Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bond(z) by Toko Kawai review


Author/Artist: Toko Kawai

Publisher: 801 Media

Rating: M - 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, Anthology

Grade: A-

This is a collection of four, one-shot stories by Toko Kawai-sensei.

Bonds: This is the first of the four. After a night of hitting the booze, Keita and Tomo end up sleeping with each other. Not only are these two guys good friends but they also have girlfriends, who are also friends. Here starts our story. They enjoy each others "company" so much that they begin a torrid affair. Twist and turns abound!

Situation: Yoh and Akira are childhood friends and neighbors. While in primary school their teacher breaks the news to our two adorable boys that they aren't able to get married because boys are supposed to fall in love with girls and not fall in love with other boys. When we see our boys next they are now in their third year of high school. Akira has come out and has a steady boyfriend in college, but he's still loves Yoh. But Yoh is still haunted by the words of his primary school teacher even though he loves Akira. Will Yoh be able to come to terms with his two conflicting emotions?

Kitan Garden: In Rosis Kingdom dwells a prince, Prince Fiona. He has fallen in love with Daichi. One problem stands in the way. Rosis Kingdom is a beautiful rose blossom, and Daichi is a human who takes care of the rose bush. Every blossoming season Prince Fiona awakens and celebrates his birthday. This time around the Black Pearl, a witch, grants him a wish. His wish is to meet Daichi. He awakens to see the face of his beloved Daichi. What will become of Fiona when the season of roses is over and he must return to his kingdom?

Sakura: Yuuichi Ayatsuji recieves a notice that the grandson of the head of his company will be spending a month living with him so he can see what life is like as a poor person. Ayatsuji is not at all looking forward to this new adventure. When Ren Asahina arrives Ayatsuji doesn't quite know what to do. He gives him some new clothes and a new hairstyle to go with Ren's new situation in life. Soon the awkwardness disappears and they find themselves attracted to one another. But Ren will only be at Ayatsuji's for a month, what are they to do?

This is a great manga. I love Kawai-sensei's art style, especially the way she draws eyes and kids! The only draw back I can see is that many of her characters in many different books all look alike, and this tome is no different. It's still worth checking out and it is worth the price you pay (801 Media is a bit more expensive, $15.95 per book.) Each story is very different and out of the four my favorite was defintely Kitan Garden. Bonds was the most explicit and sexually charged. Situation and Sakura both deal with the taboo of gay relationships and the role of society with them. This is a terrible review, but it's an excellent manga from the fabu Kawai-sensei.

***Review Copy purchased by Reviewer***

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