Archive for the 'Takaguchi, Satosumi' Category

05th Jun 2008

Thirsty For Love

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I like complicated stories. I don’t always like needing a flow chart to figure out who’s sleeping with whom. However, complicated stories are a hell of a lot more fun than stories that I’ve already seen eight times over, yet just in different packaging.

Now, I know that this story isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. There’s some het sex in there. Not that I mind het sex. But, there is a contingent of BL fans out there who think that girl bits are icky. I also think that contingent needs to grow the hell up.

So, Yuka loves three different men. She loves them all equally. The guys are fairly cool about sharing her and keep their jealousy mostly in check. The thing is that Yuka doesn’t have much love to give. She’s got a lot of living to cram into a short amount of time. Once she’s gone, the bonds that were keeping the jealousy at bay are torn apart. The boys start hurting each other to ease their pain. Comfort can be found with each other, but the question that remains is, are they strong enough to take it?

I really like this one. In fact, I like it a lot more than I thought I would. Even though it’s a completely improbable scenario, I bought into it and got sucked right into the boys’ pain. This was a really nice change a pace from the school-boy and salaryman romances that I’ve been seeing from June. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the characters and how it developed over the course of the story.

You know, not being able to remember an author’s name just struck again. I should have known going in that this was going to be a good, powerful story. Satosumi Takaguchi, who is behind Shout Out Loud and Can’t Win With You, was one of the authors. No wonder I liked it so much!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Honami, Yukine, Takaguchi, Satosumi, Thirsty For Love | Comments Off on Thirsty For Love

27th May 2008

Can’t Win With You 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

This series is unbelievably goofy. Drawn by the artist behind Rin! and Sweet Revolution, you can guess that this is going to be a pretty unbelievably sweet series.

Yuuhi wants nothing more than to build a soccer field on the mountain that’s going to be his inheritance. He’s got the whole thing all planned out. It’s going to be great. Soccer all day and night. His dreams are dashed when he’s asked to give up his inheritance so that a private school that his brother teaches at needs to expand. Yuuhi wants no part of this, but eventually, is talked into renting his mountain to the school.

Now, the students at the school aren’t too pleased with this situation. Their school used to be headquartered in a fairly bustling community. Now they’ve been moved to a backwoods mountain with nothing to do and no cell phone service.

Yuuhi ends up attending the school, but is shocked by the behavior of the students. It seems that as this is an all-boys school, the boys have taken to forming little harems and the whole place is a hotbed for happy boy-humping. Yuuhi isn’t quite ready for anything like this, so when he’s made resident advisor, he creates rules outlawing any displays of affection, so no kissing, no touching, no nothing.

This does nothing to improve his standing at the school. In fact, it makes things even worse.

This is going to be one hell of a cute series. Yuuhi is so sweet, innocent and trusting. You just want him to blunder though everything and then have things work out for the best. And, you just know that the sweetest and kindest student is going to fall for Yuuhi and his clumsy ways.

I’m very much looking forward to more of this series being released. I don’t know if it’s going to be one of my all-time favorites, but it’s definitely something I’m going to be very impatient about getting the next volume of!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Can't Win With You, Honami, Yukine, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Can’t Win With You 1

27th May 2008

Can’t Win With You 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I had forgotten how much I like this series. I should have known it was going to be good, I mean, the artist is the brains behind Rin!, which is one of my all-time favorite series. I should have remembered just how endearing this cast of characters is.

Yuuchi is up to his old tricks, trying to make sure that nothing ‘gross’ happens on his watch. When Tsutsui leaves for a few days to attend a conference, it leaves Yuuchi at the mercy of the Ezaki trio. Not to fear, our little chicken has some claws and is finally learning to stand on his own two feet. Gaining confidence also brings Yuuchi a greater understanding for his friends relationships and opens him up to the possibility of taking his relationship with Tsutsui to the next level.

As much as I like Tsutsui and Yuuchi, my favorite couple has to be Hayate and Kanya. I love how they fight and love with equal amounts of passion.

One of the best parts of this release is the fact that the people behind it have this great ability to take their characters and have these incredibly hot scenes without ever really showing anything. The hotness comes from all in the little bits that you do see and the characters’ dialogue. Seriously, the sex scenes should not be this hot for being as tame as they are.

The whole thing is just warm and wonderful. I just end up falling more and more in love with the characters with each release. Now, how long do I have to wait for the next part?

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Can't Win With You, Honami, Yukine, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Can’t Win With You 2

27th May 2008

Can’t Win With You 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m really sad to see this series end. It has everything I like all wrapped up with quality art. It was funny, had good dramatic bits, some angst, nice sex scenes and characters I actually gave a shit about. The only hard part about writing glowing reviews for this series has been trying to get you all to read them without giving away too much of the plot.

When we start off in this release, it’s summer vacation and all of the students are going home on break. Well, all except Yuuchi, whose house is being remodeled, and Sango, who’s staying behind to keep an eye on things in the dorm. Now, these two have already slept together, but this is going to be an excuse for them to really relax and not worry about the other students around them.

The problem is that Yuuchi’s still so naive and Sango doesn’t know how to let Yuuchi know that he wants to spend a few hours in bed making him yell his head off without scaring Yuuchi off, or making Yuuchi lose some of that charming naivete. So, they’re both frustrated and cranky until they figure out how to talk to each other. Once that happens, things really start to take off and Sango does get to spend a few hours making Yuuchi scream like a banshee. See the power of communication, boys and girls!

I hope DMP keeps releasing works by these two. I know that this is the only work they’ve collaborated on, but even on their own their works always end up in my ‘keeper’ pile.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Can't Win With You, Honami, Yukine, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Can’t Win With You 3

23rd May 2008

Shout Out Loud! 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Poor Nakaya. He just lost his mother, his grandparents don’t really care about him and he’s living with his long-lost father. Everything he’s ever known has been taken away from him. All he has left is ice hockey and the hope that maybe his father won’t be too bad to live with.

Did I mention that the father is a seiyuu (voice actor)? The father’s, Shino, voice acting work on a popular anime has dried up and he needs to find work fast. What’s a desperate voice actor to do? Why go and work on BL radio dramas, of course. It’s good money and it’s really not that demeaning. But how is he ever going to explain this to his son? And what is he going to do when he starts getting hit on by male co-workers?

I was iffy on this story at first, but after the entrance of the BL mangaka and her assistant squeeing over who was better suited to be seme and uke in the BL drama I was won over. This is a series that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself and at its genre.

The art is slightly rough, but as in Love Mode, the story more than makes up for it. It’s cute and the developing relationship between father and son (not like that!) is more than enough to keep my attention.

Much love for BLU keeping the original title on the cover and for keeping in the honorifics. I wish some of the other companies out there would take their cue from BLU and leave things like that in and stop trying to americanize the manga.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Shout Out Loud!, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Shout Out Loud! 1

23rd May 2008

Shout Out Loud! 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Shino’s got his hands full. Not only is he auditioning for new roles and getting hit on by coworkers, but his son is developing an unhealthy interest in anime, as well as an interest in the handsome new hockey coach for the junior team. No wonder he’s having trouble concentrating on his lines!

Add in his son asking lots of questions about male-on-male relationships based on what he’s gleaned from listening to BL drama CDs and then running off to spend time with the handsome new hockey coach. Then there are Shino’s two male costars arguing over who gave him his first kiss in a radio interview and them both trying to get into his pants. It’s enough to make one’s head spin.

There are so many little bits in this series to make you just laugh out loud. It’s rare that a series really just makes me laugh, but this one does. All the references to the BL fandom and insane fangirls just make it for me.

One of the series that Shino’s auditioning for seems to be a play on Gundam Wing. Pretty-boy space pilots with mecha, intergalactic war, tons of angst, uniforms and great hair. When his agent is trying to talk Shino into doing the series, he magically appears in one of the uniforms from the series (don’t ask how he did it, just fear the power of ‘otaku support’) and attacks him with ‘yaoi fan books’. Can we all say doujinshi?

The art style, while still rough, is starting to grow on me. It’s not as polished and pretty as some of the other series that I have enjoyed, but the faces are very expressive. It’s one of the few series that I find more nuances to enjoy every time I read through it.

Yes, it’s slightly trite with both father and son falling into male-on-male relationships, but it’s written well and you end up just buying into it. It’s definitely worth a second look if you were on the fence about picking up this series.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Shout Out Loud!, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Shout Out Loud! 2

23rd May 2008

Shout Out Loud! 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Being a teenager is rough enough. Compound the normal teenage angst with feelings for another boy, a father who is convinced that his voice-acting work in BL drama CDs is what is causing his son’s burgeoning sexuality and you’ve got a bit of a mess on your hands.

I hate to admit it because I love the character of Shino, Nakaya’s father, but I find the blooming relationship between Nakaya and his hockey coach, Fuse, to be much more compelling than the relationship between Shino and his coworker, Tenryu. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tenryu beating down Shino’s defenses. I love all the scenes with the voice actors arguing over whose character’s going to be uke and whose characters going to be seme.

Maybe it’s just Fuse’s character. A young man who had a promising career in professional hockey, but had a injury knock him down to coaching a high school team. He wants Nakaya badly, but he doesn’t want his experience to overwhelm Nakaya and push him into something he’s not ready for yet. Hell, Nakaya’s not even sure he’s ready for this. Getting a hard-on from kissing a boy throws poor Nakaya for a bit of a loop.

I’m just rooting for these two to get together and find their happy ending. Though, I am going to fully enjoy the angst while they’re getting there.

Now at the same time all of this is going on, Shino’s struggling with his feelings and though he’s really not letting himself acknowledge his feelings, Tenryu keeps getting under his skin. Shino wants Tenryu’s touch, he just hasn’t realized it yet.

In all seriousness, this series has become one of my all-time favorites. There’s just something completely compelling about the characters and how they interact with each other. I’m so happy that BLU brought this series over and brought it to my attention.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Shout Out Loud!, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Shout Out Loud! 3

23rd May 2008

Shout Out Loud! 4

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I know the manga really revolves around Shino and his relationships, but I’ve got a soft spot for Nakaya and his relationships. Poor Nakaya gets his heart broken in this volume.

Fuse has decided to quit the club and move back to Canada. He calls Nakaya to let him know about his decision and Nakaya rushes right over. The end up together despite Fuse’s protests and spend the next three days screwing madly. After Nakaya finally returns home, Shino gets a call from Fuse, telling him to inform Nakaya that he was moving up his flight plans and leaving early for Canada. Poor, poor Nakaya. I was really rooting for him. I’m just hoping that either Fuse comes back into his life or he finds someone really sweet who will screw him blind and keep him happy.

As for Shino, he was thrown into a tailspin when Grandmother Tsuzaka comes over and tries to get Shino to agree to an arranged marriage. Shino isn’t too keen on the idea and Nakaya is definitely against it, though he does admit that he likes the idea of Shino marrying a female more than he likes the idea of Shino ending up with Tenryu.

The whole idea is rendered null and void after Grandmother Tsuzaka finally sits down and listens to some of Shino’s BL voice acting work. It’s kind of hard to pin your hopes on someone marrying a female after you hear the potential bridegroom moaning coming out of the stereo speakers.

As always this is one of my favorite series. BLU is doing a good job with the translations and even though I would rather see dust jackets and full-color inserts, it’s still a high quality release.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Shout Out Loud!, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Shout Out Loud! 4

22nd May 2008

Shout Out Loud! 5

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

This is one of the series that I wouldn’t mind having around for a few more volumes. Five volumes of sweetness and inspired lunacy just isn’t enough for me.

As this is the last volume, we have a lot of wrapping up of loose ends. Sadly, Fuse and Nakaya don’t end up getting together. I really wanted those two to end up happy. Poor Nakaya. Seriously, I just want to wrap that kid up and give him a hug.

At least Father-dear gets a happy ending. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a metric-fuck-ton of angst before he gets to his happy ending, but he gets there. There’s even a happy ending with the meddling grandmother.

At the end, I’ve got to say that it was a fully satisfying series. I loved the industry jokes, the characters and just how true-to-life the story felt. A lot of the manga that I love have the characters in larger-than-life situations and reacting accordingly.

Shout Out Loud consisted of fairly normal entanglements and fairly normal resolutions. Of course, not everyone is going to be working as a voice actor, but it’s more honest than having happy, snugly yakuza running around or ex-porn stars falling in love and deciding to give up the sex industry to bang each other stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I love series like that, but sometimes it’s nice to have something that’s not quite so out of the ordinary.

You know, if we could get dust covers and full-color inserts for BLU releases I would say that they’re one of the best companies releasing BL works. However, I’ll take their releases any way I can get them, but I really would love to see dust covers.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Shout Out Loud!, Takaguchi, Satosumi | Comments Off on Shout Out Loud! 5