Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hero Heel vol. 1 by Makoto Tateno review

Hero Heel. vol.1

Author/Artist: Makoto Tateno

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M - for 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance

Grade: A

Masaki Minami is an aspiring actor who has been cast in a new television show. It is one of those of Power Rangers type shows. Minami thinks that he is too good to act in shows like this but he accepted the job because he isn't able to land any other gigs. When the cast is introduced to the press Minami feigns interest. His co-star Kazuomi Sawada, who is a veteran to these types of shows, snickers catching Minami's attention. Sawada, unlike Minami, approaches his character professionally and expects that his co-stars do the same. Soon Minami is consumed by thoughts of Sawada.

When filming begins Minami discovers a huge secret (huge is of course relative). Sawada is gay. Oh my stars, an actor who is gay, who would have thunk it (yes, that last sentence is dripping with sarcasm). Since Minami is new to the biz he doesn't know how to deal with this news. Sawada seems to look down on Minami because Minami doesn't take his role seriously. Minami comes to a decision. He decides to adjust his attitude so Sawada won't look at him with contempt. He wants to be seen as an equal in Sawada's eyes.

Minami finds out that Sawada starred in another sci-fi type hero show in the past. Minami wants to see what type of actor he is in that show so he checks it out. To his surprise he is drawn to the plot (and one of the lead actors, Sawada). Sawada finds out that Minami has been checking out these shows and discourages him to watch beyond the first few episodes. Minami doesn't understand Sawada's motives behind his comment.

After filming one of Sawada's partners meets him at the studio to escort him home. Minami is feeling weird and doesn't understand the emotions that he's feeling. The next day Sawada and Minami are changing in the dressing room and Minami catches some scratches on Sawada's back. His heart sinks. It turns out that Minami is in love with Sawada (are we shocked? no? didn't think so.)

The show has become quite popular and the producers have decided to hire a couple of new actors. Katagiri, one of the new actors, seems to be enamored with Minami and tries all kinds of things to get his attention. But Minami is focused on Sawada. Will Minami come to terms with his feelings? Is Sawada attracted to Minami as well? If you want to find out what happens in this crazy love triangle read Hero Heel vol. 1.

Makoto Tateno-sama is one of my all time favorite mangaka. If you have read any of my reviews, you'll know that. Her art is clean and beautifully detailed. In my imaginary world all of my men would look like her drawings come to life. This is a great premise for yaoi. It is nice fertile soil for a story to grow from. We all know that in the acting profession that being gay isn't all that shocking. Actors tend to be sensitive and imaginitive. When it comes to guys if you exude any of those qualities growing up other guys pick on you and you tend to relate to girls. Growing up I knew several guys like this, although they are all still straight.

Juné has come out with another quality release. It is the larger trim size and has a dust jacket. I recommend this manga to all who like (or love in my case) Tateno-sama, anyone who likes yaoi manga, and anybody who likes interesting stories. I guess that means I recommend this manga to all!

***Review Copy purchased by Reviewer***

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