Ladies On Top Volume 1 Manga Review (Spoiler‑Free)

“I’m still going to be the one taking the lead.” - Mitsuki

Content Warning: Ladies On Top contains explicit sexual content.

At a Glance

Spice Level: 2/5
Mosaics: N/A
Recommend: Yes
Content Warnings: N/A

Mitsuki Kajitana has been looking for a relationship that gets her heart pounding. Though her previous boyfriends did all the normal stuff that would get any woman ready to hop into bed with them, all it’s done is leave Mitsuki’s skin crawling. So when a coworker introduces her to an old college friend, the cool, kind, and well-off Takayuki Shinomiya, Mitsuki decides to try for a normal romance once again.

Takayuki has had some relationship problems of his own. Left feeling defeated and deflated after his last girlfriend dumped him, he’s determined to get things right with Mitsuki. But when all of his best efforts fail and he’s not able to get it up, things look dire for the new couple. Until Mitsuki decides to take the lead, that is.

Neither Mitsuki nor Takayuki know exactly why they’re having issues in the bedroom, but that won’t stop them from figuring it out.

The Good

When I picked up this manga, the last thing I was expecting was for it to be one of the sweetest stories about healthy communication and working with your partner to find what works best for both of you that I’ve read, but that’s exactly what I got.

Mitsuki and Takayuki both want to be in loving, sexually healthy relationships, but neither feel comfortable adhering to stereotypical gender roles. Mitsuki doesn’t want to be kabedon’d or treated as something delicate, and Takayuki has severe performance anxiety when it comes to taking the lead in lovemaking. So when Mitsuki sees Takayuki’s adorably nervous face and kabedons him, it awakens something in both of them.

The conversations between the main characters and the internal dialogue from both shows just how much effort the two are putting into their relationship and how badly they want to please each other. Though they have a few hiccups as they navigate what a good relationship looks like for each of them, it’s obvious from the beginning of the volume that these two lovebirds are perfect for each other.

The artwork in this manga is simple, but it shows off Takayuki’s embarrassment and Mitsuki’s dominant side excellently. All of Takayuki’s blushing faces are adorable, and it was a joy to see Mitsuki take control in scenes. The translation is also great in this volume. Everything flows well, and no grammatical errors stood out to me.

As a whole, the first volume of Ladies On Top is well-paced, polished, and more sweet than spicy. The storytelling is great, and I love how not only is this a twist on typical gender roles, but also a story about communication and–in a way–diversity.

The Bad

Despite being part of the Seven Seas Steamship imprint, the amount of actual sexual content in the volume is low. While sex is the main theme and the center of both Mitsuki and Takayuki’s thoughts and dialogue, nothing actually happens. While this isn’t exactly a bad thing, readers looking for something a little more hot and heavy shouldn’t expect much from this volume.

The Spice (Slight Spoilers)

Though they have multiple attempts, Mitsuki and Takayuki never actually have sex in this volume. There are plenty of panels showcasing bras and undies, a few images of sex toys, and a lot of making out, but that’s about as far as the volume goes. There is never anything explicitly shown (other than one shot of Mitsuki topless) as it’s all hidden by blankets and camera angles, so it’s unknown if Ladies On Top will include mosaics or not.

The Verdict

Though I don’t consider this spicy at all, I still enjoyed volume one of Ladies On Top. Despite the mature topic and content, the manga felt more like a sweet, heartwarming tale of two lovers in a healthy relationship, working together to find what works best for them, rather than a smut about role reversals. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a cute story who doesn’t mind a little nudity.

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You can purchase volume 1 of Ladies On Top on Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble.


Story and Art by Nejiganameta
Translation Jacqueline Fung
Adaption Emlyn Dornemann
Lettering Ray Steeves
Original Cover Design Nao ONODERA and Kenji HAMAMURA (Beeworks)
Cover Design H. Qi
Proofreader Leighanna DeRouen
Senior Editor Shanti Whitesides
Production Designer Christina McKenzie
Production Manager Lissa Pattillo
Prepress Technician Jules Valera
Print Manager Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein
Editor-In-Chief Julie Favis
Associate Publisher Adam Arnold
Publisher Jason DeAngelis
Published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment

The Good

  • Characters are interesting and unique
  • Plot is diverse for the genre

The Bad

  • Spice level is very low

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About the Author

Kaley Connell

An avid reader, gamer, and writer obsessed with romantic comedies and dramas. When she's not eyeball deep in a good story, she's probably redecorating in FFXIV or romancing a cute 2D boy.

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