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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Manga Recommendations #2: Yaoi

This time last year (I checked) I wanted a break from the usual and introduced Manga Recommendations with my first post about shoujo manga. I meant for the recommendations to be a regular thing but kind of forgot.

Well I remembered so now it's time for yaoi manga recommendations. This might end up being an annual thing. :P

For those who don't know, manga are Japanese comics. Unlike American comics, manga are much more mainstream. They take up as much shelf space as other books in Japanese bookstores. They also have a home in most American bookstores now. Manga range in genre from children's books to hardcore XXX porn, depending on your fancy.

My recommendations for today will be coming from the yaoi/BL genre (ie - M/M). These are books usually written by women for women. There are some men writing the genre (sometimes under a woman's name) but the target audience (in Japan) are usually women. Just for info purposes BL = boy's love, and usually refers to the tamer side of the genre with love scenes limited to kissing and maybe some groping with implied sex. Yaoi is the more hardcore of the two with open door sex scenes that may or may not be fully depicted.

My favorite authors in the yaoi/BL genre are always great reads and I recommend any and all their books: Masara Minase, Makoto Tateno, Eiki Eiki, Taishi Zaou, Bohra Naono, Hinako Takanaga, Riyu Yamakami and a few others but this list is getting long and I want to get to the manga recommendations...

** Lies & Kisses by Masara Minase **

Tatsuya is searching for his half-brother to make amends for the way the family left him out in the cold for so long. He meets Haru at a night club and is instantly enamored of him, taking him home for a one night stand only to find out Haru is the brother he was looking for. Haru is well-aware of Tatsuya's identity from the start and doesn't see that as a reason to stop their relationship. Besides Haru is convinced they aren't really brothers, half or otherwise, so what's the harm in being with the one he loves?

- Volumes: 1
- Setting: Apartments and Night clubs
- Sub-Genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: Drama Queen (closed)
- Heat Level: 18+

It's like a plot right out of a soap opera and is just as dramatic. You're rooting for Haru and Tatsuya while biting your nails for the results of the paternity test. Is their relationship taboo or not? The book keeps you guessing until the very end and I'm not going to spoil it.

** A Bloody Kiss Tonight by Makoto Tateno **

Riku delivers flowers and finds himself at a dark mansion occupied by strange men, one of whom intrigues and scares him. His apprehension is justified when Keito becomes the subject of very erotic dreams that aren't really dreams. Struggling to come to terms with the impossible, Riku finds himself kidnapped by Keito, who is a vampire intent on finishing his meal or having his meal finish him. Either way, Keito wants the game to end at last.

- Volumes: 1
- Setting: Mansion
- Sub-Genre: Vampire
- Publisher: Doki Doki (Digital Manga Publishing)
- Heat Level: 18+

This book is actually a two-in-one because you get a story from one of the other housemates, but the main story is between Riku and Keito and their multi-lifetime love. Each time Riku reincarnates, Keito finds him and starts the hunt all over again in the hopes that it'll end once and for all. Their relationship is bittersweet as only Tateno-sensei can deliver. Pretty vampires and an impossible love. Totally makes it a must read.

** Color by Eiki Eiki & Taishi Zaou **

Similar paintings are on exhibit in the same gallery but the artists have never met...until today. Takashiro and Sakae end up at the same art school by coincidence and hit it off from the start. They are kindred spirits who understand each other on a level that goes much deeper than friendship. Before they can figure out where their relationship is headed, Sakae is whisked away by his family to forsake art and become the family heir. Takashiro is willing to fight to stay together but he has to convince Sakae it's worth it.

- Volumes: 1
- Setting: High School
- Sub-Genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: Doki Doki (Digitial Manga Publishing)
- Heat Level: 16+

Eiki-Sensei and Zaou-Sensei are wonderful authors separately. Whenever they team up, it's AMAZING. Color, according to the authors' note, is something of an autobiographical story for these two authors. How autobiographical, neither will say but they pulled from a lot of real life experiences to write it, including and not limited to, being drawn to each other because of their similar drawing and storytelling styles. I love these authors and the emotional journey of this story.

** Three Wolves Mountain by Bohra Naono **

Kaya runs a cafe by night and guards a haunted cemetery by night. He meets Tarou and Jiro, starving brothers, one night on patrol and takes them in despite his misgivings. Tarou and Jiro are both werewolves, who can help Kaya protect the cemetery. Kaya doesn't expect Jiro to fall for him. He also doesn't expect his matching feelings. If they can overcome being two different species, the age gap, grave robbers, and busybody family members, they might just make it.

- Volumes: 1
- Setting: Mountain Cafe & Cemetery
- Sub-Genre: Paranormal
- Publisher: SumBLime Manga
- Heat Level: 18+

All I can say is -- poor Kaya. This man puts up with soooooo much handling Jiro. Naono-Sensei loves writing older men / younger men stories and making the older men put up the enthusiasm and exuberance of the younger men they fall in love with. To make it even more fun, the older men are usually the uke of the relationship (ie - the bottom). Male pride bumping up against love makes for a funny and awesome story.

** Awkward Silence by Hinako Takanaga **

Satoru is one of the most passionate boys you will ever meet...too bad none of it shows on his face or in his voice. He's incapable of showing facial expressions, which makes people think he's shy and standoffish. When Keigo, the boy Satoru has had a crush on for forever, confesses and wants to date, Satoru is over the moon...except he lacks the ability to express it properly and almost loses his chance. What follows are misunderstandings, missed chances, and lots of making up as Satoru and Keigo learn to navigate their strange relationship.

- Volumes: 4
- Setting: High School
- Sub-Genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: SuBLime Manga
- Heat Level: 18+

With the exception of one book, everything by Takanaga-Sensei is FANTASTIC. Read it all but start with this. Awkward Silence is funny and sweet and emotional and Satoru is too cute. Sometimes you want to shake Keigo for totally getting things wrong and jumping to the worst conclusion because of Satoru's inability to emote, but that's only because we (the reader) are in Satoru's head and know what's going on. The series also follows a second couple who are friends with Satoru and Keigo.

** Then Comes Love by Riyu Yamakami **

Midori is aloof. Takahiro is upbeat. Midori is antisocial. Takahiro is the center of attention. Midori is gay and Takahiro has no clue, which comes as a problem since Midori has feelings for Takahiro. The men are friends but Midori can't stand pretending his feelings don't exist. He also can't stand seeing Takahiro with women. Midori decides it's time to end the relationship completely but Takahiro refuses to let him leave. Midori will only stay under one condition -- a condition he knows Takahiro will never meet...or will he?

- Volumes: 1
- Setting: College
- Sub-Genre: Contemporary
- Publisher: June Manga (Digital Manga Publishing)
- Heat Level: 18+

Yamakami-Sensei is fond of the character who just doesn't get it. In this book, it's Takahiro. He doesn't understand why Midori is so moody or why he gets upset and acts childish whenever he sees Midori with someone that isn't him. So long as Midori is around, Takahiro is happy and doesn't understand why Midori wants more or what that more could possibly be. You have to hand it to Midori being so patient with such an obtuse man. BUT (big but) when Takahiro finally gets it, there's no stopping him and that's when the story really got interesting. Sheer optimistic determination meets stubborn pessimism. You almost feel sorry for Midori that he gets what he wants.


*****

I could make this post go on forever, but I'll save some for next time around...which might be next month or next year. We'll see.

Happy reading until then.

--
Zenobia Renquist
Discover Different and Unique Romance & Erotica
http://about.me/zenobiarenquist
Charmed Lovers (Box Set) :: With humans caught in a war between vampires and mages, three couples' love endures amidst the chaos.
http://zenobiarenquist.com/bookshelf/caveat-emptor-series/charmed-lovers-box

1 comment:

Tina Donahue said...

I've never read these - sounds fascinating - will have to give them a try. Thanks for the great post, Zenobia. :)