Yugi Yamada – DMP / June – 2008 – 2 volumes
I think I’ve very nearly covered every Yugi Yamada series published in English. If not, I’ve definitely read them, and they’re coming up as I continue to unearth all the BL books I have yet to review. When I binge on BL, I binge hard, and it takes me months to write my way out from under the pile.
This one was… mmm, probably my least favorite of the ones I read, but it was still pretty good. Instead of being a short story anthology, this moves around a group of friends who belong to a university film club, and focuses on 3-4 different characters. The first chapter is about the “main” character Kaji’s younger cousin, Makoto. He is criticized for not having dreams, and he looks up to his cousin, who pursued his dream career in filmmaking. But he visits Kaji only to find he’s given up his dream for terrible reasons. This story runs for a bit, but leads to a flashback of Kaji’s university days and how he wound up in his current group of friends. The first part of the flashback is about a relationship between two side characters, as viewed and interpreted by Kaji. The second half is about Kaji’s own relationship with Nakamura. The last chapter is about a possible thing between Nakamura and a graduated club member.
The relationships are fairly platonic here. I was a little worried the younger/older cousins were going to hook up, but was relieved when that storyline was passed over. The relationship between the two side characters is fun to chase, but not that interesting when it resolves. And the relationship between Kaji and Nakamura is going to carry over into the next volume, as not much was explained here.
In terms of romance, there’s not much, but that’s not really why I like Yugi Yamada. Okay, it is. I was completely obsessed with Close the Last Door. But one of the things she does best, and the thing that keeps this from being a completely mediocre title, is the fact that she’s so good with dialogue and character personalities. All of the characters have their quirks, and she uses different personality types to annoy each other and create some pretty funny banter. She’s the best at funny conversation, and I have yet to not be completely charmed by one of her stories. I’m thrilled there’s so much available in English, and I would highly recommend her stuff. Especially Close the Last Door, but so far, you can’t really go wrong with anything.