August 1, 2011
Kazuma Kodaka – June – 2011 – 11 volumes
this is an omnibus containing vols 3-4 of the series
This book is still mostly a lot of soapy fun. The first story is about Kei’s hair getting too long for Ranmaru’s taste, and Ranmaru’s almost savage obsession with cutting it. It causes some rather hilarious drama. And as someone with hair about three times as long as Kei’s, I can confirm that long hair is disgusting in almost every situation. Another story follows, also super-dramatic, when Ranmaru misunderstands the attentions of some of Kei’s friends and thinks Kei has turned straight on him. Serious talks, drama, and lots of make-up sex ensue.
Alas though, after that the majority of this book is about Kei’s younger brother Kai and his partner, Masa. Both are involved with Kei’s yakuza family, which is fairly interesting story-wise, but this doesn’t help the fact that I just can’t sympathize with Kai as a character at all. Plus, the Kai/Masa pairing is an older/younger thing that seriously breaks my taboos. Luckily, Masa doesn’t act on Kai’s affections here, which makes me feel better. I can’t remember how the two work as a pairing in the first volume, and I’d rather not think about it, though.
The first of the Kai stories is about Kai getting into fight after fight at school, and Masa stepping in during a serious one where some thugs wound both Masa and Kai. The second is a much longer story where Kei and Ranmaru play roles as well. A drug dealer disguises himself as Kai, the influential yakuza heir, and sells drugs on the streets, a serious violation of some other yakuza family’s turf rules or something. Things go badly when Kai and others try to stop the imposter, and Kai winds up needing a bodyguard/assassin. Kei does a lot of running around after the copy, too.
Somewhere sandwiched in there, there’s another shorter story about Ranmaru considering trying his sword again, after recovering from his car accident.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about it, omnibus though it is. The over-the-top drama is exactly my flavor, but I was disappointed that Kai and the yakuza took center stage in both volumes since it’s Kei and Ranmaru I want to see. There’s still plenty of good romance scenes with the two of them in it, but… I just hate Kai. Again though, the yakuza stories here are more interesting than what you would typically find in a BL manga, and despite the fact the selfish Kai puts me off, I still like reading his stories.