Archive for the 'Takakura, Row' Category

27th May 2008

…but I’m your teacher.

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Let me just say that I am a Takakura Row fangirl. I love her boys. I went out and got all of her work in the original Japanese even though I couldn’t read any of it just so I could drool over the pretty pictures.

Thankfully, Kitty Media is bringing her works over so now I know what’s going on and WHY the pretty boys are screwing each other blind.

The anthology starts off with the title story. It revolves around a young, nervous teacher and his lusty student. It’s a nice switch on the teacher/student dynamic. The only thing that really threw me was the lack of honorifics. I don’t like them using Mr. and Mrs. I want sensei and san and kun and the rest of them. You lose so much of the characters relationships with other characters when you leave out the honorifics. It’s not that hard to just add in a page that lists what they are and what they mean.

Eh. The boys are pretty enough that I got over that quickly.

The other stories in the book are a good sampling of Takakura Row’s work. They vary from being sweet and silly (“Happy Honey Baby”) to being slightly dark and angsty (“View Through the Lens”).

If you haven’t already been exposed to the addiction that is Takakura Row this would be a good place to start. Pretty boys, nicely drawn smut and stories that suck you in. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a BL manga.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ...but, I'm your teacher., ♦♦♦♦♦, Takakura, Row | Comments Off on …but I’m your teacher.

27th May 2008

I Can’t Stop Loving You! 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Kyouji is just your average, amazingly buff, long-haired, monk-in-training, exorcist, who just happens to be drop-dead gorgeous. Yu is his childhood friend and lover. Everything is going along swimmingly, except for the fact that they can’t consummate their relationship because Yu has super-human strength and every time he gets excited he ends up practically maiming Kyouji.

So, we’ve got our basic high school angst with some nice bits of freaky paranormal things going on and making things interesting for the boys.

No matter what, Kyouji is always kind and patient to his impatient, over-enthusiastic lover. It’s just all-around sweet how devoted their relationship is. There’s never any question as to whether or not these two love each other. It’s just a question of how they’re going to be able to fuck like bunnies without needing trips to the emergency room afterwards.

One of the things that amused me most in this book is the fact that the character designs were taken from a series of Gundam Wing doujinshi that Takakura Row did featuring Duo and Heero. Picture Kyouji with a braid and you’ve pretty much got what her version of Duo looked like. Of course, her Duo had his hair down an awful lot because that’s just all kinds of hot.

This is just a fun series. While it’s not as plot heavy as some of the more popular series out there, it’s very endearing and the art is just top notch. Oh, and did I mention that the smut is hot? Not just kind of hot, but “oh my freaking god will you two just fuck now” hot.

While Kitty Media did a great thing in bringing over Row Takakura’s works, I just wish that some more effort had been put into keeping the original feel of the manga. Leaving in the honorifics, including the full-color front insert and keeping the printing out of the binding would have been nice touches, but I’m just really glad to have her stuff available in the US any way I can get it!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, I Can't Stop Loving You!, Takakura, Row | Comments Off on I Can’t Stop Loving You! 1

26th May 2008

I Can’t Stop Loving You! 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

So, when we last left this impossibly pretty pair, there was some tension going on between Yu and Yu’s cousin, Kaoru. Kaoru has his sights set on Kyouji, and we all know that Yu’s not going to stand for anyone or anything getting in the way of him and Kyouji. Yu’s wicked plans of ravaging Kyouji are disrupted when Kyouji’s sent into the mountains to train. Pure mind and pure body to do good on college exams and stuff like that.

Understandably, Kyouji’s not thrilled about going. He’s not really into the whole meditation thing, and when he was younger the place where he’s lodging used to really creep him out. The only thing that made it bearable at the time was the fact that Yu would always find a way to sneak along to keep him company.

So, of course, Yu finds a way to sneak along this time as well. There’s a case of disappearing girls and a murder and intrigue that the boys find themselves in the thick of and manage to prove, as is the usual, that together they can get through everything.

And then have really hot sex afterwards.

The book also includes the short story “The Best Place,” which is a showcase of one of the things that Row Takakura does best. She’s great at creating tales of outsiders who manage, through the power of sex, to find happiness.

This story focuses on Toru, a disinherited son who has returned home for his father’s funeral to collect the money that he’s sure his father has left him. There’s a slight problem with this in the fact that Toru’s father has adopted Kenji in his absence and has left everything to him. Kenji offers to split the inheritance with Toru if Toru will sleep with him. But of course Kenji’s got other plans, aside from just screwing Toru into the mattress.

It’s a lovely little bittersweet story, the kind that are my favorite from Row Takakura. She does sweetness and light like in I Can’t Stop Loving You! amazingly well, but it’s the darker stories that really suck me in.

Let’s hope that with the success of the Row Takakura books, that Kitty Media has brought over so far that they will continue bringing over more great work from her. I know she’s got a few more anthologies out there. I’ve got them in the original Japanese. I know I can’t be the only Row Takakura fangirl out there who would be squeeing with glee to find that there was more of her work available in English!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, I Can't Stop Loving You!, Takakura, Row | Comments Off on I Can’t Stop Loving You! 2

22nd May 2008

Skyscrapers of Oz

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I will say right off the bat that I am not pleased that Kitty Media did not include color plates with Skyscrapers of Oz. For ten dollars I want color plates, damn it. Especially if it’s Row Takakura!

However, I will give Kitty Media credit for a decent translation. I didn’t care for one of the semes addressing the other as ‘honey’ because, honestly, gay men don’t usually talk like that. And this seme doesn’t seem very fem, if you get my drift.

Now, with that being said, I will gush. Since this is illustrated by Row Takakura, the art is just superb. I adore the way she draws eyes. Every emotion is conveyed through the character’s eyes. Also… I have such a hard-on for her semes – from slutty to grumpy.

Well, with that fangirling over, I can now get on with the story. Imagine two handymen/detectives, Mari and Yoichi (both seme), who are beautiful and quite willing to do any job for the right price. Yeah, pleasant thought, huh? (I’d have them on speed-dial.)

In comes an assignment that involves Miyuki’s (uke) – Mari’s younger brother – classmate, Yu Kaito (uke). It seems Yu is having an affair with a businessman who happens to have a very jealous wife. Hence, Mari and Yoichi are hired to frame Yu and get the boy out the businessman’s life.

Not all is as it seems and the story takes a few turns which are unexpected, but still enjoyable. I really liked this manga. Whether for the art or the story or both, I don’t know. The smut quantity is rather low for a Takakura piece, but this, according to her notes in the back, was her first manga. I can give her some (i.e. a lot) of slack in the smut department because she makes up for it with angst.

In summation, if you are a Row Takakura fan, you should get this. Even if you’re not (What the hell is wrong with you?), you should pick this up anyway.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Skyscrapers of Oz, Somei, Yoshino, Takakura, Row | Comments Off on Skyscrapers of Oz