Archive for the 'Takaku, Shoko' Category

26th May 2008


Rating: ♦♦♦

Cute, school-boy love, Kissing is illustrated by the same artist who drew Passion. I always like her art, but if you’re not a fan of her style, then you’re most likely not going to be a fan now.

Basically, we’ve got two best friends. They’ve been together since childhood and because their birthdays are very close together, they celebrate them on the same day.

One day, Kazushi uses Haru as a shield to get away from a girl who was pursuing him. He convinces the girl that the reason he’s not interested in her is because he’s with Haru and seals the deal by kissing him. This throws Haru for a bit of a loop. Best friends just don’t go around kissing each other in Haru’s world, even if it is to escape from a female.

Eventually it comes out that it wasn’t just a façade to get rid of the girl on Kazushi’s part. He’s got some serious feelings for Haru and not just as a friend. Again, Haru is thrown for a loop. He doesn’t think he feels the same way for Kazushi. After some misunderstandings and hurt feelings, Haru comes to realize that he does have strong feelings for Kazushi and not just as a friend.

It’s cute, it’s sweet, and it’s like about 89% of the other school-boy BL romances out there. June did a great job of presentation as always, but there’s only so many stories like this that you can read before they all start to blur together.

If you’re truly a fan of Shoko Takaku’s art, this belongs in your collection; otherwise it’s really only worth it if you’ve got a real lust for sweet school-boy stories.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦, Kissing, Sasaki, Teiko, Takaku, Shoko | Comments Off on Kissing

24th May 2008

Passion 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Mr. Shima is a beautiful high school teacher. All the girls love him. Some of the boys too. Especially Hikaru Umino.

Hikaru loves Shima so much that he stalks Shima. It’s rather cute because Hikaru is so damn innocent about the stalking. However, I can’t forget that Hikaru establishes their relationship in an unhealthy manner. Okay, so maybe it’s not so cute. It’s more like dirty classroom sex. Anyway, after one touch, Hikaru falls even more.

Shima proposes that they pretend to be lovers until Hikaru graduates. Hikaru enthusiastically agrees despite it only being pretend. Of course one can expect complications like a rival and great heaps of angst.

I really enjoy Passion even though it’s not explicit. Sometimes, a girl just needs some fluffy romance to get through the day. I like the sketchy quality to the art as well.

DMP did a great job with translation. I wish there was a full-color insert, but I’m not going to complain. The story is enough to justify the cost.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Gotoh, Shinobu, Passion, Takaku, Shoko | Comments Off on Passion 1

24th May 2008

Passion 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Shima and Hikaru are still together in the beginning of this volume. It’s a miracle, but, come on, this is BL and nothing is realistic. They *ahem* pretend to be lovers very well.

Shima won’t admit it, but he’s got it bad for Hikaru. It’s just in time too because Hikaru is graduating. They both remember that their “pretend” relationship will be ending. So, you can imagine how miserable they both are on graduation day. However, life goes on and they separate.

Hikaru can’t stay away for long though and he attends his high school’s festival. Oh, there is suffering and crying and running away. Not to mention juicy confessions.

I found this volume to be as good as the first. I like how each character is distinctive in personality and looks. It’s nice to see when there are many cookie-cutter manga out there.

Now, I thought for a long time that this was the last volume of Passion. I’m so glad that it’s not! A third is due out at the end of the year and I cannot wait.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Gotoh, Shinobu, Passion, Takaku, Shoko | Comments Off on Passion 2

24th May 2008

Passion 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

Why am I completely enthralled by this overblown, over-dramatic, teacher/student, love-story-drama mess? In any other series, with any other set of characters, I would be ready to throw the book down and start yelling at the characters to shit or get off the pot.

The blurb on the back of the manga states that, “Every secret conversation and forbidden night is a chance to plunger ahead into the sweet unknown… or fall prey to the pressures of lingering doubt.” Lingering doubt is right, as much as these two care about each other they doubt each other’s feelings. Shima knows it’s wrong to play head games with Hikaru, but he needs to reassurance of Hikaru’s love when he follows along.

Hikaru is constantly doubting himself and Shima’s feelings for him. Even though he’s graduated and has been supporting himself, they still fall into the teacher/student dynamic when ever they get together.

This time around Hikaru wants to get a pair of matching rings for he and Shima to wear. Shima puts up a bit of a fight, he’s worried about what they’re going to say at work, but what he really wants is for Hikaru to push him and prove his feelings. Head games all over again.

Add in the head server at the cafe where Hikaru works being bound and determined to get into Hikaru’s pants and Shima’s growing jealousy and you’ve got a nice little stew of angst. With all eyes on the couple it’s hard for them to deal with each other honestly too. You know that there’s going to be a happy ending eventually, but it’s going to be quite a ride getting there.

I just hope that there are not too many more books in this series. While I’m loving the angst and the melodrama now, I don’t know how many more books I can take of this before I really am screaming at the characters.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Gotoh, Shinobu, Passion, Takaku, Shoko | Comments Off on Passion 3

23rd May 2008

Passion 4

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

We’ve finally reached the end of this series. While I’m sad to see it go, I’m happy that it didn’t go on any longer. I do like my teacher/school boy angst, but there comes a point when enough is enough.

Once again, Hikaru and Shima are doubting their feelings for each other. They both fear that their lover will find someone else. Of course, this involves lots of angst, our boys searching their feelings and a lovely bout of make-up sex.

It’s nice, but I never had the feeling that Shima would ever truly leave Hikaru. Oh, he played a good game, but the happy ending was glaringly obvious.

I guess you could say that the whole thing left me feeling slightly, well, bored. It’s nice to have the resolution of this series, but, in all honesty, I think this series would have been much better if it was condensed down to two books. None of the books have lived up to the promise that was in the first book.

At least the art isn’t disappointing. I’ve always been fond of this artist; she does a great job with converting all the nuances of expression on the characters faces. Pick this one up if you’re one of those people who’s OCD about completing your collection, but don’t run out and get the series on the strength of this book.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Gotoh, Shinobu, Passion, Takaku, Shoko | Comments Off on Passion 4