Monday, December 1, 2008

Just Around the Corner by Toko Kawai review

Just Around the Corner

Author/Artist: Toko Kawai

Publisher: 801 Media

Rating: M – for ages 18 and up

Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, School Life

Grade: A-

Just Around the Corner is a touching story about two deeply flawed characters, drawn in Toko Kawai's signature style.

Kiriya's relationship with his lover had just ended. He felt like there was nothing left to live for and was going to step into traffic. The guy he had just bumped shoulders with pulled him back to safety. Yuuya was having troubles of his own. He was a world class pianist but because of an accident his left hand was injured and he was no longer able to play. Their mutual pain drew them together. Soon Yuuya and Kiriya started having hot and heavy meetings on weekends. One would think it was fate that brought these two together, but fate can be cruel at times.

Kiriya had been unemployed but because of a friend he was able to get a job as a High School math teacher. Yuuya had lied to Kiriya about his age so when he waltzed into class he was surprised to find his weekend lover at the head of the class, teaching. Kiriya is angry beyond normal healthy levels but things progress nicely. Will fate play another trick, or will things work out between Kiriya and Yuuya?

Toko Kawai-sensei is a truly gifted manga-ka. My only complaint is that all of her characters look alike. But because they are all beautiful I guess I can overlook it. The story is a nice change of pace. I don't mean the whole teacher-dating-student scenario or even the tragedy drawing two people together scenario. What I do mean is the fact that Kawai-sensei took these two common story lines, crammed them together, and created something beautiful and touching. You can't help but fall for Kiriya's grumpy but cute attitude and Yuuya's zest for life. You find yourself rooting for these two and hoping that things will work out.

This is one of 801 Media's more vanilla titles. They do spend a lot of time getting it on but things are handled very tastefully. There are a few times when intimate moments are a bit more detailed and body parts are a bit more defined than what you would find in Juné titles (Juné is a sister company to 801 Media). I found myself captivated by this manga. When I read it the first time around I wasn't sure what I thought of it, yet when I read it for a second time I found myself really liking it and glad that I picked it up. I highly recommend this title. If you are looking to get involved with more graphic yaoi titles, this would be a great title to pick up as a starter manga.

***Review Copy purchased through Yaoi Club***

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