Sakurako Yamada – DMP / June – 2007 – 1 volume
Here’s an old one, chosen entirely at random when someone sold it back to the used bookstore I work at. It’s the best way to get manga!
It starts out about the life of Fujimori, a struggling novelist who is having a hard time following up on the success of his first novel. His editor is pressuring him for another love story, but he’s nervous about delivering, especially since the first was a thinly veiled retelling of his own turbulent love life, where he’s in love with his best friend (shock! gasp!). This plays out about how you would expect a BL short to do, but along the way, he is coached by the owner of a bar, Shiraishi. Fujimori and his friend/love interest both frequent the bar.
And the bar is the framing device for all the short stories. The second story is about an older teen who comes to the bar looking for the novelist Fujimori, presumably because he is a fan. The teen loses sight of his original goal, and winds up enamored with Shiraishi by the end of the story, though Shiraishi seems uninterested in a relationship.
The rest of the stories are about regulars at the bar, the owner Shiraishi, or the other barkeep, Abe. Strangely, Shiraishi goes from sexually remote and mostly an object of affection to… suddenly caught in the bathroom having sex. There’s someone for him at the end of the book, though.
I tend not to like BL short story collections, but I did like this one. Having the bar and Shiraishi be the theme that ties all of them together was interesting, and I loved how it switched over to be entirely about Shiraishi by the end of the book. Plus, Shiraishi is an interesting and very aloof character. He was fun to follow.
Overall, it’s fairly standard stuff, from the plot devices to the character types and even the art. But I still enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a decent one-shot, and while I wouldn’t recommend you rush out and find a copy… well, it scratched the itch. If you see it for cheap somewhere, it’s worth it.