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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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03/30/2008 Archived Entry: "Yaoi review: Sugar Milk"

Sugar Milk
By Jaryu Dokuro
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc

Review by Ryes

Sugar Milk is a collection of short stories by Jaryu Dokuro. For a first manga, Dokuro does very well and the stories are sweet and mostly about high school love.

"What's Your Name?" is about Yamada, who was recently dumped by his girlfriend. His girlfriend told him that she fell in love with someone else on first sight but Yamada thinks that love at first sight is a myth. But while he's moping at work one day, a customer catches his eye and he falls in love.

This first story sets the mood and tone for the rest of the book. As hard as it would be to believe for a book about high school romances, Sugar Milk doesn't pile on the angst. None of the stories are depressing or full of PMS-ing male characters. It feels very refreshing.

"Fifteen" is a story about Shunsuke who falls in love with a basketball player. The first story was about love at first sight, and this one is about a first kiss.

"The Lingering Scent of a Rainbow" failed for me because it was too cliché. Furuya, a school teacher is in love with one of his students. But the student is very bright and cuts class often because he's not being challenged enough. The principal suggests that the student be moved to another school that can better fit him academically.

Why was it cliché? The student gives Furuya a special rock. He also takes Furuya to a field of sunflowers and spouts the most trite expressions ever. "When the sunflowers are in full bloom... I'll come back to see you." That amount of sappiness just killed my enjoyment. Luckily this was the only story that disappointed in this anthology.

In "Milk," Taichi and Sho's friendship feels strained. That's because they've been recently reunited. But one night when Taichi gets drunk, something happens that explains why things have been feeling so forced between them.

"Sugar" is about Taich and Sho's past, and ties up the loose ends left in "Milk."

"Waiting for Winter" is about Nakamura who picks up a stray named Yoichi. Nakamura is a freelance photographer and finding Yoichi was something unexpected for him. Yoichi made the perfect model and he hasn't used anyone else since. But soon Nakamura feels like he can no longer capture the man Yoichi's become on film and stops shooting him.

"New Year's Eve" is a little look into Taichi and Sho's present life.

All in all, the stories were beautifully written and Dokuro's first attempt at manga is successful. Another thing I was grateful for was the font size in this book. The bubbles and spaces for narration were large so the font size was larger to compliment that. It was much easier on the eyes and made for a very smooth read.

The art's also nothing to complain about. Dokuro's chibis might not be anything special, but her regular characters are attractive. They have big eyes and really full lips and usually shaggy or mussed up hair.

I had fun reading the stories and definitely recommend Sugar Milk.

Replies: 2 comments

Yay. Happy to see it's a hit here. Dokuro is definitely the one to watch.

Posted by Catya @ 04/01/2008 05:16 AM PST

Hey Catya,

I agree. Dokuro did very well for a first manga. Other than the "Rainbow" story, I enjoyed every one of them. "Waiting for Winter" was my favorite out of them. It started a bit wobbly for me because I didn't know where she was trying to go with the story, but by the end, I loved it.

Posted by Ryes @ 04/01/2008 07:33 PM PST

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