Welcome to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss a Harlequin romance manga. Today we’re discussing Some Like It Wicked (Vol 1) by Satomi Tsuya (original novel by Carole Mortimer). Your mileage may vary on the actual level of “wickedness” in this book, but if you like murder plots, regency outfits, and Legs For Days, boy howdy do we ever have a gift for you.
Jenny: i think i may have unironically enjoyed this one
CC: actually, same!
but before we get into it, summary for the folks at home:
two “wicked” fancy regency people sorta find love???; are flawed and human; consider the idea of a marriage of convenience even though they clearly have feelings for one another, but also someone is trying to kill the heroine because they were possibly her dead husband’s mistress????
Jenny: our protagonist is in a loveless marriage; her husband and some other married man kill each other in a duel — sacrifice the protagonist’s reputation by saying that she was unfaithful to her husband and they were fighting over her, but actually they were fighting over their shared mistress; she spends 1 year grieving then tries to move on but is unwelcome in society. ENTER: a man rich enough that he doesn’t have to worry about social expectations; courtship ensues
CC: ^^ a much better recap
Rachel: lol they are both good
ok so, y’all are gonna have to convince me
i did not like this one
Jenny: oh no! maybe bc your standards for regency romance are high and well-informed??
Rachel: mostly i didn’t understand it???
the comic-ness of it was weird and hard to follow
Jenny: there was some of that
CC: this was exactly the right amount of dumb for me
the lettering: bad; the legs: like 50 heads high; the costumes: amazing
Jenny: ^^ how is this supposed to be read????^^
i will say there were def moments that took me out of it
Jenny: ^^this feels v modern^^
you don’t just go introduce yourself at one of these fancy old-time parties
it’s just not done
CC: thats like the whole plot of the first 5 eps of rose of versailles
Jenny: trying to get an introduction?
more like, who can introduce themselves to whom and when etc etc
Jenny: there are some v strict rules!
Rachel: there was very little adherence to rules in this book
which makes me think very little research was done
Jenny: but the costumes do look good, i will say
Rachel: maybe the only thing that was researched lol
Jenny: lol fair
CC: a v good outfit
Jenny: i think the thing that got me hooked was how many flowers there were, just like, around??
Jenny: love this, honestly
sparkles! roses! what’s not to like
CC: also this!!
Jenny: oh my god i know v steamy
Rachel: ugh but the first scene is also right when he insults her!
he just is constantly negging her
ugh i hate him
LOL sorry y’all
Jenny: i mean yes he is not great
but when is the romantic option ever
for me it helps that he is rich and also wounded
Rachel: also this kiss scene is in the middle of her scolding him because he changed the locks on her house WITHOUT asking
Jenny: i mean — yes that was v bad
CC: yeah rachel – i think…….you are very correct
Jenny: but i’ve been watching a lot of Boys Before Flowers recently and that is making some of this seem less shitty
its weird cause i like BBF!
CC: rich peoples! sometimes when they’re sad, they just change all the locks in your house!!
Jenny: a lot of weird possessiveness! it’s not great!
but that is how we get to the classique moments
Jenny: love a “we both answer at the same time but say opposite things” moment
Rachel: oh yes this was good
and the knowing friend
loved the knowing friend!!
CC: i loved this:
Jenny: lol same
CC: love a “whump”
Jenny: LOVE A WHUMP
CC: i, too, do not care about purity
Jenny: i, too, cannot marry a child
CC: the fact that he was like “ew, i am not marrying a TEEN” did wonders to initially build my benefit of the doubt for him
the bar…it’s just so low…..
Rachel: ok but
his eye here
look at that EYE
it’s about to fall off the left side of his face
Jenny: lol yes v fair
CC: it only looks weird bc it’s following you around the room
Rachel: actually i took this screenshot because of two things:
Rachel: the wandering eye (ha)
and BIG HAND
Jenny: oh man HUGE HAND
that one that’s coming atcha
Rachel: that one finger is as long as his whole head
CC: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Jenny: ok so this next one i present w the caveat that the profiles are not great, but
Jenny: in general, i am digging this thing they’re doing where the face gives way to sparkles and bubbles
i did not read a lot of manga as a kid and this shit is blowing my mind
Rachel: oh yeah i love a whole page dedicated to significant looks
decompressed comics are [kisses fingers like a chef]
Jenny: big fan of the shot-reverse shot for significant romance looks!
CC: big fan of flower/bubbles combos
you know what i am not a big fan of tho
Rachel: ohhhh that’s what those are!
i thought it was like a stylistic choice
to be fair, sometimes i see that in comics and it’s like a visual expression of time passing
CC: fair, fair
well, i think that after the whole lettering just being
so so bad
i figured it was a localization goof
Rachel: it totally could be!
CC: one thing i DID really like about this story tho
is that we got both characters’ dense backstories back to back
his with the stepmom who wanted to marry him?????
hers with the whole dueling negligent husbands thing
they were both very extra, which is exactly why i come here to (harlequin manga)
Jenny: and i liked that they were sort of confessing them to each other? so it made sense to have two v extra passages right there next to each other
you know i love a marriage of convenience and some of that love is from the fact that setting it up sometimes comes w this “get all of your secrets out ow, judgement free” space
CC: but i guess she wasn’t actually telling him about it right?
i was a bit disappointed about that but also unsure
Rachel: yeah that was unclear to me!
was it an internal monologue where she told us, the readers, but not him?
Jenny: i thought she was? i thought she was explaining why she didn’t just tell people that the dueling husbands were in love w the same mistress
CC: maybe she’s explaining to the Audience but not really telling him
bc he keeps being like
“oh this PANDORA and her SECRETS lol”
Jenny: ah maybe maybe
CC: also this one panel from the beginning
which i guess is prescient given the backstory??
Jenny: luv 2 get mythological
CC: (kind of a dick move for her dad to name her pandora tho)
(as if she wouldn’t have people going “haha ah wow what’s that all about” for her whole dang life)
Jenny: i mean at least she’s got these answers queued up and ready to go
CC: so one thing i was really unclear on for the whole story
are her servants good??? or bad????
you’ve got this:
CC: followed by devil duke saying “oh, nobody else would hire these scrubs”
and then this:
CC: (a flashback)
are her servants now different servants????
seems like her current servants were at least distraught about a potential murderer rifling through only her things????
Jenny: oh man yeah idk
maybe she only kept the good ones once she became the lady of the house?
never really addressed
Rachel: so one thing to point out is that this is part 1 of 2
so we only read half the story
do y’all have predictions for what is gonna happen with her hot attorney??
they go out of their way to make sure that the reader knows he was the only person who was nice to her before her husband died
Jenny: oh man right!
he has got to be in love w her
but also he has got to be a scoundrel??
i think he will try to stop her from marrying the devil duke
but the devil duke will expose the hot attorney for being a golddigger
CC: dollars to donuts they pull that BS where he seems nice only to try and assault her so that duke dangerfield can come in and save the day
Jenny: oh i could see that too
CC: honestly i hope for your option jenny
bc i really
HATE that trope!!!
Jenny: yeah it’s not great
and it’s already shown up once so far
CC: there are lots of ways to be a terrible human being! not just the one!!!
like fraud! idk
you can only have one hot guy in a book who doesn’t turn out to be a scoundrel
Jenny: yeah i could def see embezzlement from him
i think Obviously she will end up w devil duke in the end, but hot attorney will seem good at first and be exposed to be Bad, in some way
a v safe and general prediction
he might also be the one trying to kill her??
Jenny: i know it seems like the mystery mistress is the one doing the crime
CC: maybe he secretly works for the mistress
Jenny: OH good point
maybe he is ALSO in love w the mistress
this seems like a v masculine shadow, is all i’m saying
CC: maybe they were scamming these dukes together????
would love to see that — grifter couple, out for the aristocracy
CC: going steady LMAO
Jenny: oh re: this being part 1/2
this one ends on quite the cliffhanger
about halfway through, someone sneaks into the house and upends our protagonist’s bedroom (presumably looking for something; maybe just trying to scare her). BUT at the end of this one (part 1), someone tries to BURN HER HOUSE DOWN
and the devil duke does the thing where he dumps a bucket of water on himself and then plunges into the fire to rescue her!
she kind of has to marry him now
CC: foolproof firefighting right there
Jenny: who needs fancy fire-proof suits tbh
CC: too bad feminism wouldn’t invent not needing to marry a man who saves you from danger for another 200 years
Jenny: lol yes the pitfalls of an historical romance
Rachel: well one things is for sure
men in ye olden times had legs for DAYSSSS
CC: those are some Clamp gams
Jenny: like how people who play hockey have to get special pants to fit their donks, these victorian lads need special pants that go All The Way Up
no — higher
CC: i can’t really tell where his knees are supposed to be
at the top of the boots???
Rachel: i don’t think men of that era had knees
just bendy legs
like 2 bendy straws attached to their butts
Jenny: laugh my ass! truly!
CC: same guy
Rachel: the spiderman pointing meme but it’s this duke and this bird
CC: so glad this comic introduced me to so many long legged birbs LOL
birds, unlike dukes:
-don’t pretend they want to marry you for convenience rather than admit their feeligns
-don’t have a history of living a “depraved lifestyle”
Jenny: -only pretend to love you so they can steal your food
CC: they also can’t usually save you from a fire
Jenny: -will poop on you for fun
Jenny: -really smug about the whole flying thing
great points all around though
CC: i have a lot to consider now
about birds and dukes
Jenny: v same
y’all ready for final thoughts
CC: i am!
CC: this is how the book started and i was SO DISAPPOINTED that there were like
0 curses on men
men cursed themselves
Rachel: just like in REAL life
Jenny: my final thought
(stop me if this starts to sound familiar)
Jenny: this is the career for me
CC: where 2 submit a resume
Rachel: what degree do you need to get that job
CC: are they hiring
Rachel: what are the benefit packages like
Jenny: benefits not great bc they rely on the fact that you’re the widow of a WEALTHY man who left enough to take care of you
but the real benefits are just the rewards of the work
nee that kind of job fulfillment in the year of our dark lord 2019
CC: fair enough
Rachel: mine is:
a pronounced cleft shin always makes me think of this kid
Rachel: anime has ruined me
it just makes me think of this
but probably…. the same source of inspiration
Rachel: lol that makes me think of a butt!!!!
In our next Romance Roundtable, get hyped for even more (fairly tame) wickedness in Some Like It Wicked (Vol 2)! In the meantime, check out our Patreon for bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable.