June Manga/DMP Yaoi 2: Beyond My Touch, My Only King, You & Harujion, Art of Loving

Continuing my sampling of Digital Manga‘s titles. As I said before, I’m not a yaoi fan. I’ve read a couple of books in that genre that I’ve liked, but most of it leaves me cold. Please keep in mind that those looking for that type of story may see different things in these books.

My Only King cover
My Only King
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My Only King — If you weren’t told once or twice that this was yaoi, it would seem like a story about a preteen girl with a crush on an older guy. It’s visually unbelievable that the character with the pink ponytail is a boy, but that’s what we’re told, with the explanation that he’s from a magical land. He’s been sent to find a guy with the royal crest tattoo, which provides the requisite excuse to get a character undressed.

The book reads as though someone started with a yaoi checklist and started filling in items, regardless of sense or story. The fourth chapter ends the lead story abruptly with the boys declaring their feelings. The second half of the book collects unrelated short stories by the same author. One is a followup to two other stories from some other book; another, the longest, is about a king who sells children. You’d think that character would be a bad guy, but it’s all explained away as done out of love. Overall, creepy.

You & Harujion cover
You & Harujion
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You & Harujion — When his father dies, Haru finds himself confronted with tough guys demanding payment on a debt. A mysterious lawyer who claims to be a family friend steps in. The lawyer protects the orphan and invites him to live with him.

The art is sketchy, with more lines visible than in typical inked art, as though the artist couldn’t decide which line she wanted for the eyelid or chin or lips, so she’d just leave them all in. I also found it difficult to tell who was speaking at times.

The back cover says “Senoh [the lawyer] must now figure out what he wants to be for Haru… surrogate father or lover?” That’s an intriguing question, but it’s barely even acknowledged in the book, which is more a series of events without much emotional depth. The back cover copy also raises a tricky issue: is it ethical to start a relationship with a much younger someone who’s dependent on you for money and a place to live? That’s a key yaoi cliché, though, so probably better not to ask.

Beyond My Touch cover
Beyond My Touch
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Beyond My Touch — Mamoru died with the regret of never kissing his classmate Mizuno, so he didn’t pass on. Now he’s a ghost, haunting Mizuno. Mizuno lives alone, but he doesn’t realize how lonely he is until he gets used to Mamoru’s presence.

The trim alignment was off at times; I sometimes noticed that the last line on a page or the edge of the page farthest from the binding was partially cut off. The art was what I think of as typical manga, readable with nothing standing out, either good or bad. I found myself skimming the frequent monologues about how the characters might be feeling about each other to avoid getting bored, but the concept is cute, with the idea of falling in love with a ghost a classic emotional plot.

The Art of Loving cover
The Art of Loving
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The Art of Loving — A more adult volume than the others I’ve seen so far, with two men drawn together by their sexual attraction and the act shown “on camera” (although mostly, the sex scenes are of masturbation). One of the guys finds sexual climax the only distraction from his life as an heir to an important, rich family. He becomes obsessed with and fantasizes about making out with a new school friend.

The art style is what I think of as older (from an earlier era), with more emphasis on hair and eyes. Just when things got interesting, with the reader waiting to see how a certain proposition would be responded to, the book ends with “continued in volume 2″, a book that doesn’t exist yet. Frustrating!

All of these titles are bigger than the usual manga digest and have slipcovers. All are priced at $12.95 each.

Similar Posts: You Will Fall in Love § Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time Book 3 § My Little Monster Books 1-2 § The Day of Revolution Book 1 § The Bed of My Dear King

6 Comments

  1. [...] I found this explanation of yaoi genre conventions helpful in doing my continuing yaoi reviews. (I also sympathize with her tendency towards obsession; I can see that I’m going to have to explore that blog further.) [...]

  2. [...] This is the third and final post in my series looking at Digital Manga’s yaoi titles. [...]

  3. This really helps on the total view on these types of mangas, bcuz really with all of these, they’re the same. The plot is the same, and just the fact that the main characters are gay makes it interesting. And in my opinion, even though they are NOT by DMP: Gravatation, Loveless, and FAKE are the only ones with plotlines.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the writeups. I think Yellow also has some interesting plot to it.

  5. OMGGG WTF IS WITH THATT!?!?! in the book “the art of loving” it says that the second volume will be out at 2002… it’s 4 years past did the writer die or something??? veryyy frustrating

  6. what’s with the big round eyes?
    I can’t get past it.

    - connradd

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