Monday, May 21, 2018

Merry Month of Manga Review: TABLEAU NUMERO 20

Now it's time to take a look at a brilliant stand-alone work from SuBLime as well as one of my favorite BL mangaka ever.

TABLEAU NUMERO 20 (Sakuhin Number 20), by est em.  First published in 2009 and first published in North America in 2013.


An art conversator finds a lost masterpiece, a work previously only known to exist in the form of a sketch.  For years, the man obsessed over that sketch and the haunting eyes of the man in it.  Imagine his shock, then, when he brings the painting home to work on it and finds the subject standing naked on his balcony.  The man in question, Yves, turns out to be the key to the mystery of the artist’s works, and alongside the conservator Yves learns to let go of his lost love.  Alongside them are other stories, ones about frustrated flamenco dancers, of a couple separated by time and the loss of memory with age, and a man struggling with his unspoken love for an old friend.

Merry Month of Manga Review: DOMINION

Once upon a time, Masamune Shirow could be relied on to churn out all sorts of interesting one-shot sci-fi stories.  Most of them have been overshadowed by the massive success of Ghost in the Shell, and that's unfortunate.  They weren't always masterpieces of transhumanism, but they were interesting in their own right.

DOMINION, by Masamune Shirow.  First published in 1986 and first published in North America in 2000.


In the future, the skies are brimming with dangerous bacteria.  Humanity has done everything to protect itself from the air, be it the strange pod-like beings they live in or the filter masks they wear outside.  It's not enough to protect the people from everyday criminals like the thief Buaku and his catgirl henchwomen Annapuma and Unipuma.  The only force capable of stopping them is the Tank Police, a hardscrabble group of cops dedicated to stopping crime (if not so much toward stopping collateral damage or pleasing their superiors).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Merry Month of Manga Review: THAT WAS GOOD

Oh CJ Michalski.  Your manga is always okay at best and you've got a disturbing fondness for shotacon, but I can never fully your work.  WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU?!

THAT WAS GOOD (Gochisosama), by CJ Michalski.  First published in 2008 and first published in North America in 2011.


Hiroto was just another nobody working in a convienence store.  Then he managed to impress a curious (and hungry) little toddler with his homemade bento, and now he's the live-in housekeeper for the tall, handsome pilot Suguru.  All seems to be going well until Suguru's younger brother throws him out.  Will Suguru come back in time to save Hiroto from homelessness?  Meanwhile, the promiscuous high-school student Youhei falls for the tiny, delicate otaku Takumi.  To win him over, Youhei immerses himself into otaku culture and Takumi's favorite series in the hopes of winning him over.  Finally, Riku decides to help his twin sister marry the man she loves by becoming the hostage of her fiance's controlling older brother, only for the two to fall in love in turn.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Merry Month of Manga Review: OVER THE RAINBOW

Remember when Central Park Media released manga?

Yeah, I don't either.  While they were the first English publisher to put out BL manga, most of their manga output was no-name nonsense like this.

OVER THE RAINBOW (Ame ni Nurete mo), by Keiko Honda.  First published in 1997 and first published in North America in 2005.


A day at the amusement parks leads a pair of two young lawyers, Arou and Keita, to an amnesiac woman nicknamed Key.  They are charmed by her looks and sunny outlook, and to help her find her identity they start their own law firm.  Together they work on everything from divorce to plagiarism cases while searching for Key's true identity, hoping to bring happiness to each and every client.

Merry Month of Manga Review: WILD COM.

It's time to take a look at some old-school supernatural shoujo short stories from the creator of Basara.

WILD COM. (Chounouryoko Roudoutai Wild Com), by Yumi Tamura.  First published in 1999 and first published in North America in 2004.


In "Wild Com," a young woman discovers a secret gang of elemental espers who use their powers to save others and comes to terms with her own fire-based powers.  In "The Beasts of June," an assassin and a kept woman come together, only to be torn apart by the man who connects their short, sad lives.  In "The Eye of the Needle," an up-and-coming actor has his life destroyed by his callousness towards others.