Manga-ka: Mio Tennohji
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: March 2007
Synopsis: “Even though Azumas “spectacle fetish” is infamous, guys are out of the question, and Sorachi is definitely way out of the question – hes too serious for him to even carry on a decent conversation with. One day, however, Azuma finds Sorachi asleep without his glasses, and can’t help himself from kissing him! Glasses may be the thing that attracts Azuma to Sorachi… or is it?”
Azuma has a fetish for people wearing glasses. It’s considered common knowledge in his class how his loves and lays were all with cute girls with spectacles. However, Azuma suddenly finds himself attracted to his fellow male classmate, Sorachi, causing him to wonder if questioning his sexuality is worth his fetish (especially when the object of his attraction seems to hate him). It doesn’t take much imagination to realize where things are going and soon the two are hopelessly in love with each other, cueing all the usual dramatics. This is the title story of the small collection and takes up just over half of the book.
Though Azuma takes a moment to question his sudden attraction to a man, the path to their relationship is still a relatively smooth and uninhibited one. They admitted their feelings for each other and that was that; Azuma and Sorachi are now lovers and couldn’t possibly fathom ever being with anybody else. From there the two face some small humps and bumps together: Sorachi suffers from low self-esteem, the fear that Azuma is only attracted to the glasses he wears and Azuma finds himself increasingly jealous over the attention Sorachi is suddenly getting from other people. While a little emotional drama can sometimes spark some life into characters, here it just feels dry and stereotypical. The two characters fall into their yaoi-couple roles so smoothly that even their ‘fights’ feel like predictable inedibility. They’re sweet but not very memorable.
Following the first story are three unrelated short stories. The first follows two classmates who suddenly find themselves friends with benefits and one of them realizes he isn’t content with things staying that way. As a change of pace, the next story stars two middle-aged men. And finally the last chapter, focusing on a young man’s affection for someone he may not see again when distance between them becomes a looming issue. All three stories are short, sweet and to the point. The first of the trio is the longest and the most entertaining with more vibrant characters and the added time to enjoy them.
Mio Tennohji’s art style isn’t one that will immediately appeal to all audiences. While aspects of the drawings are very solid, such as the line quality and screen toning, the manga-ka’s approach to proportion is at times a stretch at best. With heads that don’t quite seem to fit on their long-necked bodies’ or arms that seem to go on forever, things can look a little off at times. Folds in the character’s clothing also seems overdone at times in a way that makes even their attire seem the wrong size for the characters. It’s not an unattractive style, and has a professional feel to it, but is one that’s definitely subjective to people’s tastes.
It’s a nice release job by 801Media with the usual trimmings: an eye-catching, high quality cover slip adorning a book full of nicely printed pages that are easy to turn. In the back is another short, full-colour comic staring the company’s mascot girl, 801-chan, along with a short preview of 801Media’s other series, Bondz. The interior dialouge is nicely done with no notable errors in grammar or spelling. On one frame there seems to be an edited out sound effect with no inserted English equivalent, as is the case with the rest of the book, but it’s a minor blip (which may not even be an actual oversight) in an otherwise clean and neat translation job.
The Sky Over My Spectacles is a nice collection of works but not one with anything exceptional to offer readers. The characters aren’t anything different from those you can read about in many other titles and there isn’t much in the way of plot, nor does it have an abundance of gratuitous sex scenes for those who look to 801Media to supply it. The deciding factor for buying this book should be the reader’s taste for the art. If yaoi readers find it really appealing, then by all means pick this one up; if not, then there are other titles in 801Media’s growing collection worth more of their time than this.