Archive for the 'Higuri, You' Category

27th May 2008

Gakuen Heaven

Rating: ♦

I’m sure that there are a lot of people out there who love BL games and were very excited about a manga based off of a BL game being released over here. I’m not one of them. Much like the original game, the manga Gakuen Heaven is almost completely plotless and most certainly pointless.

We’ve got Keita, a boy with extra-ordinary luck, but no other redeeming qualities. Well, aside from the fact that he’s uke-boy extraordinaire. He somehow gets accepted into the prestigious all-boys Bell Liberty Academy.

After arrival, Keita gets sent on random errands around the school as a way to introduce the reader to all of the pretty boys that Keita has the possibility of being fucked by in the game. The top pairing in the game is to get Keita to end up with the student council president, known as King. Here in the manga, it concentrates on just how Keita and the wonder-boy end up in bed together.

And really, that’s it.

The art is pretty, the presentation is stellar but the book has absolutely no plot.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in , Gakuen Heaven, Higuri, You, SPRAY | Comments Off on Gakuen Heaven

27th May 2008

Gorgeous Carat 1

Rating: ♦♦♦

The death of the French aristocracy, rogue thieves and a boat load of angst. Sounds like something Charles Dickens would have a field day with. Well, if you ignored the massive homoerotic undertones. Welcome to You Higuri’s Gorgeous Carat. It’s pretty, it’s fluffy, and that’s about it.

It centers around Florian, the only son of an impoverished novel family. Florian is forced/tricked/compelled to work with Ray Balzac Cortland, a.k.a. Noir, an accomplished thief after the family treasure goes missing. Add in a good whipping, mistaken identity, treacherous family members and there is a semblance of a plot here under all the pretty drawings.

It’s a rather addicting series, even though it reminds me very much of a bodice-ripping romance novel. The art is nice enough that people who are on the fence on this one might want to consider picking it up. It’s not high literature, but it’s good for a quick read.

As per usual, BLU has done a great job with the translation and with the print quality. The full color insert in the front is making me a very happy fangirl.

All in all, it’s a cute series. I don’t think I’ll be waiting on bated breath for the next book to be released, but I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of this series at some point.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦, Gorgeous Carat, Higuri, You | Comments Off on Gorgeous Carat 1

27th May 2008

Gorgeous Carat 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Take some treasure-hunting pretty boys and you’ve got a decent plot line right there. Add in foreign locales, a few bits of intrigue and it gets even better. Add in a sadistic, tyrannical character with no morals and an eye-patch and I’m in heaven. We’re back to the overblown world of Gorgeous Carat.

When we last left our intrepid heroes, Florian has been taken hostage by the Black Hand organization. We all knew that Nor was going to go and save him right? Because if he didn’t, we really wouldn’t have much of a story to go from.

Once Florian is safe and sound, it’s time to go on another mission and put him right back into danger. This time the troupe is going to Morocco to help out a friend from Nor’s past. The friend seems all right at first, but he seems to be playing everyone around him to get what he wants.

Put your knowledge of history aside. Forget just how grandiloquent the plot line is. This is all about having fun and getting sucked into the drama. Oh, and there’s drama galore. This series reminds me at times of a daytime soap opera with all of the twists, turns, characters back-stabbing each other and being kidnapped and having all kinds of not-nice things done to them.

And much like a daytime soap opera, it’s absolutely addicting. Complete with a massive cliffhanger at the end, just to ensure that I’m going to have to go out and buy volume three, just to see what happens.

Kudos to BLU for including the full-color inserts in the books. One of the things that I’ve always loved about You Higuri is her lush colors and details that are put into all of her illustrations. Each time you look at one of her drawings something new catches your eye that you missed the first time you looked at it. It’s just all kinds of gorgeous.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Gorgeous Carat, Higuri, You | Comments Off on Gorgeous Carat 2

27th May 2008

Gorgeous Carat Galaxy

Rating: ♦♦♦

I do like You Higuri’s artwork. Her attention to detail is fantastic and her characters are definitely pretty; I just sometimes wish that her plots lived up to the promise of her artwork.

So, here we go with Gorgeous Carat Galaxy, now before you ask, yes, BLU manga is publishing Gorgeous Carat as well. It seems that the original publisher who was doing Gorgeous Carat, Comic Eyes, ceased publication. It was then picked up again in Gentosha Comics. BLU has the license for the series that was released in Comic Eyes and DMP got the license for the works that were published in Gentosha Comics. I’ve only read the first two books that BLU has released, so I can’t swear that this is a continuation of the storyline or if these are new storylines or what exactly is going on.

This time we’ve got Nor and Florian going to an art auction that one of Florian’s distant relatives is holding. Nor doesn’t exactly want to go, but is going along to keep peace (i.e. shut Florian up). When they get there they find a boatload of intrigue, a slightly mentally disturbed cousin of Florian’s and a house filled with secret passageways and tunnels. Now, predictably, Florian ends up in mortal danger at the end of this and Nor has to come to his rescue.

I’m getting to the point where I just want to smack the both of them and then just send them into the corner to screw. See, I’m not sure if this series wants to be shojo with homoerotic undertones or if it wants to be light BL. Maybe if we just got on with consummating the relationship, then Florian being in mortal danger in every book wouldn’t become so tiresome.

I can’t fault DMP at all with the presentation of this book. They’ve done a great job, even including the full-color insert. I just wish there was more to work with plot-wise.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦, Gorgeous Carat Galaxy, Higuri, You | Comments Off on Gorgeous Carat Galaxy