Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Review: THE CONDITIONS OF PARADISE

Of course, we can't talk about queer manga without looking at least one modern-day yuri title, now can I?

THE CONDITIONS OF PARADISE (Rakuen no Jouken), by Akiko Morishima.  First published in 2007 and first published in North America in 2020.




PLOT:

This anthology collects a wide variety of stories about women in love.  There's Sarina, an organized office lady who loves her high-school friend/freelance travel writer Sumi but struggles with communicating her feelings, her desire for greater commitment, and trying to adapt to Sumi's freewheeling ways.  There's also Keiko, a 30 year old art teacher who begins dating Emi, a bright and bubbly 20-year-old whose youth makes Keiko feel insecure.  There's Lalah, whose tiny size and cosplay-centric lifestyle belies how organized she is compared to her statuesque, musically talented girlfriend Shinobu.  There's even the tale of Fubuki, a cherry tree given life so that she might finally be with the princess she adores.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Review: AGE CALLED BLUE

It's Pride Month once more, so once again we're looking at some of the manga queer stories to be found within manga.  Of course, that includes BL, and we'll start with yet another gem from one of my favorites.

AGE CALLED BLUE (Eiji Koorudo Buruu), by est em.  First published in 2008 and first published in North America in 2009.



PLOT:

Nick and Billy have known each other since they were kids, bonding over their mutual love of music.  Eventually they form a band, with Nick on vocals, Billy on lead guitar, and both of them serving as songwriters.  Their friendship eventually turns into love, but it's a love that's increasingly tainted by Nick's selfish and self-destructive behavior.  Eventually, Billy comes to the point where he has to decide what's more important to him: Nick or the band.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Merry Month of Manga: INTERSPECIES REVIEWERS

 Well, I guess I would have to reckon with this series someday, so I might as well take advantage of this month's theme and do so now.

INTERSPECIES REVIEWERS (Ishuzoku Rebyuazu), written by Amahara with art by masha.  First published in 2016 and first published in North America in 2018.



PLOT:

In this particular fantasy world, sex work is just an everyday part of life and many brothels take advantage of the various species and magical encounters available to cater to just about every sort of clientele possible.  The human adventurer Stunk and the elf Zel have made it their mission to try out every sort of girl and service available and rank their experience for a bit of coin.  Along with their reluctant angel companion Crim, they'll do it with anyone: succubi, salamander women, fairies, elves, and so much more.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Merry Month of Manga: RADIANT

Well, since I talked about Beyond the Clouds I might as well cover the other recent fantasy manga with French origins.

RADIANT, by Tony Valente.  First published in 2013 and first published in North America in 2018.




PLOT:

In the land of Pompo Hills, there are ordinary people and there are the Infected.  These people are wizards filled with a magical force called Fantasia that produces strange side-effects but allows them to fight deadly magical monsters called Nemeses.  Seth is a wizard in training who is ready and eager to fight a Nemesis, and during his first fight with one discovers that he has a special power: he can wield fantasia without the use of the usual magical gauntlets.  This skill makes him powerful, but it also makes him desirable to both other wizards and to the Inquisitors who would oppress them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Merry Month of Manga: HETEROGENIA LINGUISTICO

There's a lot of fantasy manga out there, but this is the first one not to focus on a traditional hero's narrative or even fantasy food, but instead on language

 HETEROGENIA LINGUISTICO (Heterogenia Linguistic: Ishuzoku Gengogaku Nyuumon), by Salt Seno.  First published in 2018 and first published in North America in 2020.



PLOT:

Hakaba is a linguist in training who is forced to take over for his mentor after an injury.  Thus Hakaba ventures out into the world to interact with the likes of werewolves, lizardmen, harpies, and more.  With the use of his professor's notes and what clues he can gather from his companions and their behavior, Hakaba will learn to decipher the languages of these non-human races, no matter what form it may take.