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Manga / Wild Rock

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Wild Rock is a one-shot Boy's Love manga by Kazusa Takashima, which was serialized in Magazine Be x Boy from November 2001 to March 2002 and compiled into a single volume.

The story is a romance between young men of two rival clans set in the prehistoric era. Because he is useless at hunting, Yuuen is sent by his father to pretend to be a woman to charm Emba, the best hunter of the lake clan, into giving him food. The more time they spend together, the more Yuuen falls for Emba and regrets deceiving him.

The side story Innocent Lies covers the relationship between Yuni and Selem, Yuuen's and Emba's respective fathers, and their choice to place duty before love. There's also two short chapters that serve as a Babies Ever After epilogue to the work with Nava, the son of Yuuen's brother and Emba's sister.

Wild Rock provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Yuuen's father calls him "My sweet child."
  • Ambiguous Situation: Yuni and Selem’s relationship after their clans unite. They get along and it’s clear that there are feelings still there between them, but whether they reunite as a couple or remain platonic friends is not addressed.
  • Amicable Exes: Yuni and Selem. Not only do they work together to unite their tribes, but they remain pleasant to each other. In Child Rock they are seen sitting together watching the antics of their children amusedly. Regardless of the state of their relationship when they meet again, there is clearly no hard feelings between them.
  • Braids of Action: Emba has a single braid that shows he's an action guy
  • Bridal Carry: Emba catches Yuuen like this after the latter falls out of a tree.
  • Brutal Honesty: Emba does not mince words about his opinions or feelings, both in negative and positive manner. On the negative side he is very upfront with Yuuen when they first meet that Yuuen is not suited for hunting. On the positive side however he expresses his love for Yuuen openly and without hesitation.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Emba just barely escapes the alligator, with his braid being cut clean off by the alligator's snap.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Yuni and Selem choose loyalty to their clans. Emba chooses loyalty to Yuuen.
  • Declaration of Protection: Emba swears to devote his life to protecting Yuuen and promises that his soul will continue to do so, even after he dies.
  • Disguised in Drag: Yuuen dresses up as a woman to gain Emba's favour.
  • Distressed Dude: Yuuen, who is small, weak, and looks like a girl, is helpless against most giant prehistoric animals.
  • Doting Parent: As doting as Nava's uncles are, his dad is even worse.
  • Double In-Law Marriage: Yuuen's and Emba's siblings meet during their ceremony, which leads to the Babies Ever After extras.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yuuen, it's even mentioned by his father, and when disguised as a woman, Yuuen just wears a long robe and has his hair down.
  • Engagement Challenge: The “Chikai no Hana”, or “Oath Flower”. It is a very beautiful flower that grows in a very dangerous place, and as such is not easy to obtain. Within the cultures of both the forest and lake tribes it is the ultimate symbol of love and commitment, thus someone who is seeking marriage will journey to seek out this flower to give to their intended betrothed. Both Emba and Selem find the flower and give them to their beloveds (Yuuen and Yuni respectively).
  • Feuding Families: Although they avoid bloodshed, the lake clan and the forest clan have tense relations because their natural hunting grounds overlap. Thanks to Emba's prowess the forest clan is not getting much meat at all, hence Yuuen gets sent on a Honey Trap mission to convince Emba to give him some of his catch. In the end Yuuen's and Emba's feelings for each other lead to the clans setting aside their rivalry and uniting, and Yuuen's and Emba's siblings get married.
  • Flowers of Romance: The Oath Flower, naturally. As mentioned above it is seen as the ultimate symbol of love.
  • Foreshadowing: The first time Emba and Yuuen meet after Yuuen starts his Honey Pot, a single panel shows Emba’s brow rise in surprise. As it is later revealed that Emba knew all along who Yuuen was, this was probably the earliest hint that he knew the truth.
  • Furo Scene: The Child Rock chapter features doting uncles Yuuen and Emba bathing at the lake with baby Nava.
  • Generation Xerox: Yuuen and Emba end up falling in love just like their fathers did.
  • Happily Married: After the events of "Wild Rock" the two tribes celebrate them coming together and it starts with Emba and Yuuen's union; basically meaning the two are married. And in the Babies Ever After extras, Yuuen's brother marries and has a son with Emba's sister.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Yuuen's brother states he just doesn't get what the deal is about women and prefers hunting. Not long after this, he meets Emba's sister. The end result is predictable.
  • Honey Trap: Yuni thinks that if Yuuen pretends to be female, he can convince Emba to give them some of the game he kills.
  • Hunter Trapper: Hunting is an important food source for both clans. Emba is the best hunter/trapper in either clan by far, leaving the forest clan hard up for food.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Yuuen has absolutely huge blue irises.
  • Keet: Nava as he gets older.
  • Loincloth: The default dress for young men, it seems.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: At the start of the manga, Yuuen initially wore his hair up in a high ponytail, while disguised as a woman, he lets it down; it seems to become a habit as he's rarely seen with his hair completely up for the rest of the manga except for only one other instance.
  • Love at First Sight: Part of what gives Yuuen away is simply that Emba's been entranced since the first time they saw each other and knows exactly who (and what gender) he is.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Yuuen thinks he's doing a much better job at being a woman than he actually is and assumes Emba's in love with that side of him. He's not.
  • Luminescent Blush: Yuuen.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: After the attack by the alligator, Emba ignores his own injures to tend to Yuuen. He remains calm when Yuuen regains consciousness, and Yuuen doesn’t realize he’s hurt until he notices Emba is bleeding. Yuuen becomes hysterical when he sees the scratches on Emba’s back and insists on helping him, but Emba continues to remain calm and reassure him that he’s okay. This mood does not change even after Yuuen administers first aid to him, and Emba ends up giving comfort to Yuuen as he cries in guilt.
  • Missing Mom: Neither Yuuen nor Emba’s mothers are present in the story. There is no explanation as to what happened to Yuuen’s mother, but as she is not seen at home with Yuuen’s family she may have died before the start of the story. The absence of Emba’s mother however is explained by Kazusa Takashima in the volume notes in that she was killed by an animal when Emba was a child. This had a profound impact on Emba and served to be main focus as to why he pursued Yuuen despite his obligations, as he had sworn to never lose someone he loved again.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Emba's design is pure beefcake fanservice.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Emba takes Yuuen away in the middle of their ceremony to present to him the Oath Flower and to make their own vows of eternity alone.
  • Nemean Skinning: Goes with the prehistoric setting.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: A giant prehistoric alligator nearly eats Yuuen.
  • Non-Action Guy: Yuuen, to the point his father decides he will be more useful pretending to be a girl.
  • Nubile Savage: Applies to both men and women who all look far too perfect for the setting.
  • Prehistoric Monster: The world is full of them.
  • Prized Possession Giveaway: Yuni gives Selem his necklace when they part ways. When Selem mentions how much the necklace means to Yuni, Yuni retorts that it’s because he treasures it that he’s giving it to Selem. Years later when their tribes unite together, Yuni spies this same necklace around Selem’s wrist worn as a bracelet.
  • The Promise: Yuni makes one to himself when he becomes chief after being forced to part from Selem, in that his future children would never suffer the heartache that he was suffering. He ultimately keeps this promise for Yuuen’s sake.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Nava knows how to use them well.
  • Rescue Romance: The first time Yuuen and Emba meet, Yuuen is about to be killed by a giant sabre-toothed animal that he had been trying to hunt. Emba flies in out of nowhere and stabs it in the neck, and promptly tells Yuuen he's incapable of wielding a weapon. Emba also has to rescue him from a giant alligator later on.
  • Samaritan Relationship Starter: Yuni falls into an animal trap set by Selem. Selem gets him out and nurses him back to health. Since they're of rival clans, Yuni wouldn't have given him the time of day before this.
  • Sarashi: Emba gains something of one to bandage the injuries from the alligator.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Yuuen is the small and pretty Non-Action Guy and Emba is the beefcake Hunter Trapper with a big sword.
  • Spoiled Brat: Nava is absolutely spoiled rotten by his dad and uncles, gets into everything and has the attention span of a fruit fly.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Yuni and Selem decide there's no way to overcome the fact that they're from Feuding Families and are both future chieftains, so they part and have families of their own. It isn't until their sons fall in love and unite the two tribes that they meet again, agreeing it was long overdue.
  • Tender Tears: Yuuen gets these, which reinforce the fact he is just not a manly man like the others.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Subverted. Emba knew all along that Yuuen was a guy but didn't mention it because he didn't want him to stop seeing him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The young men of both clans. Emba in particular.
  • When He Smiles: The first time Emba smiles at him, Yuuen is shocked by the gesture and filled with overwhelming joy. It’s because of this joy that Yuuen starts to notice his growing feelings for Emba, but Yuuen then becomes distressed over whether Emba is smiling at him or smiling at his disguise.