19 January 2010


Switch is a collaboration manga between Otoh Saki (story) and Tomomi Nakamura (art). Together they are known simply as the Naked Ape.

Switch featured the criminal investigator Kai Etou and his partner Hal Kurobayashi. These two do not see eye to eye, or I should say that Hal appeared to be very annoyed with Kai. They have totally opposite personalities so that's probably why. However as they work together, they created a bond between partners which run pretty deep.

Both of them are part of the Narcotic Control Department or Matori and their goal is to catch the Ryuugen, the most elusive drug dealer ever. So far Sawaki, one of the Ryuugen front men, has made himself known to Hal. This only increased Hal's determination to catch Sawaki and both the Right Arm and the Left Arm men of Ryuugen. Together with their comrades, Hal and Kai solve case after case hoping that it would get them closer to Ryuugen and crack the mystery behind [switch].

Hal can be considered the ace of the Matori. He is cool, smart and aloof and pretty much perfect as a cop. He is the kind of guy that won't make mistake in an investigation and who is not afraid of death if it means that he can get the work done.

Etou on the other hand screwed up a lot and caused the department substantial lost when it comes to catching their targeted criminals. But once he gets serious you don't want to be his enemy. He's like the police's psycho resident. The manga is yet to reveal what the deal is with his split personalities though. Even Hal is in the dark about it. The only one who might has the slightest idea about it is Hiki.

There are other interesting characters as well, like Sawaki. He's a badass badass. Very elusive and the only one who escaped from Hal. That gotta say something about him. There is Ibu, the self-proclaimed front man for Intelligence Department but he really does do most of the work. There is also this chic Mari who is an excellent drug appraisal expert. She has a crush on Kai. And then there are Keigo Kajiyama and Hiki Masataka. Keigo is the Chief of the 1st Division of Matori. Hiki is the big boss of Matori. He might be smiling all the time but he's very sly and you don't want to mess with him. He reminded me of Aizen.

I like the art. If I do not I would not have picked up the manga in the first place. However, the translator sucks sometimes. Sometimes I need to read twice to get what was going on in a panel. It has nothing to do with Otoh's story writing. I am just ranting because it can be frustrated at times.

Hal: my favorite character of [switch]

I recommended Switch to some of my friends and for whatever reason, they said they kinda read shounen-ai in between the lines. I said WTF?! because there is no BL in this manga. We even have Mari trying to get in Kai's pants all the time and Hal always pulls the ladies-man persona whenever he's undercover. So seriously, WTH man... I'm a big yaoi fans and if I can't detect any BL in this one, it means that it has NONE!

art 9/10
story 9/10
character 9/10
enjoyment 9/10
overall 9/10


The first image does vaguely feel kind of BL. I guess that may be why your friends read a bit of BL from Switch.

Anyways, it looks interesting. I like the art a lot too.

Yeah the plot is really nice. There is also an element of comedy in it despite the seriousness. I didn't get bored.

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