September 28, 2011
Kazuma Kodaka – June – 2011 – 11 volumes
this contains vols. 5-6 of the original series
The drug dealer impersonating Kai storyline continues here, and it goes far longer than I thought it would. Kei gets dragged in. Ranmaru is involved. Masa is involved. Assassins enter the picture. There is a seemingly interminable scene where everyone begs Ranmaru not to kill with a sword.
Kodaka breaks things up a little bit. The storyline continues through volume five and into volume six, but at the beginning of six is a silly short story about two angels who confuse Kei and Ranmaru with their lovers. I hated myself a little for liking such a dumb story so much. I couldn’t help it.
After that, though, the conclusion to the drug dealer storyline happens. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this story, and I’m still not, but I was drawn into the action pretty neatly. It’s paced very well, and other than that overblown Ranmaru scene, I can’t fault it for everything. It had dramatic kidnappings. A little torture. Lots of dangerous gunplay. An awesome reunion between Kei and Ranmaru. At the end, the two assassins hook up. This is the type of thing that would only ever happen in a BL manga. It was stupid, but again, I loved every page of it, even while simultaneously hating myself immensely.
The epilogue pretty much made up for whatever ambivalent feelings I had for the Kai-centric story. There was… a hospital scene. It was both a dramatic break-up and dramatic make-up scene. There was action. There was a decent interruption scene. All of it was beautiful. It’s stuff like this chapter that make Kizuna worth reading 15 years after it was released.
The rest of the book includes… let’s see, a decent story about the two assassins that hook up. It was about their past, though it took me a minute to figure this out. I wanted more Kei and Ranmaru stories, but this was also good stuff. Amazingly, this took up the last “half” of volume six. It’s the type of “falling from grace” story I can’t help but like. J.B. doesn’t want to corrupt Roy with his murdering ways, or his love, but you know how that can go in a BL book.
I feel a little bad only offering marginal commentary for a huge omnibus like this, especially after I so thoroughly enjoyed it. This, along with many others, are starting to make me a fan of action-oriented BL stories, a genre I tend to hate. Unfortunately, I read this awhile ago and put off writing it up, so I have less to say than normal. But for fans of BL, especially classic material, Kizuna is pretty much a staple. Definitely worth picking up.