Reviews written by queen2408
|4 results - showing 1 - 4||Results per page:|
Memories that consume
Doushitemo Furetakunai --I absolutely don't want to touch you-- tells the story about Shima and Togawa, your average company workers. Shima is the new guy, he has a shy and blunt personality; he doesn’t talk unless it’s necessary and when he does he is very incisive. Togawa finds these traits really interesting and, after a really bad first impression, he can’t help but want to tease Shima every time he sees his inexpressive face. This situation could turn out to be a normal boss/employee relationship, or even a good friendship, but, what happens when Togawa accidentally discovers the other side of Shima and becomes even more curious about him?
Yoneda Kou is another mangaka that, working with a common plot, can achieve an amazing result that stands out from your usual BL. The greatness of this manga is on the details and the way the story is presented; normal, realistic and focusing in the characters’ feelings. We are allowed to see some pretty painful struggles, bad decisions based on a confused judgment and love as it is most of the times; really complicated and scary.
This story is deep and with a perfect amount of drama that doesn’t go to the point of becoming unnatural. It centers on a major fact of life: in a good or bad way, the sad parts of a person’s past affect their personalities and choices forever. Togawa and Shima represent different ways of dealing with those painful memories; they are polar opposites that wouldn’t have been more than friends if it wasn’t exactly for their difficult pasts.
The flow or direction feels kind of melancholic in a really beautiful way. It’s like an extract of real life moments where every detail, from the dialogue to the illumination, becomes an important part of a whole; each moment is dyed with a particular emotion, along with the characters’ thoughts, and nothing feels off or out of normal. Thanks to that we are able to sympathize with them and to actually go along with the mood in every moment. Certainly, there must be some sort of magic here that brings forth a painfully beautiful story, and even the sex scenes add to that, being so simple and yet so sensual and full of meaning.
The art is beautiful, simple and smooth, soft at some parts darker at others. It’s a nice style that feels good from the very beginning, and later you become aware of the tidiness and the small changes that come along with the mood. Maybe all the faces look similar but their expressions are nicely defined and every character is well designed. Definitely a unique art style that has become one of my favorites already.
The characters are portrayed in such a natural way, like real men with their particular traits; really different from your usual role's presentation. Shima might seem girly at first since he has a shy personality and it's often called cute, far from reality, he has a really sharp tongue, he is really bold most of the times and knows how to take care of himself. What might be out of place here and brings a bit of stereotype is how easily the relationship began, like a straight guy wouldn’t have a problem getting involved with another just for the sake of desire, makes me wonder how open minded had Togawa been raised.
Doushitemo Furetakunai is one of those gems of boys love that are really worth reading several times, you can always enjoy it in different ways. Surely, this is a story a lot of people can identify with, the main trouble for this couple might seem the straight/gay issue but it actually isn’t. Fear of falling too hard and not being able to stand the loss later, that’s it. In the end, the realistic touch of it calls to a deeper reflection; how much risk can we take in order to be happy?
Pure feelings that develop into something else
This manga is composed by two sweet stories, one with the main title and other called Cheeky. Incidentally, they are related by a common feeling; these boys are doing their best to look strong and cheerful on the outside, while they are actually waiting for someone to look closely and notice their inner suffering, someone who can truly understand them.
The first story is called Dash, one where the admiration becomes desire. Akimoto has entered the judo club in his new high school because he was totally enthralled by Saitou's performance in a contest. He dreamed to see the amazing moves and daring attitude again and wanted to become someone as good as his admired sempai. You could say Akimoto has a thing for Saitou, in fact, that's what everyone says seeing how he has become Saitou's errand boy. However, that "thing" is not a romantic feeling at all. Well, at least until Akimoto has to ponder about sempai graduating, along with several other details related to the genius judoka's lazy attitude.
Dash manages to combine comedy, a bit of drama and sports into a totally sweet but serious story. We can see how just like evolves into love when Akimoto becomes aware of all the different sides, even the weak ones, of his admired sempai. He is trying really hard to win Saitou's heart, without realizing why, and before he can truly think about it, Saitou is starting to get affected by his unrelenting attention. What made me love this story? that happy and shounen-like feeling that
smoothly changes towards serious and sexually tense at the best moments without becoming something really heavy and dramatic. Definitely a nice flow of actions thanks to the well planned words and visuals.
The characters are another special point of this story, they act like their age, and how refreshing is that! They are silly, they joke a lot and they are a mess sometimes. Akimoto is so full of purpose, always straightforward, a little slow, but always endearing. Saitou is the one who wins for me, he is cheeky, sarcastic, cheerful and full of himself. It was predictable but delightful to see him become as flustered as angry, a bottom with the upper hand!!!
Cheeky is a totally different story, that somehow feels really similar to the previous one. Ohyama has reunited with his cousin Yoshirou from whom he harbors really sweet memories as a child. As Yoshirou comes to spend some time at his house, Ohyama is rapidly realizing that the cute kid became a devil; he is not only a perverted man-eater but, also, the kind of person who disregards the whole thing as if it were a game. Ohyama is worried, annoyed and utterly confused at Yoshirou's approachs. Turns out that he can't leave the kid alone even when he wanted to, even less when he realizes that Yoshiou's support in his loneliness was a promise that he made him as a child...
This love story is a bit complicated. I mean, they are cousins and one is a perverted brat that even takes money in exchange of sex! Yoshirou has been feeling lost and Ohyama has become his only salvation, whatever the implications might be. Although this was a mostly funny one, what I can remember the most is the melancholic feeling you get when you realize the true nature of Yoshirou, really well played in my opinion. In spite of that, I am satisfied with the ending, what was supposed to be an erotic scene it suddenly turned into an hilarious one. And it seems that Yoshirou is not only talk; he has a nice weapon of cuteness plus experience.
As I said above, the characters are pretty similar most of the times. Somehow Ohyama felt a bit flat here, maybe because Yoshirou is so amusing and interesting; besides the story is mostly a vision of him through Ohyama's eyes. He is really not ashamed of anything. I have to give extra points to this one for the bottom being the attacker. That's not something you see around often.
Isaku Natsume's art is really likable, pretty fitting for the story; almost a shounen type of art. Big eyes and messy hair, along with really nice smiles. The boys become really cute when they blush and the awkwardness in them is endearing; it's a really clean and sweet style. Besides that, there are not very explicit scenes here, it's almost shounen-ai except for certain parts that almost cross the border, focusing more in the humorous nature of being young.
Dash! would make a nice transition from shounen to boys love. It is a refreshing story, with a really distinct style in the genre, a light read with just a bit of drama and lots of hilarious moments. I'd say this is definitely a must read if you are looking for something that is different and makes you feel happy while reading it.
Yuki Yamamuro has been praised as a natural talent for acting and, even though he was introduced to this career in a rather unexpected way, managed maintain his popularity in the business for a long time. However, it’s a reality that eventually all flowers shall wilt. He became aware of his decaying glory while interacting with the young rising star Mitsuru Sawaki. They were double cast for the same character in a play and it was pretty obvious who did the best interpretation. Now Yuki is feeling so restless that he wants to hinder his opponent’s opportunities. A pretty bad decision for him since the youngster turned out to be shrewder than he thought.
Mizutashi Takana and Mamamara Ellie created a story filled with the tension and fighting spirit of the perfect rivals. A nice atmosphere for an intriguing and surprising passion to develop between the characters. Although the actors didn’t actually challenge each other, it feels like they made a tacit arrangement; surely sparks fly when they interact, whether in their personal or professional lives, until the point you can feel the tension. I found that sort of natural but mysterious rivalry enticing.
We see most of the story from Yuki’s point of view, so that might enhance the effect. While Yuki is only trying to sort out his own value and the meaning of his situation, Sawaki’s intentions are not very clear. Yuki is the sort of insecure person to look for reassurance in the form of a petty arrangement with his manager, he needs people to tell him how good he is. Sawaki, on the other hand, stands in his own feet; he seems to really want to annoy or even destroy Yuki, mocking his lack of talent, his withering fame and his weak behavior. Still, in the end, Sawaki’s provocations might prove to be the very best medicine for Yuki’s problems.
Double Cast was surprisingly enjoyable for me. And I say surprisingly because I am not into this type of art. Mamamara Ellie’s style is pretty distinctive, long-limbed characters and marked lips, along with rather squared body forms. Certainly not beautiful for me, and the backgrounds are also kind of lacking. However, it seems that the combination of a rather odd character design with the fairly good story, made their expressions, and even their pouty lips, look sexier than expected. It also added to my favorite presentation in boys love; two sexy alluring and though-acting men being swept by love. It turned into a really pleasant read.
Aside from that nice atmosphere, filled with tension, there was something else that made me appreciate this story a bit more. That is, Sawaki’s poetry comments, or rather his insistence on comparing Yuki to a flower. It was certainly made to infuse an artistic feeling to the story, rather than a tacky one, and the purpose was achieved; I can’t stop thinking about the flower metaphor every time I look to its cover. There are several implications that give a special meaning to Yuki and Sawaki’s connection, giving some depth to their relationship, but it’s better to leave those to the readers.
I would recommend Double Cast to those that want to read something light but not superficial. This manga manages to be enjoyable with little twists, sexy without being explicit (almost shounen-ai) and it leaves you with some small facts of life to consider along the way. However, it certainly needed deepening on the characters' personalities and maybe more sexy interactions between them; there is some potential for more of this sizzling romance. Definitely not a remarkable read but still good.
Digital Manga provided a copy for the review. This is licensed by DokiDoki.
Give me a week to fall in love
Shino Yuzuru is a third year high school student who is constantly being judged by his good looks, that are in contrast to his personality. It's not strange that when he hears the story of a junior's weird habit he feels quite curious about it; Seryou Touji is a sophomore that has adopted as a custom accepting any girl, who confesses first on Monday, as his girlfriend during the week. If he doesn't fall in love with them, the relationship ends in that Sunday and, since he is so popular, he is very lucky to get a new girlfriend every Monday, or maybe not so lucky. Shino is pondering about all this when, coincidentally, he turns out to be the first person to meet Seryou in that week. His curiosity takes the best of him, so much that he jokingly asks Seryou to be his couple of the week after hearing he would accept anyone. What will happen when Seryou takes his "rule" a bit too seriously...?
Seven Days is presented to us as a boy's love manga, but it's certainly much more than that. This is a romance story with a premise that transcends any genre; the nature of falling in love. We all judge based on appearances, at least until we are able to know more, that's why the concept of seven days to fall in love sounds so compelling and very interesting. From that idea, the plot progresses slowly, instantly taking us to our days of innocent dreams, and creating a sort of magical purity between these teenagers, who wouldn't be able to enjoy such details if they weren't completely unexpected. The week promise is the thread that keeps them together and can definitely separate them at the end of that week.
This manga would probably become only an endearing story, if it weren't for the breathtakingly beautiful way the game is presented to us. A sort of delicate, disheveled and yet beautiful art-style; a very clever way of placing simple words, playing with panel alignment and flashbacks to empower them; and characters with very interesting and quirky personalities. Tachibana Venio's story, combined with Takarai Rihito's art, worked with these details in a way that made Seven Days a light but brilliant piece. There is definitely a lovely harmony between all the elements, each of them enhancing the beauty of the other, until the point you can feel, for example, the tension and tranquility in Yuzuru's archery performance, just as Seryou would picture it.
Character-wise, there is nothing more interesting than realistic, flawed personalities, at least for me. These boys are considered handsome, and they are very popular, but they have a lot of complicated and not so good qualities that people don't like to imagine while looking at them. However, they complement each other nicely, and their bad points can actually become charming once you get to look at them from different angles.
Compared to most fast-paced boy's loves, Seven Days turns out to be very simple and original, in a way that strikes me as slice of life. In fact, every time I read this volume a strange sense of peace overcomes me. I can't help but think that I slowly fell in love too, but with the manga, because it artfully caresses any fiber of romanticist you might have. Shino and Seryou remind us what falling in love is about. Not the I love you since I first saw you or you are so hot/strong/powerful that I can't resist you type. It's the this is the real me, I'm getting to know you, and I really like what I see kind of love. Honestly, this is the sort of romantic development that I would like to see in most romantic stories. For now, they are just getting to know each other (makes me wonder about the 16+ rating, this is not yaoi), but we almost can't wait to see what will come on Friday in one of the best weeks of boy's love. Seven Days would serve as a really heartwarming introduction to boy's love with an unusual and well-thought "game" that leaves us thinking about the reasons we fall in love.
Special Thanks to Digital Manga that provided the digital copy of the book. This is already licensed by Juné.
|4 results - showing 1 - 4|