Gorgeous Carat 4

November 2, 2011

You Higuri – Blu – 2007 – 4 volumes

With this volume, Gorgeous Carat has secured its place in my personal BL hall of fame for being the only yaoi manga I’ve ever read that turns into an Indiana Jones movie. Seriously. Crumbling temples, secret organizations, hidden treasures, flooding booby trapped chambers, daring romantic escapes… and I think Azura ate the still-beating heart of a minion. I could be wrong, though.

This volume is good cover to cover, though. It starts with a sad scene between Ray and Florian, where Ray regrets having trusted Azura, who tortured Florian until he fell into a catatonic state. It ends with an amazing escape, a wonderful write-off of the whole adventure in this volume, and a lie from Ray. There’s puzzle solving, digging around for lost legends, lots of escapes through temples with guns, excavation of relics sites, doors that unlock with rings, secret societies, and even a little romance. I’m weak to all these things. What can I say?

The romance is still… all but nonexistent. Higuri gives enough hints to confirm that it’s there. But don’t expect too much from Ray or Florian. Ray is actually the one that gives in a little in this volume, which makes it that much better. But when I say “give in,” I mean… something minor. And we don’t even get to see it.

It reads more like a shoujo adventure than it does a romance. But that’s okay. Because it’s wonderful stuff all the way through, and there’s just enough hints for a romance junky like me to keep me engaged. I still think Higuri’s best work is Ludwig II, but that’s more to my tastes. This series is probably technically the best that I’ve read by her. I’m dying to read the La Esperanza volumes now, and I’m super-curious about the current sequel, which is a cell phone manga, but still.

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