One is Enough
February 13, 2015
love – Gen Manga Entertainment – 2013 – 1 volume
So, I am slowly working my way through the catalog at Gen Manga (http://www.genmanga.com, apparently my hyperlinks stopped working). I gave this one a try sooner rather than later, because obviously I’m a big fan of BL stories, and I was curious to see a doujinshi-style one.
I do like the stories published by Gen. They are usually a little less polished, but less hands touch them, and they do often have some interesting ideas and styles as a result, stuff you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I like what they’re doing.
One is Enough reads… kind of like the Outsider Art version of a BL story. When I think of a doujinshi or amateur work, I think of something that’s so much like a regular story that there’s not a whole lot interesting about it. One is Enough reads like it contains the basics of a BL story, but… uh, doesn’t really know what to do after that.
The art and story are so different that I almost don’t think this is Japanese. There are panels of sublime beauty in here, but overall the style put me off and was kinda all over the place (sometimes detailed, sometimes sketchy, sometimes I couldn’t tell who the characters were, etc). Again, I don’t really hold that against it, as the different styles are part of what makes Gen Manga interesting. It didn’t really work for this title, though.
And the story was much crazier than the usual BL story. The main character is swept off his feet one day by a guy who he thinks he gave a cut to. Cut guy inexplicably invites him over to his place. Main character then begins to crazily loiter outside cut guy’s apartment. When he sees cut guy out with a girlfriend, he confronts him in front of his girlfriend about how he dates women. Cut guy tells the main character to get lost, but the main character continues to hang outside his apartment for hours, uninvited. Main character then begins to get beat up at school for being gay, and at one point is raped. Later, the main character says he needs sex so much that he begs his best friend to anally pleasure him. Said best friend is sort of implied to have a crush on him, but this is still incredibly awkward. None of it makes a whole lot of sense.
It’s unfortunately not even very romantic. I’m pretty easy to please as far as that goes, but there was nothing for me in here.
I think one of the problems is that it’s taking plot elements from BL stories, then not really expanding on them. If you want your main character to loiter obsessively outside his love interest’s apartment, they should probably have more than one scene together first, or your main character needs to have a reason to like this person, or be likable himself. Confronting the love interest about having a girlfriend after one meeting where you don’t exchange names is not a good enough reason. Also, your main character should probably have an opinion about being raped, and dealing with that should probably take up some serious story time.
This got mixed reviews on Amazon, so I think it worked as a quick BL fix for some readers. By all means, give this a try. I love supporting Gen Manga, and for $3, it might be worth a look.