July 21, 2015
Yun Kouga – Blu – 2006 – 4 volumes
You know, I don’t give Kouga enough credit for her art. Her pages look AMAZING here. She draws very pretty series. Her character designs do suffer a little bit for it, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off. The later stories in this volume are absolutely gorgeous. Great composition, good mood, lots of pretty shoujo effects, and her linework is lovely.
I’m… not entirely convinced this is actually BL/yaoi. It ran in Wings… which has other, similar borderline series, but what I’ve read from there I would consider more shoujo than BL. Antique Bakery is another fellow Wings alumni that I wouldn’t call BL. Tokyo Babylon is as well, and is also not BL, though Subaru and Seishirou are sort of in a relationship. Adekan also ran in Wings, and while it wishes with all its heart it was about the two main characters having sex, realistically, there isn’t any romance between the two at all. I think the distinction, for me, is if the relationship is featured alongside a plot that is just as important to the series. Many/most chapters of Earthian are not really about Chihaya and Kagetsuya’s relationship most of the time (though that the plot interferes with it in this volume is definitely a factor). This is a fine line, because you could argue that Crimson Spell also has a plot that takes over after the first volume. But Crimson Spell also features many chapters of graphic sex, so I feel like that’s the other factor.
Again, I’ve heard about this as a BL classic for years, and it was published by Blu, who I thought mostly did smut. But unless the next volume convinces me, I’m going to pull it from my BL tags. It doesn’t have what I’m looking for in a BL series.
The second volume endeared me much more than the first. The plot picks up, as Seraphim and Elvira do their thing. Elvira vows vengeance on angel-kind for Seraphim needing to live as an outcast. Meanwhile, because Seraphim was the head of the pluses count in the Earthian do-or-die thing the angels were working on, Chihaya and Kagetsuya are recalled to heaven and split up, since Chihaya is the only one who can take Seraphim’s place. Chihaya is initially okay with this, which bugs Kagetsuya. The split eventually wears on both, until Chihaya demands they be partnered up again towards the end of the volume. The last chapter lets us know that both are still too clueless to really express their feelings, or be a couple, though Kagetsuya is now “in season.” If that ends with this last chapter, I’m going to be disappointed. Kouga dumps sexual symbolism in heavily (and it is very, very pretty), but again, both characters seem clueless to what’s between them.
Kagetsuya and his new partner are sent down to retrieve Elvira, who has all of Seraphim’s data on the black angel disease (the disease that killed him). Elvira proves to be a handful, and doesn’t really want to cooperate unless she gets to see Eden.
Chihaya is depressed with his new position, and takes a break to visit android boy and his fire-starter girlfriend from last volume. There’s a couple chapters that feature that pair, and the girlfriend’s insecurities about not being good enough for him.
There are also a few… Seraphim/Elvira chapters. These are CREEPY. Elvira is Seraphim’s daughter, and it’s clear she has a huge sexual crush on him. She makes herself grow to adulthood fast so that she can be a suitable mate (she’s actually… not very old at all, maybe 2?). Seraphim also eventually admits he desires his own daughter. They have a couple chapters together, though again, no physical relationship is implied between them.
There’s also some chapters about Kagetsuya’s new partner, the two of them working together, and he and Chihaya eventually butting heads at the end of the volume.
More coherent story, and while I don’t like all the side characters, I was pretty engrossed in the story here. I think the next volume wraps up the main story (I assume the “main story” has something to do with Elvira, and the synthetic boyfriend/girlfriend pair?), and volume 4 is a gaiden volume of short stories. I’m promised Raphael/Michael stories in that volume. I’m excited about that. I hope there’s some Chihaya/Kagetsuya as well.