cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book #45

Legal Drug, Volume 01 (Legal Drug, #1)Legal Drug, Volume 01 by CLAMP

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm rereading these after many years because the series has new life again finally. Honestly, while I respect what CLAMP is and has done, I've never been a giant fan. In fact, this is about the only thing I've ever actually liked. I have to agree with many of the other reviewers, the art leaves something to be desired but I'm a lot older than a lot of reviewers probably. I've been collecting this stuff since the 70s and 80s and I can see the old-style art in this. Let me just say, hurray for the newer, more realistic styles. The goofy proportions in this and the football pad shoulders were all the rage in the 90s manga art and they have always driven me nuts.

You have to like episodic fiction to like this, I think and I do. There's not much in the way of story arcs and sadly, there is some lack of character development as a result. Most of this is in Kazahaya's point of view and we meet him as he is dying in the snow. He is picked up by Rikuo and taken home to Legal Drug where Kakei the owner gives him a place to live as Rikuo's roomie in exchange for him working in the pharmacy.

Both young men are only 17 so this is an unusual arrangement but both have secrets (like where are their families) and special powers. Kazahaya is a touch clairvoyant and Rikuo has a form of psychokinesis that allows him to break things. Kakei is also a clairvoyant and apparently a powerful one. He also has side jobs for the boys and this what he really wants them to do (and is what the manga is really about).

Kakei along with Saiga, a huge man who doesn't seem to work but is pretty obviously Kakei's lover give the boys jobs, often retrieval jobs for special 'magical' items. There is no doubts that this is CLAMP's stab at the lucrative BL market. It's definitely shonen-ei with heavy hints that eventually Rikuo and Kazahaya could be a couple.

Not that there's any real attraction right now. Kazahaya has that I hate you (I'll love you) thing going on with Rikuo whom he seems to resent and to be honest Rikuo is that typical arrogant BL prick (Kazahaya even calls him one more than once). There is a slight softening of this animosity with the last job where we learn a bit about Rikuo's past. Though I have to say this relationship is painted with a pretty broad stereotype brush.

There needs to be work on making the characters into more robust three dimensional characters but overall I enjoy this. Also I really like Kazahaya's name.

View all my reviews
Tags: magical realism, manga

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