Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sugarmilk by Jaryu Dokuro review

Sugarmilk

Author/Artist: Jaryu Dokuro

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M - 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Anthology

Grade: A+

My Memorial Day weekend was filled with one-shot manga. The second one-shot manga I read this weekend (the first was Everlasting Love by Ryoko Chiba) was Sugarmilk by Jaryu Dokuro. Initially I didn't have much of a desire to read it because I wasn't too fond of the cover (I know, I know, don't judge a book by it's cover), but after reading the reviews of Sugarmilk at The Journal of Lincoln Heights Literary Society (http://liheliso.com/buzz/, the reviews were written by Ryes and Cat) I changed my mind. Boy, am I glad I did. I LOVED this manga!

The first one-shot entitled What's Your Name is the tale of part-time convenience store clerk Yamada. Yamada doesn't believe in love at first sight until he sees Yamabe. Yamada figures he'll never see Yamabe (at this point, we don't know his name) again. The next day while out on the town Yamada is attacked (in a positive way) by a friendly dog. It turns out to be Yamabe's dog, Cerberus. Cerberus has taken a liking to Yamada. What will happen?

Our next story, Fifteen, is the tale of Shunsuke Nishihara falling in love with basketball star Satoshi Inoue. Nishihara witnesses Inoue turning down a girl who confessed her love, but then Inoue approaches Nishihara and confesses to him. Wow, lucky Nishihara! Being new to the whole relationship game, he doesn't know how to approach the whole thing. Will Inoue help poor Nishihara out?

The Lingering Scent of a Rainbow is where a teacher has fallen in love with one of his students. Furuya (the teacher) has gifted student Yoneguni in his class. In order to foster his ability it is decided that Yoneguni will go to a different school. Because Furuya has fallen in love with Yoneguni it will be hard to let him go. Can Furuya do it?

Next in line, Milk, is about two childhood friends. One night Sho Tanaka and Taichi Minamori were going to a party, but the party was cancelled. It's decided that they'll go to Sho's and get drunk. Sho is trying to quit smoking and Taichi gives him a milk flavored sucker (I've never seen much in the way of milk flavored candy in this part of the world). After getting drunk Taichi makes the moves on Sho. Taichi is supposed to be straight. Will this end their friendship?

Sugar is the continuation of the relationship between Sho and Taichi. It seems that Sho has always been in love with Taichi and Taichi can't seem to let Sho go. Sugar seems to focus more on their past than on the present, but we see that they need each other.

Waiting for Winter is a one-shot of how a photographer finds his muse in a homeless man named Yoichi. He literally picked him up off the street. Nakamura (our photographer friend) took him in cleaned him up and started photographing him. Nakamura, it seems, has lost the excitement of his job. Will Yoichi help him out of this slump?

New Years Eve is the final one-shot. We join Sho and Taichi on New Years Eve. It's a really short one-shot so I'll leave it at that.

Jaryu Dokuro-sensei has a great eye. Sensei has put much detail in her (I'm just assuming here) characters and you fall in love with each one. None of the characters look like one another (the curse that many mangaka have) and they have distinct personalities. I would have to say that my favorite one shot is What's Your Name. It had me laughing all the way through. There isn't much in the way of sex, and what sex there is it isn't explicit. I think that this release could have been rated YA for 16 years and older. But I'm not the one who rates them for age and who abides by the ratings anyway. I highly recommend Sugarmilk for any fan of yaoi or for anyone just getting started with the boys love genre. It's a great read!

***Review Copy purchased by Reviewer***

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