Kyouichi's indecisive character has led him to repeatedly commit the foolish mistake of adultery. One day, Imagase, a college classmate he hasn't seen since graduation, shows up as the private detective hired by his wife to investigate his infidelity. Imagase, however, proposes a deal. He won't tell Kyouichi's wife about his affairs, but, for compensation, he makes an unbelievable demand: "I want your body in exchange..."
When it comes to the yaoi genre I usually don’t hold high expectations story-wise, you can surely find new twists or interesting details out of the classic stereotypes, but apart from that, it is too often that all the elements seem to revolve around only one thing: sex.
Well, this story is not like that at all. This manga is not your usual yaoi. It was beyond all of my expectations to the point that it surprised me, in a really good way.
The set-up is something I have seen before countless times: sempai meets kouhai from old days, kouhai is in love with sempai since a long time ago without telling, kouhai uses sempai actual weakness and blackmails him with the "I want your body in exchange..." demand. After that, things are not quite simple; this is a deep story where the feelings of the characters are really well conveyed to the reader, you are allowed to see their struggles, their hesitations and the implications of such a difficult situation as a homosexual falling deeply in love with a straight man that doesn’t feel anything in return. Nor love, neither sex are given facts here, everything happens after a proper development of the characters feelings or train of thought, and even those intimate situations remind you that things aren’t really simple when it comes to love between the same gender.
The dialogues are just brilliant, after reading another stories from the mangaka I would say that this one has a hint of her psychological streak. Mizushiro Setona did really well with this story, I consider this the best yaoi so far, and maybe this is the result of the work of such experienced mangaka. The characters are real, you can see their good points, their bad points and the way they improve, the way they make mistakes and go on ahead, their feelings...and you can really sympathize with them. Besides that, both of them act actually like men..you will not find the stereotype of the seme/uke here that makes you think that is actually a woman and not a man what you are seeing.
The art is no big deal, but I find it nicely done, Mizushiro Setona has her own style which has improved a lot with time, and although it looks a bit odd at the beginning, it gives kind of calming sensation later, she really knows how to portray emotions, not only in words but also with the characters expressions, my only complain about the art is that some characters look a lot like others, that is all. Everything else compensates it.
So…If you like really nicely done stories, stories that make you think, while keeping you really interested; stories that talk about actual love and its development in a good pace, while reminding you what it really feels to be in love, and the hardships of trying to convey it when it is unrequited; and besides that you like yaoi, well, this is the perfect choice for you.
---Queen2408 for The Anti Girly Uke Yaoi club.You are invited to join and participate in the discussions.read more
There will always be a manga with very obscure scenarios. Those with extensive narrations and dialogues that leads you in deep thought and reflection. Male homosexual relationships are intriguing, Kyuuso wa Cheese no Yume wo Miru is intriguing.
It is unmistakably a mouse trap.
If you ever thought reading one of the most decent stories that includes homosexual relationships, you may take this one into consideration. That which interweaves the art, characters and plot into a flawless lacework with no strings unwoven.
The story technically revolves around Kyouichi, a married man with lots of adultery in it. And it seems that these little mistakes he has gave a way for Imagase to create a new connection with him. Unfortunately, Imagase, a past underclassman of his, is a hired investigator of his wife. Imagase knows the bad stench of the relationship. Kyouichi’s gone frantic. He’s confused. He is dead meat if this news arrives to his wife. But Imagase assures him that his little play arounds with different mistresses will end up like a bubble with an exchange of one little thing.
His body. Imagase wants it. He wants it ever since college days.
What makes Kyuuso wa Cheese no Yume wo Miru different from all the other mangas is the package itself. It’s simply alluring, deceiving and blinding. One may dislike it for some imbecile reason, the other may be totally in it. I may join the latter, I may also be the first. It is confusing. Beautiful. Really something sensible as a yaoi read.
Story-wise the manga has given a new meaning for its league. It’s simple at first but it definitely changes its pace towards the following chapters. It focuses on Kyouichi’s unfaithful, simple-minded, dense and confusing train of thought. However, it also talks about some past events during their college days and Imagase’s view about Kyouichi. When looking from Imagase’s stand, it makes the story more depressing and bitter. The hardest part of his unrequited love is he is inlove with someone who is straight and indecisive. The only way to show him this kind of love is by forcing on to Kyouichi. The volume has numerous of love making and dialogues along with it. Still has the yaoi feel, only better.
The art is interesting in different points. It sometimes focuses on the eyes, the lips and other different parts where it shows more affections, emotions and compact. All in all, the art is actually kaleidoscopic in a way. It’s sometimes intense and sometimes gentle. There is no stable and monochromic style in it. The scenes are different from the other. It communicates with the reader as if trying to say something behind the profile. The sexuality is occasionally in cold sober. The feelings are forced unto each other. The other may not want it, the other will. It defines two different people from different worlds. Not as equals, not as people on the same wavelength.
The characters has a grade of 100 out of 10. The way they were delivered is simply astounding. In terms of the use of character portrayal is one of the best that I have come across. Kyouichi’s wavering feelings has left Imagase to be unable to hold back his emotionality. Imagase is temperamental for the time being. Why? Is it because he got his hopes up to where he thinks that Kyouichi might have a slightest chance to fall for him? Maybe. Or, maybe not.
Imagase’s nature is somehow childish. He wants to own Kyouichi. He’s possessive and doubtful of him when he is with the girls. These feelings germinated from the time they went into the same college up to when Kyouichi had gotten married. Is he a bad person? I don’t think so. I believe he’s just someone who can’t hold on to his feelings any longer. For several years, he had kept them. He treasured them as if he had hope. He did have.
Kyouichi is your run-of-the-mill playboy character. Not actually the type wherein he’s in a harem but he just sticks to whoever shows affection to him. May it be love or lust, he is easily swept away by feelings. Confused with Imagase and to his own sexuality, he fights back against the fact that he might be a homo. But beneath his inane decisions and thoughts there is a hidden abashment of his own mistakes. He wants to renew himself and he just didn’t know the right way to do it.
Beside the manga lies cigarette butts that remained untouched. The atmosphere reeks of cigarette. Whoever reads this piece of art may fall into deep slumber and dream that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain.read more
I usually steer clear of yaoi. I do read adult mangas from time to time and I don't mind yuri, but I'd gag at the thought of gay men sex scenes.
Yet, I dare to say Kyuuso wa Cheese no Yume wo Miru is by a long shot the best adult manga I've read and one of the few (adult or non-adult) mangas that do portray what could be a real homossexual relationship.
Questioning and exploring one's sexuality was something I've always been fond of. I believe sexual identity is a grey and foggy area where nothing should absolutely labeled or defined.
Kyouichi finds himself hanging on the very same thoughts as he pursues a relationship with his kouhai from college, Imagase. For them, sex is the absolute acceptance of each other's demons. The characters are extremely flawed in a good way. They slowly strip themselves from all the social and conventional layers that get in the way and reveal themselves as humans.
The sex scenes are all too good. They're revigorating and exciting. Trust me, this comes from a person that disliked yaoi at first. There's no clear separation from the sex and the dialogues in between, so don't think on skipping them.
The art is not utterly perfect but it does justice to everything else. The boys are drawn in a way that enhances their sexual features (Kyouichi being the more masculine type and Imagase the more feminine one).
Also, do read the sequel. They complement eachother and give more meaning to Kyouichi's conflicting soul-searching and a clearer view on Imagase's feelings for his sempai.
In the end, this manga left me thinking about my own sexuality. If by chance I meet an attractive gay woman that falls in love with me, what will I do? Will I go for it? Would it be just for the thrill of it? Could I call it love?
Don't be fooled by the summary: The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese doesn't follow your usual coercion -> love plotline. What distinguishes this manga from many others in the genre is that it takes the usual BL tropes and adds realism. Coercion isn't romantic. Lust is lust. Straight men don't magically turn gay after one homosexual encounter. The characters in the series are flawed, complex, and very human.
(Admittedly, Imagase is a bit of a weak point - I couldn't warm to him at all, even though he does rise above the usual stalker character archetype. A bit.)
From the synopsis alone, The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese seems like your standard cliche-ridden BL manga, with a flimsy plot that is little more than an excuse for getting the two leads into bed together. Yet this manga rises above its would-be typical premise to provide a mature, unflinching look at a far-from-perfect relationship.
There isn't much plot to this series, but that's probably because the manga isn't about plot, as such. Its focus is on people, and emotions, and how relationships can be difficult and destructive.
The art is serviceable, if not amazing - the mangaka does display a sensitive use of space and visual pacing, though, which more than makes up for that.
See above. The manga makes no excuses for its characters, and doesn't try to idealise their actions. There are some weak points - not all of Kyouichi's reactions are convincing - but there's a good deal of realism and character development, a far cry from much of BL.
It's hard to really 'enjoy' this series, because of how emotionally brutal it can be. While none of the characters is really "bad", they certainly have their bad aspects, and watching their stories unfold is somehow more painful precisely because of how imperfect and human they are. If you like drama and angst, you'll probably enjoy this more than I did. Perhaps 'enjoyment' is the wrong dimension on which to assess this series: if one assessed it for emotional impact, it would certainly score high.read more