Kiss Blue 2

April 3, 2012

Keiko Kinoshita – DMP / June – 2010 – 2 volumes

As I mentioned last time, I liked this series so much that I read both volumes consecutively, over at eManga.com. The volumes are fairly cheap over there (I seem to remember that they were 350 points, or $3.50 apiece, but it doesn’t show up once you’ve bought them), so if you like slow-paced BL stories that take a long time to explore the characters, you have no excuse not to check it out.

I do like slow and very character-driven BL like this. I’m a huge fan of super-romantic stories, and the more time a good author spends on the characters, the more I’m going to get drawn into the romantic elements of the story. Keiko Kinoshita basically nails it with Noda and Tomosaka here. I mentioned this last time, but one of the somewhat unusual things about this story is that the fact one best friend has a crush on the other comes up fairly early, and the reveal isn’t the end of the story. Rather, the two experiment, trying to see how romance works between them. It doesn’t, so a good chunk of this book is spent with the pair trying to get things back to how they were and failing. Their intimacy now lies between them. It wasn’t even a failed experiment, really, but that’s also one of the problems. And the failure isn’t in the usual sense of, “Well, I really liked it but said I hated it.” Noda doesn’t mind experimenting, but Tomosaka (the one with the crush) does mind if Noda doesn’t feel the same way.

It’s an interesting problem, and Kinoshita takes her time having the two boys work it out. The resolution in this volume is satisfying, and I couldn’t have been more happy with the story. Again, it’s not something I’d shout from the rooftops and declare that everyone needs to go out and read, but I loved this pair of volumes, and it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

It’s also made me into a definite Keiko Kinoshita fan. A conditional one, however, and I’m currently cherry-picking her titles available in English since I’ve been reading stories set in high schools less and less lately. She’s got a lot of those available.

Anyway, the Kiss Blue story ends, and there’s a short story about the gay manager at the cafe where Tomosaka works. It’s one of those stories without a resolution or happy end that you rarely see in BL books. I love stories like this, and it’s a shame that they don’t appear that often (I think the artists aren’t allowed to write them, actually). Even this story was great, and I hated the manager.

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