A Devil and Her Love Song

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Posts Tagged BLU

Mini Review: Black Knight (Vol. 04)

Black Knight (Vol. 04) – Kai Tsurugi
Published by BLU

Sometimes I wonder why I keep reading this series. Black Knight at this point is more political period-drama than a boys’ love story, and with the exception of a handful of the lead characters, I can’t tell who’s-who well enough due to similar character designs to even understand that much of the story.

Thankfully when the story steps back from the who-done-its, the characters themselves are still likeable with often the background crowds proving the most entertaining (as evident by some amusing mini-strips at the end). Christian, the youngest Prince of the Aran royal family, is currently in the neighbouring country of Dunhalk, the same country said to have tried to assassinate his Father. Far from being on vacation however, Chris is being held as a voluntary hostage to Dunhalk’s second Prince in a bid to create peace between their two countries. At his side is the ever-vigilante, Zeke, his bodyguard and secret-lover who still remains injured from a fight taking place in the previous volume.

While the boys’ love is at an all-time low in this one, fans have some overzealous royals, incestuous brothers and foreboding political plots to look forward to. The book’s last third takes a break from the main storyline and enjoyably takes us back in time to see Zeke in his youth, easily my favourite part of this book along with more of the gorgeous period clothing and detailed background settings that I’ve come to love since volume one.

While I do occasionally find Black Knight a little on the dull side thanks to some plot that falls just short of catching my interest, there’s successfully been enough focus on characters to keep me reading with eye-candy present to fill in any gaps. With the main plot steering for some choppy waters, I’m looking forward to reading how Christian and Zeke will make it through what the royal world has in store for them.

Review written April 1st, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased in-store from Chapters

New from BLU, Not Just For Us Canadians

MadnessA couple more new listings have popped up on Amazon.ca today, suggesting a few more licenses to go along with those I pointed out from Digital Manga the other day.

First off though, I wanted to remind my readers that while Amazon listings are a good indication of a company’s intent to release something, it is not a sure thing. Also, as brought to mind by Snow over at Fujoshi Librarian, it hadn’t occured to me that there’d be confusion for people over why Amazon.ca has these listings while Amazon.com does not.

Simply put, listings on different countries’ Amazon merely reflects who updated first. Each site is, as far as I know, managed differently and updated seperately. In my experience, Amazon.ca tends to have its new listings up much faster and more frequently than its American counterpart, Amazon.com. So, along with where I go to order some of my books, it’s also the first place I look for new listings. It does not mean that “only Canada is going to get it!”. It’s just a matter of what site posted the new information first.

That said, here’re a few new-to-my-knowledge titles:

Madness (BLU)
Shimotsuki Kairi

Liberty Liberty! (BLU)
Hinako Takanaga

Taimashin Demon Hunters (DMP)
Hideyuki Kikuchi/Shin Yong-Gwan

There’s also listings for two OEL books. First from DelRey is Ben 10 the Manga, based on the television show and illustrated by the artist of Tokyopop’s Gyakushu, Dan Hipp. It was originally announced back in Sepetember 2008. (Second OEL book has been removed by publisher request).

BLU’s apparent new titles definitely excite me the most, but that might have something to do with the fact I’m a huge Hinako Takanaga fan and someone who’s waited a long time to read Shimotsuki Kairi’s Madness. It’s also nice to see that DelRey is going through with an original Ben 10 manga as they originally planned instead of just sticking with the screenshot-cut-and-paste version that’s due out a few months before it.

Yaoi Minis for January 24th

Always lots of yaoi

Some boys’ love links of interest tonight:

BLU forums are pointing the way to Tokyopop’s site where you can view some preview pages for the upcoming and long-awaited fourth volume of Black Knight. Pretty artwork awaits you!

Some exciting news over at the Yaoi Generation forums where the staff had this to say:

“We’re also wrapping up a couple new licenses! Yay! We’ll be announcing it soon… well, soonish… hehe.. It’s not one of the suggested ones though. We’ve been working on getting these upcoming licenses since middle of last year, and it’s finally nearing completion, so we’re very excited!”

So much for waiting until the end of their first series, breath, before diving into others. But who am I kidding, I’m happy. Here’s hoping they handle it well and we get some more quality work. I was impressed with their first release and hope to be with future ones.

Deb Aoki’s Best of 2008 manga polls continue, including Best New Yaoi/Shonen-Ai Manga of 2008. It’s down to a race between the global boys’ love title ANIMA by Dany&Dany, and Ayano Yamane’s A Foreign Love Affair. Personally, I voted for Future Lovers, no contest my favourite on the list. Head over there and vote for your favorite and definitely check out any titles there you haven’t read yet. There’s some good ones for sure!

A new title from Kitty Media? Sense and Sexuality, with a release date listed for April 2009 (Edit: update). And how about a potentially new title from Deux Press? Have some Spicy But Sweet, a sequel to their already licensed Naughty But Nice. And from DMP, The Lonely Mgoytist (this one seems familiar to me but I can’t find news on it before my head hits the desk from sleepiness so apologies if this is repeat news).

Y!Gallery, aka YaoiGallery, the biggest online art community revolving around men, men and men on men, has recently had a big overhaul of their Rules and Terms of Use. One of the biggest changes includes the return of ‘furries’. Characters with strong animal characteristics were originally banned due to user complaints and a blurred line of beastiality. Site users are now given the option to filter their accounts so that furry art doesn’t show up for them. Other rule changes include no copyrighted material or work taken without permission being used for literature thumbnails (saving people like me a hundred headaches for clicking on what looks like really well done fanart only to find one of a million fanfics).

And finally, Tina Anderson and MTCopyright’s full-colour webcomic Whore of Turfan continues to update weekly with lots of shiny drama to look forward to every Friday! (Whoops, how’d this plug get here? ;) ) Seriously though, a strong start for the series from two talented individuals and I can’t wait to see where its going.

Review: Love Mode (Vol. 11)

Manhwa-ga: Yuki Shimizu
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: November 2008

Synopsis: “The mysterious figure of Shiki finally appears in this flashback — we find a younger and more naive Aoe escaping his familial responsibilities to the countryside of England, where he shares a simple bed and breakfast home with Takamiya and Shiki. While Aoe can’t deny his feelings for the happy-go-lucky Shiki, he can’t shrug off his duties to his family. The tension and seduction builds to an unexpected event that will rock his world forever!”

Volume eleven marks the end of Love Mode, a character-driven story of men brought together by a bomcintion of their business and pleasures. As testament to her skill, Yuki Shimizu has left pinnacle events in characters’ lives a mystery until this final point, revealing to readers past events in what is easily one of the most dramatic books of the series.

Read more…

Review: Tea For Two (Vol. 02)

Manga-ka: Yaya Sakuragi
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: August 2008

Synopsis: “Clumsy Takamaru and graceful Hasune have started dating, but are the challenges facing them nothing that can’t be settled over a hot cup of tea? First, Takamaru is focusing on baseball while Hasune is busy practicing the tea ceremony, giving them little time together – and their quickies in the Tea Ceremony Club room just aren’t cutting it! Then, a former upperclassman of Tokumaru’s arrives, and suddenly, the older man is all he seems to see or talk about…”

After some relatively successful lessons in tea and grace, Takamaru and Hasune have started dating. Things between them are going smoothly except for the fact that between baseball and the tea ceremony, they hardly seem to have anytime for one another. If time wasn’t obstacle enough, the future suddenly seems a daunting thing for these teenagers getting ready to graduate from high school, and an old friend from Takamaru’s past returns to put a little doubt in Takamaru’s lacking life-goals.

Read more…

Review: Tea For Two (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Yaya Sakuragi
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: May 2008

Synopsis: “Clumsy Madoka Takumaru can’t seem to go a minute without breaking something. To teach him a little self-control, Takumaru’s sis forces him to help out the Tea Ceremony Club despite the hesitations of the club president, the graceful Kazuma Hasune. Compoased and cool, he is the exact opposite of the brash Takumaru. Will the two be able to bridge their differences, or will a potentially hot romance cool like iced tea?”

Tea For Two is the story of Madoka Takumaru, a clumsy teenage jock who has a problem with breaking things. Fed up with his lack of grace, his younger sister puts him under the tutelage of their school’s Tea Ceremony club president, Kazuma Hasune. Now it’s a matter of whether or not some tea and kimonos will be enough to calm Madoka’s bad habits or if something aside from good manners will form through their lessons.

Read more…

Review: Love Mode (Vol. 09)

Manga-ka: Yuki Shimizu
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: May 2008

Synopsis: “The flashback continues… After Haruomi saves Kiichi from Miyamoto, he decides to look for his long-list twin brother Tien – who unexpectedly shows up at the Aoe household to kidnap Kiichi! Will Tien finally forgive his brother for abandoning him? And with all that Haruomi and Kiichi have been through, will these two become more than just friends? Find out how Haruomi and Kiichi get together in this love-filled volume of Love Mode!”

Prepare for a big page count here with volume nine of Love Mode. The back story of Aoe Kiichi and Haruomi continues where volume eight left off, the two in the manicial clutches of a man seeking Kiichi’s body for himself.

Read more…

Review: Voice or Noise (Vol. 02)

Manga-ka: Yamimaru Enjin
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: March 2008

Synopsis: “Shinichiro and Narusawa are getting closer, but it’s been months since Narusawa’s cat Acht said a word to either of them. Determined to get him talking again, Shinichiro rushes off to Tokyo were Naruawa is teaching a special seminar. But after a crazy night of drinking and sexual advances from Naruawa’s students, is Shinichiro really ready for relationship? This next volume of Voice or Noise proves the sometimes actions do speak louder than words…”

In volume two of Voice or Noise, Shinichiro continues to lament the loss of communication with Acht, the spirited black cat who stopped speaking after an accident. Wishing to find a way to talk to his feline friend, and better understand his natural abilities, Shinichiro begs Narusawa to begin training him again to understand animals. However his growing feelings for the older man are becoming a bit problematic.

Read more…

Review: Fallen Moon

Manga-ka: Toui Hasumi
Publisher: BLU
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.

Read more…

Review: Love Mode (Vol. 08)

Manga-ka: Yuki Shimizu
Publisher: BLU
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: February 2008

Synopsis: “Delve into the past as we find out more about the Aoe household! The Aoe brothers are doing pretty well for themselves these days, but hidden in their past are a slew of dark secrets. Kiichi and Haruomi seem like a caring couple, but what forces brought them together many years ago?”

Love Mode, volume eight, is a look back at the pasts of some of the story’s most relevant characters. Readers are taken back to the teenage years of Aoe Reiji and his older brother, the doctor Aoe Kiichi, as well as the childhood of Kiichi’s housekeeper and lover, Haruomi. Through tragic events, the characters are brought together and experience anguish at the hands of Reiji and Kiichi’s abusive father, setting the stepping-stones for their personalities and lifestyles later in life.

Read more…

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