All Nippon Air Line

April 17, 2008

I haven’t read any BL in awhile, but I’m kind of glad that I read this one after the break.  This one isn’t so much a story as it is an entire volume of jokes.  There are a ton of short stories, I think the longest one was maybe ten pages, but a lot are only 2-3 pages.  There’s not even really a plot, and it doesn’t even introduce all the characters it sets out to (one of the “Kings” had failed to surface by the end of the volume), but it’s still extremely successful as a volume of jokes.

Also, I couldn’t resist when I finally got the A.N.A.L. joke.  This is probably the first time a press release convinced me to buy a manga.

The manga series itself certainly does exploit the ANAL joke.  I couldn’t get over how many times that joke was used in the first, like, 10 pages.  The overuse is part of the gag too, I think.  There are chapters about the hiring process at ANAL (all employees had a secret meeting with the president of the company, who is always on top), there are chapters about what other airlines think of ANAL, there are chapters about what ANAL stewards do with passengers (only male ones), there are chapters about what ANAL employees do on Christmas… you see where all this is going.

The majority of the continuity/running gags between the stories deal with the president being on top in all situations and the “Four Kings,” all who have silly abilities.  For instance, one of them has a voice that makes anyone who hears it have an orgasm, and his story deals with him using the public address system on the plane for the first time.  His ideal partner will be the only person who doesn’t succumb to his charms.  They all sort of fall along those lines.

It goes over the top in every way it possibly can without being at all hardcore.  I didn’t think it was quite as funny or nearly as twisted as “Delivery Cupid,” but it has its charms.  I especially enjoyed the sound effect “spanka spanka,” which appeared several times throughout.

I feel like it’s actually wasted in a volume like this, though.  I think it originally appeared with a short chapter in several different anthologies, and that seems like the best way to take it, a little at a time.  Normally I sit down and read a full volume in one sitting, but I actually broke this one up over the course of four days.  As funny as it is, it’s just easier to take in smaller doses.