Manga-ka: Toui Hasumi
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: June 2008
Synopsis: “An angel loses his place in Eden only find a mysterious and dangerous new patron… A poor painter finishes a woman’s portrait without his subject… Two bounty hunters face mysterious demons in the night… This unearthly collection of boys’ love stories will delight fans of beautiful angels and demon boys everywhere!”
Fallen Moon is a collection of short stories that barely teeter on the edge of boys’ love. With religious and mythical references, the attractively drawn stories range from demon hunting to beautiful imprisoned sorcerers atop a tower.
Boys’ love is never really a strong aspect here and when it does seem plausible, the story ends. In fact there is more romantic focus on male-female couples. I’m in no way saying this is a bad thing, but something worth noting for those who may buy this purely expecting some guy on guy. It’s also rated 16+ so no sex scenes for those looking either.
Regardless of the somewhat false-advertising, I enjoyed reading the stories which all had a sort of sombre tone to them. A few characters are renditions of religious characters and those from mythology, which sometimes worked better than others as plot elements. I think the stories didn’t benefit much from the tie-ins overall though, short of a brief moment of ‘hey, I’ve heard that name before’ when reading.
My favourite story was about a magic user cursed with immortality, and locked inside a tower, who is freed by a prince who wishes to use his powers of prediction. It ended a little too soon for me, and as the same could be said for several of the stories, it’s a shame they’re all so short. In a way, this book feels like a testing platter of possible series. In several instances, I wish that were the case.
I thought Toui Hasumi’s artwork is gorgeous and easily my favourite part of the book. It’s especially attractive in her full colour images, of which they are several included in this release. Men range from slender and effeminate, to strong and masculine but all are attractive in the way only manga men can be. Between each chapter are also several black and white illustrations that make this both a short story collection and a bit of an extra showcase for the manga-ka’s artwork too.
So while not exactly something that those looking for clean-cut boys’ love may be completely happy with, Fallen Moon was none the less an entertaining read with beautiful artwork and some strangely satisfying, un-satisfying endings to its numerous bittersweet tales.