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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
A quartet of reviews. 
8th-Jun-2009 08:42 pm
From the usual venues, of course.

Apologies that I'm otherwise too busy and too preoccupied with other aspects of my life for verbosity in this context.

At Anime News Network:
Sand Chronicles Vol. 3-5 by Hinako Ashihara
Honey Hunt Vol. 2 by Miki Aihara (review copy provided by Viz Media)

At Graphic Novel Reporter:
The Color of Earth by Dong Hwa Kim (review copy provided by First Second)
Future Lovers Vol. 1-2 by Saika Kunieda
9th-Jun-2009 03:13 am (UTC)
That's funny. I just bought and read Future Lovers (this past week, in fact). It really is one of the more "real" character driven BL romances to come out in English. The art's not quite my thing, though. It's one of those tragic pitfalls of BL: some of the best writers, like Fumi Yoshinaga, have art styles that seriously don't mesh well with my aesthetic tastes. I've read Yugi Yamada's Close the Last Door, too, and liked the story, but the art was kind of forgettable, which is unfortunate, because it's the workplace "adult" romances that I seem to be leaning farther toward all the time (and almost completely away from the school romances, these days), but the art styles of the mangaka who generally write them just aren't quite there for me. *sigh*

And I think the "incest" side story was two cousins who were "raised as brothers," which is a subtle difference to make on the subject of incest, but I thought I'd point it out. I always feel like mangaka copout on the incest, and I find that funny. It's like, if you're going to dip your hand into the incest taboo, just do it. ^_^

But Future Lovers, does have one annoying plot device: the "we just met and had sex as complete strangers last night, but oh, look, we're now being reunited as new colleagues at work today" device. *slaps forehead* It really is funny when those things happen, but oh so BL cliche...
9th-Jun-2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
There's that other cliche in Future Lovers, too--near death experience that leads to the "I can't live without you after all!" revelation. Kunieda has used it before in other works, too.

Sometimes I think she has to do really genre-stereotyped setups for her stories, on behest of her editors. Imagining characters growing up and getting (really) old isn't something mangaka often do--or something your average teeny-bopper reader would expect--but it's a pleasure to see her imagine bonds of love (whether romantic or familial) to their logical ends. She isn't, in other words, just about the "beautiful youth."
9th-Jun-2009 03:23 am (UTC)
I haven't actually checked out your reviews yet, but I read the entire series of Sand Chronicles in two days flat.

And Future Lovers is my favorite yaoi out there. I loved it so much that I considered writing to the publishers to talk about translation rights. I was crushed when I found an ad for it in a friends English manga! LOL

9th-Jun-2009 03:27 am (UTC)
*nods* I like Sand Chronicles a lot.

Oh, and if you haven't read Hanazakari no Niwa yet--do it now. It might be my all-time favorite manga series. Her Future Lovers is like heartburn by comparison.
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