Archive for the 'Yamada, Yugi' Category

13th Jun 2010

Dry Heat

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I adore Yamada Yugi. Her characters are batshit crazy in the very best way. The plots are completely unbelievable. Yet, instead of them making me cranky, I fall into them and get sucked into their little world of insanity. That’s quite a talent. After reading BL for longer than I want to admit, I’ve just about had it with some of the more outlandish plotlines and tropes that go along with this genre.

So, Yamada Yugi, you’ve got the rare talent of making me forget that, at times I hate this genre, and remind me of just why it is that I love it.

Itaru had grown up taking care of Tatsuhiko. Tatsuhiko grew up in love with his caretaker. Time goes by, and the two grow apart, leaving Itaru with a bittersweet memory. Years later, when Itaru has joined the wonderful world of salary-men, he is tasked with a mission. It seems that young Tatsuhiko has run away from college, and his family desperately wants to find him. In the normal world, the police would be called in, which Itaru points out, but as Tatsuhiko’s family hates the police, he’s charged with the task.

Along the way he’s put in contact with a less than honest private-eye, the #1 massage girl at a local parlor, and Tatsuhiko, who’s never outgrown his love for Itaru.

It’s slightly crazy, but works out in the end. Trying to explain the plot here, in just a few paragraphs is giving me fits, because it’s so amazingly convoluted. By all rights, this manga should not work, yet it does. It’s like she broke all the rules that govern what should make up a good release, and in putting it back together, came up with something utterly wonderful.

I want more releases from her. This one just made me happy.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Dry Heat, Yamada, Yugi | 2 Comments »

27th May 2008

Close the Last Door 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

At first, I had a hard time getting into this series. For the first few chapters I was just trying to figure out who was who and how they were all connected together. Eventually, I got everyone sorted out in my head and I was able to enjoy this series for being the utter crack that it is.

So we’ve got Nagai, who’s a stereotypical salary-man. Nagai’s got a crush on his coworker, Saitou. One problem though, Saitou’s getting married. Then there’s Honda, who’s looking for a good time and way into Nagai’s pants to help him relieve some tension. Still with me? Good.

Now Saitou gets dumped the day after his wedding. Nagai’s still massively lusting after him, but doesn’t seem to be able to bring himself to tell Saitou about it because Honda’s always finding away to relieve any and all pent-up sexual frustration.

Saitou and Nagai share a drunken kiss. Does Saitou mean anything by it? Could the three of them possibly end up in bed together at some point? Are they all just going to crash and burn before even attempting to be together?

This is another series where the art is rather rough, but starts to grow on you. The character’s faces are very expressive and really show everything that’s going on around them. It’s really going to be interesting to see where the author goes with this. Of course, I just want the three of them in bed and screwing madly, but I’m just perverted like that.

June has finally started to include some of the honorifics. I just wish that they would do it consistently. Yes, it’s great to have one of the characters calling the other one sempai, there’s really just not a term in English that conveys the same meaning as sempai. If we have that term, why can’t we have sans, kuns, sensei and the rest of the honorifics that the fans seem to really enjoy?

At least it’s a step in the right direction.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Close the Last Door, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Close the Last Door 1

27th May 2008

Don’t Blame Me 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m still confused over the guy in the bear suit, but I’m sure that everything will come together in future volumes. Yamada has become one of my favorite authors. She’ll pull it all together and make me tear up and grin at the same time.

This story is mostly told in flashbacks. See, Makoto has always looked up to his older cousin, Toshi. It was Toshi who introduced him to movies and told him that he didn’t have to settle for being a boring adult. But, now that Makoto’s grown and is getting back in touch with Toshi, he’s found that Toshi’s given up on his idealism. This throws poor Makoto for a loop. Thankfully, Toshi’s friends from college take Makoto under their wings and start telling him stories of Toshi’s college life in an attempt to make Makoto understand the new Toshi.

It’s very well done and completely engrossing, even if it is a bit confusing at times. I have to say that it’s kind of nice to have a strong female character in a BL manga who isn’t competing for one of the guys, an utter bitch, or just there for comic relief. I know that there’s absolutely no basis for reality in BL manga, but reading it does make you feel at times that the entire population of Japan is made up of pretty men. Men who may not consider themselves gay, per se, but who end up falling in love with other men just the same.

I’m just hoping that I won’t be waiting as long for the next volume of this as I have been waiting for the next volume of Close The Last Door!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Don't Blame Me, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Don’t Blame Me 1

27th May 2008

Don’t Blame Me 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Yugi Yamada manga just make me happy. Far too happy, actually. I’m always sad when I finish one because I don’t have anything else new from her to read!

The course of true love is a rocky one, especially when one person is too shy to let the other one know how he feels. Top that off with the other person in the relationship not wanting to admit to their sexuality, and you’ve got a real mess.

Over the span of filming a movie for the college festival, things will be worked out and relationships solidified. In all honesty, though, the movie they’re trying to make is no where near as interesting as the dynamics between the characters.

I think my favorite character is Miki. She’s such a little perv – always hoping to see some hot man-love. She wasn’t one of those annoying female characters. She served a point in carrying the plot forward and I found myself identifying with her. I also liked the younger cousin. It is his point of view from which most of the story is told. Poor guy had everyone trying to corrupt him. It was cute in a slightly creepy way.

Yup, I was just all kinds of pleased with this release. It’s sweet, funny and romantic with just a touch of smut thrown in to make everything interesting. I’m just hoping that June has a few more licenses tucked in their sleeves, so I can continue to be treated by Yamada’s work.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Don't Blame Me, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Don’t Blame Me 2

27th May 2008

Glass Sky

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

It’s not very often that a release makes me cry. Hell, it’s not very often that any type of media makes me cry. I can count on one hand the movies that have honestly moved me to tears. I cry easily about life stuff, but I have a much thicker skin when it comes to media.

There’s just so much truth, honesty and sincere emotions caught up in these stories. It was the last one that really got to me. It revolves around an effeminate high school student who is being tormented by his classmates. I know this is a common theme, but the cruelty was so true to some of what I saw when I was in high school that it really struck a chord.

When the boy who dared to offer him support, turns on him because he too now is being tormented and beats him because he’s ashamed of his own feelings… It was just beautifully done for all of its violence.

The rest of the stories were just as wonderful in their own way; they just lacked the sheer emotional power of the last story in the release. I’m usually not that fond of anthologies. I would rather spend a whole book with one set of characters, but it didn’t bother me this time. I could savor each story like it was some luscious candy.

It was simply all-around wonderful. I can’t sing its praises enough. I just wish I had more than five stars to give it.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Glass Sky, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Glass Sky

25th May 2008

Laugh Under the Sun

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m horrible with remembering author’s names. Unless I own multiple works by someone, their name just doesn’t stand out to me. Case in point, Satosumi Takaguchi, who did Shout Out Loud! I never made the connection that she was the author of Can’t Win With You! I wanted to smack myself upside the head when I put two and two together. No wonder I liked Can’t Win With You! so much!

One of the few exceptions to this rule is Yugi Yamada. Her art style and quirky storytelling have always stood out for me. I know when I pick up one of her releases, that I’m in for something that’s going to be completely charming. Just like with Fumi Yoshinaga, reading her releases is always a treat. The only hard part is finding words to describe just how good the release is.

Here we have Sohei. Sohei always dreamed of being the world boxing champion. His dreams were dashed after he injured one of his friends during a sparring match. This slightly traumatized young Sohei and ever since then he has not been able to enter a boxing ring. He used his pretty face to charm women into providing for him instead.

After his current girlfriend dumped him, leaving him rather destitute, his friends convince him to swallow his fears and give boxing one more try. It’s not going to be easy, though. Sohei’s twenty-five and much older than the rest of the guys who are training. He’s determined, though, so you know he’s going to give it his all. Now, if he could only sort out his feelings for his old friend Chika from high school.

You know, when I think of boxing, I don’t think of Boys Love, but for some reason, this combination works. This release is definitely a treat, however. It’s one that will leave you feeling warm and happy right down to the tips of your toes.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Laugh Under the Sun, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Laugh Under the Sun

23rd May 2008

Picnic

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I really enjoy works by Yugi Yamada. Close The Last Door is a work that I’m definitely looking forward to being continued. The only issue that I have with her work is that it’s very hard to follow the story at times. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just not bright enough to get a complex storyline, but I find myself getting very confused while reading.

That being said, this release didn’t have as much confusion in it as Close The Last Door because it was just a collection of one-shots. It’s much harder to confuse me when the story is only twenty pages long.

I’m also not usually very fond of anthologies. This collection made me happy though. It’s the perfect antidote to a crappy day when everything seems to be going wrong. It’s so nice to lose yourself in a book that has multiple stories and each story has a happy ending.

There were a lot of stories that I wished would have gone on longer so I could spend more time with the characters, but I guess it’s true that it’s best to be left wanting more instead of being utterly sick of the characters. One of the things that really endeared me to the characters was the super-deformed facial expressions when things started to go awry. I don’t know what it is with me and my love of characters making stupid faces, but it always sucks me in and makes me fall for the characters.

All in all, it was a nice distraction. June has been putting out some great stuff lately. I hope they are able to keep up this level of quality.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Picnic, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Picnic

22nd May 2008

Spring Fever

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

From the brains behind Close the Last Door, we have another wonderful BL title. Yugi Yamada’s work isn’t always immediately accessable. These aren’t stories that you pick up when you want a bit of escapist fluff. Her stories make you think. I’m not saying that they’re amazingly profound, but there is a bit more depth to them than your average boy-humps-boy story.

We have two stories in this release, first in “Timeless Love”, we have the story of Yusuki, who falls in love easily and with just about everyone, but never finds someone who will love him back. As soon as he falls in love, he’s crushed and looking for someone new to fill the place in his heart. Then he meets Takami, an older man with a son who just moved in next door.

You can bet that Yusuki is going to work his wiles and get himself lodged so firmly into Takami’s heart that they won’t be able to separate them.

Then we have “Wildman Blues,” about two childhood friends who are reunited and discover feelings for each other that go far beyond friendship.

I love the expressions on the characters faces. She’s got the manic, maniacal grin down perfectly, as well as the look of pure innocence when one of the characters is up to something.

Deux Press looks to have a good grasp of titles that North American BL fans are looking for. I just wish that they would leave in the honorifics. They are leaving in some of the sound effects and adding little translations in the margins, which I love, but I would be so much happier with their releases if they would just leave the damn honorifics in. But, if that’s my main complaint with a release then I guess we’re doing pretty good.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Spring Fever, Yamada, Yugi | Comments Off on Spring Fever