Archive for the 'Yamakami, Riyu' Category

22nd May 2008

Vanilla 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

There’s nothing quite like teenage angst; feeling those negative emotions so strongly, daydreaming about the best possible outcome, only to start dreading the worst possible conclusion and the accompanying humiliation. I just thank all things holy that I left those years behind me. Reading this series, though, brings it all back in glorious technicolor.

Now, having to relive my high school days should be enough to make me want to ditch the series before I’ve even gotten halfway into it. However, this story keeps pulling me in. I genuinely care about these characters and I want to see them through to the end. Hell, I want a happy ending with lots of sex and blushing declarations of feelings.

When we last left Ichiru and Saeki, they were going to Saeki’s house to escape from the rain. As this is a BL manga, things progress as you would expect and Ichiru ends up in Saeki’s bed despite knowing full well that he’s not the first person to be there, and most likely won’t be the last. Ichiru’s smitten, but will the purity of his feelings be enough to gain entrance to Saeki’s heart?

We’re also treated to the story of Kazuki. Oh, you don’t remember Kazuki? He was the classmate getting his brains banged out by Saeki on his desk in the first volume. Kazuki is being awkwardly courted by Yajima. Yajima happens to be Saeki’s housekeeper and is as oddly socialized as Saeki is.

This series was a surprise treat for me. I really didn’t think that I would enjoy this series as much as I did. Usually I don’t have too much patience for characters that are as puppy-dog like as Ichiru. Maybe I’m just mellowing in my old age. Nah. I still hate Level C. It must be the strength of the storytelling that’s keeping me so content.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Vanilla, Yamakami, Riyu | Comments Off on Vanilla 2

22nd May 2008

Vanilla 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦

I really shouldn’t have enjoyed this book as much as I did. It’s filled with all the crap I hate about schoolboy/teacher romances and the characters aren’t that likable. Still, there’s something about this story that kept pulling me in even when I was the end of my patience with the characters.

First we have Ichiru, a high school senior, who is coming to the slow realization that girls just don’t do it for him. Enter in the new chemistry teacher, Saeki. Saeki is cold, aloof and, for some reason, completely irresistible to Ichiru. No matter what Saeki says to him, Ichiru keeps coming back for more.

Even catching Saeki screwing another one of his classmates brains out doesn’t dampen Ichiru’s ardor. Poor Ichiru is so caught up in his teenage angst that he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. You can’t fault the boy for his persistence, though, and slowly he starts worming his way under Saeki’s skin.

Really, this release shouldn’t be as good as it is. It’s the same thing we’ve seen over and over again, but the quality of the storytelling shines through, making it into something purely enjoyable. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who’s fed up with the plethora of schoolboy romances out there. However, if you’re willing to give it a chance, there’s a lot to like in this release.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦, Vanilla, Yamakami, Riyu | Comments Off on Vanilla 1