Sensual Phrase 4

March 9, 2011

Mayu Shinjo – Viz – 2004 – 18 volumes

To finish off tonight’s parade of bad/questionable taste, here’s a review of Sensual Phrase, a series that falls firmly into that genre of cheesy, skeevy, questionable shoujo. But much like Wounded Man, it is a fem salad of things that girls like to see. A hot guy who is strong, stands up for his girlfriend in any situation, shuts down potential suitors cold, and is 100% faithful. Also, lots and lots of sex (yikes, there’s a disturbing theme for the night).

It’s just as ridiculous as Wounded Man, too. This volume is less crazy than some of the other ones (like where Sakuya flies to America and comes back to Japan in a few months president of a rival music agency), but there’s still lots of drama drama drama. Most of the first half of the volume is about Sakuya and Ayako. Ayako is a former flame of Sakuya’s, and she has her sights set on him again. Aine’s in the way, of course, as is Sakuya’s complete devotion to her. Suicide attempts, smear campaigns in the press, outright power plays… none of it works against Sakuya. He always comes back to Aine. Eventually this gets boring, and the story moves on to a new problem, this time between Aine and another new boy idol named Tomoyuki. Tomoyuki begins moving in on Aine due to the fact she looks identical to his dead sister. Aine has no problems comforting him during what was obviously a recent and painful loss for him, but Sakuya is jealous, violent and protective. Of course things don’t go well. But… you know. You have to read it. It’s pretty twisted stuff, and Sakuya gets pretty violent and out-of-character reacting to things. But things aren’t so bad that I have to read the next volume to see if the two of them are going to be together. No. I’m going to pick up the next volume because I want to see what other crazy and taboo topics this series covers next, and to see just how uncomfortably erotic Sakuya’s songs can really get.

There’s an awesome essay in the back of this volume by Kelly Sue DeConnick, the person who did the English Adaptation for the series. Basically, she berates herself for loving the series as much as she does, because it is ridiculous trash. But it is addictive ridiculous trash, and she points out that if you’ve finished the volume and are reading the essay, that means you’ve read four volumes of this series and are reading the essay because you want more. And dammit, she’s right. I love Sensual Phrase to the core of my black little bad-comic-loving heart.

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