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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Menkui! Vol. 1 by Tanaka Suzuki 
12th-Mar-2008 11:59 pm
Tanaka, Suzuki. Menkui!. Vol. 1. Los Angeles: BLU, 2006.
          Summary: Kotori has a taste for pretty people, but his attraction to Akaiwa isn't superficial, and the two boys are soon navigating the rocky waters of school romance. This volume also features several bonus stories, including one about tough guy and another about a boy in love with his elder brother.
          Comments: Man. I mean, why TOKYOPOP, why? Was it cheap? This easily some of the worst BL ever brought over to the States, and most of what is brought over is mediocre at best as it is. Tanaka plods through all of the shoujo/BL tropes--incest, communication misfires, dishy cast, meaningless angsting, etc.--without the slightest joy! The genuine sentiment that normally characterizes the BL genre has been emptied out; what remains is a perfunctory collection of tales that surfs atop the wave of its own shallowness. (Yeah, "menkui" describes the book as well as the hero.) Hell, the fact that she schizophrenically changes style from story to story points to a distinct lack of investment in her own creation; the bonus stories especially look like repurposed Slam Dunk and Cyberformula doujinshi throwaways. Though Tanaka does settle down into something that looks reasonably unique for Menkui!, I think she'd benefit greatly from being paired with a competent writer.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Biblos in 2000
          Rating: 2.5/10 - Ugh. I got this one on remainder, but quite frankly it's too expensive at any price. Too generic and crappy even for the masochistic manga fan.
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