Manga-ka: Sakuya Fujii
Rating: Mature (18+)
Synopsis: “Mentoring the beginning actor Makoto Aizawa is the famed screenwriter and producer Sanari Jonouchi. His lessons are very simple. Have sex so that you forget your ego and let out the best sounds possible! Lately, as Makoto has started to shine in a spotlight of his own, Sanari has been writing him into his scripts more and more. But a horrible scheme is creeping up on them. Ouchi, Sanari’s rival, has taken a liking to Makoto and is determined to tear the two lovebirds apart.”
Tomorrow’s Ulterior Motives is a sequel story to Sakuya’s Fujii’s previous manga, Today’s Ulterior Motives, which I haven’t read. In fact, it wasn’t until I had finished reading this manga and flipped it over to read the synopsis (something I generally do only after I’ve read a book), that I learned it had a predecessor. Unfortunately, it dispelled one of the few positive thoughts I had about this book: that the manga-ka made (so I thought) a good choice in skipping right to the point where the lead characters are already dating because there’s no way I could’ve handled reading anymore.
My thoughts on this book were predominantly negative but I’m not going to spend a long time listing the specific reasons because bluntly, it all comes down to the fact that it was boring. The characters were unlikeable, uninteresting and unbelievable. Makoto is your stereotypical doey-eyed bottom, while Sanari is the classically-casted, steely-eyed top enjoying his control over his pupil and lover. I didn’t find their interactions romantic or the attempts at drama were all merely methodical. Toss in the expected rival, a near-rape scene just because and lots of ‘I’m trying so hard ‘cause he’s so great!’ and you have another cut-and-dry, dull boys’ love in a nutshell.
Sakuya Fujii’s art sadly left much to be desired as well. All the characters have three-four facial expressions, designated by their status as a seme (top) or uke (bottom) so expect to see a lot of the same stale expressions. Along lifeless expressions, and generally flat looking style, there were some glaring artistic mistakes that I just couldn’t ignore, such as strangely skewed faces and several instances where hands were drawn backwards. In fact, once I noticed the first set of backward hands, I couldn’t stop staring the misshapen alien-hands that scattered the pages.
Though I haven’t read it myself, I’m assuming it’s safe to say that those who enjoyed the beginning of this story in Today’s Ulterior Motives, are the ones who would benefit from picking this book up. Otherwise, it’s an easy skip for other boys’ love readers because sadly, there just isn’t much to recommend.