Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+
Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+ is a one-off collection of side and bonus stories featuring characters from the main yaoi series by Yonezou Nekota (also published by SuBLime Manga). I must have read Don’t Be Cruel at some point, because I vaguely remembered that it was about two schoolboys. The fun-loving, playboy one blackmails the studious one into having regular sex with him, but (typical of yaoi) they really have feelings for each other, although they aren’t willing to admit it to others or even themselves.
These tales, because they’re stand-alones, are mostly about finding ways to show the leads having sex while being conflicted about it. In the first, Maya goes on vacation, so Nemugasa is glad he’ll have more time to be left alone to study but winds up missing his partner, who returns with a cold. In another, Nemugasa promises a sex act if Maya gets his test scores up.
The book also has a section of four-panel and other short comics where Nemugasa is concerned that Maya is acting out what he reads in erotic novels. Nemugasa, for supposedly being forced into this relationship, is awfully touchy about things, taking every chance to feel neglected or sad about not being valued for more than sex. He wants it, but he doesn’t want to acknowledge that, until he’s carried away by his physical desires. That can make even this short volume seem repetitive.
If you’re at all familiar with or interested in yaoi, these character types will be easily familiar, so Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+ can be read without knowing the main series. I’m not sure why you’d want to, though. This volume is best aimed at those who already enjoy the series. I find the two leads annoying more than interesting, and it’s one of those series dependent on no one ever having an honest conversation with each other.
For fans of the series and characters, though, this is a nice bonus package, particularly the short story where the two swap bodies. Many of the stories feature nudity, some with penetration, which is why it’s rated Mature. (The publisher provided a review copy.)