Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Gentleman's Kiss vol. 1 by Shinri Fuwa review

A Gentleman’s Kiss vol. 1

Author/Artist: Shinri Fuwa

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M – ages 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, Organized Crime

Grade: A

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

I seem to be on a yakuza reading binge. First it was A Gentleman’s Kiss. I followed it up with Yakuza in Love vol. 3. Then it was the yaoi novel Sleeping with Money. I rounded it out with Totally Captivated vol. 4. OK, Totally Captivated is a Korean manhwa but it still deals with organized crime. All these other reviews will come later, but this one is dedicated to Shinri Fuwa-sensei’s A Gentleman’s Kiss vol. 1.

Homura Yasobe is a young, handsome businessman. He’s also being groomed on being his father’s successor. His father happens to be a yakuza boss. Homura is carrying a huge secret with him as well. He has a male lover, Touji Karasuma, who happens to be the successor of his father’s business. That business is as a yakuza boss, and rival faction to Homura’s. The two met in high school, but started seeing one another many years later.

It’s hard enough having a lover of the same sex that is in a rival yakuza faction, but things get more difficult for Homura. While trying to manage several different businesses, one of his hosts (in one of the clubs he runs) seems to have taken a liking to him. Kyoya Kuramoto is Homura’s number one host and Kyoya has a huge crush on him. Of course, the only man for Homura is Touji, but if that secret were to get out, here comes disaster! Since this is a two volume series surely intense moments will continue to come.

Fuwa-sensei is also known (at least to me) for Yebisu Celebrities. Since I was somewhat familiar with sensei’s work, I knew that this would be a good read. The art is phenomenal. The color drawings on both the front and back of the dust jacket are beautiful but the artwork really shines in black and white. It really is stunning. The story is gripping, interesting, and has some humorous moments as well. Juné made a great licensing choice with A Gentleman’s Kiss. Homura is gruff yet sexy (besides I have a thing for dudes in glasses). Touji is fun loving yet has a somewhat dangerous air. I guess you have to be gruff and dangerous to be a successful yakuza. This release is one of the reason’s why I love Juné. They may have a few misses, like any publisher would. But in my opinion they hit a home run with this manga. It has a full color dust jacket and a larger trim size. With this volume the larger size makes it that much greater a read. You can truly appreciate the artwork. In my humble opinion, this is a work that must not be missed. If you do, you are an idiot! OK, that last line is a bit harsh, but it is a yakuza tale, so buck up punk!

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

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