8 of 8 chapters read
Yep, this is a blackmail-to-love-me type of story. I really liked the art but found it too smutty too quickly. I mean, 8 pages in and there's a sex scene. Sure, they already done it the other night while HIdeki was super drunk but it kind of set the mood for what I was in for: sex in every chapter. Also, it's just silly. HIdeki sets himself up for all the stupid blackmail type scenarios that we've all read too many times. Although, the rock-bottom part of the manga was actually heart breaking and I actually enjoyed Hideki's sulking and grieving.
The next arc is called "Why Not Me" and is basically about a free loader trying to help his housemate get over his ex. Yep, more sex scenes.
The third arc is called "Secret Door" and is about a fortune teller that ends up forcing two customers into BDSM while watching each other masturbate on TV. No, I'm not joking. Lots of smut.
The fourth and last arc is called "Can't Stop" and is about a doctor who's boyfriend keeps cancelling on him. Angry, the doctor becomes cold towards his boyfriend. Not releasing why he's upset, Seritani, the boyfriend, waits for him after work only to have a huge argument which ends with Seritani cancelling his works plans to spend time with his boyfriend. The end.
After reading the authors' afterword, she explains that "Speical Delivery" started as a 16-page-oneshot and somehow turned into manga. I really like her art and found it very refreshing but her stories were smutty and pointless. Oh well, good fun and a time-filler.
Story = 5 | Art = 9 | Character = 5 | Enjoyment = 6 | Overall = 7 read more
6 of 6 chapters read
Anyway, besides that, the story wasn't too bad. What starts out as a rom-com steers to some serious drama and emotions. We have an aloof beautiful dentist who is being stalked by a white-collar worker, Minami. Minami tries everything to date Kitagami, the dentist, and fails each and every time.
At one point I was frustrated with why Minami wanted Kitagami in the first place. Sure, he is beautiful but his attitude and mannerisms drove me crazy and I heard myself saying "just give up, he NOT worth it!"; beauty isn't everything. After a while Kitagami's wall of defense starts to crumble and Minami gets a taste of the deep emotional damage that Kitagami is hiding under his beautiful facade.
The plot had some interesting moments, and I feel that this could have easily had another volume to follow the two as they worked out their problems; it was too short. However, as I said before: this was not a yaoi and I didn't know what I was getting as I came into this. I was expecting them to 'get together' and was disappointed in the end, lowing my overall score. I felt that all that emotional mumble-jumble was all for nothing. tsk.
Positives: great art. Beautiful characters. Nice feels. Good dialogue.
Negatives: shounen-ai (not yaoi). Annoying characters. Needs a sequel; felt inconclusive. Pointless.
Story = 6 | Art = 8 | Character = 5 | Enjoyment = 6 | Overall = 6 read more
17 of ? chapters read
The manga starts out with Kiyotaka Hiros, the student, waiting in a tunnel to meet up with his friend, Arihara Mineo, to return his letter. There, he meets The Match Seller Hanashiro Seiji and they start talking about why this letter is so important and why Hirose is waiting out in the cold for his friend that never comes. The story then quickly becomes about Hanashiro Seiji and why he's also standing out in the cold selling matches, or whatever he's REALLY selling. Later on, Seiji drags Hirose back to his office to have sex with him. The next morning, without even knowing each others names the two form an awkward relationship that Seiji's colleague Sawa Jinichiro describes as "another whim", or is it?
My first thoughts were about how romantic this sounds: someone trying to return a undelivered love letter so the author can fulfill their desires and deliver it, but it's actually not as rosy as it seems. While reading this apart of me felt that the romance was dirty; tarnished; spoiled by the characters and their personal demons. Both the men (Seiji and Jinichiro) are broken souls who pray on anyone who is willing (and sometimes not) to satisfy them. Both men have been around the block many times and at first treat the student's as their pets. This is the part I felt was dirty. Sure the sex was consensual but it felt like broken hope as the older men bullied the boys to amuse themselves and their mundane lives. As we tumble down the rabbit hole, we discovered the bitter-truths behind three of the characters. The only character who wasn't messed up was Hirose. He was oblivious to what was happening around him. Even though the story was about Arihara's love letter, Hirose is at the center of everything.
There were touching moments but the overall feeling of the events are about damaged people with no morals who become entangled in hopeless love triangles.
There are many chapters to this series. Sometimes, as each chapter turns into the next, the story would start at a new point changing the POV; shifting to who is telling the story or who's inner thoughts we were reading. This was a great way to mix up the plot and throw the reader off. Memorizing the names of the characters was important as the story was told like a jigsaw puzzle; slowly filling in the missing pieces to create the overall picture.
I like Kusama Sakae's art. It's sketchy and messy but doesn't loose it's appeal. I like her lanky characters. The time period is set early 1900's, post war, and her costumes and backgrounds were detailed enough to leave an impression but not overwhelm you. Her characters also were appealing even though her art can sometimes look sharp and blocky.
I liked this series as it still had heart warming moments amongst all the depressing scenes. You could tell that the bitter-sweet romance would eventually become moments of real love as the characters discovered themselves and let go of their problems. I liked following along knowing this and hoping that our couples would eventually figure this out.
In the afterword, Kusama Sakae explains how she would love to keep going on with the Lost letter series but fears that she can only afford to do one more volume. No release dates for the next volume have been released, at this stage, but she did say she will finish this in volume 3. read more
8 of ? chapters read
Sweet Pool is about a high school student, Youji, returning to school after being absent for about a year. He slowly slips back into his normal routine with his friends and class mates. It's pretty straight forward. The story slowly warms you up to the events. He meets Tetsuo, who we all know is the love interest, and slowly their awkward relationship of gawking, staring and touching moves forward.
Now, this has horror tags due to the blood content and demon elements. Youji is apparently a host for a demon who needs to reproduce. We are told this by some creepy cult who are keeping tabs on "the female" (Youji) and "the male" (Tetsuo). At this stage, the cult are the backdrop. We get snippets of information every now and then to fill us in on what's happening to Youji, but that is all. Bottom line is: Youji goes into heat when he gets close to Tetsuo, which causes him to pleasure himself, which then leads to demon blood clots coming out of his...well, yeah. Tetsuo goes along with it as he is also confused by Youji's smell and reactions towards him. It's strangely erotic. Sure, their heavy petting sessions are hot...but the wiggling blood babies are a little freaky. It wasn't all that bad, nothing I couldn't handle anyway. I've read worst.
As this is based on a visual novel which has many other characters, they all get their 15 minutes of fame. Instead of supporting characters blending into the background, we get arcs of their story. They are interesting, I guess, but it takes it away from our main couple, which I don't like. I mean, the arc about the villain's butler was irrelevant. I'm not sure if this adds to the main plot, or if it's just to show appreciation towards their character from the visual novel? Too early to tell.
I give high scores for the art. The art is so detailed and graphic. The tones are dark with solid shades and block colouring. It sets the atmosphere for the horror genre perfectly. However, the characters look more mature than high school students, and it varies. Some moments Youji looks so young and feminine then in other scenes he looks like a twenty-something with solid male features. All the characters are mature men. No girly-ukes or child-like aspects. I like the realism in the drawings, no exaggerated features or actions that give it a cartoony feel.
The sex scenes are explicit, however, the publisher whited out a lot of the genitalia to the point that it bothered me. In some scenes you see everything, while in other scenes it looks like they were attacked by a photoshop eraser? hmm
The pacing of the plot is slow and you can tell that you in for the long haul. So far, two volumes have been released and the plot has introduced all the characters and given us a taste of things to come. There is a lot of back story. I enjoy it but I know that I will be waiting for a looong time until the end, and I don't even know how many volumes are going to be released.
I gave this a 9/10 because of the art and the exotic scenes. The story isn't something I would normally follow as it's lengthily and detailed. The characters are so deep that I feel that it has only just scratched the surface. I enjoy the relationship between our two protagonists. It was sweet, at times, as they slowly become friends--even though they had already gone waaaay past friendship after their encounter behind the school. Still, it was nice.
I am eager to follow this series and am happily waiting for volume three to be released....when ever that may be. read more
6 of 6 chapters read
With Silent Voice, we established that Imai likes Hikita and had confessed. The boys had shared a few kisses and conversations as Hikita realised that his admiration towards Imai might be love, and it wasn't until the end of Silent Voice that their relationship started to take off (with Hikita offering his body to Imai in a very awkward way haha).
Invisible Stars starts off right where Silent Voice left us: going into the depths of their relationship, slowly, beautifully, with many heart-felt moments. Also, their physically relationship takes off as the boys explore the boundaries of their love in such an innocent way. The pacing of their romance is matched with the overall pacing of the plot: slow, calm and seductive. I found this so enduring and came to like their heavy petting sessions matched with their little talks about the future of their lives after school.
The overall feeling of this story is relaxing, happy and warm. It was just a joy to read and I really took my time with this. Nothing dramatically happens. The boys go to school. Go to training. Go home and then repeat, and somewhere amongst all that the boys make-out and act as normal high-school friends by hanging out and enjoying life. You could argue that the plot is some-what boring, but I would just say it's relaxing and simple.
In my review for Silent Voice I talk about the art. I mention that it doesn't appeal to me, at all, but by now I have grasped the character designs and layouts enough to enjoy this manga to the fullest, however, I still stand by my original comment where I said that I think that the mangaka wasn't trying to win her fans over with the art, and that she was just trying to express a cute little story about the ugly guy and the popular guy.
This has been broken down into three volumes, and I can pretty much guess that the third volume will be about the boy's lives after high school; a continuation of their relationship after they graduate. Even though the events are very mellow, I am still eager to follow the boys relationship to the next stage.
The mangaka, Atsuki, really has captured a wonderful little romance between boys who love baseball, and I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a feel-good story that leaves you wanting more.
Story - 7 | Art - 6 | Character - 8 | Enjoyment - 9 | Overall - 9 read more
36 of 36 chapters read
Charley, a christian cyborg vampire hunter, helps the Vatican with their dirty work; taking care of the supernatural problems. He is a machine, literally, as he has blades, exploding hands, gadgets and other technology tucked within himself. He seems like an aloof character until Johnny ruffles his tail features and shows how cute, I mean innocent he really is.
Johnny, Charley's vampire master, is a laid-back vampire who really is just a food source for Charley-as Charley refuses to drink from anyone else- and also gives the audience the comical relief. Johnny is a pervert towards Cherry, I mean Charley. Although Johnny seems to sit on the sidelines he eventually dominates the story and you fine out who he really is in later chapters.
There are many characters as you get into the depths of the story and this manga requires your full attention. Also, Johnny seems to have this ability to create people from himself, so there are doppelgangers and look-a-likes galore. Just a warning as it might seem confusing, at times. I will admit, sometimes I was confused by the plot. I also got lost amongst some terminology's and bible references. However, I found that reading it the second time answered many of my questions.
This has boy love tenancies. There are no love scenes, however, some moments still had the power to leave me blushing and delivers fantastic sexual tension. I mean, they drink each other’s blood and even though there is no sex it's pretty darn close to the real thing, like, Johnny can't drink while clothed so he always ends up naked. It's delicious and in later chapters the art became very explic- *cough* I mean detailed.
Speaking of the art, I noticed the dramatic increase in quality over the volumes. This manga did start back in 2004 and since then the art became breathtaking. Don't let the first chapters defer you because I promise the art gets a lot better. Much better. The action scenes are almost poetic and the character designs are detailed with handsome people; eye candy galore friends! The imagery is clean with solid shading and remarkable backgrounds and structures shown in many different angles.
The artist Nanae Chrono has only release a few mangas which are all shounen/action based, so the fight scenes are intense and very detailed. Even though I've mainly talked about the relationships of the characters, the action and drama does drive the manga. This is a crime related story and even though it didn't really interest me the action/fighting scenes are outstanding.
I started this back in 2011 and had been following along, as chapters were released, waiting for the end. Now that the manga is complete I decided to re-reading the entire series, and I'm glad I did; a well worthy series.
So, if you like gorgeous characters and art, crime related themes, action and fighting that spray across the panels, giggle-worthy comedy, and above all: handsome vampires sucking each other's blood....you will like this!
Thanks for reading. read more
21 of ? chapters read
Hari no Hana (Quartz Flower) is based in the Japanese Chowa Era (1015 A.D.) where a junior priest, Ashiya Douman, and his companions have been employed to abolish a curse afflicting the Emperor's eyes. That's basically the make-up of the plot, however, the story is centered around two people: Douman, a priest with red hair, golden eyes and a seal of the beast tattooed on his forearm, and Suikei Ajari, a priest who saved Douman as a child and is bound by his curse (you find out in later chapters).
The chapters tend to go back and forth in time. This is definitely Inariya's style of plot-structure. She never tells the story as a whole upfront, instead gives you the action and suspense followed by back story in small doses, chapter by chapter, teasing and taunting with certain scenes and events. Frankly, it's frustrating and confusing until you get satisfying answers, although, I tend to find myself asking "what just happened?" a lot.
History is not my forte' and nether is Japanese folklore. I struggled with the types of curses and items used in spiritual rituals. Although, there was nothing Wikipedia couldn't explain and the translated side-notes did help. I just want to forewarn readers: there is a lot of supernatural scenes and action based around historic Japanese mythology. Not enough to deter you but some find it very confusing, like I did.
Inariya's art is in a class of her own. I am drawn to her works and find them artistically outstanding. Her scenes of action are sprayed out over the panels with exaggerated movements, it's almost like her fabric dances with the characters themselves; she has amazing eye for costumes and clothing. Her works are just gorgeous. One happy fan here.
This is tagged as yaoi and without giving too much away not much has happened, yet. There is only one love scene from side characters and I felt that it was thrown in to prove to readers that it is a boy love and to show the extent of her smut. So frankly, she was just feeding her fans to keep them keen. It was like she thought "oh, fans are getting bored...quick! throw in some lovin'". It was delicious but not really needed.
This manga is still on-going. The story is being sterilized in a magazine, so the chapter releases are slow. I am following this mainly for the art as I am in awe of Inariya's designs more than anything else. The story is not something I would normally read but I still find it interesting, and as of 21 chapters we have enough story to understand who Sui and Douman are and what they are trying to achieve; enough to kept me continuing the series. Also, the small taste of their bond has left me dying to read more!
I would recommend this to someone who likes to take their time and absorb the events slowly; this is a complex story and needs your full attention. Also, I encourage anyone who appreciates great art, likes supernatural scenes and aches for forbidden romance--I say forbidden because the characters must choose between love and their duty--to give this ago.
Thanks for reading.
Story 7 | Art 10 | Character 8 | Enjoyment 9 | Overall 9 read more
49 of 50 chapters read
Even though the comedy annoys me, it IS the main focus of the manga. Most events are based around Ryouma fighting with the Prince or some ecchi-filled-nonsense. The ecchi is fuel for the comedy but Ryouma irked me. She is so stubborn and annoying as she rejects and pushes the Prince away again and again. I don't like the round-about shenanigans but I love everything else about this manga, so I tolerate it.
I won't repeat the plot but I will tell you that it's not all silly fan service. Okay okay, so maybe about 70% of it is panty-shots and the rest is story but it does have those heart warming scenes and it was those scenes that kept me reading and kept me waiting for chapters. However, those moments are few and far between and I find that just as the story picks up, a side story slips in and steers you off course. I get that it draws out the series but it frustrates me just the same. Just when you think their relationship is advancing...something drives a wedge between the two. Still, I felt that the build-up towards the romantic ending was worth it and even though the ending was summed upon one chapter, I was satisfied and happy with the out come.
I like how everyone likes Ryoma and instantly falls for her. Yes yes, this is not a new trait. The whole 'everyone wants to be me, be with me and be my friend' character is old news, although, it's done in a way that Ryoma wasn't popular to begin with and when he was changed to a she, Ryoma became a instead hit with everyone around her. I also like how she is fought after by people from Prince's land because of her genuine attitude, honesty and love--which is considered rare and forgotten over the struggle for leadership by Prince's successors.
This has a depth that is not expected and if you can brush the comedy aside, the story can be quiet dark at times. The quote "kill or be killed" comes to mind.
I would suggest enjoying this for the silly moments, the loud characters, the amazing art, the randomness, the political drama and slow building romance (and not only between Ryoma and Prince but with other characters as well). Sure, there are heaps of stupid scenes and pointless moments but I found the drama over powered those moments giving this a 9/10 from me.
**Completed November 2014 read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
The story is an adventure about a pet chipmunk escaping his cage in the city and wanting to go to The Great Forest, a chipmunk homeland. Glicko--the chipmunk--learn about the great forest by a carrier pigeon named Pippo, and Pippo helps Glicko along the way appearing at critical times to help Glicko escape and act as a guide. Also along the way Glicko meets another chipmunk called Nono who he found in the Zoo and convinced her to follow him to the great forest.
I haven't seen this since I was about thirteen or younger but I still remember many key moments. From memory, they don't sugar-coat the scenes: there is tragedy, death, blood, crushed hopes and realism in many different forms. Sure it's based around a happy little adventure involving chipmunks finding freedom - there's even romance, friendship and comedy - but many characters die along the way and it made me weep for them, more than once.
Oh don't worry though, it has a happy ending but word of warning: if you're planning on showing this to young children, that fox will give them nightmares! Just google "The Enchanted Journey Fox" if you don't believe me.
All 'n' all, this is a classic anime that I watched many times as a kid. Sure it's old and you probably won't get the same enjoyment out of it now but it still holds a special place in my heart and felt impelled to write a review.
Thanks for reading :) read more
5 of 5 chapters read
Shiro explains how she wanted to do a BL with her favourite type of uke (grumpy and tsundere) and seme (laid-back). Pretty much that's how I would describe this: a quiet loner student peaks the interests of a new easy-going teacher.
I like the pacing. It's slow and doesn't rush into the relationship and as the story progresses the drama starts to unfold. Shiro explains how she wanted to create "a gap in mentality between the two" and I found that my first impressions did a 180° by the end of the first arc because of the character makeup and resolve. This has hidden dramas that made me do a double-take.
The second arc "You Through A Kaleidoscope" was about childhood friends. Again, Shiro starts the story out pretty straight-forward and slowly introduces the drama/backstory for added emotions.
Both arcs have subtle comedy, great art and interesting characters. I like both arcs equality and found both have the same plot structure: starts out simple and ends with real emotions. You will not find your typical BL here. Okay yes, it may be based on the same-old punchlines, however I found that the drama was what made it appealing and worthy of reading.
Story = 6/10 | Art = 8/10 | Character = 7/10 | Enjoyment = 7/10 | Overall = 7/10 read more