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Unohana: Hybrid Stardust

This was really good. I laughed a lot, it was sweeter than I expected. It was also excruciatingly touching the way Kiyoto and Yakyou fell in love. And they really did. The usually grandiose displays of threadbare passion most often seen in soap operas and fill-in-the-blank-BL were nowhere to be found. Instead there were watchful eyes, bouts of traded sarcasm, moments of vulnerability, and a few tears all exhibited by two people who, in their own ways, had pretty much given up. I appreciated how neither of them were reborn into a brand new person, yet they did manage to bring about change into each other’s life. Or rather, they were both able to revive the parts of the other that had barely survived being trampled over and discarded by other people.

There was just the right amount of everything in there, even sex. A fair amount to be sure, but it never approached the smut line, which seems to be quite a feat when you consider how, in the hands of some other mangaka, this story could have easily been just plain bawdy. I guess my only issue is that it was too short! I’d love to read more about these two. And I wouldn’t mind if something happened between Kiyoto’s brother Rin and Rin’s aide, Aizawa.

At first I thought the mangaka’s name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t find any completed works in my library, so I thought that it only sounded familiar, but then when I saw the interior artwork, I knew it wasn’t just familiar. It’s an interesting mix of Yukimura, Sakuraga Mei, and Yamada Sakurako, but it’s still distinct. Though I’ve never read the source material, I’ve always enjoyed their Giant Killing doujinshi (as Unoderi); it has been some time since I read them. Theirs, along with Yoneda Kou’s, piqued my curiosity about the original series, so that may be added to my list soon.

After reading this, I’m really in the mood for more of their work. I hope I don’t have to wait too long.

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