Itoshi & Aldaria: The Hourglass – I fell in love with Sadao and Mouse in Orochi no Kishi and good M/M and BL novels always develop in me a desire to see the characters illustrated in sequence. While not the whole story or even a part of the story told in the first volume, The Hourglass goes a long way in fulfilling that desire. I am still freaking out over how gorgeous the artwork is! Sadao is beautiful. Mouse is beautiful. And there was one panel where Sadao was looking a mouse undress and it’s not like he hasn’t seen it before, but I swear I could hear Sadao saying “damn!” If you’re familiar with the story, this will be such a treat, but also a little sad. But I think that this slice of their life is the perfect size, so even those who aren’t familiar with Orochi no Kishi will be able enjoy it and will definitely want more.
Alex Woolfson & Winona Nelson: Artifice
Kori Michele: Prince of Cats – I actually read this last month, but I forgot to add it. I enjoyed this quite a bit. For the most part, my first impression still stands and the ending wasn’t what I thought it would be, but it was my kind of ending. I think the only bone I have to pick is the story line that gives the story it’s title kind of disappeared for a bit and it was never made clear what the deal was. The deal being his ability to talk to cats and his wish being granted (or not) by the princess of those cats. That mystery stands on it’s own, but the truth of it actually can impact how you take a scene between Frank and Lee towards the end of the story. Without knowing the truth of it, I don know if I should be mad at Frank for saying what he said or be concerned about Lee for talking about it int first place. Unsolved mysteries aside, it was a good story and a great example of how happily ever after means different things to different people.
Whitemiists: We Shine Like Diamonds [Haikyuu!!; IwaOi] – Such a wonderful look at IwaOi from adolescents to university students. Oikawa isn’t even one of my favorite characters, but I love when people get him right. The beauty of his complexity shines brightly in this fic. [Read]
Fujisaki Miyako & Nakamura Shungiku: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai V06
Yamanaka Hiko: 500 Nen no Itonami – Is melancholic cuteness a thing? Androids and humans; still weird, but I can’t deny this story.
Mamahara Ellie: Macaroni V02 – I don’t even know how long ago I read the first volume. The story was Mamahara’s usual chaste wheel of cheese.
Minazuki Akira: Noboseru Karada – This featured two connected stories. In the first story, I was disappointed to encounter a seme whose internal dialogue made it clear that he didn’t care about the uke’s feelings and had the intention to push and overwhelm him until he gave in. The second story also featured an aggressive seme, though not to the extent of the first. Also, he expressed remorse and pulled back. Still, it was a let down because both stories had the typical awkward cute moments I enjoy in Minazuki’s works, but it’s hard to fully enjoy them when the rest of the story is what it is.
Furuya Nagisa: Number Call – A story about a high school guy who hates how people just decide what to call him when they read his name. It’s a running joke in his life and irritates him to no end until he meets another guy at his school whom he doesn’t seem to mind when he gets in on the joke. Their curricula are different, so they don’t have many opportunities to interact, but after a few encounters, they end up creating their own. I liked the pace of their development and the confession was really cute. It gave me the kind of feeling I got from Yamete Kudasai Mabushii Desu. I hope to read more by this mangaka.
Kakine: Ai no Binzoko – So, my thing now, is that every time a Kakine story fails to deliver, I reread Spotlight Lover, Manazashi no Hayagane, or End Love. I have such a thing for her cute messy art and the way her characters unknowingly hurt each other and begrudgingly care for each other and I keep reading more of her stuff hoping to catch a glimpse of that, but it’s just not happening.
Kakine: Katappashi Kara Zenbu Koi – I originally read this back in February, but I forgot all about it, and I mean, I completely forgot everything about it. After reading it this time, I archived it by dragging it into to the archive folder, so I didn’t see what was already in there. So I went into the archive folder to skim through it so I could write something here (because I couldn’t remember a single thing about it) and that’s when I saw the one from February. And the only reason there was no file name conflict was because I included the score in the folder name (even thought I don’t score them here anymore) and the February one had a different score (higher?). I suppose that pretty much tells you what kind of impression this one left on me. I think the higher score may have been due to all the love in the air–I initially read it on February 14th.
Chrono Nanae: Vassalord V01 – V07 – I started reading this for my now defunct Fujoshi Book Club. It’s one of the better takes on vampires in BL, but the story turned out to be a winding, circling, and hopscotching journey through the land of weird things and unresolved sexual tension. You can check out my incomplete FBC conversation archived here.
ZAKK: Canis – Dear Hatter V01-V02 – Kutsuna and Ryou’s pasts were interesting, but I was always more interested in the way they danced around each other in their comfortable awkwardness. Caring for each other but daring not to cross that invisible line, but still managing to do so with varying degrees of conscious intent. Their story is a good one. Seeing Kutsuna cry was too much. And their attempts at getting it on were comical and cute. Kutsuna and Ryou’s part has come to an end, but I’m definitely interested in the mafia continuation, particularly the glimpse of the three-way action I caught in that preview!
Kanai Kei: Kyouju to Shitsuji no Shizuka na Seikatsu V01 – I fell for Kanai as soon as I read An Even More Beautiful Lie some years ago. So I’m always up for more. There’s two stories which get connected in the omake. The title story is nice and I like the way Shima and Yakumo’s relationship develops. The whole master-servant thing can easily go astray. If Genma from Ze wasn’t such a prick, his and Himi’s relationship could have developed in a similar way. I also like that Shima was 34 and not some snot-nosed young master bullying an older steward. The second is about roommates, laid back Yoshimasa– and annoyingly cute Aya who fall for each other, but don’t find out until Yoshimasa reaches his limit. Their story is cute, especially how smitten Yoshimasa was. I was hoping for a little bit of that undercurrent of intense attraction that I liked in Beautiful and was not as intense, but still present in I’m the Big Brother, but it doesn’t seem like the story’s going to go that way. But that’s fine; I’m still looking forward to volume two. Also, Kanai’s on par with Ogawa, Nekota, Punch Up Kano, and Minazuki when it comes to wardrobing, so I want to see more of that as well. And she has a thing for putting her characters in bed. You think,”of course, this is BL,” but I don’t mean it in that way.
Mito Hitomi: Doutei Hitsuji to Abazure Ookami – I suppose the primary theme was “not what you’d expect,” but even with that, the stories weren’t that interesting.
Sakiya Haruhi & Fuyuno Ikuya: Kuchibiru ni Chou no Hone – Butterfly Rouge V01-V02 – I read the story before this, Binetsu no Kajitsu, a while back and I liked it more than I thought I would, so I was hoping for a little more of the same feeling. I did not get it. I will say that I was somewhat prepared for the story because the synopsis was pretty clear about it, but I didn’t expect it to be so cruel. The relationship between Osho and Chiaki was amazingly, relentlessly cruel and did not improve at all–no atonement whatsoever throughout the two volumes. I felt so hollow. There is no way it can redeem itself, but I find it hard to believe that there isn’t another volume in the works–it stopped at such a horrible place. I don’t mind admitting that it is completely due to morbid curiosity that I want to see the story through to its forced happy ending. However, if there really are only two volumes, then I think it succeeded in its attempt to appall.
Watarumi Naho & Suzukura Hal: Interval Zero – This had so many opportunities to be good, but failed in just as many ways. It seems that this is connected to Junketsu Drop, but nothing stood out and I didn’t feel like rereading it to figure out how.
Ogawa Chise: Rakuda Tsukai to Ouji no Yoru – I read some of the stories included in this volume as oneshots, but I finally read it as a completed work with the related, uncollected oneshots. Well… I liked the title story–prince of the desert stories aren’t so bad when they’re done right. The first story, “Oboreru Sakana”, reminded me of the story “Cheap Soul” that was included in Sekai wa Kimi de Mawatteru. I enjoyed it, though the idea of people giving up on life at such an age is depressing. Now, for the other stories… I don’t really have an issue with incest in fiction–in general–but it’s still a case by case basis kind of thing. Brothers close in age, fine; father and son, always going to be weird for me, even if it didn’t start between them until the son was of age (although that would make it somewhat less weird). The latter was not the case for “Kusatta Rasan”, so it was just… One thing I will say about all of the incestuous pairings is that the level of desperation of one half matched the level of depravity of the other and that sort of eased it a bit for me. I think if there was one character in any of the pairs that were not completely out of their mind, I…don’t know. I suppose I would have been even more unsettled; probably more like freaked out.