Friday, May 30, 2008

A Foreign Love Affair by Ayano Yamane review

A Foreign Love Affair

Author/Artist: Ayano Yamane

Publisher: 801 Media, Inc.

Rating: 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Comedy, Romance, Organized Crime

Grade: B+

Ranmaru is the son of a powerful Yakuza and is on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean for his wedding to the daughter of another Yakuza clan. They obviously don't get along and instead of enjoying his honeymoon with his new bride, he's drowning his sorrows at the bar. Ranmaru insists on wearing traditional clothing so people are constantly staring him down. You generally don't see dudes in kimonos in Italy. He catches the eye of the handsome Alberto Valentiano. Al, as he is known throught the rest of story, loves all things Japanese (me, too). Al takes Ranmaru to his room and seduces him, so instead of sleeping with his wife Ranmaru spends a sweaty night with this Italian stranger. The next morning the Japanese party disembark and we find out that Al is the ship's captain. Deciding to head to Rome, Ranmaru's new wife leaves him behind to fend for himself at the villa they are staying at. Ranmaru tries to catch up but doesn't have much luck. Because he still insists on traditional dress he sticks out like a sore thumb and guess who happens upon him, Al! Al takes Ranmaru to his home, a beautiful villa. More hijinks and some crime follow. You want to know what they are? You'll have to pick up A Foreign Love Affair to find out!

There is also another cute story after the main story about a research scientist at a university. He's feeling the pressure of needing to find a wife. He goes to a matchmaking agency and ends up falling for the matchmaker instead of the women he's set up with. Since it's a yaoi story, yes, the matchmaker is a guy. A cute bubbly guy at that!

I haven't had the opportunity of reading any of Ayano Yamane-sensei's work prior to reading this one, but I do know she has a huge following both here and in Japan. In seeing her art and the quality of storytelling I can see why she is so popular. Her art is so clean and beautiful it's amazing. This story was a fun, wild, and sexy romp through the Mediterranean and it was a riot from beginning to end. The second story was very sweet and I enjoyed it as well. 801 Media doesn't disappoint with this volume of manga. The dust jacket has a beautiful pearlescent lavender background with Al in his uniform and Ranmaru sitting with a wide open, disheveled kimono and wearing only a fundoshi underneath. Mmm, mmm good! You'll check it out if you know what's good for you (I'm channeling my inner Yakuza, what do you think?)!

***Review Copy purchased by Reviewer***

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