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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/22/2008 Archived Entry: "Yaoi Review: Hot Limit"

Hot Limit
Story by: Minori Shima
Art by: Akira Kanbe
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10:1-56970-571-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-571-1

Review by I-hsiu Lin

While working at the bar, Kazuma Sogou meets Maya, a young attractive male with a haughty personality and an attitude to boot. While working at a mansion, Kazuma meets Shinya, a respectful young student with courteous disposition. This isn't a boys love story about who Kazuma should choose to fall for though…because Maya and Shinya is the same person! But who is the real one? The seductive Maya with the raging libido? Or the shy Shinya who is a model student with sweet nature?

By the end of the first chapter, Kazuma has already decided that Shinya is the 'true' personality. Maya is seductive, tempting him with his eyes and lips from the moment they met. But Kazuma refuses to give in to the physical reactions coming from his own body towards him. He is drawn towards Shinya who he believes is being manipulated through his own pure feelings. The enemy is a corrupt politician…and Maya, his 'other self'. And Kazuma is determined to save Shinya from them.

Hot Limit is a unique story in its inclusion of both the plot devices of split personalities as well as intrigue and corruption in finance and politics. Kazuma also picked up on the fact that Maya and Shinya was one in the same very quickly, something that was very believable and moved the story along at a very good pace. However, the chapters near the end felt to have contained too much information with the events happening too quickly. From the start, we learn that Kazuma was a student who felt no interest in his school work and had problems with his father. In actuality, his father is an owner of a hotel which provided him with a wealthy background (if the hotel was doing well financially) and an explanation that his younger brother was expected to take on the family business which is why Kazuma is not good terms with his family. However, Kazuma develops a brotherly and filial bond near the end of the story that didn't really match up with the short interaction he had with his brother near the beginning. That inconsistency is very minor in comparison to the scene between Shinya and Kazuma's brother, Hisashi. Kazuma asked Shinya to go home with him and immediately, Shinya and Hisashi (who never met each other before) is discussing a delicate subject about the man who seduced them both. Hisashi is convinced that he was deceived and peace is restored between the two brothers. (No spoilers beyond that.) I feel that aside from the main love story between Shinya and Kazuma, the intrigue and discourse in the family could have been executed with a bit more believability. However, it's good to note that this of course isn't the main point of the story: it's about the two main characters falling for each other.

However rushed it was in the end, I feel that this story as a whole is good. As a boys love story, having the 'receiver' or 'bottom' in the relationship with a dual personality made for some interesting sex scenes: he is cunning and seductive in one panel, whimpering and submissive in another. It is also interesting to note that it is difficult to tell when Shinya is really himself. (This is in reference to what Shinya said at the end. The little tidbit is somewhat of a plot twist that shines a different light on him in second readings. Again, no spoilers from me.) Akira Kanbe's artwork is also clean with the usual set of pretty boys gracing the page. (Though I feel that Shinya blushes too much sometimes.)

Above all, Minori Shima created an interesting story. With a brightly colored dust jacket and large print, it's a good addition to any Juné collection.

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