In this spin-off of How to Capture a Martini, stoic bartender Kiyohito Kousaka is pursued by a pair of guys looking to recruit him for a three-way relationship. He initially wants nothing to do with them, but when one of them goes missing, he cares enough to want to get to the bottom of the mystery.
There are definitely some good things about How to Control a Sidecar. The relationship between the two men—Fumi and Kanashiro—is not exactly what it seems, and I like that the title story ends differently than I’d been expecting. Even the regrettable inclusion of a nonconsensual scene is tempered somewhat by the fact that the victim collects evidence and sees a doctor, though stops short of filing a police report, and that all parties involved acknowledge the act for what it was.
It’s the second story, “How to Subdue a Stinger,” that I found most disappointing, since it completely negates the unconventional ending of the title story and endows Kousaka with a near-total personality transplant. The impression I get from it is that Tateno’s readers were dissatisfied with the original ending and that she wrote this to appease them. That’s really too bad, because it was much better the first way.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.