Archive for the 'Yamane, Ayano' Category

05th Nov 2010

Kizuna Deluxe Edition 1 / Finder 1: Target in the Finder

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I’m not going to re-hash reviews that we’ve already written. For the most part, the content of these releases are the same as when they first came out in the US. No, I’m going to try and justify me purchasing a THIRD volume of each of these releases to have in my collection.

You see, I never thought these series would get released in the US. So, I went and imported the original Japanese versions. I couldn’t read them, but I could look at the purdy pictures. And, at least when it comes to the smut scenes, how much translation do you really need?

Then Be-Beautiful brought the series over. YAY. Aside from the fact that the censored Kizuna, and I found some of the translations to be slightly stilted. I was still happy to have them in my collection.

After Be-Beautiful went under, I (like most of you) was hoping that another company would pick up the series and release them. Well, June has, and did a fantastic job with it. All of the problems that I had with the original US releases have been taken care of. THEY LEFT THE MASA AND KAI KISS IN. The bit that we were all scratching our heads over when it first came out as to just why anyone would censor something so sweetly innocent. A childish peck does not shota make, my darlings, and I think we all realize that.

The other nice thing that June did, was to combine volumes one and two of Kizuna in the same release. So, if you haven’t picked up this series yet, here’s a great way of doing it and possibly saving yourself some space/money.

So, now I have three versions of the same series hanging out in my apartment. And, I’m finding it very hard to let go of any of them. There’s got to be some kind of twelve step program for this. Anyone got the number for Dr. Drew?

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Finder Series, Kizuna, Kodaka, Kazuma, Yamane, Ayano | 4 Comments »

21st Sep 2008

The Crimson Spell 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Okay, anything by Ayano Yamane makes me happy. This release makes me especially happy with the fantasy setting, magical creatures, cursed swords and pretty boys banging each other’s brains out. What more could a fangirl ask for?

Now, they did change one thing from the first release. They changed the spelling of the main character’s name. In the first release, his name was spelled Bald. This lead me to picture things other than a pretty bishy-boy with soft, flowing hair. In the original scanlations, the name was translated as Val. When I sent my review of the first release to Kitty Media and voiced my complaint about the translation, they responded back that they had checked with Yamane and that she prefers the ‘Bald’ translation of his name.

So, after all that, it kind of came as a surprise to see the name changed to Vald in this release. I’m happy to see the change as now I’m not reminded of a bald, sweaty, salary-man when I’m reading. However, given the fact that the change was made without any explanation, I feel it may confuse some readers. I know that I would be confused if I opened a book to find that the main character had a new name.

In this volume, we have more magical creatures and more of demon-boy Vald being banged by Havi. We’re still searching for a way to break Vald’s curse, but there are forces scheming to make sure that Vald stays cursed. Making things more interesting is that Vald is starting to crave Havi’s touch without knowing why. The demon’s wants are starting to break through to Vald’s human psyche and confusing the hell out of him.

I’m hoping that the next volume will be out quickly. Boy-smut fantasy is hard to come by. When I find it, I only want more of it.

Update: At a recent anime convention I was attending, I found out that they re-released the first volume of the series, with the name change. I went to their website to see if Kitty Media had made any announcements about the change in printing, but I found that their website had not been updated since 2007.

The announcement was made at their E-bay store. Which, if you ask me, is a pretty silly place to be making announcements about things like this. On the back of all of their releases, they list their website as kitty-media.com, not their E-bay store.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Crimson Spell, The, Yamane, Ayano | 3 Comments »

05th Jun 2008

A Foreign Love Affair

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

I love this story. For all of its cheesiness, plot cliches and utter what-the-fuck-ness, it’s a hell of a fun read. Top that off with being prettier than anything ever has a right to be and you get something distinctly wonderful.

You really can’t beat Yamane when it comes to the quality of art. Her men are as pretty as girls, but still masculine. Lots of muscles and toned bodies abound. Let’s not even get into the way she captures facial expressions. Visually, her works are just a treat.

So, there’s Ranmaru, a walking anachronism, who is more comfortable in a kimono than in western wear. He’s being forced into an arranged marriage for the good of his father’s yakuza gang. Now, Ranmaru’s fiancee isn’t too thrilled with the idea of being married either, but she is going to make good use of the gang’s money to get married on a cruise to Italy.

The night of their wedding, Ranmaru and his wife are fighting, and he gets kicked out of the honeymoon suite. He goes to drown his sorrows at the bar. There he meets Al, a japanophile who has wicked plans for our young hero, and invites him back to his room on the ship. So, Ranmaru does end up getting some on his wedding night, even if it isn’t from his blushing bride.

The next morning as they’re disembarking the ship, Ranmaru runs into his mystery man again. Al isn’t just some traveler, no, he’s the captain of the bloody ship!

It’s fun, it’s silly and the half-clothed erections are always amazingly hot. I’m so happy with this release and the quality that 801 is presenting it in. This is definitely going into my keeper pile!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, A Foreign Love Affair, Yamane, Ayano | Comments Off on A Foreign Love Affair

27th May 2008

The Crimson Spell 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Kitty Media’s doing pretty good when the only complaint I have is the translation of the lead character’s name. This is a series that I became familiar with through scanlations and the lead character’s name was always translated as Valdigue, or Val for short. Kitty Media translates it as Baldrigr, or Bald for short.

The name Bald just threw me. I kept picturing this aging, balding salaryman in place of the pretty-boy prince that I was supposed to be seeing. It’s a little thing to be cranky over, but it was really starting to bother me halfway through the book. Oh well, at least we have pretty-happy-fantasy smut, courtesy of Ayano Yamane. You have to know going into this that the art is going to be gorgeous and the smut will be graphic. It’s the hallmark of her work.

This time around we have our young Prince Bald, who’s been cursed by a demon sword. To break the curse he seeks out the help of the wizard Havi. During their travels, they pick up Rulka, a rabbit-like flying creature who can turn into a beautiful boy at will.

Now, Havi has always been fascinated by anything magical, so when Bald warns him to stay away from him when he’s sleeping and in danger of turning into his demon form, Havi lets curiosity get the better of him and unleashes the demon.

The demon that is released is super powerful and is channeling energy from somewhere. Havi decides that demon-Bald would be a great way to charge up his magical power and seeks to harness Bald’s demon power.

Yes. Much like an incubus, he’s going to suck the energy out of him through sex. Lots of wild-hot-monkey sex. Demon-Bald likes the sex, human-Bald doesn’t have a clue that his body is being used as a giant battery. But he does find himself becoming oddly attracted to Havi. I guess there are some things that a body just can’t forget.

I swear, I think I’m going to buy just about everything Ayano Yamane releases and be happy with it. Pretty boys and hot smut. I couldn’t ask for anything more!

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Crimson Spell, The, Yamane, Ayano | Comments Off on The Crimson Spell 1

27th May 2008

Finder Series 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Akihito Takaba (uke) is a freelance photographer who falls into the clutches of one of the leaders of Japan’s underworld, Ryuichi Asami (seme). While in Asami’s clutches, Takaba is molested five ways to Sunday. Takaba ends up becoming fascinated by Asami and keeps falling into his circle.

Intrigue grows and Takaba ends up getting kidnapped by the mysterious head of a Chinese tong (mafia/secret society) by the name of Fei Long Lui. More molestation for our poor photographer and an unexpected rescue by Asami, who may not be such a bad guy after all.

This book also includes three one shots: “Plants in Bloom,” “Love Lesson” and “Risky Society”.

Ayano Yamane is known for her art and with good reason. Her characters are beautiful and muscular. The faces are full of expression and the sex scenes are down right filthy. This is definitely not a book for people who are new to the genre.

The main complaint I have with the release is the shoddy way that Be Beautiful designed and released the manga. I have the original Japanese release, complete with dust cover and full-color insert. Be Beautiful left off the dust cover, printed oversized black and white scenes from the manga on the inside cover and left out the full cover insert. Drama Queen and DMP seem to grasp that we enjoy having our manga in a format that’s as close to the original as possible, why doesn’t Be Beautiful?

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Finder Series, Yamane, Ayano | Comments Off on Finder Series 1

27th May 2008

Finder Series 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Ayano Yamane has done it to me again. I’m left as a pile of fangirl goo. If you know me, you know I have a weakness for long-haired pretty boys and mega-semes. Well, Cage in the Finder gives me both in abundance.

Target in the Finder started it all with Asami and Takaba, but now Yamane is mainly exploring Fei Long’s past in this volume.

It seems Fei Long and Asami are forever, and sometimes painfully, intertwined. In the previous volume, Fei Long lets Asami have Takaba as a favor. But a favor for what exactly? Cage in the Finder lays it all out for you, dear reader. I don’t want to spoil it though, just read it.

The sequel to “Plants in Love” is in this volume too. Mizuno and Hiyama find themselves alone again. I don’t think I need to tell you what happens.

Also! Be Beautiful included a little more of the interview with Yamane. It’s very insightful and just so cool to hear her talk about her art and yaoi fans.

Anyway, quality of Yamane’s work has not changed. The stories are still very, very good and the illustrations are just mess-your-pants gorgeous. I regularly just thumb through her books to look at expressions and perspectives.

So, I guess what I’m saying is: “Why are you reading a review about this book, people? Go buy the damn thing!”

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Finder Series, Yamane, Ayano | Comments Off on Finder Series 2

27th May 2008

Finder Series 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Fei Long is back and being more bastardly than ever. Ah, but Asami is even worse. And poor Takaba is in the middle.

However, Takaba puts himself there. He never learns really. Nor does he ever realize that Asami, never being the kind to let a situation go to waste, will use every opportunity to screw him into the mattress.

After a nasty night, Takaba becomes fully entrenched in Asami’s world. There is no going back now; not because Takaba can’t get out, but because Asami won’t let him. Oh, Takaba being the innocent that he is, doesn’t fully grasp what Asami has planned for him. Neither do the readers, honestly, but I know it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

In this volume we have “Baked Sweet Glasses.” Which is about a salesman trying to get an uptight client to buy his wares. It’s cute and employs whipped cream in the most obscene manner.

Also, the continuation of the “Plants in Love” stories is in this volume. This time, we look at the fathers’ pasts in “Baby Leaf in Love.” The fathers during their college years were rivals that bordered on lovers. It’s funny to see their sons take their own relationship further.

I can’t recommend the Viewfinder Series enough. This is one of my all-time favorites. It’s got everything, from angst to some of the hottest sex in print.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Finder Series, Yamane, Ayano | Comments Off on Finder Series 3