labingi: (Default)
I am officially in love with Kyugo’s BL manga series, Acid Town, and want to spread the love to others. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] imperfekti for putting me onto this wonderful series. She likened it to Mirage of Blaze (novels) in having an intricate, interesting plot with a great ensemble of characters, and that’s all quite correct.

General Review and Rec:
spoilers only for the chapter 1 setup


The story, which is currently ongoing, is set in a near future dystopia run by yakuza and opens with the tough life of a teen boy, Yuki, who has to pay the hospital bills of his chronically ill and adorable little brother, Jun. Yuki and his friend, Tetsu, get a break—or do they?—when a yakuza boss, Hyoudou, agrees to pay Jun’s bills in exchange for Yuki visiting him once a week.

Acid Town is definitely boys love, but it breaks a lot of conventions. The reader has to wait for the romance, and when it shows up, it’s not necessarily where or how you might expect it. Like many a BL manga, it is rife with sexual abuse. But it also devotes a great deal of attention to relationships that are not sexual, producing a strong sense of multiple ties that bind people simultaneously to family, friends, lovers, colleagues, mentors, etc. It is a tightly plotted, intricately crafted story that builds its relationships (sexual or platonic) out of a lot of typical angsty tropes but also out of a great deal of psychologically astute character development. Read more... )
labingi: (riki)
Cut is a one volume, BL manga by Touko Kawai (2003). I’m in complete agreement with one review that said it’s generally good but too short to develop the emotional dimensions it attempts to. I recommend it as a quick, one shot read if you like BL.

The story concerns two high school boys, Chiaki and Eiji (both of whose names make me think of other characters), who are quite different personalities but become united through sharing confidences about their respective experiences as victims of child abuse. Chiaki is a rather femme, chatty boy and Eiji the tall, silent type, but they click. Romance ensues, and it’s pretty well written, maintaining a sense of real social interaction between human beings, as opposed to the constant romantic drama so common in the genre.

Light Spoilers and Commentary )
labingi: (riki)
A couple of months ago, I asked for story recs, and [livejournal.com profile] asphodel did me the favor of recommending Banana Fish, for which I am eternally grateful. I have not read the whole series yet, not least because an Amazon seller has managed to lose one of my orders, but I have read enough (including the end) to attempt some meta, so here goes. I will begin by situating the story within the BL universe (as I know it).

Light Spoilers )

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