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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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03/23/2007 Archived Entry: "Manga review: Alcohol, Shirt & Kiss"

Alcohol, Shirt & Kiss
By Yuko Kuwabara
Published by the JunÚ Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

This is the Barney Miller of PG-13 manga. Except everyone is way far much better looking. Yup, this is as if Dietrich decided to put the moves on Wojciehowicz. Yeah, I know, that kind of freaks me out, too, but let's move on.

Okay, so Naruse gets drunk with his pal Kita, so drunk he wakes up in bed with him the next morning. This happens a few more times and one morning Naruse wakes up naked in bed with Kita. Naruse is na´ve and believes Kita when he says they had sex. Is anyone that na´ve? I wonder, because it's almost impossible to not know if you had sex the night before, even if you blacked-out (and never mind how I know this). But, hey, it's PG-13 yaoi, anything is possible. But let's move on.

So after this event, Naruse stops drinking (something I highly recommend to black-out drunks) but starts to gravitate toward Kita, then away, then back, then away, then back, und zo on. Betwixt and between all this advance and retreat, they interrogate sociopaths, chase perps, and do things policemen, be they gay, straight, pansexual, whatever, do. They also make out in the Interrogation Room and kiss on park benches. The Takamagahara Metropolitan Police Department ought to win some sort of tolerance award. If two LAPD cops made out in the Interrogation Room, all hell would break loose. But let's move on.

I thought this book had an engaging story and charming art. If I had any gripes, it's that the other characters are underdeveloped, there are too many of them, and the woman are meddling, negative creatures. The only female cop you'll see in this book, Goto, is repeatedly told to shut up and is constantly prying into Naruse's personal life. Naruse's ex-girlfriend and Kita's ex-girlfriend get the negative treatment as well. I suppose making the women look bad to make the men look better is an accepted convention in homoerotica, but it's one I've just never liked much. Meh, it's yaoi; in a perfect world all representations of women would be six-dimensional, and I'd be taller, thinner and fabulously wealthy. But let's move on.

The sex scenes are sweetly muted and leave just enough to the imagination that repeated readings do not get boring. There are many nicely drawn smooches, hugs and suits in this book. The guys wear really cool suits, and guns, really nice guns! Automatics, not revolvers! But let's move on.

There's a pleasantly goofy unrelated story at the end of this book, called "Moon Kiss" about, well, a little boy who thought he made a promise on a kiss to a mysterious little girl, who shows up ten years later as a hunky guy. A moon prince, no less, come to claim his betrothed. Hey, why not?

Recommended. Hey, why not?

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