Mini review: Ten Count Vol 1-6 – Rihito Takarai

Release date (Vol 1 in English): 9 August 2016
Goodreads link
Book Depository link
Rating

3.5 stars

Ten Count Vol 1 (Ten Count, #1) blurb:

Corporate secretary Shirotani suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. One day he meets Kurose, a therapist who offers to take him through a ten-step program to cure him of his compulsion. As the two go through each of the ten steps, Shirotani’s attraction to his counselor grows.

Before we get started today, I just want to advise you all that Ten Count is R18+ rated. It is a yaoi (boys love / homosexual relationship-based graphic novel that may include homoromantic or homoerotic imagery) manga series, and there ARE graphic sex scenes in this series.

Now that we’re all on the same page (and all my little Captive Prince / Foxhole Court friends have ordered this), let’s get started!

So, Ten Count tells the story of Shirotani, who as the blurb suggests, has obsessive compulsive disorder. Shirotani’s condition is quite advanced, and as the series progresses you really get to see the extremity of his disorder, but also glimpses of what occurred in his past to prompt this.

The second half to this unlikely duo is Kurose, a therapist who specialises in obsessive compulsive disorders, who has his own tangled history with the disease. Kurose suggests a treatment plan that focuses on immersion therapy actions (if this is a trigger for you, then I recommend not reading this series).

What I really liked about this series so far are these three things:

  • Firstly, Shirotani actually makes most of his progress by himself, on his own terms. Yes, Kurose influenced him by making the list to begin with, but it was Shirotani who acted on the items.
  • Secondly, at no point whatsoever is there any mention that Shirotani is ‘cured’ because he can now do certain things that he was previously unable to do. Even if Shirotani completes the ten items, there’s still a hundred more that he would consider unlikely to do in the future.
  • Finally, Shirotani’s relationships at his workplace – his boss and colleagues are aware of his condition and it has no factor on his ability to do his job.

There are also a couple of things that don’t really work for me.

  • I don’t like how dependent Shirotani seems to be of Kurose. To me it feels a little like he is swapping one dependency (his control of what he touches) to another (his relationship with Kurose), even though he seems to be completely at Kurose’s whims, with no control.
  • Related to the above point, I’m not entirely sure that I like their relationship. I don’t feel like they have an equal footing as Kurose is definitely holding back bits of his past from Shirotani. (Even Damen and Laurent technically had an equal footing in CP.)

Despite the negative, I am enjoying the series. I haven’t really noticed any challenges with the translated text – it reads quite well in English, although I don’t have anything to compare it to. It is an intriguing series, and I find myself becoming more attached to Shirotani the longer I read. Oh, and not every volume has explicit content – just volumes 3 and 6 so far.

Until next time, happy reading 😊📚

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