MANGA REVIEW | "Ogami-san Can't Keep It In" - Volume One
Everyone thinks about sex, but admitting such a fact would result in many a concerned stare. While men tend to get away with dirty talk more often, it’s a fact that women can be just as shameless when speaking of promiscuous things. (Look at any Ali Wong comedy special for proof!) Nevertheless, women still feel like they have an image to protect, which is what the titular character in Ogami-san Can't Keep It In is going through.
Ogami keeps to herself at high school, after her junior high years found herself wrought with embarrassment. She loves finding out all about human anatomy, and not in a scientific way. Basically, she always has dicks on the brain, which is why she steers clear of any situation that might make her let her hair down. But that’s when fellow loner Yaginuma comes into the picture.
Like Ogami, Yaginuma keeps to himself, one day offering the sex-driven girl a towel literally on a five-foot pole. He doesn’t like being touched, for a reason that combines a My Hero Academia quirk with Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. Anytime someone even brushes past Yaginuma, said person’s true thoughts loudly pop out of their mouths. This factoid fully comes out after Ogami hands Yaginuma back his handkerchief, with the young girl exclaiming, “Show me your wiener.”
Thankfully, both Yaginuma and Ogami realize their situations, and decide to become quick friends. But the more the girl hangs with the boy, the more likely her true romantic and perverted feelings may pop out. This becomes a little more complicated when more friends enter their lives, from the tough looking-but-kind Matsukuma to the equally-pervy Nezu. As both Ogami and Yaginuma open themselves up to other people, that’s when they realize what they’ve been missing out of their high school lives.
At first, Ogami-san Can't Keep It In looked to be leaning towards a more risqué angle. The constant sexual thoughts of the titular character take up a chunk of the first chapter, and while they are very funny, they could make some readers raise an eyebrow. But when Yaginuma enters the picture, and the friendship pact between him and Ogami is made, that’s when the true nature of Yu Yoshidamaru’s manga is fully revealed. This is a story about being true to one’s self, and how doing so may find them in a surprising comfort zone.
There is a sweetness that’s on display throughout the first volume. Whether it’s how Ogami aids in a weak-stomached Yaginuma after a violent movie viewing or Matsukuma embracing his cute side via crafting, the manga goes to great lengths to demonstrate the power of acceptance and openness. Yes, there’s a magic side to this narrative, but even so, it does a wonderful job showcasing how embracing one’s self will bring more good than keeping it all inside. And the best place this is displayed in Ogami-san Can't Keep It In is during the school festival story.
It’s clear that Ogami doesn’t feel comfortable doing the sign for the class cafe, and her past is key to that. She was far more open in her middle school years with her love of sexual topics, but it would bite her in the behind when other students mocked her over-the-top sign she made back then. Before, she would just run away from her problems, going so far as to block out the world to avoid having to face them. However, she now has someone like Yaginuma in her corner, and it’s his words that make her realize that she and her interests aren’t a problem; it’s other people who can’t accept them who have the true issues!
Volume One of Ogami-san Can't Keep It In is funny, earnest, and sweet. It may go down a few naughty routes here and there, but just about everyone has had these same thoughts as Ogami. All it takes to learn to embrace them is a good friend, and that something the truth-spilling Yaginuma does a great job with. Perhaps if we all had a magical pal who makes us spill our true thoughts and desires, maybe we wouldn’t have to be such a tight-lipped society.
Promotional consideration provided by Kodansha Manga.