February 9, 2013
Satoru Ishihara – DMP / June – 2008 – 1 volume
Satoru Ishihara is yet another BL artist/writer I fell in love with. I loved the work that appeared at eManga to pieces, The Boys With Tomorrow to Conquer and Betting My Life With You. I was a fan of the characters, who are a bit rougher around the edges and somewhat more manly and awkward than you usually see in BL one-shots. I was delighted to find that DMP had also published a couple older print volumes, the superb Dost Thou Know? and… God of Dogs.
Yeah, this one was my least favorite. Even with how much I adored all the other books, it took me two or three tries to get into this. This is… the direct middle of a story. There is a prequel series called Charisma that was not translated, and there is one more volume of this in Japan, but the series is still incomplete after a 5-year hiatus (read: it will probably remain that way). Ishihara is good, and I would read absolutely anything by her, but you would be better off checking out any other series in English.
It does have everything that I love in her other stories, though. It’s very dramatic, and the gangster flavor to this one works well with her melodrama and the too-cool-for-school dudes she puts in the story. The book opens with a character killing himself, and the ensuing funeral. Turns out the man was the heir to a large Chinese Mafia family, and they are required to track down the next head of the family related by blood, an estranged heir to a different son.
Meanwhile, a man breaks out of prison. The estranged heir, who has no intention of taking his rightful place in the family, and the prisoner, they cross paths. That’s where the romance works its way in. However, this volume is heavy on action and setting up a longer story, so it stops before the romance or the story really gets going.
Annoyingly, Betting My Life With You has the same problem with the story cutting off and no more volumes being available. She’s so good! I really wish more of her work would appear in English. The prequel to God of Dogs, Charisma, does sound good, and I suspect I would love Afuresou na Pool. Buying this… doesn’t really support more in English, I suspect, since it’s so old, but by all means, give the two titles I mentioned above on eManga a try. Or track down Dost Thou Know. So good!