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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Picnic by Yamada Yugi 
25th-Sep-2007 01:54 pm
Yamada, Yugi. Picnic. Trans. Melanie Schoen. Gardena: Juné, 2007.
          Summary: A standard single-volume BL tankoubon consisting of five short stories in eight total chapters.
          Comments: You know, I remember eagerly purchasing the original Japanese edition of this manga way back in 2004--and being horribly disappointed. Yamada Yugi, easily one of my favorite BL mangaka, had not released any new books in so long, but it was fast becoming clear that she was not going to surpass the heights that she had achieved in Yume ga Kanau 12gatsu or find a "third way" as Yoshinaga Fumi did when she crossed over into the mainstream. In fact, save for a meager 24-pager near the middle of the volume, all of the stories included here are either insipid or outright stupid.
          Make no mistake, however. When Yamada Yugi does good, it's one for the ages, and "Dakedo Tokidoki Yasashii no" [But Sometimes You're Kind] all by itself is worth the price of entry. (Well, at least it was at around 600 yen. I'm not sure about how $12.95 makes me feel. >_< ) The story stars a handsome petty thief who sleeps with men in order to steal the money in their wallet. He is befriended in the dead of winter by an orphan boy, and the two form an unlikely friendship. It's funny, affecting, and almost unbearably sweet--the best sort of BL manga that demands to be reread over and over again...which is the ONLY reason why I bought this book in English. Too bad the rest of Picnic isn't like that.
          Notes: A5 paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Houbunsha in 2004
          Rating: 4/10 - Even though it includes one of my favorite yomikiri, the list price is too high and the rest of the contents so disappointing that I cannot in good conscience recommend this book.
25th-Sep-2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
I review so many DMP books - and they're all almost universally mediocre and forgettable. It makes me sad. Then, things like Paradise on the Hill come along and make me happy, and keep me buying the mediocre stuff. It's a vicious cycle.

Haven't read this one yet, but I'm sure I will. I think I'm glad I passed on the review copy of it, though - I have more than enough mediocre BL in my review pile.
25th-Sep-2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
That is not as pathetic as me buying books I ALREADY know are bad. Hell, I've already read at least part of everything on the BL English market right now--imagine the oceans of mediocrity I drowned in years ago...explains why I have so little patience now.
26th-Sep-2007 12:29 am (UTC)
It's not getting any better with the new stuff. I just got around to reading the latest from Mizukami Shin. I like her, because her stuff is always kinky-weird and useless. Once upon a time, it was entertaining 'useless', but this new one was horrid. Cliqued and crappy. :(

I was happy to read You are Loved Earnestly, by Takeshi Matsu. [I think you talked about one of this stories in this when they were serialized in K-Ot...the pizzaboy and customer one!]. This book was relatively fluffy, but so much fun. 0_0. And cute.

26th-Sep-2007 02:10 am (UTC)
I think you talked about one of this stories in this when they were serialized in K-Ot...the pizzaboy and customer one!

That's not a new tankoubon, is it? Doesn't usually take THAT long... ^^;;;

Yeah, I adored the facial expressions.
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