Three volumes in and Eiki Eiki’s romantic political comedy Millennium Prime Minister (DMP) has significantly shifted its story focus. The first volume, you may recall, concentrated on the relationship between 25-year-old Japanese p.m. Kanato and 16-year-old schoolgirl Minori. In the third, it takes half the book before the latter even makes an appearance.
Instead, the book concentrates on Kanato’s smitten former senior aide Sai, who’d run off at the end of the second book. Sai, it turns out, has a hitherto unknown family connection to the p.m.’s biggest political rival, who of course wants to use the broken-hearted boy to thwart Kanato’s political agenda. We’re given a hint of the p.m.’s plans for reform, but not enough that they make any sense to the reader. “Did you understand any of that?” young Minori is asked after Kanato broadcasts his agenda. “Not a single thing,” Minori answers, while writer/artist Eiki lets us off the hook by including an on-panel note that says, “Representing the reader’s view.”
If Kanato’s reform politics remain muddled, the yaoi manga artist’s sexual politics in MPM remain clear: the primary focus is on handsome well-dressed men balancing the political and personal — with the personal winning out. While Sai’s shifting camps has clear strategic ramifications, it also, for instance, pollutes the once friendly relationship between Kanato and the reporter Matsumoto, who not-so-incidentally appears to have his own attraction toward the 18-year-old former aide. You never saw these kinds of entanglements on The West Wing, now, did you?