Today’s Ulterior Motives
Author/Artist: Sakuya Fujii
Rating: M – 18 and above
Genre: Yaoi, Comedy, Drama, Romance
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***
We’ve all heard about the casting couch in Hollywood, right? In Today’s Ulterior Motives Sanari Jounouchi-sensei’s casting couch is in the form of an onsen. The first chapter of the manga is told from Jounouchi-sensei’s point of view, but Makoto Aizawa tells the rest of it.
Sanari Jounouchi loves to relax in privacy at inns with onsen, or outdoor baths. One evening while getting ready to enjoy his evening he sees a young man in his reserved bath. The young man is openly crying. He then goes under the water and fails to surface again. Jounouchi comes to the young man’s rescue only to be told he was play-acting. It turns out that this young man was an actor, at one time. Jounouchi was immediately drawn to him and his charms. After a night of passion Jounouchi figures he will never see the young man again. Sanari Jounouchi is a playwright and director for the Saihou Theatre Company. At auditions, boy was he in for a surprise. In walks his adorable young man, Makoto Aizawa.
Makoto Aizawa had been dumped by his fiancée and was planning on ending it all when Jounouchi-sensei happened upon him. Jounouchi-sensei is trying everything he can to continue to seduce Aizawa. We head back to the onsen for vocal practice, we try holding Aizawa hostage in the name of acting lessons, and using Aizawa’s naivete as an actor to convince him that all of this is normal. What will happen? You’ll have to read Today’s Ulterior Motives.
This is one melodramatic manga. Normally, I don’t like over the top melodramas. Often times they try so hard to be funny that they aren’t funny or they are so unbelievable in story that I find them hard to stomach. But with Today’s Ulterior Motives I found myself enjoying it more than I thought I would. With the times where it is absolutely unbelievable there was always a comment that pointed out the obvious and made it feel like we were all in on the joke. I would catch myself chuckling aloud on a regular basis. There was a particular scene where Jounouchi-sensei added a rape scene to his play only to have Aizawa play it so sensually that it turned on the entire cast. The only time I felt awkward was when Jounouchi-sensei would use Aizawa’s naivete against him and take advantage of him. But often times Aizawa would get even by speaking his mind. But the main reason I liked the manga was the art. The art was fantastic. It really is a beautiful manga.
With this being a Juné release, it is a larger trim size and has a dust jacket. This particular dust jacket is a matte jacket. It is so beautiful and smooth. I love the matte dust jackets. They look so classy. Today’s Ulterior Motives is part of a two book series. I look forward to how the next book will be handled!