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Expressive and convincing.Jan. 22 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
It has been two years and I am glad June is able to release this conclusion to Kiss Blue Volume 1 (Yaoi) (v. 1). School boy romance is a common theme in Yaoi and at the end it is just how convincing it is done, which is the case here. I love the evolving relationship between these two college students. They started off as close friends in Vol 1. Noda is the real playboy and could be involved with several girls at once and breaking up with them just as fast. Yet he cares more for his close friend Tomosaka then any of his girl friend. Tomosaka is a serious young man, a bit naive because of his youth. He is the constant in Noda's life, and definitely the conscience in Noda's love life. Tomasaka wakes up to the fact that he has been in love with Noda for a long time. He confesses to Noda. They have one night of sex but neither could handle their even more confused feelings after. For Tomasaka, is Noda acting out of sympathy? As for Noda, could he be feeling much more than friendship for Tomasaka ? Their emotional struggles continue in Vol 2 and the mangaka has done a marvelous job expressing their conflicting feelings. The pace is quicker than Vol 1 as their emotions boiled to the surface. The manager of the bar, in which Tomosaka works part time, continues to teases even as he helps in his little ways. So did one girl who has a little crush on Tomosaka.
And finally we get to know the manager of the bar in which Tomosaka works part time. His name is Ryousuke and who would have thought this seemingly carefree gay man has his own little troubled past. His side story of lost love is bitter sweet and could even have been a reflection of what could have happened to the other younger couple. There is a little extra as we catches up with the young lovers two years later, which give a good closure to Noda and Tomasaka.
This mangaka's artwork is not the usual clear lined type and may even seem sparse. But I like her distinct style and her artwork definitely looks even better in Vol 2 . There may not be much explicit sex in this boy love story but their exchanges are deeply meaningful and expressive and their evolving relationship from close friends to lovers is convincingly told.
Slow-paced but with impactJune 1 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
It has one of my favorite tropes: best friend falling in love with each other, and there are plenty of manga like this, but so far, Kiss Blue is one of my favorites in depicting this kind of relationship.
This manga focus on two college men: Tomosaka and Noda. Tomosaka has been in love with his best friend Noda for a long time, but he doesn't dare to confess because he doesn't want to lose the friendship. It doesn't help that Noda jumps from woman to woman, even so far as two-timing or three timing.
Sure, it sounds very typical yaoi manga, but what makes this manga special is the character-building. Personalities are deep (beyond the blushing-in-every-panel kind of thing), and the characters' voices are relatable: Tomosaka, Noda, and the cafe owner.
The slow budding romantic relationship feels realistic, especially the friendship. Both boys do not want to hurt the other intentionally and the communication problem is addressed, not at the spur of the moment, but when one character makes a conscious decision that he has to communicate his feelings.
What I also like is the fact that Tomosaka and the cafe owner do not hook up and use each other. Tomosaka makes it clear that he does not settle for less, and he won't get into another relationship when he still has feelings for Noda.
Finally: the art. There is a sketchy feel to it, but the art is clean and simple; the soft lines give a melancholic, peaceful atmosphere. Every character is nicely drawn. The art matches well with the mood of the manga, which I really enjoy. Paneling is done beautifully.
All the characters are mature, and all the relationships well-built. Definitely a good read for readers who enjoy a slow-paced manga.