BL Mania #2: Mamahara Ellie

What do I like about Mamahara Ellie’s works? Her beautifully-drawn bishounens, that goes without saying! They look shoujo-ish though, not that I hate it. My only complain is that she only draws shounen-ai mangas and sometimes, even a chaste kiss is hard to come by. Still, reading her mangas (some of them anyway) always leave a fuzzy feeling behind, at least for me.

Double Cast

Yamamuro Yuuki and Sawaki Mitsuru are both rivals in the showbiz world but ironically, they are also in love with each other? I’m not sure how to interpret the relationship they had in the beginning but I think it’s quite clear that Yamamuro has fallen for Sawaki, vice versa.

Yamamuro is considered as a veteran in the showbiz industry whereas Sawaki is  a newcomer but it didn’t take long for him to overtake Yamamuro. Thanks to that, Yamamuro’s confidence is crushed and he decided to quit the stage all together. His main interest is after all the television, not theater. Ironically, Sawaki who blooms on TV is into theater.

What Yamamuro did not know is that Sawaki has been crushing on him all along who went as far as provoking Yamamuro so that he would return to theater upon knowing that he might just not get to see him on stage anymore. As for Yamamuro, he’s already influenced by Sawaki that he actually studied for his job; something that he did not usually do as noted by Kaho, his current squeeze at that moment.

Most female characters in BL mangas are portrayed as evil conniving bitch, or so I was told but in this case, Kaho who knew that Yamamuro is in love with Sawaki (women’s intuition, eh?) willingly surrender her love to Sawaki when she handed the key to Yamamuro’s place to Sawaki (was she ever in love with Yamamuro at all?).

All in all, it’s all well that ends well; Yamamuro decides to accept the theater role that he initially rejected and he’s now going out with Sawaki. And by the way, Sawaki is the seme while Yamamuro is the uke. Sawaki must be one hell of an aggressive and bold guy to top the older and taller Yamamuro. Hard to believe, eh? I don’t mind though 😀

Hatsukoi Yokochou

This one is about two childhood friends who were in love with each other but did not confess till several years later when one of them returns from abroad.

Shuusuke and Atsushi were close childhood friends all the way throughout high school until Atsushi decided to study abroad out of the blue. Shuusuke was in a mess when he found out, or so his brother told Atsushi later on.

Ten years later, Atsushi is back in town due to unknown reasons. Rumours were then spread around as on the real reason of his return. Some says that he was involved in embezzlement  of research funds and the most absurd one is the one that says he had an illicit affair with the good looking professor that he was studying under. The rumours grew and Shuusuke who dare not ask him almost believe in the rumour himself.

As expected of most shounen-ai mangas, this one is predictable – Shuusuke and Atsushi will somehow end up together by the end of the story. The path towards their union however, is a long and slow one. The first three chapters see the two fumbling around but never got around to confess to another until Shuusuke finally confessed to him after being told that Atsushi is gonna move away. Of course, it was just a misunderstanding and Atsushi was indeed moving but to another place in the neighbourhood. They kissed, they made out, made love, and they both live happily ever after in a blissful union.

Nothing explicit here, but we readers know that they did made love but none of the details are shown (not that I mind, since the story is good). All in all, it’s more of a reunion of two childhood friends who finally made their feelings known to each other told in one volume; short and sweet (and not to mention cute and fluffy).

 

Gokuraku Cafe

From Baka-Updates:

Yuuto works as a waiter at the Rainbow Forest Cafe. One day he sees a guy who looked like he wants to throw himself from a bridge. Yuuto tries to save him and finds out he’s none other than the famous former baseball player, Esaka.

Cute, fluffy, and somewhat innocent; that’s how I would describe Gokuraku Cafe. A good read that spans over two volumes. Some may complain that it’s lack of “action” but as one reader put it, sometimes lack of sex makes a good story. If there’s too much “action” more focus will be emphasized on it rather than the story itself (just my thought, no offensive feelings here).

Other than the relationship between Yuuto and Esaka, there’s also a story on the estranged father and son relationship between the cafe owner and his now famous son, Jack (who also fell for Yuuto’s charm). If it wasn’t for Yuuto who brought them together, they’ll probably still be separated in webs of misunderstandings (the father and son).

As for Esaka, he was on the verge of giving up baseball after a hand injury but after some coaxing and words of encouragement from Yuuto, Esaka decided to go ahead with the surgery. The surgery is a success and Esaka is back in the top form in the world of baseball, thanks to Yuuto whom he has been relentlessly pursuing since the day of their first encounter.

Yuuto who aspires to be an animator went to Jack’s production house in LA to achieve his dream. Learning from Jack, the son of the creator of Jacky that he idolizes so much itself is probably already a dream come true for Yuuto.

All well that ends well? Probably but to me Yuuto’s relationship with Esaka still seem rather vague to me by the end of the story. Makes me wonder if they’re actually going out or not what with Yuuto working towards his dream in LA while Yuuto continues his baseball career in Japan. A long-distance relationship? At the same time, Jack is also openly pursuing Yuuto who seems oblivious to it. I guess for this manga, that’s my only complaint…

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