Archive for the 'Kano, Shiuko' Category

26th Oct 2008

Kiss All The Boys 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Anything Shuiko Kano does I love. I don’t care how weird and odd the stories are; I always find something about them that makes me really and truly happy. See, I don’t want to like Tetsuo. He’s pretty much a rotten guy whom I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw, but because he’s so unlikable and goes through so much angst, he becomes real to me. I find myself sympathizing with him even as I want to smack some sense into him.

After some deep soul searching and numerous masturbation scenes, Tetsuo has come to the realization that females just aren’t doing it for him. What he really wants is the one thing that he shouldn’t be lusting over–the male object of his teenaged son’s affections, Tamaki.

Making things even more complicated is the fact that Enomoto returns the feelings for Tetsuo, which has them both afraid of breaking Haruka’s heart. It all works out and of course there are happy-ever-afters abounding, but it’s a rocky road to get there and Kano’s pulling out all of her tricks.

I’m not sure if Kano is my all-time favorite manga artist. I think that position is still firmly held by Mamiya Oki and Ayano Yamane with some Mika Sadahiro, Kazuma Kodaka and Masara Minase thrown in for good measure, but I think that she’s right up there on my list of ‘must-buy’ authors.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Kiss All the Boys | 2 Comments »

05th Oct 2008

Yakuza in Love 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Oh, Shiuko Kano, you provide me with the best crack-like manga. I knew that I was going to enjoy this release, but I didn’t realize just how much and just how wrong and filthy it was going to be.

So, when we last left our heroes, Junki had been kidnapped by a rival gang and was facing all kinds of unpleasant things. Things start off quickly in this release with the Flower gang rushing in to save Junki. Now, Chihiro goes a bit nuts after he sees a video Junki’s captors have sent them of Junki being raped and tortured. Chihiro’s been hiding his feelings for Junki under the veneer of brotherly affection, but this is enough to bring his true feelings to the forefront.

What amused me the most was not the happy-ever-after ending, but the fact that Kano included an alternate ending that was just hot, dirty and all kinds of wrong. I must really have my wires crossed when I find Chihiro all half-naked, bleeding and getting his brains fucked out to be really hot.

Kano is one of my favorite artists because she does not take herself or her art too seriously. It’s a treat to have something that’s absurdly hilarious on one page juxtaposed with something that will pull on your heartstrings on the next page.

I’m going to miss this series. I don’t know if it’s one of my all-time favorites, but it’s right up there with series like Yellow and Our Everlasting that I want to read over and over. I’m hoping that some of the other new releases that Deux has up their sleeves are going to be as addictive.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Yakuza in Love | Comments Off on Yakuza in Love 3

03rd Aug 2008

Kiss All The Boys 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I just like Shiuko Kano. Even when she gets confusing, or just plain weird, I still enjoy her work. Just plain weird is a good description of this series, which is getting a bit hard to follow. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good, it’s just not an easy, flowing read.

So, Tetsuo has finally clued in to the fact that his best friend of fifteen years has the hots for him. Tetsuo also realizes that Michiro gets him hard. For someone who has spent the last few years impotent, this is a momentous occasion! Of course, Tetsuo has to ruin all of the happy-boy-sex fun by being a dick and rejecting Michiro in the coldest way possible. I don’t know about you, but turing to someone else and going on about how anyone’s cock can get you off is pretty damn cold.

Throw in temper tantrums from Tetsuo’s long-suffering son, confusion over the son’s best friend/love interest, some pangs of regret after alienating his best friend, and Tetsuo’s not in the best place mentally. I would have more sympathy for him if he wasn’t such an unbelievable bastard.

Even after all of this, I’m still enjoying the series, and looking forward to seeing what Kano will come up with next. One of the things that I really enjoy about her work, and what helps to separate her from the rest of the pack, is the fact that her male characters almost always act like guys. There are almost no stereotypical uke-boys in her books and this makes me very happy. Maybe my reading of non-Japanese boysmut has jaded me, but the ultra-femmy, weepy uke just doesn’t do it for me.

Heck, I don’t think they’ve ever done it for me. I cut my teeth on Kizuna, where even though Ran-chan was fairly girly, you knew he was the one who wore the pants in that relationship, and had Enjoji wrapped around his little finger. I get so very tired of femmy-boys who act more like a girl than I do. Kano is one of the artists I turn to for some relief from the femmy-boy syndrome.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Kiss All the Boys | Comments Off on Kiss All The Boys 2

15th Jun 2008

Yakuza In Love 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

What is it about tattooed gangsters that makes me happy? Seriously. I spend half of my time when I’m reading this series staring at the utter prettiness of their ink.

This time around, we get a little more info on Aoi’s back story, and the relationship between him and Sakiya grows even stronger. There’s a lot of longing and lustful looks, but no real consummation of the relationship.

Now, here’s where it starts getting really good. The other half of the book revolves around Junki, otherwise known as slutty Mr. Blondie, his back story and why he behaves the way he does.

Junki’s brother was part of a gang and used to bring his fellow gang member Chihiro around the house. Junki was never too impressed with the fact that his brother was in a gang and that Chihiro was one of the gang members, but everyone got along pretty well. Now, Junki’s brother never wanted him to join the gang, he wanted something better for him. But, after his brother’s death at the hands of rival gangsters, Junki rebelled and joined a gang to find his revenge.

At this point, Junki’s feelings towards Chihiro grew stronger and Junki wanted to attempt a relationship, but Chihiro always turned him away. It seems that he never saw Junki as anything more as a friend. This leads Junki to look for gratification elsewhere…

I do so enjoy unrequited love, there’s so much potential for angst. I shouldn’t enjoy the misery of these characters so much, but I do. Oh, I still want them to find a happy ending at some point, but I’m really enjoying reading about them making themselves miserable in the mean time.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Yakuza in Love | 5 Comments »

05th Jun 2008

Kiss All the Boys 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Shiuko Kano could very well become one of my favorite manga-ka. Her stories are always written with tongue very firmly in cheek and very hot. Not to mention the fact that her male characters always look like males! There are no girls with penises to be found here. No, these are men who fuck up their relationships like men. It’s a refreshing change after reading about so many ukes who cry at the drop of a hat!

The main character is Tetsuo. He works as a pornographic manga-ka and has a teenage son from his college years when he was sowing his wild oats. Tetsuo has two problems. First off, he’s impotent. Next, he’s now the caretaker for his son, whom he’s had little to no contact with. Mommie-dearest just dropped him off one day because she accepted a job transfer to France.

Tetsuo and his son, Haruka, do not get along. Tetsuo finding out that his son is gay just adds fuel to the fire. Top all of this off with Tetsuo finding out that he actually can get it up if he’s with another guy. As you can see, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

There are lots of conflicting emotions running around here and it’s making me impatient for the next volume to come out. I want to see just what’s going to happen. I have to say, this really is a fun release. It’s filled with humor and enough sex to keep my pervy little mind happy.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Kiss All the Boys | Comments Off on Kiss All the Boys 1

27th May 2008

Affair

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I really want to like Shiuko Kano. Her work is filthy, explicit and she explores themes that a lot of artists would not touch with a ten-foot pole. The main problem I have with her work is the fact that she loses the story every time she tries to write something that’s more than three or four chapters long. They all start off so well, but by the fifth chapter it’s dissolved into mindless gibberish interspersed with bouts of wild-hot-monkey sex.

This release solved the problem I have with most of her work. It’s a series of vignettes, none of them more than two chapters long. Oh, happy day! Filthy smut that makes sense. I am a happy girl.

My favorite story revolves around two half-brothers, living in a traditional home. There’s a lot of jealousy and anger on part of one of the brothers, but also one hell of an attraction to his half-brother. There’s murder, babies being switched at birth, lots of fun plot twists and at the end of it all, feelings that really shouldn’t be there coming to the forefront.

See, all kinds of fun taboo things going on here. Half-brother incest makes me happy. I don’t know why, and I most likely don’t want to explore that kink too much, but reading about it just gets me going.

801 Media is really showing that they’re at the forefront of quality when it comes to releasing BL manga. Tight, clean binding, full-color inserts, dust covers… I can’t ask for anything more from a production company. I know I’m a broken record on this, but I’m tired of being expected to shell out extra money for my boysmut, just to have it be presented to me in a shoddy format. This is not shoddy in any way, shape or form. This is fucking beautiful and, again, this makes me a very happy girl.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Affair, Kano, Shiuko | Comments Off on Affair

26th May 2008

I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

“…You’ve been awful careful ’bout the friends you choose.
But you won’t find my name in your book of Who’s Who…”

It’s really sad that when I see this book, or hear it’s title I end up walking around singing Monkee’s songs for the rest of the day.

We have Sakai, who is a junior-high dropout and works on scaffolding for a construction company. He’s got a crush on Masashi’s sister. Masashi is a genius, getting ready for his college entrance exams. He notices Sakai’s crush and lets him know that his sister would never go out with a dropout. When Saki expresses a desire to take the high school equivalency tests, Masashi agrees to tutor him, but at a price.

People who are fans of Brother are going to find a lot to like in this release. It’s utterly filthy. There’s little to no censoring and, really, it’s just a loosely strung series of graphic sex scenes. That being said, it’s wonderful. I was familiar with this artist’s work through other releases and scanlations. I wasn’t expecting an in-depth story, I was expecting hot, sweaty, mansex and that’s exactly what I got.

It also pushes one of my buttons. I’ve got to admit that I find it kind of hot when a straight boy is convinced to preform sexual acts on another male and then finds out that he doesn’t hate it.

This release is graphic, filthy and all kinds of fun. I do get tired of super-smutty releases that are devoid of any plot, but releases like this make me remember why I liked them in the first place.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone, Kano, Shiuko | Comments Off on I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone

24th May 2008

Maybe I’m Your Steppin’ Stone

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

You’re trying to make your mark in society,
Using all the tricks that you used on me…

Every time I read a book in this series, I get that damned Monkees song stuck in my head. The same thing happened when I would review Shout Out Loud. I would end up getting KISS songs stuck in my head. Though, with releases of this quality, I really don’t mind walking around singing to myself for a few days.

Set in the same world as I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone, we have a whole new host of characters. First, there’s divorced dad, Kousei, who’s friendly with the clerk at the local convenience store where he buys his porn magazines and his dinner. Then, we meet Kenji who has a niece who goes to the same nursery school as Kousei’s son. Kenji is driving himself nuts lusting after what he thinks is a lost cause.

Of course, he thinks Kousei’s straight. He’s got a son and everything, you know. Remember, this is the wonderful world of yaoi, where every male is available, so of course Kousei and Kenji end up having very hot, very graphic sex.

Did I neglect to mention the fact that all of the sex scenes by this author are completely filthy? Oh, and girly men need not apply, these are rough, muscled men who even have some facial hair.

This series is lovely, rough and all kinds of enjoyable. I love how it’s all done with an air of good humor as well. It’s like the author knows just how silly some of this stuff is and she’s laughing right along with us.

I’m really looking forward to the third release in this series. If it’s as good as the first two, I’m going to be a very, very happy Cyn.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Maybe I'm Your Steppin' Stone | Comments Off on Maybe I’m Your Steppin’ Stone

23rd May 2008

Play Boy Blues 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Welcome to the world of host clubs. Sexy men are everywhere and they all want to woo you. I could go for that. I have thing for men of hosts clubs. Okay, I have thing for beautiful men in general. So, I suppose I’m already biased. Heh, when am I not?

Anyway, meet Shinobu and Junsuke. Shinobu is a former host who left the clubs to become a construction worker. Junsuke was talked into joining Shinobu as a host and still is one. Since they share an apartment, they both know what the other is doing. Or do they?

There is some serious jealousy and possessiveness between Junsuke and Shinobu. These emotions they have don’t truly become apparent until you see the looks they give each other and the simple way they skirt around issues.

That is until Junsuke comes right out and says, “Admit that you’ve fallen for me. Do that for me… and I’ll stay with you forever.” Of course, Shinobu won’t admit love. At least, not yet. But we all know it’s clearly a matter of time with both of them.

Shiuko Kano is a great artist and storyteller. I like how the relationship between Junsuke and Shinobu slowly unfolds for the reader. I like how she incorporates the past into the present. Let me not forget the art. Oh, the art. The art is beautiful, fluid and expressive. The sex is not gratuitous, but actually helps move the story and deepens the relationship. Well, and it’s pretty hot too.

There’s a short story in the back about a construction business. Kano’s… obsession with hot construction workers is something I can relate to. Don’t we all like seeing sexy boys completely sweaty and dirty? Oh, yes, we do. Don’t we all like watching the same dirty boys get cleaned up in the shower together? Hey, now that’s even better.

I think Be Beautiful did a great job with Play Boy Blues. No, there are no full-color inserts. However, there are the honorifics and a very good translation. I highly recommend this manga to anyone who enjoys high quality BL.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Play Boy Blues | Comments Off on Play Boy Blues 1

22nd May 2008

Tough Love Baby

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

You know, I think Deux has a different idea of what constitutes a steamy work than I do. Yes, Shiuko Kano’s work can get get downright pornographic at times; her releases with 801 Media are good examples of this fact. People buying this release, thinking they’re going to find something as graphic as I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone are going to be in for a sad surprise. Once they get over the lack of pure porn, though, they’re going to find that there’s a lot to like in this release. I mean, who doesn’t like seeing the vulnerable side of tough boys?

The tough boys in question are Yoshino, Sachi, Tamotsu and Sora. Their stories are all interconnected, but are separated into two main plots. First, we have Yoshino and Sachi. Three years ago Yoshino left his lover and his younger brother, Sachi, claiming that he had met someone new.

The truth of the matter was that Yoshino had started to develop feelings for Sachi, more feelings than he had for Sachi’s sister. So, instead of manning up and facing his feelings, he turned tail and fled. Now that he’s back, it’s time to discover if Sachi will let him back into his good graces. Also, if Yoshino’s going to be man enough to face the relationship this time around.

Then we have Tamotsu and Sora. Tamotsu is Sachi’s childhood friend and has always harbored feelings for him. Since we know that Sachi’s busy mooning over Yoshino, poor Tamotsu doesn’t have a chance in hell. But, wait! Enter Sora who has purity and admiration for his sempai that can break through Tamotsu’s pity party.

A happy ending for all of the tough boys. Even though it’s rather obvious that this is a early work of Kano’s, given the limited plot development, this is still a really fun release to read.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Tough Love Baby | Comments Off on Tough Love Baby

22nd May 2008

Yakuza in Love 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I do so love fluffy, angsty yakuza boys. I know in real life that the yakuza are not this endearing and they’re not banging each other’s brains out. But just like in Kizuna, it’s nice to step into an alternate reality where they’re doing just that.

This series has a whole gaggle of pretty, tattooed boys with guns. Our main character is Aoi. Aoi has been rising through the ranks of the Hanagumi (Flower Gang) after he saved the main boss’s life. Now, what Aoi doesn’t want anyone to realize is that his saving the boss was a total fluke. The boss was about to step on an widdle baby bird when Aoi shoved him out of the way. Hell, Aoi doesn’t even know how to throw a proper punch. He’s determined, though. He wants to be the best he can be.

Aoi gets apprenticed to Yuji, one of the under-bosses, a man who epitomizes honor and chivalry. Aoi wants to do his best to earn Yuji’s respect, but things get all muddled when feelings develop between the two. This isn’t even taking into account the other members of the gang, all of whom seem to be humping like rabid weasels at the slightest provocation.

It’s all very silly, and even though I had a hard time following the story at times, I really enjoyed this release. I haven’t seen scans of the original release, so I don’t know if the use of American slang was something the author did, or if it was a translation choice that Deux made. I really didn’t bother me that much either way. I mean, if we have a gang of men fucking each other, why can’t they use American slang? The only bad part is that this is making me want the next issue of Kizuna just that much more!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Kano, Shiuko, Yakuza in Love | Comments Off on Yakuza in Love 1