Archive for the 'Kannagi, Satoru' Category

27th May 2008

Only the Ring Finger Knows: The Lonely Ring Finger

Rating: ♦

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the manga, Only The Ring Finger Knows, I’ll do a basic plot synopsis. Take one school, where the current fad is for couples to wear matching rings. Add in two boys. Boy #1 and Boy #2 don’t realize it, but they have matching rings. One day, on accident they get their rings switched and they find that the other one’s ring fits perfectly on their ring finger.

Throw in a boatload of angst and confusion and you’ve got the basic gist of the manga. I’m not going to go into great detail here because we’ve already done a review of it. It’s cute, it’s sweet and it’s not graphic at all.

The second half of the book delves further into the boy’s relationship. This time we’ve got the boys getting ready for exams. They decide to not take their relationship further until after exams. I wonder if this plot device is really that common in Japan. “Oh no, we can’t sleep together until after exams!” There’s more confusion and angst with the rings. Then, finally, a happy ending.

I was really looking forward to reading my first BL novel in English. I was terribly disappointed. Some seriously choppy editing work and poor translation ruined the book. I think the bit that threw me the most was the use of one poor, lonely honorific in the whole book. We don’t see a hint of an honorific, then all of a sudden one of the character’s adds the term san to a character’s name as an insult.

After that we don’t see an honorific again.

We all know I don’t like it when companies leave out honorifics, but I can get over it when they’re not used at all. When they just throw one in there it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Top that off with the phrasing and pacing of the book being very awkward. As we all know, Japanese has a very different flow than English. It just doesn’t translate smoothly to English. The whole thing just didn’t read very well or very easily.

I know all the fanbips are squeeing and jumping up and down for joy with the release of this book, but I just couldn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t the syrupy sweet romance that did it for me, it was the lack of readability that did it in.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in , Kannagi, Satoru, Odagiri, Hotaru, Only the Ring Finger Knows: The Lonely Ring Finger | Comments Off on Only the Ring Finger Knows: The Lonely Ring Finger

24th May 2008

Only the Ring Finger Knows

Rating: ♦♦♦

If you’re looking for smut, do not look for it in Only the Ring Finger Knows. However, if you’re looking for a sweet little one-shot about high-school love, definitely pick this manga up. It’s perfect for curling up with on a rainy day.

Only the Ring Finger Knows is not all the hype that the underage fangirls will tell you. As a hardcore yaoi fan who has been in the yaoidom for about six years, I was expecting some moving story a la Haru wo Daiteita. At least, that’s what these underagers had pushed. I doubt they know the beauty of Haru, but for newbies to the genre, Only the Ring Finger Knows is deep and all that lovely crap. I still enjoyed the story. I’m glad it’s in my collection and will tell everyone (which I am, I guess) that this fluffy romance is great, even for a cynical bitch like me.

The plot: the confused Wataru (uke) gets tangled up with a “perfect” upperclassman, Kazuki (seme), when he finds out that Kazuki has the same ring as him. Fascination grows deeper as the manga progresses and ends with an adorable twist in the final chapter. I won’t spoil it, but it made me go, “awwww!”.

Anyway, I have to say that I like the way DMP is handling their yaoi line of manga. Everything is so professional and handled with respect. DMP is including slipcovers and the actual cover of the book is printed very similarly to a Japanese edition. No full-color panels, unfortunately. I’ll let that slide because DMP’s manga are large and just freakin’ gorgeous. Thank you, DMP, for doing this right.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦, Kannagi, Satoru, Odagiri, Hotaru, Only the Ring Finger Knows | Comments Off on Only the Ring Finger Knows

23rd May 2008

Rin! 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Like most of us, I was introduced to Rin! though scanlations of the series. I did not make the connection at that time that the book was written by the writer of Only the Ringfinger Knows and illustrated by the artist behind Desire. No wonder this series is so sweetly addicting.

We’ve got Katsura, a young man suffering from anxiety attacks that can only be cured by a hug from his brother’s best friend, Sou. Now Katsura, Katsura’s brother and Sou all are on the school’s archery team.

As Katsura begins to rise through the ranks, his anxiety attacks become more acute. Sou keeps on giving him hugs grudgingly, but is there more to his feelings than just caring about his best friend’s brother? Add in the fact that Katsura is also having to deal with the advances that his teammate, Kouichi, is making on him and the anxiety attacks grow worse. Katsura is left facing the fact that he really cares more for Sou than he probably should.

This is schoolboy romance the way it should be done. Light, sweet and melt-your-heart perfect. Never mind the fact that in reading Rin! you get a crash course in Japanese-style archery. It’s not surprising that this series has been a fan favorite for a good long while now.

Happily, June has started leaving in the honorifics. It makes a much more pleasurable read. (Now if we could only get them to quit translating ‘big brother’!) Thank you so much, June, for listening to the fans and for starting to give us manga in the format as close to the original as possible.

While not graphic in the least, Rin! is a welcome addiction to any fan’s collection. A lot of the books released for the 16+ crowd leave me feeling empty, however, this series has the whole package. A sticky-sweet love story, unrequited lust and teenage angst all wrapped up with storytelling that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in Honami, Yukine, Kannagi, Satoru, Rin! | Comments Off on Rin! 1