Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alley of First Love by Ellie Mamahara review

Alley of First Love

Author/Artist: Ellie Mamahara

Publisher: BLU

Rating: OT – ages 16 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life

Grade: A-

Shusuke works in his family's Liquor Store. After high school he was to be a big shot soccer star, but got injured. His best friend Atsushi decided to go overseas to study environmental science. Ever since middle school Shusuke has been in love with Atsushi. When Atsushi told Shusuke that he was going to England, it nearly broke Shusuke.

Six years later, Atsushi is back in Japan. Rumors are flying as to why he's back (like he embezzled money, a sex scandal, etc.) Shusuke's curious as to why he's back, so he decides to do some investigating. After getting caught by one of Atsushi's adorable nieces the two sit down to have a long necessary chat. After getting past the awkwardness that exists between them, things are beginning to look up.

Even though their friendship seems to be back on track Shusuke is worried that Atsushi will up and leave without any warning. What lies in store for these two friends?

When you look at the cover and read the blurb on the back you'd think it would be a very serious story. It does have its dramatic moments, but it also has comedic ones too. Especially when Atsushi's twin nieces, Mimi and Momo, are involved. They think that they are marrying Shusuke when they grow up. It is a really sweet romantic story, even though it follows the yaoi recipe to a tee. You know two childhood friends fall in love with one another, yada, yada, yada. One thing that sets this story apart is Ellie Mamahara-sensei's artwork. It is beautiful. I love reading works where you can recognize the artist immediately. Mamahara-sensei is one of those artists. She only has one work that has been released here in the States, but I look forward to seeing more of sensei's works.

BLU has made a very wise licensing choice in Alley of First Love. Not only is the choice a good one, it is also a beautiful book. The book is wrapped in a matte cover and has a full color front page. It really is beautiful. I noticed that since they've raised the price from $9.99 to $12.99 the quality has greatly improved.

I recommend this title to all that enjoy a sweet slice of life story with subtle comedy and beautiful art.

***Review Copy provided by Publisher***

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