Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review: SUZUKA

To end the month, I wanted to look at something just as notorious as our first selection.  Luckily, the answer was at hand.  Few names strike as much fear into the hearts of shonen readers as Kouji Seo, and if I wanted to understand why I would need to start at the very beginning.

SUZUKA, by Kouji Seo.  First published in 2004 and first published in North America in 2006.


Yamato hopes that by moving from the Hiroshima countryside to Tokyo for high school, he might just be able to change his life for the better.  That's why he was willing to agree to live with his aunt and work in her apartment complex/bathhouse to earn his keep.  It's there that he meets Suzuka, a star high-jumper who quickly takes a hot-and-cold approach to Yamato.  Yamato's smitten with Suzuka's innate coolness, but will the other residents leave him alone long enough to let him say how he feels?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Today's review is a two-for.  Not only does this boys' love story center around a couple with an awkward (and strictly illegal) age gap, but also features a lot of stalking and a guy who won't say no!

*sigh*  Just another day in the world of BL.

BOND OF DREAMS, BOND OF LOVE (Yume Musubi Koi Musubi), by Yaya Sakuragi.  First published in 2008 and first published in North America in 2012.


Ever since he was a little boy, Ao has been utterly smitten with Ryomei, a local Shinto priest.  Many years and one well-time wet dream later, he's finally gathered up enough courage to make his intentions towards Ryomei known. Ryomei is freaked out by Ao's declaration and turns him down, but Ao is not one to let rejection discourage him.  One way or another, he's going to find a way to make Ryomei love him...that is, if Ao's boyish good looks don't change Ryomei's mind before that.

Monday, February 12, 2018


It's hard to top incest when it comes to bad romance concepts in manga.  I've covered a few examples so far, and they've all been awkward and disappointing.  Today's selection is a bit different.  It's one of the most literal riffs on the idea, and yet it's also one of most satirical and inspired takes.

I DON'T LIKE YOU AT ALL, BIG BROTHER! (Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne-!!), by Kouchi Kusano.  First published in 2008 and first published in North America in 2012.


Nao is a 12-year-old girl who loves her big brother Shuusuke.  She loves him so much that she's determined to make him her lover by any means necessary.  She'll stage "accidential" flashings, throw out any porn of his that isn't imouto-themed, and tries her hardest to turn her bland brother into a sister-loving pervert.  The only thing that threatens to get in her way is Shuusuke's old childhood friend Iroha.  She took a childhood promise made during a game of Doctor far too seriously and now has her own equally aggressive plans for him.  Now the two are locked in passive-aggressive battle for Shuusuke's affections, and only one can win.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


It's February, which means it's time for another round of Bad Romance Month!  I'll be looking at a small selection of the worst, most messed-up romances manga has to offer, and I've got a doozy of a title to review today.  It's time at long last for me to review one of the most notorious shoujo titles ever.

HOT GIMMICK (Hotto Gimikku), by Miki Aihara.  First published in 2000 and first published in North America in 2003.


Hatsumi's family lives in a giant company apartment complex lorded over by the CEO's wife.  Under her watchful eye, the slightest social infraction could be cause for transfers or firings.  That's why Hatsumi panics when the CEO's son Ryoki catches her buying a pregnancy test for her younger sister.  He threatens to snitch unless Hatsumi becomes his slave, but the more Hatsumi learns about him, the more she's not sure what to think!  Things only get more complicated when her dreamy childhood friend Azusa returns with an agenda of his own...

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Now we go from a weird early CLAMP work to a later work which might be the slashiest thing that CLAMP has ever written, which really says something considering their body of work.

LEGAL DRUG (Gohou Drug), by CLAMP.  First published in 2000 and first published in North America in 2004.


Kazahaya wanted to run away from his past.  Rikuo wanted to find a missing woman from his.  Their quests ended up leading the two to the Green Drugstore.  When the two aren't stocking shelves and fighting with one another, their mysterious benefactor Kakei sends them off on strange supernatural quests that force the two to confront the mysteries of their  pasts.