Manga-ka: Makoto Tateno
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: November 2009
Synopsis: “Straight and macho Taki partners with feminine and gay Goh to form an expert team of bandits hired by the police to steal from the mafia. In July of 2005, DMP introduced one of the most popular creator & ground-breaking series: YELLOW to the yaoi industry, cementing Tateno as a yaoi fan favorite. Finally, Makoto Tateno has created a mini sequel series starring her two beloved characters, which have never been published in print, until now!”
Yellow 2 takes place three years from where the prequel series ended. Our two leads – Goh and Taki – now the equivalent of happily married and retired are called back to ‘duty’ by bequest of a friend. The two used to be one of the world’s best pair of ‘snatchers’ – a fancy word for thieves for hire who may or may not have morals playing into their cause. Their new job has them sleuthing for clues that’ll lead to the shipment of drugs they’ve been asked to find before someone else does.
A quip I have every now and again with detective stories are needlessly complex clues. How do the sleuthers decipher these so easily? More so, how we supposed to be believe it. Cunning deductions of common sense and threading occurrences are impressive – seeing four words on a piece of paper and immediately knowing how they coincide with scientific figures resulting from religious research that matches words on a building that a subtraction of temperature numbers will deduce the door number of… just seems too for-the-sake-of-looking-smart convenient. And really, who comes up with those kinds of codes in the first place as a means to get around?
But in truth I doubt that big detective-story buffs are the target audience of Yellow, a story that’s predominantly about watching the two pretty boys investigate their way into semi-dangerous situations while leaving fan-girls waiting for them to strip down next. This opening volume of the sequel series is pretty light reading. It serves more as re-introduction to the cast, so much so that even readers not familiar with the first could pick this book up with no issue. There’s no real danger, no real difficulty with their mission and not even a token boys’ love fight about emotions and such. It’s entertainment value survives on the chemistry between Taki and Goh which is thankfully a pretty gratifying representation of where the prequel left off.
As far as the relationship itself goes, it remains pretty well established from the get-go. It’s reiterated with some occasional groping and a well-(muscle)-toned sex scene at the end. It’s still a little annoying though that the story continues to introduce them as “one hetero and one gay” and trying to repeatedly play off this like it’s a novelty. The two have been together for years – very together, very boys’ love together, honeymoon together – it has to be a moot point by now!
On that note, Yellow 2, being published in special chapter-installments, clocks in at about 66 pages per book. It’s a good size for a one-sit reading though it does feel a little unsatisfying when there’s no time for this opening volume to get past the introductions and into some tenser material.
Because of this Yellow 2 feels like it falls a little flat so far, it’s simply too short to achieve being engaging. But as a reintroduction to the characters, it does a good job and fans of the original will be happy just to read new material with the characters. Though a one chapter installment may not be as fulfilling as readers would like, it’s still bound to be better received than years of waiting for enough material to release as one full book.