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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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11/12/2008 Entry: "Yaoi Review: FreshMen"

FreshMen
Story and Art: Yuuya
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-934496464
ISBN-13: 978-1934496466

Review by Kris

College. For some strange reason new college freshmen seem to think that all that college entails is hot babes, frat parties, and drinking to the point of memory loss. In the case of Takayuki Saito that is his thinking. Not only does he want to party but he also wants to fall in love. At the school entrance ceremony he sees the perfect chance. The reason Saito chose his particular department and major because most of the students are totally cute girls. Saito arrives at the entrance with one heck of a hangover because of the massive party held at the dorms the previous night. His bad luck seems to continue. He was hoping to sit next to one of the hot babes, but ends up next one of the few guys in the department, Hitoshi Sato. Because of the large amount of alcohol Saito had consumed the night before, he ends up passing out in Sato's arms.

Because of this incident Saito and Sato quickly become friends. We learn that Sato is actually a sophomore but missed his own entrance ceremony. Sato is also really quite serious and works his tail off in every aspect of life. He has a huge school load, he works part time, and has a hard time saying no when people ask him to do things. When culture fest arrives Sato takes charge. When the festivities are over, the stress seems to have gotten to him. After getting drunk he jumps off the top of a building. Having a broken arm and some bumps, scrapes, and bruises, Saito decides on his own that he will take care of Sato. It seems that Saito has fallen in love, but not with a gorgeous girl. He seems to have fallen for Sato.

After FreshMen there are a few short Chomaru tales. Chomaru is a character Yuuya created and published as a doujinshi. Not having much of a background on these characters the stories seem to be a disjointed and uninteresting. But I do have a desire to check out more from the Chomaru universe.

FreshMen was a refreshing read for me. After reading all of the angsty yaoi I've been reading lately a humorous read was just what I needed to cleanse the palate. FreshMen didn't have much angst at all, which is great when you need something fresh. I found myself laughing out loud at Saito's antics. Yuuya-sensei's art is truly beautiful. Not only that it was great in the style of the art but Yuuya-sensei played with the yaoi formula a bit. Usually the smaller, lighter-haired character is the uke and the taller, darker-haired is the seme. In this manga Saito (the smaller, lighter hair character) is the seme and Sato (the taller, darker-haired character) is the uke. The Chomaru tales follow the usual yaoi formula.

Deux Press has done a good job again with the translation and look. There were a few spots where the original Japanese had been removed but it hadn't been cleaned up properly and there were white spots in obvious places (at least obvious to be). Also this time around the cover wasn't scored and so I have an unsightly crease. I'm probably the only person on earth who worries about stuff like this. But other than these two issues (again, at least to me) it was a fairly enjoyable read.

I recommend FreshMen for those who are looking for something a little different with some humor and some really amazing art. Don't let the few minor missteps with the printing deter you.

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