July 14, 2013
Norikazu Akira – DMP/June – 2012 – 1 volume
I hate funky caps and punctuation in titles, but part of me also thinks it’s very funny. The lowercase title stays!
Guys, I wanted to like this book very badly. Norikazu Akira’s art is AMAZING. It’s so rare that we get books like this with manly-looking characters in English. These dudes have stubble, they look like adults, and they’re grown-ups. This book was all for me. Plus she uses a lot of heavy inks and tones, which makes it look very dark and stylish. Flipping through this book right now, I would buy any other book by Norikazu Akira they published in English (which, incidentally, includes Honey Darling from SuBLime). Unfortunately, based on the two books I ready by her… she’s just not my flavor.
Part of the problem is that there’s no preamble, just sex. Detective and Yakuza meet for the first time since junior high. There’s some thinly veiled excuse to get them together again after the first meeting (yakuza knows something about the case detective is working on), and from there, yakuza throws detective into bed and the two start having sex. There’s no romance, really, although they do like each other. The romance consists of “I’ve always loved you!” “Why didn’t you say so you can do whatever you want with me!” which… I probably shouldn’t complain about after reading hundreds of these, but when that’s all there is? That’s really boring. There’s lots of struggling, et cetera. Unfortunately, the yakuza is the only one that looks manly, as the detective is still kind of a small dude, which is less interesting than I made it sound.
The case goes on through the various chapters. Unfortunately, I’m giving a somewhat abridged summary since I read it some time ago and the only impression it left was that I loved the art, but the book itself didn’t do much for me. Flipping through it, it’s plenty steamy, and it does have good art, which is a tough combination to find sometimes. So there’ll be plenty of people for whom this will be worth picking up. I’d still recommend it to myself based on its good points alone, but it just wasn’t a very satisfying read. Not everything can be Men of Tattoos, but I always kind of want it to be.