Archive for the 'In the Walnut' Category

16th May 2010

In the Walnut 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Toko Kawai is my favorite mangaka. There are other artists working currently who may be more graphic, but when it comes to telling a story that brings a tear to my eye, and makes me fall in love with the characters, it’s she’s key.

In the Walnut is the name of an art gallery owned, rather reluctantly, by Tanizaki. He specializes in restoring and selling art, no questions asked. His methods may be a bit unethical at times, but under his rough exterior, his heart is pure. This being Toko Kawai and a BL manga, we should expect no less. His boyfriend, Nakai, is an aspiring filmmaker, who has made filming Tanizaki his life’s work.

The back-story on how these two got together is pretty interesting. Nakai was looking for a subject to film for his senior project. He saw Tanizaki and loved the way he looked through the viewfinder. Tanizaki really wanted nothing to do with being filmed, but agreed to do it under one condition, that Nakai sleep with him.

Yeah. Told you he was a pretty unethical guy. Nakai isn’t that into it at first, but grows to enjoy their encounters, and finds that he loves filming Tanizaki while they’re intimate.

His senior project, featuring just Tanizaki is a hit, and Tanizaki gets more fame than he ever wanted.

They break up, go through heartbreak (because this wouldn’t be a BL manga without a good dollop of angst) and only get back together after Nakai shows his true feelings by releasing a film that is just composed of Tanizaki’s face during intercourse.

But, that’s all in the past. The bulk of the manga revolves around the art gallery, and the clients that come in to see Tanizaki, and how he manages to make them happy, even through his illegal means.

I don’t know if Toko Kawai is everyone’s cup of tea. She’s more of a quiet artist, instead of being in your face like some of the other artists I really enjoy. The only other artist that I find comparable is Est Em, who manages to pull together the same magic of heart rendering stories, and happy endings that are laced with enough sadness to make them ring true.

Buy this one. Buy it now. It will restore your love for the genre.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, In the Walnut, Kawai, Toko | 1 Comment »