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Posts Tagged Bonds of Dreams Bonds of Love

Swag Bag: Girls, Guys and Thermae Romae

Swag Bag

It’s a new Swag Bag post! And as the last was a month ago, we have some catching up to do.

Seven Seas’ omnibus edition of Kisses, Sighs, and Cherry Blossom Pink was one of my favourite purchases as of late. Yuri is uncommon enough, but after this release and Girlfriends, I won’t ever pass up an opportunity for more of Milk Morniaga’s work. I found this book tricky to get through. I related to these characters more than most in manga, so the book took considerable more emotional toll on me than I’m accustomed. It only speaks to their quality when in the right hands, however, and while it means I’ll likely never be able to write a full review for them, I have all the hopes in the world they continue to do well so we can get more.

Yen Press continues to make clever power plays for room on my bookshelves with a new set of shiny re-editions. This time it’s Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (Vol. 01-02) and Chain of Memories. Both are adaptations of the video games of the same name, products near and dear to my fangirl heart, and titles that Tokyopop originally published. While I already own the Tokyopop books, Yen Press’s new collected editions look and read great, plus have that new book smell. How could anyone resist? For more thoughts, you can read my review of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix.

A Devil and Her Love Song (Vol. 09) began my Viz Media purchases and was an enjoyable romp of beach time fun and character development. I reviewed another recent shoujo purchase, Dawn of the Arcana (Vol. 10), last weekend. Always the Queen of the crop, Sailor Moon (Vol. 11) was quick to enter the swag bag and carries us into the final, and possibly most emotionally intense, arc of the series.

Completing it’s final arc is Saturn Apartments (Vol. 07), which really surprised me with how dark it got for a while. I honestly didn’t know how it was going to turn out, which is always the best way to read something. All surprises! Much less of a surprise were Attack on Titan (Vol.01) and No. 6 (Vol. 01) from Kodansha Comics, since I’ve already seen the anime versions. But I love them both, Attack on Titan in particular, so I had to buy the manga of each.

Thermae Romae (Vol. 02)It was super shonen time with the newest volume of Toriko (Vol. 16). It’s continuing to be a little disorienting following the series both in the collected form and as new chapters come out via Shonen Jump. The two haven’t overlapped yet, but it is neat seeing what comes, what’s been and wondering what could possibly fill the gap. Less suspenseful is Pokemon Black & White (Vol. 10) but it’s always cute and fun.

Speaking of cute and fun, though in entirely different ways, I was thrilled to finally pick up a copy of Thermae Romae (Vol. 02). This series is amazing, both in the surprise of something with this plot simply existing, but also in how well it’s executed. This series continues to be hilarious and educational, not to mention brilliantly packaged by Yen Press. If you haven’t already, make sure you buy these gems while you can!

And I finished this month’s purchases off with some boys’ love – Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love (Vol. 04) and Blue Morning (Vol. 01). Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love is now over and went out the same way in came in – funny and full of enjoyably horny hijinks. Blue Morning starts a brand new series and one that’s pretty much the polar opposite in tone. I found Blue Morning a bit dull as it’s dark mood almost suffocated it, but now with the characters set-up, I’m looking forward to seeing more plot progress in volume two.

That does it for this week’s Swag Bag. As always, feel more than free to share what purchases you’ve made recently and if you’d recommend them!


RightStuf Warns of Boys’ Love Book Seizing at Canada Customs

RightStuf Warns of BL Book Seizing at Canada Customs

We have ketchup chips, Kinder Eggs and house the fantastic, and recently completed, Toronto Comics Art Festival, but even we here in Canada aren’t perfect. It saddened and concerned me to read this bit of news over the weekend, credit for which goes to Ash on Twitter.

RightStuf has posted the following warning on all four volumes of SuBLime‘s boys’ love series, Bonds of Dream, Bonds of Love by Yaya Sakuragi:

“Note: This item is banned in Canada, and will be seized by Customs if ordered.”

From what I can see, this is the only SuBLime title to have a note about being banned. We can assume it’s a note made based on a particular incident, though of course this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard negative stories about manga going over the border. Anime and manga have become buzz words of sorts for customs’ agent which see the youthful drawing of some characters, and sexual nature of others, reason to blanket the medium as pedophilia and pornographic in nature.

Bond of Dreams, Bond of LoveAs for Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love, I can see why they might ban it – with disclaimer I don’t believe in banning artwork like this – but it’s still not a series I’d ever viewed as being an obvious trouble-maker. Of course I speak from the viewpoint of a seasoned manga reader who is used to the distinctions of age and art style. One of the leads in this series is a teenager who very forwardly pursues an older man whom he’s known since he was very young. Though the young one is the more aggressive of the two,  it still follows a budding sexual relationship between an adult and a teenager and the age discrepancy is heavily emphasized in the way they’re drawn.

Interestingly, I actually received volume three of this series from RightStuf just a couple weeks ago and didn’t have any issues. Then again, being buried among many other items certainly helped. The requirement to buy $250+ worth of material to get the free Canadian shipping from RightStuf ups the chance that any supposedly-risky material like this can glide through in similar fashion. Of course, this depends on if RightStuf will actually choose to deny** the ordering of these books from Canadians or leave it to the buyers’ own risk.

For Canadians looking for the books, who don’t want to risk border bans, you can still order the books via Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.ca and your local book stores via special order.

**May 16th Update: RightStuf has since updated the warning to the following: “Note: We cannot ship this item to Canadian addresses, and it likely will be seized by Customs if ordered.” So no more ordering even allowed for Canadians of these books anymore. An unfortunate turn of events, one that could set a very bad precedent for other material from one of the mediums’ most prominent supplier.


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