June Manga/DMP Yaoi 3: Our Kingdom, Desire, Passion

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

Our Kingdom Book 1 — An orphan boy’s grandmother and guardian has passed away, so he’s taken in by distant relatives. Their rich and sophisticated lifestyle makes him feel out of place, but he’s mesmerized by Rei, a handsome cousin with foreign looks.

Our Kingdom Book 1 cover
Our Kingdom Book 1
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The orphan is told he might inherit leadership of the family corporations, a position he doesn’t want, so he thinks of leaving. Rei convinces him to stay by almost dropping him off a building, and the two begin to trust each other. Although they’re in competition to determine which one will eventually head the family, the two become physical with each other, progressing from hugs to kisses to sleeping in the same bed.

There’s an obvious duality in almost every way possible: rich/poor, city/country, blond/dark, affectionate/freaked out. The boys really look like boys, with rural Akira supposed to be 15 years old but looking about 12. Mentally, the two are on opposite sides of adolescence, with Akira looking for a pal and Rei wanting a sex partner, although the depth of his desire is only implied. This title seems like a good starting point for someone curious about the genre but interested more in character relationships than graphic sexual portrayals.

Desire — This title, on the other hand… it’s over-the-top soap opera with plenty of steamy bits. Young, cute Toru has had a crush on good friend Ryoki throughout high school. Toru thinks he’s in love, but he suspects that Ryoki isn’t open to a gay affair, since he’s had a string of girlfriends.

So Toru’s surprised when Ryoki starts talking about how thinking about Toru turns him on, and he becomes flabbergasted when Ryoki suggests they sleep together to see if the reality matches his fantasies. Toru feels used, thinking that his friend only wants sex without the possibility of love.

I could empathize with the “do I give him what he wants physically in order to be close to him, even though he doesn’t care about me the way I do about him?” conflict — it’s a common struggle for teens learning about their sexuality — but the gay sex still doesn’t do anything for me.

Passion Book 1 cover
Passion Book 1
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Passion Book 1 — This title, on the other hand, sums up everything bad about the yaoi genre. A student rapes his teacher in an empty classroom because he’s so infatuated with him. Instead of having the kid arrested, the teacher flirts with him and begins a relationship.

The student has all the charm and smarts of the lead boy in Cheeky Angel and all the self-reliance of the lead girl in Hot Gimmick… in other words, a loser with nothing to recommend him who should be locked up instead of coddled. Plus, everyone has icepick chins.

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

10 Comments

  1. i think that the book our kingdom looks really excellent my school are looking to buy them 2. can u tell me if there is a new book of our kingdom soon i know their are 3 out already thanks from amy

  2. i like the idea of Desire and Our kingdom. Desire looks like something i’d read to get the Yaoi out of too much exitement, but our kingdom looks like one i’d read just whenever because it seems to have a good story line. YEY 4 YAOI!!! (major fan)

  3. Passions is an xtrmly grafic manga tht shws mor thn I bargnd 4!! Yt I actuly njoyd it, b/c of its drama filld pgs. The rvews I’v red bout Our Kingdom & Desire r rathr tantalizing, thus I rlly wnt 2 read thm.

  4. Our Kingdom and Desire r 2 books i’d rlly lik 2 read. i’v red Passions, & rlly njoyd it!

  5. wow that is so sexy btu really sad what the student did to the teacher^_^

  6. ijust love passions and our kingdom. they are both good mangas good to read. i just luv them.

  7. ulala… i say that desire is beautiful book i just love it.

  8. I’ve been hearing about these titles–I’m glad I read a few reviews first.

    That chick in Hot Gimmick was terrible. She was just stupid but, for some reason, I had friends who loved it.

    I won’t be looking into the last one. Thanks for the tips on the second one too.

  9. They should all be an anime soon that would be good our kingdom is a good chance for an anime i hope lets contact the creater and ask.

  10. [...] gatekeeper censorship. eManga is associated with Digital Manga, another yaoi publisher (through their June imprint), so they obviously don’t have those kinds of restrictions or [...]

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