A collection of Shinjo Mayu's earlier (and less smutty) short romance stories.
1) Bare the Heart (Kokoro wo Hadaka ni Shite). Mina is a high school freshman with a crush on her math teacher...who also happens to be her cousin Yukiya! Mina has always been very precious to Yukiya, and at times it seems like he can see straight through to her heart, but can he ever see her as a woman and not just his cute little cousin? How long can Mina's flirtations go unnoticed by Yukiya (or by the sadistic and lascivious chemistry teacher, for that matter)?
2) A Vampire at My Neck (Kubisuji ni Banpaia). Be careful when you go groping in the dark...you might just find a vampire! That's what happens to Hitomi. Now she's attracted to Kairi despite what he is. Or is it because of what he is? Kairi has a powerful charm...but is he too charming? Dangerously charming?
3) Hold Me, Melt Me (Dakishimete Tokashite) Ryou is a high school sprinter who's racing for a different kind of goal--his pretty track manager, Airi! He says he wants chocolate from her on Valentine's Day, but...is that a delicious metaphor for something sweeter? Whatever the case, it melts in the mouth!
4) Examine Me Gently (Yasashiku Mite ne). Sanae just had her appendix removed. But while she waits in post-op for her surgery wound to heal, she starts to develop another malady--love sickness! And her handsome new attending physician, Dr. Touya, is the cause! What can cure Sanae's ailment? ...A sponge bath, maybe?
Omake: If you have ever wondered why Shinjo Mayu's female characters have such big breasts and why her heroines seem so young...then you must read this omake! It is a great insight into the mind of Shinjo Mayu!
This is a decent read. There are four one shots and the last one is a few pages about the mangaka (manga artist/writer), Shinjo Mayu. So although it says 5 chapters in this one volume, it's made up of 4 one-shot stories and a few articles about the creator.
To be fair I think the most interesting for me is really finding out about Shinjo Mayu, she comes across really cute and uber funny. Some of that is of course translated in her work but I found that part where she could be frank with the fans to be revealing and fun to read about.
As for the 4 one-shots, they were actually pretty decent to read. I'm being honest, not much subjugation of women or even emotional blackmail and rape. Most of the characters were just average characters with pretty nicely developed personalities. The men in general could be a bit arrogant and overbearing but other than that the guys were actually caring and great people. She's had a few abusive males and in this set there really isn't any of that.
**Here is some forewarning each of the stories delve into some sort of taboo or hang up. The first deal with incest, the second deals with yaoi, the third deals with and older girl with a younger boy and the last one deals with doctor/patient relationships. Most will think that yaoi is not taboo, but really homosexual relationships are problematic in this day and age and people still have hang ups. This just touches on it a bit, but it's not the focus of the story as the primary couple is heterosexual. The older girl and younger boy, it's a one year age difference but it's something that is far less common than a younger girl and an older man. The final one deals with doctor/patient---in the medical profession it' snot a big deal. But a psychiatrist would never date his patients and that is considered a no-no. So in Japan ANY doctor/patient relationship might hold the same taboo.
The first one-shot is a relationship between cousins. This one actually had more things to be upset about because this poor girl was going to be taken advantage of by someone in authority. This really taps into the horrible position so many young girls are in by those in authority and who have a great deal of power to abuse and manipulate them. That was uncool. However the person she was in love with is a great guy and I was surprised that he sincerely had feelings for her. I actually liked the idea, and probably felt that it would have been better if he wasn't into her, but remained supportive. As a note incest turns off most people but cousins (first even) are allowed to marry in many places around the world even in the US. That being said, I had no personal hang ups, but for those who do have problems with incest romances I would recommend moving onto the other stories in the set because this is the ONLY one involving incest. Oh I liked the lead girls character in the story. She's very upbeat, fun, and is truly and madly in love with her cousin/teacher. She was an interesting character and done well.
The second one-shot wasn't that great. I found this one unimportant but it does touch on a bit of yaoi. So that's interesting. But the characters are lack luster. The girl did nothing for me and she was unimpressive same for the male lead. He was just lackluster. He could have had the same appeal as Akuma from Akuma na Eros but he feel disastrously short. I read this quickly and moved on.
The third one-shot was pretty good and I know a few people would be into it. It's basically dealing with a girl who has feelings for a younger guy. She has to over come her own hang ups until he even accepts her but he's in love with her. The male lead I felt seemed to try and appear domineering but he played off the nice guy far better.
The fourth one-shot was nice. I thought this one was well developed as most of them are, and it had a juicier depth. This was the funniest out of all the stories since there was a bit more gross comedy involved from flatulence to ghosts. So for entertainment quality out of all the stories I liked this one the best and the first one shot is a close second. The male lead is a good guy who seems entertained by the female lead antics and he takes it in stride which makes it even funnier. Nicely done with this one.
Anyway, I think most people should try this. There's some good stuff in here.read more