Ichigenme… The First Class is Civil Law vol. 2
Author/Artist: Fumi Yoshinaga
Publisher: 801 Media
Rating: M – ages 18 and above
Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Comedy, Romance
In Ichigenme vol. 1 we met Tamiya and Tohdou at the beginning of their relationship in this volume we hop back into their relationship seven years after the first volume.
Tamiya is now working as an assistant professor at Teinou University while Tohdou is finishing his graduate work in engineering. Their relationship has continued on but because the two have been so busy with their careers they hardly have time to be together. In fact the last time they had all the way sex was seven years ago. There is more in store for these two lovers. A new intelligent student has shown up in one of Tamiya's classes. He seems to have caused a huge stir in the law program. Not only is he extremely smart and talented, but he's handsome to boot. His name is Hiroaki… Tohdou. Yes, he's Tohdou's younger brother and is also taking the route down the law path to please his politician father, since Taka'aki (Tohdou's first name) has become a disappointment by coming out. Hiroaki is also gay but is still in the closet as far as his father is concerned, but these two brothers get along very well and Hiroaki even helps Taka'aki with his relationship problems that he and Tamiya are going through.
This is a very good conclusion to the story. With Tamiya and Tohdou's relationship going strong and the beginning of a relationship for Hiroaki you finish the book with a fully satisfied feeling. I know I suggested the first volume as a great beginner book into the smuttier side of yaoi, but in the case of the second volume it turns up the spice big time. Not only do you get Fumi Yoshinaga-sensei's signature style with simple panel layout and the focus on the facial expressions, but it is much more graphic in its sex and language. Man can Tamiya talk dirty! So if you read Ichigenme vol. 1 as an introduction to more graphic volumes of yaoi, you may want to hold off on reading the second volume until you become more familiar with the more graphic titles. The story is very well told and I enjoyed switching between the two plot lines.
Yoshinaga-sensei has a very large following and many fans. I may not be one of her rabid fans but I haven't been disappointed (even though I try really hard not to like her titles). I know that in some blogs I've found gay male readers enjoy her work (where in many other cases they can't stand other types of yaoi). In her works (to be honest I've only read Antique Bakery and Ichigenme) there are characters that are actually gay and in the case of Ichigenme you see the effect that Taka'aki's father has to his coming out. In so many other titles that aspect of the story is glossed over. But we are dealing with a fantasy here.
I really enjoyed Ichigenme… The First Class is Civil Law. I think that 801 Media made a wise choice. If you like Yoshinaga-sensei this is a great work. Just be aware that this volume is much more graphic than the first so proceed with caution.
***Review Copy purchased at Borders***