Akutagawa Momiji: Special Delivery [3.0] – I thought to write about all the things that I rolled my eyes at, but why bother? It was a rather tiresome read.
Nitta Youka: Embracing Love OV01 [V01-V02] [4.3]
Sugihara Rio & Kitahata Akeno: 37°C – Thirty Seven Degrees Celsius [3.4]
Yoneda Kou: NightS ~AnotherNight~ [4.2]
Yoshihara Reiko & Tateishi Ryo: Into Illusion E01-E02 [4.3] – This was much better than I expected and I’m kind of excited for the next installment.
Xuan Yuan Xuan: The Rental Shop Owner [4.3] – This a great example of how first person can work. The main narrator was hilarious and you couldn’t help but care about where his story was heading. His tone was casual, but you got all the emotions at all the right times. It’s a very nice take on enemies to lovers. [Read]
love: One is Enough [3.5] – Some things could have been addressed differently, but all in all, it was a decent read–sad at some parts, funny at others.
[box type=”alert”]WARNING: Self-harm[/box]
Ered: Light Romantic [3.9] – It’s cute, funny, and a little weird. [Read]
shukyou: Night Begins the Day [4.4]
[toggle title_open=”Close Me” title_closed=”Unlicensed” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]
Minase Masara: Joushi to Ore no Himitsu [3.5] – It started off pretty well, but I just kept waiting for the blackmail and coercion to kick in. It did, of course, this is Minase, but it wasn’t as offensive as it usually is. However, I couldn’t escape the pushing off of responsibility that I loathe… “If you don’t like it…” Finish that with the BS of your choice. This had a different kind of seme than she usually goes for. Closest one is probably the one from Tonari no Iro no ni, Tooi. It almost seemed like she was trying go for a whole new seme, but was too tempted by the familiar, so she relapsed a bit. Overall, I enjoyed it and laughed more than I ever remember with one of her titles.
Kuraka Sui: Ito-san [4.3] – This was quite interesting. I hesitate to say I enjoyed it, but it was totally worth the time I spent reading it. I found it engaging, but I’ve been having a hard time pinpointing the particular emotions it rattled in me. I was just left with a strange sense of awe and sadness.
Nishida Higashi: Kitto Koini Chigainai [4.0] – The Japanese tend to be longevous, so I’m not sure why it’s so common to consider men in their 30s old men or why the notion that they are middle-aged exists. Whatever the case, Nishida has a thing for men who are getting up that hill finding love or having a second chance at it–and it’s double the pleasure when there’s at least one emotionally worn out salaryman…which is practically a given with her. I’m really into it.
Ogawa Chise: Caste Heaven V01 [4.4] – I do worry about how much I like her BL stories.
Narusaka Rin: Rakuen no Ori [x] – What does it say about a writer who can’t even tell a good story even after stealing one? The 4th chapter, “Unknown Letters”, is a very condensed and poorly told version of Aida Saki’s four-volume BL novel series, S. Narusaka slapped on the “former high school lovers” bit at and focused on about three or four of the story elements to fit it into a oneshot and called it a day. I hope they won’t be featured in PINK GOLD anymore because I really don’t want to support them. And it’s not like anything I’ve already read by Narusaka was praiseworthy, so I won’t be missing anything. BL is full of assembly line stories, but S is rather specific, so “borrowing from it” would definitely be noticeable.
Katou Setsuko: Gogo 11-ji, Kimi to Futari [2.5] – Her stories are generally complete misses and I don’t even think her art is all that special, so I’m not sure why I continue to read her work. Reading her stories is like listening to someone lie to you, but because they are mixing in some truth, you have a hard time pinpointing where the deception comes in at. I think this is my last one.
Nishida Higashi: Love Story [4.2] – I’m always a bit enh about BL stories relating to clergy; they’re generally based on the sin of a man of God loving a man. The persistence of that trope makes me itch. I suppose writers think that there’s no point in including the clergy in a story if you’re not going to make it about that, but that’s so lame to me. That said, I did enjoy this–it’s Nishida, so I think I was bound to. The second story treads familiar ground with her love for salarymen, that was good, too. She’s one of the few storytellers who can end a story at a turning point and not leave me feeling like the story was unfinished. Whether I’d like to read more or not, there’s always a sense of closure.
Shimaji: Kininaru Ano Ko [2.9] – After reading Cat’s Love and Merry Men, I was really expecting good things from Shimaji, but while I haven’t been completely disappointed, I haven’t read anything that stands up to those two titles. The main story was a student x teacher relationship and the only thing I have to say about it is that I think this is the first time I’ve seen her have a couple with such a height difference. I suppose it’s to strike a balance between age and stature for that type of unbalanced relationship. The second story was probably more of a disappointment for me. I’ve read her stories where someone gets forced to have sex, but they never end up together–unfortunately that didn’t hold true for this story. That way she has of expressing yearning that I love so much is still present, but it’s overshadowed by other nonsense.
Asou Kai: Hokenshitsu Made Nan M [3.6] – I’ve waited yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears to finish this.
Fuwa Shinri: Chidori-san chi ni Kagitte V01-V02 [3.8] – She never fails to quench my soap opera thirst.
Ooya Kazumi: Soshite Bokura wa Koi o Suru [3.5]
Hiwatari Haruki: Yamete Kudasai Mabushii Desu [4.2] – Just the right amount of sugar.
Kimura Hidesato: Maria Boy [3.7]
I have no regrets in missing Special Delivery; it looked painfully average. I do have Embracing Love and Into Illusion, but I haven’t gotten around to reading them. I did read Another Night, and enjoyed it just as I thought I would.
Looking at your reading list reminds just how short an attention span I have; I started most of those titles, and never finished them apart from Caste Heaven, and odds are that I probably never will. I don’t read skip Minase Masara Nishida Higashi, and lately I tend to skip Shimaji and Katou Setsuko. I’ve gone back to thinking that Shimaji’s stuff is bland, and I think I prefer Katou Setsuko’s older stuff, or maybe younger me just liked her better.