This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series I Caught Him Getting Off Online!. While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to privacy invasion and sex work (camming), as it appears in the manga.
Hayato was just perusing cam sites when he came upon a camboy. Hayato wouldn't consider himself gay, but upon seeing this particular camboy streaming while pleasuring himself, Hayato can't help but be attracted to him. He's entirely enraptured by the camboy, going so far as to memorize the moles on his finger. Hayato watches the camboy stream late into the night until the camboy finishes and ends the stream. Only then does Hayato finally go to sleep.
The next day, while at work, Hayato runs into part-timer Mamiya. They've worked together for a long time but haven't worked the same shifts since Mamiya was in college. But now that they can work the same shifts, Hayato can finally get close to his coworker. While getting to know him, Hayato happens to notice that there are moles on the same finger as the camboy. What are the odds that Mamiya is the same camboy Hayato watched? And even if he is, why should Hayato even care?
The art in this is cute. It's not bad, but it's not unique. It might be a bit too pointy for my taste, but that's so picky on my part. It gets the job done, so what more can you ask for? I will say that when Hayato and Mamiya have sex, it is quite chaotic. The way the sound effects are scattered across the panel, alongside their dirty talk, it's really hard to see what is going on. I know the effects are meant to simulate how loud or noisy the situation is, but this goes a bit overboard, in my opinion. It's hard to enjoy the sexy time when bombarded by the same text effect over and over again.
Something I am a huge fan of is how it subverts the whole “discover the camboy is actually someone I know trope.” Usually, this leads to a whole blackmail or sextortion situation as the cammer in question desperately tries to keep their identity a secret. It seems to be going in that direction when Hayato approaches Mamiya (in a creepy and threatening way, I must admit), but Mamiya is just like, “OK, and?” I love that! The cammers are usually so embarrassed about their hustle and ashamed when that isn't necessary, but not Mamiya. It's such a breath of fresh air to have a sex worker be proud and chill about their work.
What's even better is rather than leading to a weird and forceful sexual relationship, it actually leads to a pretty wholesome friendship with some benefits every once in a while. There is natural chemistry built up between these two that I don't often see in BL with this trope, which is a real shame for others but is a real win in this series. Of course, it's not entirely wholesome, as there is lots of smut to be had with Mamiya's exhibitionist kink. But it's made all the better since they really like each other and hang out outside the sex. Don't get me wrong, I like the good old red flag, toxic trope, but this is such a nice change of pace.
And all of this stems from Mamiya's awesome personality. He comes off aloof initially, but as Hayato gets to know him, he turns out to be confident, self-assured, and just a cool person overall. I especially love how independent and strong he is, refusing to be swayed by his attraction to Hayato and Hayato's attraction to him. Bottoms, unfortunately, often fall into this submissive role by default in most yaoi and BL content I've consumed. Mamiya goes against all of that. He might be a bit more submissive in bed, but as a person, he is plenty dominant and independent. I love a power bottom, but I love a bottom that is his own self-assured person even more. He gets to keep doing what he loves with the person he loves, which is a terrific way to finish this short series.
This was fun. It's not all that deep, but it's smutty and wholesome all the same. If you're interested in exhibitionism as an element, then this is a great one to read. Unfortunately, this is a miss if you want something with more depth. But I enjoyed it all the same.
Have you read I Caught Him Getting Off Online!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!