Once I’m tucked in, if I read on my tablet, I can read several volumes before falling asleep. but reading print by incandescent lighting doesn’t allow for marathon bedtime reading. The lighting is all wrong and I can only get a few pages in before nodding off. The tablet screen, with or without a blue light filter, is something you shouldn’t subject your eyes to for extended periods of time, but I like to read, so that’s how it goes. If it’s a guarantee that I’ll conk out when my eyes and body are basically being tricked by the light to stay awake, you’d think I’d just accept that my body needed the sleep, but no. Instead, I ordered daylight bulbs. I’m looking forward to March’s bedtime reading sessions.
Tanaka Suzuki: His Favorite V07-V08 – Now that the whole school knows they’re dating, I don’t know what is left of the story to tell. It’d be different if their parents had popped up now and then; it would be weird for them to have to deal with that, but at this point, it would be annoying and a sign of not knowing when to give up. Perhaps Tanaka is trying to balance out the rest of her works which are generally on the psychological and creepy side of things.
Takanaga Hinako: Awkward Silence V05 – Jealousy and being found out… This is another one with not much left to tell, but she want’s to at least keep on until they graduate. They’re 3rd-years now, so maybe (hopefully) only one more volume?
Guilt|Pleasure: Maybe Someday – This is a prequel doujinshi for In These Words. It’s a story of firsts for Shinohara and it’s just sad all the way around. One thing I want to know is why he didn’t tell Asakawa the whole truth. There are plenty of reasons why someone would choose not to share what he omitted, but I want to know his reason, in particular. Also, was he inclined in such a way already or did that awaken something in him that he had to struggle with because of the way he was initiated?
Guilt|Pleasure: First, Do No Harm – This is a prequel doujinshi for In These Words. David gets injured and Katsuya plays doctor. There was definitely chemistry between them in New York Minute, but in this one, you see that they have an actual romance. It’s not just two adults relieving stress–a stark contrast to Katsuya’s relationship with Shinohara at the beginning of the Redux arc–they are very much taken with each other. And I love it.
Psyche Delico: Pure Love’s Sexy Time V01-V02 – When I initially read volume one, I wrote:
I had fun reading this. Funny, cute, and smutty. I loved all of the couples and appreciated the variety of personalities that made them up.
I have no idea what happened since then (or what I was on back then), but I was more annoyed reading it this time around and I guess it was okay, but not really? Anyway, I reread it since I was buying volume two–I bought it on the strength of remembering volume one favorably (it even scored a 4.2)–but it turned out to be more of the same. The two volumes together seem kind of rounded out and there are two riba couples, so that’s always interesting, but not at all surprising considering it Psyche.
Fuyuno Ikuya: Kuchibiruiro no Bara no Hana – This contained two unrelated stories, though both featured a younger seme who played sports. I liked it and would read it again if I got in the mood to go on a Fuyuno bender–which I’ve done before–but it’s not one of the titles I’d pick if I just wanted a sip. I think the first couple–related by law–got together too soon, but not really. More like, the pacing was rushed, so those moments of transition that help stories flow were nixed. Though I understand why there was no beating around the bush. I think it was in the first or second scene after they got together, that I guessed what the big conflict was going to be. And I was correct. The second couple–kouhai & senpai–took a bit longer to work it out. I can’t explain it, but I love the first confession scene. With Fuyuno’s spot humor that I enjoy and the seme bodies that I love–there’s this one panel of the seme from the second story in a post release pose (he just shot a basketball) and his arms! and the arc of his wrist! …so perfect. Also, Fuyuno’s favorite, “seme fresh out of the shower” made an appearance. I was happy.
Natsume Isaku: Doushiyoumo Nai Keredo V01-V02 – If this wasn’t the first title I read by Natsume, then it’s one of the first and I am so glad that I was finally able to finish it. It was great, of course. That look of complete helpless wanting that her uke gets when whatever is happening now isn’t enough and they may just cry, like bawl, if they aren’t penetrated soon–that look just kills me. Shimano wore it well. I lost count of how many times I read the first volume over the years. Ah! And the extra in Tight Rope! It has one of the cutest scenes EVER! It’s right up there with the scene in the Border extra where Yamato, all sleepy-like, plods over at Will’s beckoning, sits on his lap, and dozes off while Will continues playing chess.
Aiba Kyoko: Docchi ni Suru – Since the first story was about a guy having to choose between two child hood friends, I was hoping for something like Kanai Kei’s I’m the Big Brother, or even better, a 3p, but sadly no. It wasn’t even a good story to boot. The second story was about a tall guy who was all blushy-blushy and his senpai at work who was shorter than him. The shorter guy really wanted to push Blushy McBlush down, and he did–I remember it being consensual–but right when he was about to progress past the foreplay, Count Blushula flipped him over and LAME! And then it was dub con. I don’t think there were other stories. To be honest, I didn’t read it so much as flip through it, skipping pages at a time. After the first couple pages of the first story, I understood that it would be pointless to spend too much time on it.
Shoowa: Iberiko Buta to Koi Tsubaki – A gang of environmentally conscious idiots who follow a laid back (like way back) guy, an extremely earnest and playful guy, and the yakuza floating in the background. This is the Shoowa I like. After an encounter with the levelheaded and laid back Irie and his gang, Tsubaki and Irie start hanging out with each other, much to the terror/chagrin of their friends. Tsubaki really likes Irie, he thinks he’s a really good guy, but when Tsubaki’s dad’s business causes trouble for Irie’s family business, Irie cuts Tsubaki off. And ohmygoodness! Tsubaki’s heart breaks. You can see it. But even though he doesn’t quite get it, he loses it for a bit. But Irie… So good and hilarious. The second couple are two of Irie’s fellow gang members/babysitters, Gen (recyclables) and Yoshimune (plastics). It starts off with the fake lovers trope because of a stalker and is a little sad because you spend half the time feeling bad for Gen, it’s also silly and funny. But then, it gets sad and decidedly unfunny and you spend all the time feeling bad for Gen and wanting to hug Yoshimune and tell him that it’s okay, that he’s okay. And then it ends.
Shoowa: Iberiko Buta to Koi no Dorei – Gen and Yoshimune’s story continues here, in the second book of the Iberiko Buta series. The mood picks up a little bit, but it still aches. It was good though and my kind of Shoowa. Though it’s still going on, but I can’t imagine what story the third volume will tell, unless Gen and Yoshimune make it official. I’m interested regardless.
Honjou Rie: Ai ni Naburareru – I still love her art, but, overall, this was just enh. Honjou has got the character designs down, she writes some interesting characters, and even some good interactions, but there’s just something missing that leaves her stories hovering around mediocre. Maybe it’s that rather than writing interesting characters, she develops interesting characteristics and habits, but sometimes her characters are just that one aspect instead of that aspect being one of many to define the character…maybe?
Psyche Delico: Despicable – This was so sad and it’s one I’ll read again. I suppose it’s easy enough to say the theme is love triangles and while that’ll tell you that three people are involved, like most things described as a love triangle, none of the stories are. The second story, which is just a slight tangent of the main story, was kind of a waste of pages. One guy chasing after another who is lamenting his failed relationship. However, the main story, even though it’s only three people, is a clusterfuck of emotions and pining and chasing, but it’s good and they are quite despicable. The third story is unrelated. Like the second story, it’s a straight line with everyone looking ahead, but unlike the second story, no one ever turns around and that makes it the saddest one. This, Choco Strawberry Vanilla, and the older brother’s story from Love Full of Scars seem to be the only stories by her that I can really get behind.
Minase Masara: Aibou no Jouken – At first, I wondered if this was going to be the worse thing she ever wrote. It wasn’t. And once you get past the non-con (right…) it wasn’t that bad. Off the top of my head, Daikirai na Aitsu!, Tonari no Iru no ni, Tooi, and Take Over Zone are the only stories I can remember that she managed to tell without either one of the main couple using coercion, underhanded methods, or out right rape to capture the happily ever after flag. Of course, there was plenty of that coming from the side characters and incidentals, so, I wonder if she can actually write one where no one is being sneaky. Other than Daikirai na Aitsu!
Kuroiwa Chihaya: Daiji na Koto na Node, Nido – If I ever have the opportunity to read Kuroiwa’s Mashita no Fudanshi-kun, I’ll take it, but I think this might be the first and last time I bother with her work.
Kinoshita Keiko–You and Tonight V01-V03 – I bought the first volume that was released by DMG and then I waited for-never for the remaining volumes. I suppose I don’t mind so much now that I’ve read the rest. I was very much annoyed by Nishijima acting like Wakui owed him anything. And Wakui annoyed me because he was so noncommittal. But then Kinoshita did that thing she does, putting strain on the friendship and the relationship and even though you know it’s going to end well, the break up or separation arc is always difficult. Overall, I’m rather enh about this. There were some good parts, the kind of parts that made me like a number of her other titles, but I just did not like how Nishijima forced his way into a relation ship with Wakui. Also, Wakui said he could only see Nishijima as a friend and I don’t recall reading anything that could convince me that he had a change of heart–it was like, all of a sudden, he loved Nishijima back. I was hoping for better since Kinoshita’s multi-volume titles are usually good reading. Oh well.