The Nines #1: Beauty Mark

It’s sexy, ne?

Hayakawa Nojiko--Endou-kun no Kansatsu Nikki [4.5]

Yoneda Kou--No Touching at All

Senoo Aki--When the Heavens Smile

Hayakawa Nojiko: Endou-kun no Kansatsu Nikki


This story is simultaneously lively and quiet. The times that Tsuda’s in his own head create very still moments even with the occasional outbreak of passion directed toward Endou. On the other hand, the ever-reticent Endou has enclosed himself in a world of sound. A sound given to him by Tsuda. And yet, there is a silence about him. Most of the action and noise is created by Hayakawa’s creative, non-dialogue storytelling. The composition of the panels, the abundance of white space with punches of black in the form of bars, lines, and an array of geometric arrangements make for a very stimulating reading experience.

Yoneda Kou: Doushitemo Furetakunai


Even after all this time, just holding the book in my hand gets me teary-eyed. Something inside me warms up when I think about the relationship between Togawa and Shima. And then there’s Onoda … ! Overall, I prefer the unofficial translation; it rings more true of Yoneda’s patent style and cadence. The official translation’s Shima is mildy antagonistic, generally disagreeable, and a little whiny; I don’t love that Shima. However, the official translation is not without its merits. Some (just some) of the dialogue toward the end of the volume makes more sense in context. This sealed Yoneda as one of my absolute favorites.

Senoo Aki: When the Heavens Smile


A cute collection of oneshots featuring a cheeky ghost and a character with a cute fetish!

Mamahara Ellie--Alley of First Love

Aida Saki & Yamada Yugi-- Tired of Waiting for Love

Miyamoto Kano--Make Me Happy-x

Mamahara Ellie: Alley of First Love


This was the first title I read by Mamahara that I really liked. I just wanted to hug Shusuke and tell him to go for it! But I also wanted to tell him to watch out because Atsushi was a bit of a beguiler. It’s really cute!

Aida Saki & Yamada Yugi: Tired of Waiting for Love


Together with It’s Only Love, this is one of my favorite stories about second chances. Konohara really likes the theme of second chances and reunions; it’s a prominent theme in most of her stories. I liked the idea of Sawaragi retiring from the yakuza and trying to live a quiet life. He was such a slick guy in It’s Only Love, so it was nice to see how he mellowed out–prison and heartbreak tends to do that to you. A lot of times when troubled people find each other, no matter how happy they seem, I just can’t believe in their happy ending, but I think the earnest Shuuya and the laid back Sawaragi will definitely be happy. There’s a 3rd novel that focuses on Shuuya’s past resurfacing, so I’m sure they’ll have their moments, but overall, I know they’ll live on through long intervals of bliss.

Miyamoto Kano: Make Me Happy


This collection of short stories is one that I can read over and over again. The title story is my favorite. Shiba and Naomi are boss and part-timer, respectively. The spirited and unapologetically gay Naomi nudges the straight, weary, and divorced Shiba into a physical relationship by repeatedly offering to “help him out.” Shiba’s not so unaware as he seems to have reserved Naomi has his own personal side dish.

Monden Akiko--Man of 1 Yen [4.8]

Aniya Yuiji--Me wo Tojite 3-Byou [4.2]

Furutsuji Kikka--Hachiue no Juunin [4.5]

Aniya Yuiji: Me o Tojite 3-Byou


It’s heartbreaking when you see people immobilized by fear. Manabu is in love with Hiroto, but even when he has the chance to come clean, he can’t. Not that Hiroto is much better; he called Manabu a coward, but also didn’t make known his own secret until they were down to the wire. However, their reunion and eventual reconciliation makes up for their lollygagging and it’s made even better when you read the doujinshi released for it.

Furutsuji Kikka: Hachiue no Juunin


At first I thought Kite was kind of adorable, but then he just became rather creepy. Tomohisa’s ex- came off as a jerk, but then I realized that he’s just a coward and I almost felt bad for him. I like that Furutsuji’s characters aren’t flat. She allows them to have more than one significant personality trait and with that, rather than snapping, they get to transition in and out of moods and their change of heart or mind is a process to be witnessed rather than simply perceived.

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