Thursday, May 22, 2008

King of Debt by Sanae Rokuya review

King of Debt

Author/Artist: Sanae Rokuya

Publisher: 801 Media

Rating: M - 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Anthology

Grade: B+

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***

I didn't know what to expect when I first picked up this book. I was surprised to find that it was a series of one-shots. I'm generally not a huge fan of one-shots, but I enjoyed this one! 801 Media sure knows how to pick out their dirty little books. They are so fun!

The first one-shot is King of Debt. Taketora, nickname "The King of Debt," is always borrowing money from others and then fails to pay back the debt. Souta, a friend from college, can't seem to ever say no. Sadly, or not, depending on how you look at it, Souta loses his job and hunts down Taketora to collect on his past unpaid debts. When he arrives at Taketora's apartment he's surprised to find a posh condo and his friend standing out front in an expensive suit, leaning against a pricey luxury automobile. Dumbfounded, Souta demands cash which Taketora replies that he has none, but he'll pay back his debt with his hot, sexy, bod.

Rush, our next one-shot, is about boxers. Shinpachi Nakamura, being a cocky jock, busts in at Fujieda Boxing Gym and challenges the strongest fighter. Tsugihiro Fujieda takes him up on the challenge and kicks his butt. Fujieda sees potential in Nakamura and offers to train him. They get training in and out of the ring.

My personal favorite out of this series is the next one-shot My Dear, My Bear. Minori has an older brother complex. This brother left, but in his place left a stuffed bear to keep him company. A year later some strange man claiming to be Minori's stuffed bear is in his bed. Is this really his stuffed animal, or some creepy, perverted stalker?

Call My Name is a typical yaoi one-shot. Yanase, in high school, had a thing for Natsume. After Yanase confessed his feelings Natsume shot him down. Several years later the two of them happen to run into each other. It seems that Natsume's feelings are quite different now days.

Finally, VS is a tale of a veteran and a newcomer in the world of host clubs. The newcomer, Ryuuji, challenges Natsuki's seniority and claims that he'll be the number one host in the club at the end of the month. The end of the month approaches and it seems that Ryuuji has the number one host, and his spot in his sights.

Like I mentioned at the top of the review, I was pleasantly surprised. Many of the stories were a little more original than you usually see in the genre. The thing that was most refreshing, however, is Sanae Rokuya-sensei's art style. It is very clean, detailed, and you can tell the characters apart. Some mangaka have a style where all their semes and ukes look alike, but with Rokuya-sensei each character is unique. Plus, as an added bonus, sensei throws in a cross-dressing brother. It's great, you don't see that enough, in my opinion.

As always, 801 Media has put out a quality product. The high color dust jacket and high quality paper makes it an enjoyable read. I also love how they have the 801-chan comic on the dust jacket flap. You know that if it comes from 801 Media it is an excellent product! I just sounded like an infomercial just now. Sorry.

***Review Copy provided by Publisher***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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