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MASAKI Hikaru & MINASE Masara (illustrations):
the lonely egotist (1 volume light novel)

summary (from english publisher juné):

Minami has gotten a hot start as a young interior designer. In fact, he's just been chosen as the primary designer of a new luxury hotel. When Minami enthusiastically goes out to meet his client, Asakura, the hotel owner turns out to be a dazzling, sexy man. On top of that, the overwhelmed Minami finds his contract is actually for a love hotel! Seeing as how Minami lacks experience in this particular area, Asakura promises to show him the ropes. But is it really necessary to try out ALL the beds...?!

too simplistic, too idiotic an uke. i can't enjoy a story if one of the people is described as especially competent, but is in reality so clueless that he couldn't get that amazing a reputation. it just grates on me too much. i also like a wee bit more realism in my rapes -- minami is described as almost as tall as asakura, taller than most, and asakura later shows that he himself is out of shape -- and yet, minami can't do a thing to fend him off; he conveniently loses all power to fight after the first forced kiss. *meh*. rape as a starter is bad enough, especially with no compelling reason -- what happened to wooing somebody (at least at first)? minami is clearly already attracted to the man. and one of the later scenes during which minami loses his clothes is so predictable and silly that i laughed out loud, but not in a good way. in fact just about everything here is not really believable. it doesn't have to be believable in the real world, but if i am supposed to take it seriously at all, it needs to have some internal believability. if i am not supposed to take it seriously, it needs to be a lot of humourous, and/or a mere vehicle for the smut.

the sex was sorta hot albeit in a girly way, however there isn't really enough here to read the novel mainly for the smut. minase's drawings are nice and sexy, but i don't read novels for the illustrations. the translation is not hideous, though the copy editor must have had a bad day; there are some sentences which make no sense. and dear juné: don't translate "-san" as "mr."; it does not work in english when people become lovers, it sounds really weird when said during sex, especially when the "mr." uses the other's first name.

rating: 4 / 10.0

MINASE Masara:
empty heart―偽りの恋だから
Empty Heart ~Itsuwari no koi dakara~ (1 volume manga)

summary (from english publisher dramaqueen):

High school art teacher Jun Usami has loved his best friend, Ryuuta, since they were high school students. Unbeknownst to Jun, Ryuuta's younger brother, Takumi Kajiwara, has been in love with Jun since he caught Jun stealing a kiss from his sleeping brother. As fate has it, Takumi has grown into the exact image of Ryuuta. Now that Takumi is a high-schooler and Jun's student, it's the perfect chance for Takumi to get close to his 'Usa-nii'.

The wheels of fate begin to move in Takumi's favor when Ryuuta announces his engagement to a beautiful coworker. Eager to comfort Jun, Takumi rushes to Jun's side and offers himself as Ryuuta's substitute.

As though being in a love triangle is not complicated enough, Jun's ex-lover enters the scene to steal Takumi away! What will happen when Jun has to face the reality that Takumi is not Ryuuta's substitute?

satisfying; not the most original of plots, but well executed, and holds up to rereading a few years later. was this her first published work, or did tsuganai no yukue predate it; i don't know. her art already bears her trademark prettiness. this is my second-favourite of her ouevre after uso to kiss; it's a bit depressing that the works i like best were all penned early in her career.

there's not a whole lot of character development, but there's enough information about the characters to care what happens to them. the sex isn't very graphic, which is normal for minase; it's still mildly hot.

rating: 8 / 10.0

MINASE Masara:
uso to kiss (1 volume manga)

summary (from mangaupdates):

Separated as children due to circumstances of their parent's making, Tatsuya and Haru meet again at the bar where Haru works part-time. Unaware that Haru is his long-lost younger brother, Tatsuya invites the young man out for a drink. Haru, who has forever admired the kind hearted brother of his memories, enthusiastically agrees to the invitation. However, when the evening takes an unexpected turn Haru finds himself in a very un-brotherly position!

Can love overcome all? Will their love be broken by the emerging history between them? This thrilling drama tests the limits of true love and societal mores.

good, except for the ending. there's a plot, it is a wee bit outlandish, but holds together well enough. there's enough background to invest some emotional empathy in the characters (haru more so than tatsuya). there's inner conflict and angst. the sex is good, if not graphic. the art, as always, is very pretty (did minase rise fully formed as an artist from some wellspring? with other artists you can clearly tell when they were new to drawing manga, but i've not seen any bad art by her ever.)

while this isn't one of my fave BL manga, it is my favourite of minase's work; i like it a bit better than uso to kiss. incest themes between {step}brothers don't bother me in fiction, and the way it's handled here doesn't even feel like incest. the thing i am unsatisfied with is the ending; i would have preferred if tatsuya had not found out what he does find out; and his reaction doesn't fit with his earlier one -- and what now? more lies by omission? i feel as if i've been left hanging a bit; that all resolved itself way too smoothly, leaving loose ends i would prefer to be tied up.

rating: 8.5 / 10.0


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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