Alphabetical Index of Digital Manga Reviews

Takasugi-San’s Obento Volume 1

Quiet but reassuring, Takasugi-San’s Obento combines food manga and the development of a family relationship. Harumi is an under-employed Ph.D. who finds himself suddenly the guardian of a 12-year-old girl, his cousin. Kururi’s mother is gone, and although she’s pretty, Kururi always looks grumpy. Perhaps she’s picking up on how uncertain Harumi feels, certain that he’s under-qualified for his new responsibilities and unfamiliar with taking care of a young woman. He’s also viewed suspiciously by those who wonder what a […]

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Lies Are a Gentleman’s Manners

It’s odd reading a yaoi manga that’s set in the US among, as the book promotion has it, the “high-society set”. Seeing the fantasy interactions in a venue I know something about, though, makes the unrealistic reactions — as the two men kiss and fight and tease in high-drama style — all the more obvious, and thus all the more escapist. Lies Are a Gentleman’s Manners contains a set of stories about the same characters, revealing more of their motivations […]

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Ichigenme… The First Class Is Civil Law

This two-book series follows the same pattern as Fumi Yoshinaga’s The Moon and the Sandals. The first book sets up the situations and the cast, while the second one is mostly about watching them have sex. However, compared to that title, Ichigenme… The First Class Is Civil Law, is more advanced, both in explicitness and character development. (That structure, by the way, makes sense when you considered that the material here reprinted was originally serialized. At the beginning, more attention […]

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Digital Harlequin Manga: The Apartment, Millionaire Husband

Digital Manga, at their book site emanga.com, recently gave reviewers the chance to check out a variety of their titles online. I thought I’d take the opportunity to see what their Harlequin offerings (manga adaptations of romance novels) looked like. My Background With Romance First, the caveats: like most women, I have read romance novels in the past (although most recently, I’ve been dabbling in the smutty imprints, like Blaze), and while many of them are incredibly formulaic, that’s not […]

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Garden Dreams

This collection of four connected short stories by Fumi Yoshinaga has more in common with Ooku than her yaoi works. For one thing, all of the love relationships demonstrated — and there are several variants included — are either male/female, friendly affection, or familial (parent/child). For another, the setting is a kind of historical fantasy, revolving around a castle and its baron. Two adopted brothers wander out of the desert to become bards for the baron, where they find an […]

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The Moon and the Sandals Volume 2

Well, that’s quite a switch. It’s as though someone said, “Ok, you’ve established all the characters, with their relationships and believable motivations, in volume one. Now let’s just have them boink a lot.” Seriously, The Moon and the Sandals volume 2, in contrast to the first, has lots of sex. It’s as though the twin points of appeal of yaoi manga were split into two different volumes. The last one got the love, while this one is all about the […]

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Solfege

My exploration of Fumi Yoshinaga’s yaoi and shonen-ai manga titles continues with this stand-alone volume. I didn’t like Solfege as much as I did The Moon and the Sandals because it’s more traditional in structure and characters — older, established gay man educates a much younger guy in the ways of love and sex — and limited in story scope. It’s the story of a junior high music student who gets involved with his teacher. (“Solfege” means learning to read […]

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The Moon and the Sandals Volume 1

After enjoying the new books by Fumi Yoshinaga, Ooku: The Inner Chambers and All My Darling Daughters, I decided to try some of her earlier works. This Juné manga seemed a good place to start. I knew from the imprint that this would involve boys’ love stories, but it’s not at all explicit, more schoolboy romance than yaoi. The Moon and the Sandals is a series of six short stories about falling in love, each revolving around a different member […]

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