Sunday, November 16, 2008

Junior Escort by Sakurako Hanafubuki review

Junior Escort

Author/Artist: Sakurako Hanafubuki

Publisher: Juné

Rating: M – 18 and above

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, Anthology

Grade: D

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

Initially, I thought that Junior Escort was just another book of one-shots that Juné is releasing. Yet there will be more Junior Escort titles coming out in the next year. Which stories will be continued? It beats me!

Mizuhara. He's the hottest face in Japan right now. You see him on ad posters, in television commercials, even acting in television series. Ayukawa works for the same talent agency that Mizuhara does. One night after partying, Ayu (the name he's known by) is the person chosen to take a hammered Mizuhara home. It seems that Mizuhara has fallen for Ayu. Ayu isn't too sure about his feelings because he's been a Mizuhara fanboy. A deal is struck between his boss and himself to continue seeing Mizuhara. If Mizuhara stays happy then there is a possibility for more projects for Ayu. There seems to be danger on the horizon for Ayu.

The first two stories, Junior Escort and Paparazzi Channel, star Mizuhara and Ayukawa. In Angelic Seduction Yuta Ninomiya has a crush on one of his neighbors, Kakeru Aoyama. Kakeru's parents are talking divorce and Yuta's mom allows him (a kindergartner) to wander around all by himself. Yuta will do anything necessary to catch his man. Behind Closed Doors is about Ueda and Haitani. Ueda has been crushing on Haitani for a while. After they first slept together Ueda finds out that Haitani sells himself. The two strike up a deal to continue sleeping with each other. Haitani also has had a dark past that has contributed to his current behavior. Kamijo is an insomniac. In So Lovable, So Kind Mitsuru offers to help Kamijo cure his insomnia by having sex. It seems they like one another but don't seem to do anything about these feelings. They're relationship seems to be one of sex buddies, no more, no less. In Baku, Megumu and Aki are roommates. They have a mutual friend named Senno. It's the typical love triangle. Megumu and Aki have known each other since they were children and it seems that Senno also has a thing for Aki (or is it Megumu, I'm not sure). It's a very confusing story.

I know that the upcoming volumes of Junior Escort will feature more stories starring Mizuhara and Ayu, but whether the other stories will be continued I just don't know. I wasn't too fond of this collection of stories. Junior Escort and Paparazzi Channel were by far the better of the six. I found myself very disturbed with Angelic Seduction. Now, I don’t know the age when Japanese children start kindergarten, but when I was in kindergarten sex and conquest was not even close to being on my mind. Then we are looking at a seme who is fourteen. The whole shotacon genre is lost on me. I find it rather disgusting. Behind Closed Doors is rather sweet and I'll add it to the list of better stories. Not only was I not terribly impressed by the stories but also I found the art to be lackluster at best. All of their faces were much too narrow and they had some major pointy chins. You could carve wood with those chins. Who knows, maybe the next installment will be an improvement.

I love many of the Juné titles, but I feel like they struck out on this one. Even though it is the larger size and is wrapped in a dust jacket, it's still not enough to redeem this book.

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

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