Let's Be Perverts, Vol. 1-4
written by Youjung Lee
Let’s Be Perverts is a title that’s going to catch people’s attention. People may refuse to read it based on its title, or its title alone will be enough for them to buy it. Librarians might be wary of buying it in fear of upsetting parents, but many teenagers (and others) will be grabbed by the title and then enjoy the story.
The title also might lead people to believe this story is hentai, or pornographic. It’s not. It’s aimed for older teenagers and discusses the ups and downs in their lives as they head toward adulthood.
The main character is named Perverto, which has to be the worst name in the universe. (Why his parents cursed him with that name is never explained.) He’s nicknamed “Pervert” because it’s so close to his name, and he hates that. He wants to prove to everyone that he is absolutely not a pervert. However, he’s also going through normal teenage emotions and changes, so he secretly worries he might be one after all.
On his first day at a new school, Perverto notices a man groping a female student on the subway. He tries to step in and help the girl, only for the girl to believe he was the one who did the groping. Again, he gets called a pervert and is mortified.
He meets up with the girl at school and soon develops a major crush on her. To make matters all the more complicated, it turns out one of the teachers was the real culprit that morning. Perverto is determined to expose the teacher and stop him from any more inappropriate behavior. Perverto and the girl, Hongdan, do become friends, but this riles up the envy of Hongdan’s ex-girlfriend, who can’t stand a boy being around the girl she still loves. Things just seem to keep going wrong in Perverto’s attempts at relationships, including his flashbacks to his first girlfriend. No one else seems to be faring much better, though. Everyone is struggling and having problems.
Let’s Be Perverts is an often honest if purposefully outrageous glimpse in the minds and lives of teenagers. Because of its subject matter, it’s bound to be controversial. Besides its themes, it also has nude images in it. However, its controversy will also be a pull for it. At the end, it matters if it’s a good story, and I thought it was. It felt well-written, funny, outrageous, and truthful.