly... phallic in imagery.
- For Your Own Good: Kurose stops Shirotani's therapy when he thinks that he won't be able to hold back from touching him any longer. The therapy later resumes.
- Friend to All Children: Though it has yet to be depicted in the manga proper, Kurose works with children at the clinic, so it can be concluded that he's one of these. He even lapsed into straight-forward speech out of habit when speaking to Shirotani at one point.
- Hates Being Touched: Shirotani, obviously; although, he doesn't mind it as much if it's Kurose.
- Hug and Comment: When Kurose embraces Shirotani, Shirotani comments on how warm Kurose is and wonders if others are the same. Kurose follows this up by confessing that he has feelings for Shirotani.
- I Kiss Your Hand: Kurose plants a gentle kiss on Shirotani's bare knuckles and then proceeds to lick his fingers.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is referred to as "count" (i.e. Count 10).
- The Immodest Orgasm: Shirotani, as is usual in the genre.
- Indirect Kiss: Almost occurs when Shirotani requests that Kurose drinks from the beverage he bought first. The realization that drinking after Kurose equates to an indirect kiss stops Shirotani from drinking it.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: Seems to be the strategy Kurose is using.
- Love Confession: Kurose has made a few to Shirotani.Kurose: Because I'm in love with you, Shirotani-san, watching you responding like that by my hand made me excited to the point it gave me shivers.
- Not a Date: In count 18, Shirotani thinks that Kurose taking him to the aquarium seems like a date, but quickly dismisses the idea.
- Older than They Look: Shirotani is 31 but looks to be the same age or younger than the 26-year-old Kurose—especially with his hair down.Kurose: I was thinking this before... Shirotani-san, you look very young with your hair down.Shirotani: Eh? You wouldn't usually say to someone my age "you look really young", right?
- One Head Taller: Kurose to Shirotani.
- Over-the-Shoulder Carry: When Shirotani won't budge from the doorway, Kurose resorts to using this way of making him mobile.
- Repressed Memories: Implied to be the reason why Shirotani can't remember what started his mysophobia.
- Sadist: There have been a few hints that Kurose has a streak.Shirotani: If... if I become your lover, what will happen?Kurose: Then... I won't let you go. I will do things that will make Shirotani-san cry more.
- Salaryman: Mikami, Shirotani's co-worker, is one. Shirotani himself is the secretary of the company's president.
- Seme: Kurose.
- The Stoic: Kurose, though he has his Not So Stoic moments such as his panic when the sick Shirotani suddenly stopped replying during their phone call. This leads him to use a spare key to enter Shirotani's room to ensure he was okay.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Shirotani, as he comes off as icy to his coworkers due to his affliction but is friendly towards Kurose and Mikami.
- Super OCD: Shirotani has obsessive thoughts of germs infecting him, which leads to the compulsion of washing his hands in order to alleviate these thoughts.
- Terrified of Germs: Shirotani. He washes his hands compulsively, which has left them dry and chapped.
- Uke: Shirotani.
- Unrequited Love:
- Despite Kurose's confessions, Shirotani has yet to reciprocate.
- By chapter 38, Shirotani has realized he has fallen for Kurose and confesses to him.