Legal Drug

Mangaka: CLAMP

At rather a bad point in his life, Kazahaya finds himself literally picked up off the street (and out of the freezing snow!) by the tall, dark, and grumpy Rikuo. Shortly thereafter, the two find themselves rooming together (however unwillingly) and working for the lovely pharmacist(?) Kakei at the Green Drugstore. Which would be all well and good if their work were limited to doing stuff in the store. But between Kakei’s shady side business and the boys’ own unusual abilities, they always seem to get dragged into the odd, the paranormal, and the occasionally frightening–basically they’re a pair of paranormal odd-jobbers, pulled by every sadistic whim of Kakei’s. It’s a good thing that Saiga’s there to keep Kakei in line at least a little (when he’s not sleeping on the job!).

I’ve probably said this before (just maybe?), but I really love CLAMP’s writing–it’s always fresh and unexpected. Legal Drug is honestly one of their manga that I come back to most frequently. It’s an intriguing combination of shounen ai (sort of?), fantasy/paranormal, and work story/slice-of-life. It’s probably most similar to xxxHOLiC of all CLAMP’s other manga, and actually crosses over with said manga when Watanuki visits the Green Drugstore for a hangover medicine in xxxHOLiC. But there’s enough difference between the two series to make them both significant and interesting in their own right. The character blend in Legal Drug is certainly an amusing mix–their interactions are always good for a laugh. And speaking of characters, those of you who have read Wish might recognize certain individuals (although they are kind of hiding their identity for the moment). There are several other crossovers throughout the manga for those who pay attention. Of note, this is one of the few manga in which CLAMP’s chibi artist Mick Nekoi is actually the lead artist; the style’s not quite as polished as, say Tsubasa Chronicle, but I like the overall feel that it provides. Sadly, Legal Drug was dropped after the third volume, so it’s currently incomplete . . . but (I am sooo super excited about this!) after something like eight years, it is now continuing in the manga Drug & Drop which basically picks up where Legal Drug stopped. Happy! Anyhow, I think Legal Drug is a fun, mysterious manga that is widely enjoyable as long as you don’t mind a bit of shounen ai (but it’s really mild and kind of mock shounen ai almost)–seriously, check it out!

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