My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I admit it. I’m ambivalent about Higuri’s work. I think her art is beautiful but her storylines take off in odd ways and I find the shonen-nei a bit frustrating. I’d rather it be full out yaoi, frankly. However, this is neither yaoi (or at least I don’t believe so) nor written by Higuri. She did however adapt Iida’s story and illustrate it.
The one thing that is a tad annoying for the non-Japanese speaker (and maybe for those who are, since it’s annoying in English when author’s do this), is that the brother’s names are nearly identical. Naoto and Naoya Kirihara are brothers with psi abilities. Naoto, the older of the two, seems to have PK while Naoya reads minds and sees the future. This develops very earlier on and their parents turn them over to an institute run by Mikurya. We don’t get to see much of this place.
The story picks up when the brothers are older and they manage to escape. Mostly they just want to try and live a normal life. How they plan to do this the reader has no idea. One assumes being raised away from humanity, they aren’t just going to get jobs and blend back in. That point is moot however as Kamiya, a well known psychic foresees the end of humanity when a virus escapes from a lab and mutates and that somehow the brothers are involved.
Kamiya has a way of manipulating his fans to get them to act on his wishes, such as to do away with the Kirihara brothers. While the brothers try to dodge assassins they do meet the medical researcher who created the virus. In her, I’m disappointed. She goes from intelligent scientists to needy weak manga-girl in just a few pages. However by the end, the brothers learn something big and bad is waiting for them on the outside world. The art was as pretty as I figured it would be and the story is interesting. We learn a bit more about Naoto than Naoya since as the older dominate brother he does more of the talking. Naoya is much more frail all the way around. I’d be interested in the next volume.
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Steal Moon, Volume 01 by Makoto Tateno
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
By the mangaka of many yaoi titles such as the famous Yellow , Steal Moon is a Sci-Fi tale that centers around Nozomi, a street fighter (who has, you know no bruises and a perfectly beautiful face but you have to remind yourself bishie’s can’t be beaten up and ugly). Nozomi is king of the street and so full of himself that he takes Coyote’s challenge in spite of the fact if he loses, he has to become Coyote’s slave. Naturally Coyote cleans his clock and Nozomi wakes up with an explosive collar around his neck in a room that can now be considered his home until he pays off the price Hermes paid Coyote for the young man. Hermes runs Digital Angels, a compound of ‘slaves’ who have to get X number of computer hits, i.e. a voyeur’s brothel of sorts.
Nozomi refuses to play along and the first chapter deals with this. He mostly just pretends to sleep so Hermes sends in Soma and Gyokuto (I think they’re both boys), 12 year old kids whose parents sold them (which cranks up the creepiness of Digital Angels). They try to tell him how to play along with the peeping toms so he can earn his freedom before a ‘force event’ happens. Apparently Nozomi can’t work out code for ‘rape’ and nearly ends up a victim before he uses his fighting skills to stave off the men Hermes sent. Coyote reenters the picture at this point.
We learn that actually Soma, Gyokuto and Nozomi are all retained by Hermes because of their ‘moon’ names which are somehow a trigger to shut down the spying camera and computers set up on the moon (yeah okay whatever). Coyote takes Nozomi out to meet Isis, the key to stopping the constant surveillance. Obviously this is easier said than done and even though Coyote has done nothing but tease and capture Nozomi, the man tries to help Coyote even after he’s shot in the leg. They get rescued by friends of Coyote, the mysterious Lahti. Late Coyote gives Nozomi to Lahti to watch over and Nozomi runs off and it ends up with him and Coyote doing it in the car. Afterwards, Nozomi goes back to Isis and learns Hermes wasn’t quite truthful.
Hmmm, what to say about this thing. It’s yaoi with a plot. It’s hard for me to argue with that since so many don’t have even that much. Soma and Gyokuto add such a pedophilic touch it’s hard to ignore it (especially when Soma is so sexually aggressive toward Nozomi who doesn’t want it). The other thing that bothers me but is a yaoi (heck a romance ) standard that it’s like pointless to complain. All Coyote has done is imprison Nozomi and put him in danger and within a few nights he’s already saying I love you to him. Why? I would have been okay with casual sex in the back of the car, no need to attach the L word when it’s undeserved. I’ve never understood the rush. This whole thing is a little creepier than sexy
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Both are rereads from several years back.