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Posts Tagged Doki Doki

Review: Brilliant Blue (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Saemi Yorita
Publisher: DokiDoki
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: May 2009

Synopsis: “When Shouzo Mita left home, he thought it would be for good. Although he followed his father’s career path as a construction manager, Shouzo never wanted to enter the family business – that is, until dad got laid-up with an injury. Forced to return home and oversee his father’s company, Shouzo finds that a lot of things haven’t changed, but some things have. Nanami, a childhood acquaintance, has gone from being an awkward fatty to a sparkling pretty-boy straight out of a shojo manga. As an electrician contracted to work for Mita, Nanami’s simple, naive charm and healthy appetite manage to flip Shouzo’s switch. With the choice between remaining independent and accepting responsibility for his family even more complicated, what will Shouzo do?”

Brilliant Blue is an interesting yaoi. While the focus is the relationship between Shouzo and Nanami, it’s barely even romantic at this point. The two spend time together and grow closer over the course of the volume but things like work, family and the dynamics of living in a small town make theirs a far from straight forward romance. The drama in Brilliant Blue is refreshing in that it’s the kind of drama that arises naturally out of life.

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Swag Bag – Talking Cats, Female Shogun and Making Manga

Another week, another slew of new releases! I was too late to get a hold of a copy of 20th Century Boys (Vol. 10) but there was still plenty of other good titles to pick up (now with some pictures):

Voice or Noise (Vol. 03)BLU, the boys’ love imprint of Tokyopop, had a couple of new titles out this week. The most exciting of which was the third volume of Voice or Noise. The second volume was released in February 2008 so it’s been quite a wait for this follow-up. None the less I’m as excited to finally purchase a copy now as I was looking forward to it after finishing the last. Great boys’ love series!

The other title I picked up from them is Scarlet, a one-shot by the same creator who did Cute Devil. Honestly, I don’t have much interest in this artist or this premise but I bought the painfully overpriced book all the same because it marks a new (potentially continued?) book style and I wanted to check it out/support it. It sports a larger-than-the-norm trim size and colour inserts at the front. I flipped through it and it was actually a bit disorienting reading a BLU title suddenly notably larger, though snazzy all the same. It’s great to see, especially since it takes a step closer to almost justifying the $18.99 price tag.

Continuing on the semi-boys’ love trend, I was amazed to see a whole slew of DokiDoki titles on the shelf of Chapters (the B&N/Borders equivalent to you Americans out there). They’ve only ever carried sparse copies of Vampire Hunter D from Digital Manga so seeing them branch out to this varied imprint was exciting, plus very promising to the local boys’ love fanbase who are too timid to special order. Though not boys’ love, I purchased a physical copy of Alice the 101st which I reviewed earlier in the month for ANN.

Butterflies, Flowers (Vol. 04)Moving onto other genres, I picked up a copy of Bakuman (Vol. 01) – the team of Death Note makes a manga about making manga – and the fourth volume of Ooku in which it feels like the faux-Shakespearean speech that I really dislike seems more toned down (or is that just me?). In the mail I got a copy of the newest volume of Butterflies, Flowers which is hilarious – I am completely enamoured with the mature silliness of this series and I hope many others are too.

And lastly, thanks to my local library, I’ve been reading the Manga Guide to Databases. After reading the Manga Guide to Statistics last week and being impressed with how much I actually retained from it, I sought out this one as I’ve been wanting a basic introduction to databases. Yay for learning?


ANN Review: Alice the 101st (Vol. 01)

Happy Birthday to me! I’m 24 today which I’ve been warned means I’m only one year away from being five years to thirty – this is scary now I’m told.

On a completely unrelated note (and one considerably more post-relevant), I’ve got a new review up over at AnimeNewsNetwork – Alice the 101st (Vol. 01).

I was really excited for this book as a fan of the artist’s previously-released-in-English series, La Esperanca. Alice the 101st is thus far considerably less melodramatic but that’s not a bad thing; there’s some interesting different plot elements coming together and a fun amount of humour in this one as well. I thought things fell into place a little too easily though so there’s room for improvement in volume two in regards to handling the plot it has a little better. What I liked the most though was the artwork which looks really sharp, especially the stronger use of black. Snazzy stuff and fun to see how her art’s evolved since the last series I read.

A digital copy of this book was provided by eManga.com for review purposes


Review: Fevered Kiss

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Arika Kuga
Manga-ka: Taishi Zaou
Publisher: DokiDoki
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2009

Synopsis: “On the night of the year-end party, in high spirits and under the influence of the party’s free-flowing alcohol, Satori ends up sleeping with Asou. Since then, every day that Asou comes over, he does nothing beyond kiss Satori over and over, and as much as it perplexes him, Satori is unable to resist his advances. But one day Satori hears a nasty rumor that Asou has a girlfriend!”

This is the first boys’ love novel I’ve read that isn’t a June publication, though it is published by another Digital Manga imprint, Doki Doki. I enjoyed it – for some reason, it had a different feel to the prose. It maybe sounded a little less like it had been translated from Japanese than the June novels tend to do, and a little more like the English you might expect from a native speaker. I don’t know that either style is necessary better, or even that I like one or the other better. They’re just different.

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Review: Millennium Prime Minister (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Eiki Eiki
Publisher: Doki Doki
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: July 2009

Synopsis: “Up until now, the most exciting part of Minori’s schoolgirl life has been playing video games… but one day, her skills win more than she ever could have imagined. When Minori beats some guy at the local arcade, suddenly he declares he’s going to marry her! When the same guy turns out to be none other than Kanata Okazaki – Japan’s newest, youngest-ever prime minister – Minori finds herself swept up in a world of politics and paparazzi. Is Kanata really in love with her?”

Suspension of disbelief is a tricky thing: push it too far and it will snap. A twenty-five year-old prime minister of Japan? All right. In real life, Japan’s just elected its fifth prime minister in four years, so why can’t one of them be really young and good-looking? But even the cutest world leader couldn’t get away with getting engaged to a sixteen-year-old high school student and having her move in with him. Factor in that he does all this against her will and it’s hard to believe this guy could get elected, let alone stay in power.

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Review: How To Control A Sidecar

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Makoto Tateno
Publisher: DokiDoki
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: May 2010

Synopsis: “Naive and easy-going Kousaka is a bartender at a local popular hangout place. One night, a couple–a young mischievous, spirited guy and a rich, handsome and well-groomed man walk in. Kousaka noticed that they seemed a bit odd being together-but little did he know, they weren’t there for happy hour drinks! They were there to approach Kousaka and to be a part of their 3-way relationship. When he finally realizes that he is wanted by the two-Kousaka finds himself embroiled in a messy love triangle! Now what will he do?”

Some boys’ love manga can only be enjoyed by stretching your disbelief. For example, in How to Control a Sidecar, one of the characters goes through a horrible trauma, only to brush it off. In real life no one would react the way this guy reacts, but, this isn’t the real world. It’s still a little disconcerting to see a manga casually wave off something like rape, especially since otherwise How to Control a Sidecar is a fun manga.

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Review: Otodama – Voice From The Dead (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Youka Nitta
Publisher: DokiDoki
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: February 2010

Synopsis: “Kaname Otonashi is gifted with a super-hearing ability, so much so that he can even hear voices from the “other side”. Having once worked as a top notch detective specializing in Sound Engineering Investigation, Otonashi resigned to work as a private investigator. His partner, Yasuhide, aka Hide, collaborates with the police department to take on unsolved and mysterious cases. Surrounded by a string of mysterious deaths, the police turn to Kaname’s findings to identify suspects…but can Kaname handle the non-stop screaming of the dead?”

Youka Nitta is famous for creating landmark yaoi manga like the popular Embracing Love and The Prime Minister’s Secret Diplomacy. Not knowing anything about Otodama except for the manga-ka when I started reading it, I was expecting more of the same. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Otodama isn’t a yaoi series (or even shounen-ai), but instead a smart police-thriller with supernatural elements. What it does have in common with Nitta’s other work is fantastic art and a gripping story.

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Review: How To Capture A Martini

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Makoto Tateno
Publisher: DokiDoki
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: December 2009

Synopsis: “Innocent Naoyuki fell head-over-heels for drop-dead gorgeous senior Shinobu when he was just a shy underclassman. But after a whirlwind fling filled with first kisses, first drinks (and much more!), Shinobu vanished on the very day that Naoyuki was set to confess his feelings. Years later, the two grown men suddenly cross paths in a chic city bar where the exotic drinks flow freely… and the trysts only last one night! Can Naoyuki convince the cool and distant Shinobu that what was once a childhood dalliance is now deep and passionate love?”

How To Capture A Martini – it wasn’t until the end of the book that I figured out the title’s figurative meaning. Despite my personal ‘duh’ moment in regards to this clearly laid out reasoning, it doesn’t change the fact that the name itself suits the story very well. It throws a pleasantly cheeky spin on the largely emotional foray of the two leads, well-embodying this one-shot tale of their adolescent romance’s second chance to flourish.

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Purchase and Win – eManga Draw for Electric Hands

eManga Giveaway - Win Electric Hands!

Digital Manga announced on their blog yesterday their first giveaway of the new year. From today (Wednesday, January 13) to Tuesday, January 19 – anyone who rents or purchases-to-keep any title on eManga will be entered into a draw to win a copy of Taishi Zaou’s one-shot boys’ love story, Electric Hands.

“In most ways, Fujino is a typical high school student; his mind wanders during class, and he often finds himself lost in a daydream. But the odd thing about Fujino is that his daydreams are starting to revolve around a peculiar fetish for hands – specifically, the sleek, beautiful hands of his classmate and tutor, Takie. Hours spent admiring an attractive set of appendages is one thing, but Fujino is in for the shock of his life when a brush with Takie’s hands gives him a literal jolt. What makes a current pass from Takie through every part of Fujino’s body? How will Fujino’s fellow students react when each accidental contact sends him skittering across the room?!”

Along with the book, the winner will also receive a shikishi/shitajiki pencilboard signed by Taishi Zaou herself! The winner of the draw will be announced the following day.


Review: Boys Love

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Kaim Tachibana
Publisher: Doki Doki
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2009

Synopsis: “Magazine editor Mamiya meets popular high school model Noeru Kisaragi for a story Mamiya’s working on. When Noeru suddenly tries to go down on Mamiya and makes sexual advances at him, Mamiya turns him down flat. But Mamiya’s loneliness starts to get to him and he decides to try starting over with Noeru on equal footing. Mamiya’s sincerity causes Noeru to open his heart as well, and before long the two begin to form a deep emotional connection, but…”

One problem I have with many yaoi manga is the sense they give that if a relationship isn’t some earth-shattering love-story to end all love stories, then it’s just not worth it. Not every couple has to be soul mates destined to be together forever and ever. This may make me sound like a cynical, unromantic grouch, but some love stories could really be helped by dialling back the melodrama. Boys Love is a good example of this.

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