Archive for the 'Shimizu, Yuki' Category

17th Sep 2010

ZE 5

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

There’s something gorgeously over the top about Yuki Shimizu’s works. They go right to the edge of being over-blown and over-dramatic without crossing that very fine line. I end up falling in love with all of her couples, even the ones that I’m convinced I’m going to hate.

So, in case you couldn’t figure it out, I didn’t think I was going to like the new couple that she introduced in this volume. Moriya, a kami, was supposed to return to hakushi, after his master died – but, instead he asked to be able to continue to serve. All other kotodamashi have a kami serving them, except for the exile, Ryuusei, who refuses to use his kotodama powers.

Of course, this causes drama and a boatload of sexual tension. Which in turn makes me salivate at the thought of the next volume coming out, so I can read the rest of this couples story. It’s all a plot to get me to fork over most of my paycheck to booksellers.

Sadly, it’s working. I’m right on board, drinking the kool-aid. As long as the releases that 801 keeps putting out are of this high quality, I see no rescue in site. Is there a 12 step program for those of us who have a book addiction?

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Shimizu, Yuki, ZE | Comments Off on ZE 5

07th Sep 2010

ZE 4

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I really do love Yuki Shimizu. There’s no one that does angst better.

Case in point, take Genma, a man who’s been in love with his father’s Kami-Sama, Himi, for years, and finally has his feelings reciprocated – only to have Himi murdered, and in a wash of tears and paper, revert back to a paper doll.

Then have Himi reincarnated, only with no memory of Genma, just feelings of gratitude and servitude. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes, or at least make me want to curl up with the entire series and pledge my eternal devotion to Yuki Shimizu.

Then throw in a story featuring some pervy twins, and their Kami, and you’ve got a threesome made in fangirl heaven.

If I haven’t convinced you to run out and get this series by now, there’s nothing I can say or do to convince you otherwise, but you’re truly missing out. This is everything that I love about this genre, and it’s truly one of my all time favorite things.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Shimizu, Yuki, ZE | Comments Off on ZE 4

19th Oct 2009

ZE 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Yuki Shimizu isn’t on the top of most people’s list of favorite manga artists. Heck, she don’t even get on my top ten list most of the time. That’s a shame because the art is amazing and the stories always suck me in.

Her work isn’t as flashy nor as graphic as some of the artists and that’s the only reason I can think of why people aren’t clamoring over her work. I just know that every time I get done reading one of her releases, I’m happy and left counting the days until the next volume will be mailed to me.

This series isn’t quite as crack-like as Love Mode, the series that Shiumizu is really well known for, but I’m finding it to be just as addictive as my beloved Love Mode.

In this volume, we’re exploring what happens to a kami-sama when their kotodama-sama dies. Normally, the kami-sama chooses to die as well–reverting to a blank state. In the case of Himi, when his master passed away, his sense of obligation forces him to become a kami-sama for his old masters estranged son, Genma.

Gema has a different way of showing his affection than his father did. The physicality of Gema’s affection is something foreign to Himi. At first, Himi wants nothing to do with this brutish new master, but, of course, he starts to see the good in Genma and begins to fall for him.

I’m happy to see backgrounds for more of the Mitou family. I’m happy to have this series in print and in English. I can’t sing the praises of this one highly enough. It’s just wonderful on all levels.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Shimizu, Yuki, ZE | 2 Comments »

03rd May 2009

ZE 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Oh, sweet and gorgeous angst! You’re back! It’s funny because if you ask me who my favorite manga authors are, Yuki Shimizu is never one of the first ones that comes to mind. Yet, whenever I pick up one of her releases, I remember exactly why I adore her. That’s not even getting into the fact that this release plays on some of my all-time favorite themes. Namely, someone who’s not fully human trying to comprehend human emotions and finding out that even as someone who’s not fully human, they have the capacity to love.

So, Raizou and Kon are trying to figure out how their relationship is going to work now that Kon has accepted Raizou being his kotodama. Problem is that Raizou keeps treating Kon as a human and Kon doesn’t quite know how to deal with that. Throw in Kon’s healing ability only being able to work when his mucus membranes touch Raizou’s, the easiest way to do that is with a kiss, and you’ve got Raizou in a state of sexual frustration.

Kon’s ready and willing to let Raizou work off some steam with him, but Raizou wants more than just a quick grind. And, there’s the fact that Raizou’s hung like a horse. Something that freaks Kon out the first time he sees it.

It’s fun, it’s wonderfully silly and angsty and OMG!fantastic. I never get tired of her releases.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Shimizu, Yuki, ZE | 1 Comment »

22nd Mar 2009

ZE 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Oh, Yuki Shimizu. I thought I was going to be left bereft of your style of crack once we saw the last volume of Love Mode. I had forgotten that you had done other series and, this is pretty sad, because I know I have the scanlations for this somewhere on the mess that I call a computer.

I’m so very, very happy to have you back!

Ze is an odd series. People who are looking for a re-make of Love Mode will be quite disappointed. It does have a large cast of characters, but that’s where the similarities end. There’s Raizou, who is left destitute after the death of his grandmother. To support himself, he accepts a position as a housekeeper/cook at the Mitou estate.

Things aren’t exactly as they seem in the Mitou house. The residents aren’t fully human. They’re kami or healers. Meant to heal and protect their masters, kotodama. Without a master, the kami are left to be exploited and without a true purpose.

Raizou’s roommate, Kon, is without a master. Rauzou, once he gets a grasp on the situation, puts himself in place to become Kon’s master as a way of protecting him. Now, it’s just a matter of getting Kon to realize his sincerity.

It all sounds very odd and slightly far-fetched, but if there’s one thing that Shimizu is good at, it’s sucking you into a story and making you believe no matter what the situation is. I think with Shimizu, you either fall in love with the stories after your first read and are a devoted reader, or you find them too unbelievable and never become a fan. I’ve never met anyone who was on the fence when it comes to her work.

Place me firmly in the devoted fan category!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Shimizu, Yuki, ZE | Comments Off on ZE 1

21st Oct 2008

Love Mode 11

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

We’ve come to the end. As I said in my last review, I’m happy to finally have all of Love Mode in my hot little hands. Yet, I’m kind of sad, because I won’t have it to look forward to. I’m happy to say that the last volume was charming, sad, sweet, and full of what makes Love Mode one of my all time favorite series.

This volume is mostly a flashback. We go back in time to where Aoe was traveling the world, trying to escape his troubles with his family. While in England, he runs into an oddly dressed street performer who fleeces him out of his money. Aoe then runs into Takamiya, who uses him to fend off an amorous suitor. Now, keep in mind that at this point Aoe doesn’t know Takamiya at all. This is all making Aoe very cranky and the hotel he was planning on staying at losing his reservation just feeds the flames of the level of crankiness.

So, Aoe’s miserable and has no place to go. To make up for using him as a human shield, Takamiya invites Aoe to come and stay with him. Aoe, seeing no other recourse, accepts. Much to his surprise, Takamiya’s roommate is the street performer who made off with his money. Shiki is Takamiya’s uncle as well as his roommate and the atmosphere of welcome and relaxation they have in their house starts to thaw out Aoe. Shiki gets under Aoe’s skin, so much so that he and Aoe develop a relationship. One of the only healthy ones that Aoe has ever had.

Of course, this bliss can’t last for long and their peace is shattered when Aoe hears that his father was killed in a plane crash, leaving Aoe as the head of the family.

Like all Love Mode stories, this one broke my heart. I really couldn’t ask for more in a volume. As much as I would like more of this series, I’m happy that they ended it so well and left me wanting more of it. If you’re not already a fan, this series should definitely be on your must-buy list!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Love Mode, Shimizu, Yuki | 1 Comment »

17th Aug 2008

Love Mode 10

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m almost sad that this will be the next to the last volume of Love Mode. While I will be happy to own all of it, I’m really going to miss the anticipation of waiting for the next volume to come out, the joy of getting it out of the plastic wrap and then curling up in bed with the characters.

There are a lot of series out there that I enjoy and look forward to reading and reviewing, but none of them strike the same chord as Love Mode. For me, manga just does not get much better than this. No matter how much angst Yuki Shimizu throws at me, I know that there is going to be a blissfully happy ending for the characters.

This time around, we have the story of Jin and the violet-eyed prince. I really think that this was just an excuse for Shimizu to draw some faux Arabian-style outfits and throw in some cousin-sex, but I’m still going to enjoy it. So, there’s the violet-eyed prince, Shareef, who hires Jin to fuck him silly as way to make him too dirty to enter the priesthood. Also, as an introduction to male-male sex, as Shareef is in love with his cousin, Fai.

Fai is not happy with this turn of events and wants to keep Shareef pure, but eventually sees the light and ends up being madly in love with his cousin as well. This leaves poor Jin behind. That’s okay, though. We get his happy ending in another story.

After that, we have a return to our main couples. There’s a story about Izumi and Takamiya, where shadows from Takamiya’s past are causing Izumi to question Takamiya’s feelings for him. Then there’s more in the saga of Aoe and Naoya. First, Naoya gets tricked with a box of those dastardly special aphrodisiac chocolates. Then, their love is tested once again after Naoya’s grandfather passes away and Naoya is called to comfort the young heir.

You know, once the last volume comes out, I think it’s going to be high time I sit and re-read all of these and just enjoy what made me fall in love with this genre in the first place.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Love Mode, Shimizu, Yuki | 1 Comment »

05th Jun 2008

Love Mode 9

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m never disappointed when I have a volume of Love Mode. It always manage to leave me happy and satisfied. It’s enough to make my bitter, jaded heart want to find romance and a happy ending. Almost. Really. Don’t think some sappy manga is going to change my outlook on life. I’ll still be the same bitter bitch I always am, just with a few softer, blunter edges.

Last time, we had poor Haruomi being stabbed by a psychopath after he tried to save a kidnapped Kiichi. Things end up working out for our young heroes and a romance is starting to blossom, but the Aoe family machinations won’t leave them in peace for long.

Haruomi gets the reunion he’s been waiting for with his long lost twin brother, Tien, but it’s not the happy reunion we’ve all been hoping for. No, Tien is out for his brother’s blood and has plans to kidnap Kiichi.

It seems that after Haruomi sold himself to the Aoe family to pay for his brother’s medical care, the neighbor he entrusted with the money skipped town, leaving Tien to fend for himself. This has made Tien pretty bitter and understandably so. It’s going to be Kiichi’s innate goodness that breaks through Tien’s anger.

Yup, so very happy with Love Mode now. How long am I going to have to wait for the next release though!? I get impatient with series like this, but at the same time I really don’t want them to end. I know we’re nearing the end and I’m going to really miss having a new volume to look forward to.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Love Mode, Shimizu, Yuki | Comments Off on Love Mode 9

27th May 2008

Don’t Worry Mama

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Here we go with DMP’s second try in the BL novel world. Thankfully, I was much happier with this book than the Only The Ring Finger Knows novel. The story and the phrasing just flowed very smoothly.

Don’t Worry Mama revolves around the development of a relationship between Yuichi, an average, everyday salaryman who works at a pharmaceutical company and his obese, self-absorbed, dickwad of a boss, Imakura. While on a trip out to a deserted island to search for a weight loss herb that’s rumored to grow out there Yuchi’s hate for Imakura starts to grow.

Fate steps in and the two of them are left stranded on this deserted island. Now Imakura, more than ever before starts to show his true colors. He’s whiny and impatient and wants everything done for him and he’s even hoarding food and refusing to share with Yuchi.

Yuchi gets fed up with this and leaves Imakura to fend for himself. Yuchi’s pretty resourceful. He finds plenty of edibles in his wandering around the island and even begins to trap rabbits for food. Imakura, however, isn’t fairing as well. His experiments with eating on the island have left him sick and weak and all kinds of nasty. Yuchi, being an all-around nice guy, steps in to help Imakura. As Imakura starts to let Yuchi help him, he starts to open up to Yuchi. Once he opens up, it’s harder to hate him.

As time goes by and they’re stuck on this island and Imakura is turning back into a human being instead of a walking pile of blubber, Yuchi finds himself being more and more attracted to him. Imakura has soft skin and a sweetly innocent disposition. He’s also hung like my pinkie finger, but we won’t get into that now.

The relationship grows and the question becomes not will this paring work, but will this pairing work once they’re back in society, off the island.

You know, I really surprised myself by just how much I liked this story. Not to mention the fact that I was happily surprised by just how graphic it was. I mean it wasn’t full out-and-out smut, but it was pretty damn explicit. And that was a very nice surprise. I was expecting the book to be sweetness and light, like June’s first foray into BL novels was. If they keep bringing over books that are slightly smutty I think they may have just won a fangirl for life.

I don’t think the story or the subject matter is going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re curious as to what’s out there in the world of BL novels.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Don't Worry Mama, Konohara, Narise, Shimizu, Yuki | Comments Off on Don’t Worry Mama

27th May 2008

The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Damn you, June. Damn you to hell and back. You know I expect nail-biting cliffhangers at the end of every volume of manga. It’s the reason that we keep coming back and buying more, but I don’t expect it when it comes to novels. When it does happen, it sends me into a rage, cursing the publisher and the author for making me wait months to find out what in the hell is going to happen.

Yeah, I’ve got to wait until Spring 2007 to find out what happens to the main characters. Not fun. Good for June for getting me sucked in, not good for me, my wallet and my brain that wants to have resolution now.

That being said this is not a book for everyone. If a scene with what pretty much amounts to date rape (uke-boy is out of his head on aphrodisiacs and liquor) is going to squick you out, then I would give this title a wide berth. Me, being a hopeless perv, had no problem with a scene like that and appreciated it for being the only way that the two characters would get together. Besides, uke-boy let some things slip when he was all out of his head that were pretty damn revealing/hot.

So our story revolves around Kaitani, forever cursed with the feminine name Anna, who chooses to go for the masculine pronunciation of his name, Yasukazu. Now Kaitani works for a cosmetics company. It wasn’t really what he wanted to do with his life, but by the time he decided to go looking for a job all the good ones were taken. His uncle pulled some strings for him and got him into Cavi Cosmetics.

Kaitani’s section chief is Fujiwara, the prissiest man ever to live. Everything Kaitani wants do is foolish and slovenly in his eyes. Kaitani dries his hands on his pants because he doesn’t have a handkerchief on him, Fujiwara goes out and buys him one. Kaitani gets soaked on his way into work and is reprimanded by Fujiwara for getting mussed and gets told to keep an extra suit at work for times like that.

So work-life hasn’t been all peaches and cream. Kaitani has just been slacking off and coasting by in his job when he finds a product up for development that really interests him. He starts to give everything he has into the project, only to get shut down by Fujiwara.

There have been rumors floating around about Fujiwara, about why he’s so prissy, and why his lovers even claim that he will never undress fully in front of them. One of his ex-girlfriends claims it’s because he was in a fire when he was younger and that his back is covered in horrible burns.

Kaitani gets fed up with being brushed off by Fujiwara and having the products he’s designing being shot down. He decides to get a little bit of old-fashioned revenge. While Fujiwara is passed out drunk after an office party Kaitani decides to get revenge by taking pictures of the supposed horrible burn scars.

He doesn’t find burn scars, but he does find something that could be quite embarrassing to Fujiwara if it ever came to light.

There’s an interesting dynamic between these two. Through most of the book you swear that they hate each other’s guts, but then you get to the last few chapters and you start to wonder if there’s something that is lacking in each one of them that they find in each other.

Really, it’s well worth the read. If the slight non-con scene isn’t going to tweak you out too much, I would definitely recommend begging, borrowing or committing small acts of mayhem to get a copy of this book. It’s that good.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Konohara, Narise, Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes, The, Shimizu, Yuki | Comments Off on The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes 1

27th May 2008

The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

So when we last left our heroes, Kaitani was harboring a good case of unrequited lust for his section chief after getting him drunk, drugging him with an aphrodisiac and then having his wicked way with him.

Section Chief Fujiwara doesn’t share Kaitani’s obsession and seems to just want to put the entire mess behind him and goes back to belittling Kaitani at work and then ignoring him everywhere else. But Kaitani’s got a way about him that let’s him creep under the strongest defenses. We find Fujiwara slipping in a few acts of kindness along with his disdain of Kaitani.

A dinner out together leads to them spending most of their time together. They find that they truly enjoy each other’s company. This of course does nothing to dampen Kaitani’s lust for Fujiwara.

The tranquility of their friendship is broken by Fujiwara wanting to date a female. Kaitani falls apart at this news and blackmails Fujiwara into being his lover for one evening. Now that evening and the blackmail lengthened and before the boys know it, they’re in a full-blown relationship.

All of which goes to hell in a handbasket when Kaitani decides to butt heads with Fujiwara again at work. There’s a breakup, tears, confusion and a boatload of angst. We do end up with a happy ending, but the whole thing left me slightly unsatisfied.

The first book hinted at the fact that Fujiwara had a bit more of a casual liking for Kaitani when he told him in his drunken state that he knew his first name and that he had noticed it because “he always notices the cute ones.” This had me thinking that Fujiwara wanted Kaitani as badly, if not more, as Kaitani wanted him, but he was better at hiding it and hid from his feelings by belittling Kaitani. This book glosses over that fact, which I thought was a fairly salient plot point, and just painted Fujiwara as someone who had gotten swept up into something that was bigger than he was.

It’s still a good story, just not quite what I was expecting. Hell, maybe the third book in the series will be from Fujiwara’s point of view, or will go more into his feelings about the relationship.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Konohara, Narise, Man Who Doesn't Take Off His Clothes, The, Shimizu, Yuki | Comments Off on The Man Who Doesn’t Take Off His Clothes 2