Archive for the 'Kosen' Category

27th May 2008

Reflections

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Artbooks just make me happy. A circle as talented as KÔSEN putting out an artbook makes me really happy. That’s just about all there is to it. There’s art and it is pretty. The boys are hot. You should own this.

This book is full of black-and-white illustrations from KÔSEN’s bank of original work. Boys with swords, cowboys, half-naked boys, it’s all here.

Really, the only thing I could have wanted more of would be more color illustrations, but I don’t know if that was a Yaoi Press or KÔSEN decision. I’m sure that full-color illustrations would have kicked the price up to a level that I’m not sure if I would really want to pay.

This really is a gorgeous book. If you’re a fan of this circle, it should be on your must-buy list.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kosen, Reflections | Comments Off on Reflections

23rd May 2008

Saihoshi the Guardian 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Color me surprised. Yaoi Press has finally put out a title that I really enjoyed. Three stories and I only cringed at one of them.

The first story, “Saihoshi the Guardian” by KOSEN, is just lovely. The art is crisp, the story flows nicely and there are these great bits of humor that keep the story bouncing along. It’s a nice twist on the normal fairy tale with a completely self-centered prince, a selfless guardian and a pretty serving boy caught in the middle. I’m really looking forward to the next part of this story to see just what happens.

The second story didn’t thrill me as much. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” just didn’t have the same punch that the other two stories in the collection had. The art wasn’t quite up to par with the rest of the work in the collection either. It seemed like the editors were searching for something that kind of fit with the fairy tale/medieval setting of the first story and settled on this one.

The last story in the collection, “Closed Flower”, makes up for the disappointment with the second story. It’s drawn beautifully and is a unsettling story. I like stories that unsettle me and make me think. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.

If Yaoi Press is going to keep producing quality work like this, I may be more likely to buy their products. It’s not oh-my-god-run-out-and-buy-this-now amazing, but it was a damn good read.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kosen, Saihoshi the Guardian | Comments Off on Saihoshi the Guardian 1

23rd May 2008

Saihoshi the Guardian 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

As much as I usually don’t care for works from Yaoi Press, I do find myself being drawn to Kôsen’s work. The art is deep and lush with incredibly pretty boys and the plotlines are fairly engrossing. All of which contribute to making me happy that I spent the money for the book instead of bitching about wasting my money. This book is no exception. I love the title story, and for once with a Yaoi Press release, I did not hate the other stories that were included in the book.

When we last left our heroes they were in fairly dire straits. Kôsen managed to take a fairly trite fantasy story and turn it into something sweet and refreshing with sly doses of humor to cut through the sweetness. I just wish we could find out what happened to the horn-ball of a prince.

The companion story in Saihoshi, Volume Two revolves around a little fox-boy who’s been bred for pleasure and the mercenary who’s taken it upon himself to free him from captivity and take him under his wing. While the art isn’t fully my cup of tea, it’s a nice story and fairly compelling.

But I guess after art like Kôsen’s, just about everything falls short. I truly wish that Kôsen would get more books on their own. Their talents are wasted in having to share books with others.

At least this time Yaoi Press didn’t fill the middle of the book with advertisements for up and coming releases. They stuck all of the advertising in the back of the book. I’ve got no problem reading about up-and-coming books when they’re placed at the end of the book I’m reading. Hell, I’m planning on buying two of the releases they mentioned, but their old style of placing adds in the middle of the books just completely turned me off. If I want ads in the middle of my reading, I’ll pick up a magazine or a newspaper thank you very much.

Here’s hoping we get some more OEL manga that’s as high quality as the stuff that Kôsen’s been releasing. I hate to turn into a drooling fangirl, but their work just brings that out of me in spades.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kosen, Saihoshi the Guardian | Comments Off on Saihoshi the Guardian 2

22nd May 2008

Stallion

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I love Kôsen’s art. They’ve got the perfect mix of Asian-styled pretty boy and traditional comic muscled men. It’s pretty and it’s much of what makes their stories so damn addictive. I was thrilled to find that all of the stories in Stallion were done by Kôsen. Hooray for having a book to themselves!

So this time we’ve got Josey, an All-American styled bounty-hunter/cowboy, and Stallion, a Native American, who are both after Bill Tempest – the man who ruined both their lives.

Now, while Bill was a pretty despicable character, I kept finding myself wanting to cheer him on. That boy had meanness and nastiness down to an art form. Not to mention the fact that he was just clever as all hell and kept setting up scenes for Stallion and Josey to discover hot boy sex with each other.

Yeah. Could of done with more hot boy sex, but what there was of it was pretty good. It’s a short story, but nice. Nothing groundbreaking, but I don’t follow this group for their amazingly in-depth stories. I follow them because their art makes me drool.

Then we’ve got two early stories by the circle. Really quite fond of the vampire story. I found myself getting sucked into the story, short as it was, by the strength of the words and not just the quality of the art.

All in all, it’s not a bad way to spend ten dollars and waste some time just getting wrapped up in pretty cowboy sex. Let’s not forget that in the book you also get a sheet of stickers, one of each of the main characters. It’s silly and it’s cheesy, but it’s cute and it sucked me in. I’m all about my pretty boy stickers right now.

I would love to see more work by this group. If Yaoi Press would put out more quality stuff like this, then I think I would be happier about spending money on their releases.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Kosen, Stallion | Comments Off on Stallion