I Love You, Chief Clerk!

March 16, 2013

Keiko Kinoshita – JManga – 2012 – 1 volume

As you may have heard, JManga is rather suddenly shutting their doors, and taking all their manga with them. I own a lot of volumes on there, many of which I haven’t talked about here yet. I should probably get that out of the way before I lose access.

I love Keiko Kinoshita dearly, and this was one of the first BL books JManga posted. I snapped it up immediately, and wasn’t disappointed. This is a short story collection, which isn’t my preference, but Kinoshita is good for her wonderful character dialogue and somewhat more realistic relationships (although here, there are still some that stretch credibility). She also has a nice style that goes well with her stories.

I was hooked here by the salarymen, in a way that I would have been anyway even if Kinoshita hadn’t drawn it. The first couple stories focus on the same couple, which is a boss/underling relationship where the underling goes after the older, senior office member. It’s a slow thing, though, where he confesses his love on the first few pages, then spends the rest of the time in a friendship with the Chief Clerk. The latter begins to accept his feelings more and more, but begins to wonder why their relationship isn’t going anywhere. And then it does. Nothing too explicit, but there’s some romance there.

The second set of stories are shorter, and focus on a sillier relationship between a young author and his much older editor. The editor is drawn to the author, and the author seems oblivious when he answers the door in only a towel and grills him for information on “adult” relationships. This is, of course, going exactly the way it seems. It wraps up nicely with a point of drama about a possible marriage for the editor. Of the stories, this was my least favorite couple.

The last stories are one-shots, one about a high school couple that reluctantly gets together when one uses the other as a scapegoat to break up with his girlfriend, and another that’s a rather PG teacher/student relationship. I hate those kinds of stories, but this one was much less creepy than they normally are. It was very sentimental and sweet, actually, and would probably go over well with readers who are more inclined to enjoy that.

I feel like I’m probably not doing this justice, but it’s another wonderful light read from Keiko Kinoshita. She has better books, but for me, these are always a very particular pleasure. Grab it while you can, if you’re still able.