Sunday, September 21, 2008

Heavenly Body by Takashi Kanzaki review

Heavenly Body

Author/Artist: Takashi Kanzaki

Publisher: Deux Press

Rating: M – 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Comedy, Romance, Supernatural, Fantasy

Grade: B-

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

We are treated to three stories in Heavenly Body. Heavenly Body is the main story that takes up about half the book. Then we have two shorter one-shots: A Ballad for You, and Beloved.

Heavenly Body – Hazumi lives at home with two foreign exchange students: Luke and Ray. Luke has an interesting way of waking Hazumi. Luke takes care of Hazumi’s morning wood. It seems Luke is a sex fiend. Ray on the other hand is very sweet and considerate. He hasn’t tried anything funny and seems to really care for Hazumi. Little did Hazumi know that Luke is an angel and Ray is a demon. There is a war going on in Heaven. They’re fighting over the earth.
It turns out that Hazumi has been chosen to be the earth’s representative. Depending on whom he chooses will be the ones who will have dominion over the earth. Poor Hazumi! It is going to be hard for him to decide if their actions are sincere or if they are behaving in such a way as to win for their side. Yet, Luke and Ray have fallen in love with Hazumi and are willing to throw everything aside for Hazumi. Oy! What will Hazumi do?

In A Ballad for You we are introduced to a boys dorm. Kiyoto Ihara is the president of the dorm. He also happens to be dating Aya Tono, the much lusted after uke. There are many that want to hook up with this sweet beauty, but Ihara does everything he can to keep creeps away from his precious Tono. Their relationship happens to be a bit twisted. Tono seems to be a bit of a sadist. Even though Ihara is the seme, Tono is the one in control. Their relationship is very twisted and things aren’t going well. Ihara wonders how many men Tono has seduced and finds that maybe things would be better for the two of them if they broke up. Will things work out the way Ihara wants?

The final one-shot, and my personal favorite out of the three, is Beloved. Hibiki Saibara is a high school student. He earns money by prostituting himself out. The client he sees most often is Toshifumi Amagi. To keep things as professional as he can, neither one knows the other’s name. While they’re getting it on Amagi continually calls Saibara "Masafumi." The deal they worked out is every time Amagi calls out "Masafumi" Saibara gets an additional amount of money. As time goes by Saibara and Amagi continue to meet, but it seems Saibara is falling in love with his client. Every time he hears the name "Masafumi" uttered by Amagi, Saibara can’t seem to get a little jealous. Who is this mysterious "Masafumi" and will Saibara be able to catch his man?

This was an enjoyable volume released by Deux Press. Even though the book is dedicated to the story Heavenly Body, my favorite story is Beloved. It is head and shoulders above the rest. This was also my first book of Takashi Kanzaki-sensei’s that I’ve read. The art is nicely detailed and I enjoyed it, but some of the pages were really busy and distracted from the story. Kanzaki-sensei has more books either already out, or in the pipeline to be released. I look forward to checking out these stories as well. The story of Heavenly Body was an interesting premise. I’ve read stories where angels or demons get involved with humans, but the heavenly war was a new one for me. A Ballad for You was an interesting one. The character that you would assume would be the sadist would be the seme. You are in for a surprise. It’s the uke who is a bit of a masochistic sadist. The thing that disturbed me is that the uke, Tono, looked super young. I’m not really into these types of stories, so when it was over I was very glad. But, you are rewarded greatly by sticking with it. You are given the gift of Beloved. This one-shot has clearly shot up to the top of my list of favorite stories. I was honestly moved to tears. It really is an amazing story. I do recommend you check this out for a cute, quick read. Good job Deux Press!

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

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