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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: May 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wagamama Kitchen
Stories and art by Kaori Monchi
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

Well, I'm a little at a loss as to what to say about this collection of shorts from Kaori Morchi. The art is lovely, the stories are a little on the wacky side, and it's somewhat more pornographic than June's usual offerings. The blurb mentions unrequited love, well, yeah, but it's certainly and thoroughly requited pretty damn quickly. No one wears a kimono in this book, but there is some brief cross-dressing in one of those cut-just-this-side-of-wonder schoolgirl uniforms, the charm of which is completely lost on me. But it was kind of cute in the story, or maybe I just prefer schoolgirl uniforms on boys. Frankly, I've never given it much thought before and I'm going to stop thinking about it right now. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:59 PM PST [Link]

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fake Fur
Story and art by Satomi Yamagata
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

I liked "Fake Fur" a lot more than I thought I would. The main story is about a high school boy named Yamashita, who falls in love with his classmate Kubo. Kubo is straight and leaving for a distant school at the end of the year. Yamashita invites him to stay at his grandfather's place, which has an artist's studio attached. Kubo and Yamashita walk in on a pair of male lovers, which ignites at least a discussion of their feelings about each other. They remain friends and Kubo is even cool enough to give Yamashita the sweet smooch he's been pining for. Exit Kubo and enter the stranger Yamashita will casually give himself to. However, even after giving himself away somewhat carelessly, Yamashita finds true love in college and a happier ending than the other story in the book about a runaway boy, Maki, trading his body for shelter, and falling unexpected in love with the Yamashita's heartless stranger, and running away from that, too. It's not easy being a teenager, in this manga or in life, there's a fragile balance of circumstance, chance and temperament that determine happiness or sadness, success or failure, creation or destruction. Yamishat is lucky; Maki is not, and this is very sad in an otherwise upbeat, if moody, book. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:56 PM PST [Link]

Monday, May 7, 2007

Flower of Life, Volume 2
Story and art by Fumi Yoshinaga
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

As in "Flower of Life 1," there are many laugh out loud moments in "Flower of Life 2." This one happened to catch my eye:

Majima: If you make one manly (the pitcher), you've got to make the other one (the catcher) pretty enough so as to be barely distinguishable from a woman!! That's the iron rule of yaoi!!!

Sumiko: If that's the case, then why can't I just make them be a man and a woman? Why does it have to be two men?

Majima: FOOL!! Female fans of yaoi are subconsciously attracted to and aroused by the equality inherent in the relationship between two men. The love shared in such a relationship is on the basis that one of the men, who is capable of either giving or receiving in sex, actively choosing to be the one to receive... to be submissive. This is completely different from a relationship with a woman, who is physically constructed only for receiving!!! (page 28)

Hey, is Fumi Yoshinaga making fun of us? Well, I'd say it's high time. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:00 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4
By Ira Ishida and Sena Aritou
Digital Manga Publishing

Review by Tom Good

Ikebukuro West Gate Park continues its detective-story tour through the seedier side of Tokyo culture. In volume 3, the hero Makoto must protect Asumi, a "cam girl" for an adult web site called the Fairy's Garden, who is being stalked by one of her fans. When Makoto appears on camera in her room, he too may be in danger from her jealous admirers. The art and writing did a good job of creating a suitably creepy villain and a real sense of tension. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 03:35 PM PST [Link]

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